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2021 Census unlikely to be completed before May next year

By Sanjoy Ray

GUWAHATI, Aug 19 - The Register General of India (RGI) is likely to take a call on resumption of census operation in Assam along with the rest of the country very soon, although it is unlikely that the 2021 Census exercise will be completed before April-May next year when the Assembly election in the State is due.

The population enumeration in Assam as part of the decennial exercise was originally scheduled to get completed between February 9 and 28 next year.

Further, although the house listing and housing census was scheduled to be over by May this year, the entire process came to a standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sources in the Directorate of Census Operations told The Assam Tribune that the RGI in his last meeting with the officials entrusted with the job of census dropped a hint that the deadline may be extended by at least six to seven months, if not more.

Sources informed that nearly 1.5 lakh personnel will be engaged across the State for the world�s biggest enumeration exercise.

�In Assam, although we have completed training for on-field personnel, door-to-door counting along with training for enumerators/supervisors could not even get started due to the pandemic,� sources said.

�The Government of India is expected to take a decision soon on this front after which the RGI will get in a discussion with all the stakeholders.

From what we have gathered till date, the chances of census report getting published before the Assembly election in the State is very bleak,� sources said, adding that under the existing situation, it would be virtually impossible to mobilise the resources.

The census is being conducted under the Census Act 1948 and Census Rules 1990. The exercise is done in two phases � house listing and housing census, and population enumeration. This would be for the first time in the 140-year history of census in India where the data is proposed to be collected through a mobile app.

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