The 2021 Census and field activities related to the process have been postponed in view of the coronavirus pandemic, the Centre informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

In his response to a question in the Lower House of Parliament, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai did not specify any deadline for completing the Census process.

Rai said that on March 28, 2019, the home ministry had issued a gazette notification about the government’s intention of carrying out the Census. He added that 372 Census officers have been appointed across states for the process.

A day after the nationwide coronavirus lockdown was imposed last year, the home ministry had released a press note stating that first phase of the Census 2021 and updating of the National Population Register – scheduled to take place between April and September 2020 – have been postponed until further notice.

In the press note issued last year, the government had said that the 2021 Census was scheduled to be conducted in two phases – the House Listing and House Census between April and September 2020 and the Population Enumeration in February 2021.

This Census would be the country’s first-ever digital one. In a response to a question in the Rajya Sabha in July, Rai had said that the government has developed a mobile app for collecting data as well as a portal for the management and monitoring of various census-related activities.