Mutipurpose-card for citizens, now?

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

"Why can't we have just one card for all utilities like Aadhaar, passport, bank account, driving licence and elections? There should be a system under which all data should be put together in a single card,’’ he said, after laying the foundation stone of a new building of the Registrar General of India and Census Commissioner.

It will be mandatory for every ‘usual’ resident of India to register in the National Population Register. A usual resident is defined for the NPR purposes as a person who has resided in a local area for the past six months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next six months or more.

Shah also said the Census 2021 data will be collected through a mobile application. With that, the country would move from pen and paper census to digital data, which will be a big revolution.

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 at a cost of Rs 12,000 crore.

Shah said the Census 2021 data will be the base for the country's future planning, development initiatives and welfare schemes; therefore, the people's wholehearted participation is key to the success of the exercise.

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

He appealed to census officials to carry out the exercises sincerely as this is an opportunity for them to do 'Punya' (holy deed), which will help in nation building.

Shah said earlier there was a piecemeal approach but all that changed when Narendra Modi became the prime minister in 2014.

The home minister said on the basis of the 2011 Census, the Modi government had launched 22 welfare schemes related to electricity and gas connection, houses for the poor, toilets, bank accounts, opening of bank branch etc.

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