HOME Minister Amit Shah proposes one nation one Identity card for every Indian citizen. The proposed multipurpose card will replace voter ID, PAN, Aadhaar, passport & other I cards. The Home Minister was speaking at the foundation stone laying ceremony of Janganana Bhawan, the new headquarters of Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, in New Delhi. A single multipurpose identity card for citizens for all utilities like Aadhaar, passport, driving licence and bank accounts would be a reality .He also announced that data for the 2021 Census, to be carried out by 33 lakh employees across India, will be collected through a mobile app. The Home Minister said there should also be a system that when a person dies, the information is updated in the population data automatically. The proposed all-in-one identity card is likely trigger yet another controversy just as it did by the Centre’s move making it mandatory to link Aadhaar with PAN or mentioning it while filing Income Tax returns. Naysayers may take up the matter with the Supreme Court of India.HM Shah 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. “We can have just one card for all utilities like Aadhaar, passport, bank account, driving licence, voter card. This is a potential,” said HM.The massive nationwide exercise will be carried out in 16 languages and at a cost of Rs 12,000 crore.The Census will have its reference date as March 1, 2021, but for snow-bound Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand it will be October 1, 2020, HM said.“Census data will be collected through a mobile app. This is for the first time that the mobile app will be used for the census exercise. India will be moving from the pen and paper census to digital data, which will be a big revolution in the country’s census exercise,” he said.Referring to the 2021 census, he said the data will help in future planning of the country, especially for development initiatives and welfare schemes, and it will be a ‘Jan Bhagidari’ (people’s participation) exercise. “India’s total 130-crore population should be informed about its benefits. How, the census data could be used for future planning, development initiatives and welfare schemes. The utilisation of census data is multi-dimensional and will be a significant contribution to the nation’s progress,” Shah said.The Home Minister also said the Census will help in demarcating boundaries of municipal wards, Assemblies and Lok Sabha constituencies. He appealed to census officials to carry out the exercise sincerely as this is an opportunity for them to do ‘Punya’ (holy deed), which will help in nation building. The Home Minister added on the basis of the 2011 Census, the Modi Government had planned 22 welfare schemes related to electricity connection to every home, gas connections, construction of roads, houses for the poor, toilets, bank accounts and opening of bank branches among others. He cited the example of the Government’s flagship ‘Ujjwala’ scheme of providing free LPG connection to poor families, saying it has been successful as the scheme was prepared on the basis of the 2011 census data. “By 2022, there will not be a family which will not have gas connection,” he said. Shah also said the 2011 census reflected the poor sex ratio of male and female in some States. That is why the programme of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ was launched, he said. “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.
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