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Govt Declares Census, NPR Database As Critical Information Infrastructure

The government has declared certain databases related to the Census and the National Population Register (NPR) as critical information infrastructure. In a notification issued recently, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said the decision was taken after exercising the powers conferred to it under the Information Technology Act, 2000 (Amended 2008).

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What The Govt Has Done:

The Centre declares the computer resources relating to the Census Monitoring and Management System, the Self Enumeration and Civil Registration System (CRS) web portals, mobile applications for house listing, population enumeration and updating the NPR as critical information infrastructure (CII) of the office of the registrar general and census commissioner, it said.
The linked databases, including the NPR database, the Census database and the CRS database, the computer resources set up and installed at the National Data Centre, the office of the registrar general and the census commissioner, Delhi, the Disaster Recovery Site and the data centres at Bengaluru and Lucknow have also been declared as CII, according to the notification.

About The Census:

  • The first Census was conducted in India in 1872 (although non-synchronously in different parts) during the reign of Governor-General Lord Mayo.
  • The newly established office of the registrar general and census commissioner launched and completed the first Census of India in 1881.
    • With a history of more than 130 years, it has proved to be a reliable exercise that is conducted every 10 years.
  • The Census Act, enacted in 1948, then provided for the permanent scheme of conducting population Census with duties and responsibilities of Census Officers.
    • The individual data collected in Census under the Census Act, 1948, are not made public as per the provisions contained in the Act.
    • The individual data are not used for the preparation of any other database, including the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Only the aggregated Census data at various administrative levels are released.

Census 2021 vs Previous Editions:

  • Digital Data:
    • It is for the first time the data is collected digitally via mobile applications (installed on enumerator’s phone) with a provision of working in offline mode.
    • This would help in reducing the delay and having the results almost immediately, unlike earlier cases where it used to take multiple years for the data to be analyzed and the reports published.
  • Census Monitoring & Management Portal:
    • It will act as a single source for all officers/officials involved in Census activities to provide multi-language support.

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