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Multi-purpose ID card may replace all others: HM

Multi-purpose ID card may replace all others: HM

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

The home minister also said that a mobile app would 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 possibility. That is why the digital census is critical," 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 country, it is March 1, 2021.

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

Shah said the Census 2021 data would 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.

The home minister also said the census would help in demarcating boundaries of municipal wards, assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies.

The home minister said based on the 2011 Census, the Modi government had planned 22 welfare schemes related to electricity connection to every home, gas connection, construction of roads, houses for the poor, toilets, bank accounts, the opening of a bank branch etc.

He cited the example of the government's flagship 'Ujjwala' scheme of providing free LPG connections to low-income families, saying it has been successful as the scheme was prepared based on the 2011 census data.

"By 2022, there will not be a family which will not have a gas connection," he said.

Shah also said the 2011 census reflected the poor sex ratio of male and female in some states. That's why the programme of 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' was launched.

"Under this scheme, the Haryana government has done so much work in the last five years that the state's sex ratio is now among the best in the country," he said.

Shah also said the data for the National Population Register (NPR), a list of usual residents of the country, will also be collected along with the census exercise.

Officials said the NPR could be the basis for a pan-India version of Assam's National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Simontini Bhattacharjee

Simontini Bhattacharjee

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