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Shah moots idea of multipurpose card; says 2021 census to be digital

PTI

New Delhi

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday mooted the idea of a multipurpose identity card for citizens with all utilities like Aadhaar, passport, driving licence and bank accounts.

The home minister also said that a mobile app will be used for the first time in the 2021 census and the country would be moving from the pen and paper census to digital data, which will be a big revolution in the country’s census exercise.

“Why can’t we have just one card for all utilities like Aadhaar, passport, bank account, driving licence, voter card. There should be a system that all data should be put together in a single card. This is a potential. That is why digital census is very important,” he said after laying the foundation stone of a new building of the Registrar General of India and Census Commissioner here.

For the 2021 census, the reference date is October 1, 2020, for Jammu and Kashmir and snow-bound areas of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand while for the rest of the country, it is March 1, 2021.

Census will be carried out in 16 languages and at a cost of Rs 12,000 crore.

Shah said the Census 2021 data will be the base for the country’s future planning, development initiatives and welfare schemes and people’s wholehearted participation is key to the success of the exercise.

“India’s total 130 crore population should be informed about its benefits. How the census data could be used for future planning, development initiatives and welfare schemes. The utilisation of census data is multi-dimensional and will be a significant contribution in nation’s progress,” he said. The home minister also said the census will help in demarcating  boundaries of municipal wards, assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies.

He appealed to census officials to carry out the exercises sincerely as this is an opportunity for them to do ‘Punya’ (holy deed), which will help in nation building.

Shah said earlier the government used to do welfare schemes on a piecemeal basis and no comprehensive planning was done by previous governments.

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