Census, NPR Exercise Unlikely in 2020 Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Both the exercises were earlier supposed to be carried out from 1 April to 20 September 2020.

2 min read
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The initial phase of the Census and the process of updating the National Population Register (NPR) that were scheduled to take place this year but got delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, may witness a further delay by a year.

A senior official told news agency PTI, “Census is not an essential exercise for now. Even if it is delayed by a year, there would be no harm.”

The Census is the primary source of data collection from every section of the society.

The official further said that even though no final date has been decided regarding the aforementioned exercises, however, it is unlikely that they will take place this year due to the continuing surge in coronavirus cases.

“As the entire exercise needs the involvement of lakhs of officials and visit to each family, we can’t undermine the health risk involved in it,” the official added.

Both the exercises were earlier supposed to be carried out from 1 April to 20 September 2020.


India on Sunday, 30 August, reported 78,761 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally in the country to 35,42,734. The death toll increased by 948 to 63,498.

According to the Union Health Ministry data, there are currently 7,65,302 active cases across the country, while 27,13,934 patients have been discharged, and one had migrated.

Census, NPR Not in the Priority List of Govt: Official

Earlier, the Census was supposed to have its reference date as 1 March 2021, and for snow-bound Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand it was 1 October 2020.

“The COVID-19 threat is still looming large. The census and NPR are not in the priority list of the government as of now,” another official told PTI.

While updating NPR witnessed opposition from some state governments, the Census process received full support.

According to the Registrar General’s website, “The National Population Register is a Register of usual residents of the country.”

Who falls within the “usual resident”category?

For the purposes of NPR, a usual resident is someone who has resided in a local area for 6 months or more, or someone who intends to reside in the area for 6 months or more.

It is mandatory for every ‘usual resident’ of India to register in the NPR. NPR data was collected in 2010 during the Census 2011 exercise and updated in 2015.

(With inputs from PTI)

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