Census 2021 asks what cereal do you eat, whether you own a smartphone

The house-listing phase of Census 2021 shall begin in April 2020 along with the National Population Register (NPR)


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On January 9, the office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner issued a gazette notification in the exercise of the powers conferred on it under section 8(1) of the Census Act, 1948, listing out the questions to be asked in Census 2021. The notification states, “the Central government hereby instructs that all Census Officers may, within the limits of the local areas for which they have been respectively appointed, ask all such questions from all persons on their items enumerated below for collecting information through the house-listing and housing census schedule in connection with the Census of India 2021…”

Basically, the Census office has released the questionnaire for the house-listing census which is slated to begin along with the National Population Register 2020, from April 1, 2020 and conclude by September 30, 2020.

This new set of questions may be compared with the house-listing questions of the last census of 2011.

Embed 2011 house-listing schedule here

The only questions that appear newly in the current House-listing schedule for 2020 are:

1.       Whether person owns a smartphone

https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif2.       What is the main cereal consumed in the household

3.       Mobile number (for census related communications only)

One question from the 2011 house-listing schedule that does not appear in the 2021 schedule is whether the household avails banking services.

The other questions that are common to both questionnaires are main source of water, access to toilet, bathing facility, kitchen, main source of lighting. The questions are also related to whether the household has TV, Radio, access to internet, computer/laptop, kind of vehicle and so on.

The House-listing census also seeks to know the sex of the head of the household, whether they belong to SC/ST, ownership status of the house, number of married couple, number of rooms in the house

The 2021 census which starts with the house-listing census of 2020 will be conducted digitally through a mobile app instead of the traditional pen and paper method of collecting data. The census will have its reference date as March 1, 2021, but for snow-bound Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand it will be October 1, 2020.

The Gazette notification may be read here.


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