New Delhi: Due to the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the first phase of Census 2021 and updation of National Population Register (NPR) has been postponed until further order, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said.

The first phase of Census 2021 was to start from 1st April 2020. The MHA statement read

“the first phase of Census 2021 and updation of NPR, which was to begin on various dates decided by the State/UT governments beginning 1st April 2020 and various related field activities, are postponed until further orders”

The announcement came a day after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day lockdown across the country, with effective from March 24.

The Census 2021 was scheduled to be conducted in two phases from April 2020 to February 2021. In the first phase House listing and Housing Census was scheduled to conduct during April-September, while Population Enumeration was scheduled to conduct during 9th to 28th February, 2021 in the second phase.

The updation of NPR was also proposed to be done along with the Phase I of Census 2021 in all the States (except Assam) and Union Territories.

Due to the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Union government has declared high alert across the nation. The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued Guidelines with the directions for their strict implementation, on the measures to be taken by the Ministries/Departments of Government of India and State/Union Territory Governments for containment of Coronavirus Epidemic in the country.

Many State government and Union Territories has declared lockdown to check the spread the pandemic. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has issued advisories for various precautionary measures, including social distancing.

As of now 436,372 cases have been reported worldwide and 19,637 lives have been lost to the bug. India has so far reported 562 cases and 10 people has lost their lives. Most states in India has reported Coronavirus cases. With the influx of NRIs, threat for spreading of virus is high and therefore government clamped lockdown on its 137 crore peoples.  

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.