New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday proposed the idea of a multipurpose ID card for citizens with all utilities like Aadhaar, passport, driving licence and bank accounts. The Home Minister also asserted that the next census of India in 2021 will be a “digital census”, with a mobile app used to collect data.

“A digital application, an app will be used for population census in the year 2021. It will be transformation from paper to digital census”, said the Home Minister.He asserted that there should also be a system that when a person dies, the information is updated in the population data automatically. “We can have just one card for all utilities like Aadhaar, passport, bank account, driving licence, voter card. This is a potential,” Shah added.

Furthermore, he said,”Population census is not a boring exercise. It is an exercise that helps to provide people the benefits of the government schemes. National Population Register (NPR) will help government solve many issues in the country.”

In March this year, the government had announced that the next census will be conducted in two phases with March 1, 2021, as the reference date. For Jammu and Kashmir and snow-bound areas of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the reference date shall be the first day of October 2020, the notification said.  The census 2021 is said to be the world’s largest enumeration exercise.

The last Census was conducted under the UPA regime in 2011 in two phases – House Listing and Housing Census (April to September 2010) and Population Enumeration (February 9 to 28 in 2011).

Reports released on March 31, 2011 revealed that the Indian population increased to 1.21 billion with a decadal growth of 17.64 per cent.The responsibility of conducting the decennial Census, a statutory exercise conducted under the provisions of the Census Act 1945, rests with the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India under the Home Ministry.