Telangana’s household census raises doubts

Hyderabad: Amid nationwide protests against CAA, the Telangana government has issued a notification to start household census operations from 1 April. The notification, issued by the Ministry of Home affairs, read, “In exercise of the powers conferred by Section (3) and Section 17A of the Census Act, 1948 ( 37 of 1948) read with rule 6A of the Census rules, 1990, the Central Government hereby declares that the house listing operations of the Census of India 2021 shall take place from 1 April 2020, till 30 September 2020.”

It further stated, “In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 8:9 of the Census Act, 1948 (37 of 1948), 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 the items enumerated below for collecting information through the house listing and housing census schedules in connection with the census of India 2021.”

Reacting to the news, an independent researcher, Srinivas Kodali, took to Twitter to share the details of the household census notification. He wrote, “The Government of Telangana issued notification to start the Household census operations from April 1st. Remember the #NPR process is heavily dependent on household census and the notification for it was already issued in July 2019. #CAA_NRC_NPR (sic). ”

Census questions will include building number, census house number, predominant material of floor, wall, and roof of the census house, use of the census house, condition of the census house, household number, total number of persons normally residing in the household, name of the head of the household, sex of the head of the household, whether the head of the household belongs to Scheduled Caste/Tribe or other, ownership status of the census house, number of dwelling rooms exclusively in possession of the household, number of married couple(s) in the household, main source of drinking water, availability of drinking water source, main source of lighting, access to latrine, type of latrine, waste water outlet, availability of bathing facility, availability of kitchen and LPG/PNG connection, main fuel used for cooking, radio/transistor, television, access to internet, laptop/computer, telephone/mobile phone/smartphone, bicycle/scooter/motorcycle/moped, car/jeep/van, main cereal consumed in the household, and mobile number (for census related communications only).

Speaking on the notification released by the Government of Telangana, Independent Researcher, Srinivas Kodali said, “In Telangana, KCR has collected everything: from your voter ID to your PAN card details, in order to create a database for the state. Samagra Vedika basically gives you a state ID number by linking all the government databases which contain the data of citizens. In a sense, the work for NPR is already done in Telangana,” said the data researcher.”

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