“We will have to make people aware of it and our ministry will spare no efforts to do so,” he added. Census is important from various aspects and for a ‘population- sensitive state like Assam’, it is even more vital, he said. He, however, did not elaborate on his statement. The population growth rate of Muslims has been a highlight of political discourse in Assam in recent years, with Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma claiming in the state Legislative Assembly in March that they have become the ‘largest community’ in the state. He had also earlier pitched for ‘population control’ among Muslims, maintaining that it is directly linked to the growth of the state. Shah also pointed out that census data can reflect demographic changes, economic mapping, areas left behind in the development parameters, cultural, linguistic and societal changes.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Monday that with the country’s census process being digitalized, the next counting exercise, which has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, should expect a “perfect” enumeration. Shah, who is on a two-day visit to Assam, said earlier in the day that the federal government is working to ensure that border areas are developed so that people do not migrate away from rural areas. The home minister said at a gathering in Amingaon that the next census, which would be conducted in e-mode, will be a “perfect” enumeration on the basis of which the country’s developmental planning for the next 25 years will be undertaken. While e-census will have its challenges, there would also be advantages – about 50 per cent of the population will be able to feed their data themselves once the mobile application is downloaded on their phones, he pointed out. The Union Minister said that he and his family will use the mobile application for filing up the census data.
The minister maintained that such an all-encompassing crucial exercise was not given its due importance in the past. Shah claimed that the Narendra Modi-led government has given due importance to Census and his ministry has decided to use technology for scientific and accurate enumeration and proper analysis of the census findings. “Even though COVID-19 has slowed it down, I am sure modernisation of the Registrar General of India will be completed by 2024,” he added. Shah also inaugurated the newly revamped website of ORGI-www.censusindia.gov.in. The new website comes with advanced features like ‘population finder’, data visualisations.
Earlier in the day, the home minister said there was lack of development in the border areas, leading to migration of people, and “Prime Minister Narendra Modi is constantly striving to bring development to these areas”. The BSF personnel posted along the border areas will be provided with the latest technology to boost security, he tweeted. At Mankachar near the Indo-Bangladesh border, Shah reviewed the border situation after arriving from the Kamakhya where he offered prayers at the famous Shakti temple. Shah is scheduled to attend a host of programmes in the northeastern state during his visit, including the Himanta Biswa Sarma-led government’s first anniversary celebrations.
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