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Home Minister says 2021 census will be digital and could prepare a base for it

Announcing that the 2021 census exercise would be carried out digitally, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday suggested one card for all utilities in future.

Speaking at the foundation stone laying ceremony for construction of a new building of the Registrar General of India (RGI) that conducts census, he said the digital census had the potential to bring all cards such as Aadhaar, passport, bank account, and driving licence on one platform. “Why is it so difficult to link and update birth and death registration with census data,” he wondered.

No formal proposal

He said there was no formal proposal for the common utility card, but digital census had the potential of preparing the base for it.

The decennial census exercise will be undertaken in 2021 and, for the first time, move from paper to digital format. Mr. Shah said ₹12,000 crore would be spent on preparation of the National Population Register (NPR) and census.

Mr. Shah said the NPR would be updated on a priority basis as it helps in tracking criminal activities, and better planning and execution of government schemes. The NPR links biometric and demographic details of any ordinary resident, thus making it a comprehensive database of residents.

The exercise was conducted earlier in two phases in 2010 and 2015. The next round of recording biometric and family tree details of Indian citizens will be conducted in September 2020, a government notification issued earlier said.

The NPR exercise is different from the census and is not linked to the National Register of Citizens (NRC). For the purpose of the NPR, an ordinary resident is defined 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.

Mr. 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 would be the key to the success of the exercise.

“India’s 130 crore population should be informed about its benefits. The utilisation of census data is multi-dimensional, and will be a significant contribution in the nation’s progress,” he said.

He said on the basis of the 2011 Census, the Modi government had planned 22 welfare schemes related to electricity, gas connections, roads, houses for the poor, toilets, bank accounts, and opening of bank branches.

500 people waiting to infiltrate, says Chief of Army Staff

Gen. Bipin Rawat at the Officers Training Academy in Chennai on Monday. R. Ragu The Hindu

Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat on Monday indicated that India’s response to the revival of the terrorist camp at Balakot in Pakistan could go beyond air strikes.

Asked if there could be a repeat of the air strike, he said: “Why must we expect a repeat of a similar thing? Earlier we did something, then we did Balakot; why not keep the other side guessing as to what we will do? Why tell them what we are going to do? Why say repeat? Why not something beyond that?”

Interacting with reporters at the Officers Training Academy here, Gen. Rawat said, the terrorist camp in Pakistan that had been destroyed by the Indian Air Force earlier this year, has been reactivated very recently and at least 500 persons were waiting to sneak into India.

However, adequate measures were in place to prevent their entry, he asserted.

To a query on the number of infiltrators, he said: “These numbers keep fluctuating. But, I would say, yes, there are at least 500 people waiting to infiltrate. That is the minimum number I would say. But, these numbers keep fluctuating because, depending on how the weather pattern is, they keep moving.”

Since the snowfall came down and ice melted, the shift had taken place in the northern part of Jammu and Kashmir towards Gurez and those areas were getting activated, the Army chief said.

Victim suffered multiple fractures

A mob of cow vigilantes beat up a man alleging that he was smuggling half-a-dozen cows to Haryana in Rajasthan’s Alwar district in the early hours of Monday. Police rescued the victim from the crowd and admitted him with multiple fractures at the government hospital in Shahjahanpur.

The man, identified as Munfed Khan, accompanied by a few other persons, was allegedly taking the cows in a pick-up van, which broke a police barricade near Khusa Ki Dhani village. Police had put up the barricades on Sunday night after getting a tip-off about smuggling of cows.

Criminal record

The villagers stopped the van and rescued the cows, while the people travelling in the vehicle tried to escape. The mob caught one of them, Munfed Khan, and thrashed him, while at least two others fled from the spot.

Bhiwadi Superintendent of Police Amandeep Singh Kapoor said Munfed Khan had a criminal record of smuggling cows in the past. He said first information reports had been registered against both the sides and the animals were sent to a local cow shelter.

The People’s Union for Civil Liberties said this was a case of “attempted mob lynching”, in which the victim picked up by the cow vigilantes was criminalised and beaten up. “This episode was meant to create a public spectacle and instil fear among the Muslim dairy farmers,” PUCL-Rajasthan president Kavita Srivastava said.

Ms. Srivastava said the attacks on those ferrying cows had not stopped in the Congress regime in the State and this was the second such case after a similar instance of vigilantism in Alwar district’s Kishangarh Bas on December 22, 2018.

Capacity to be raised to 450 GW: Modi

India’s renewable energy target will be increased to 450 GW, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the United Nations Climate Action Summit here on Monday.

“India today has come not just to talk about the seriousness of this issue, but to present a practical approach and a road map. We believe an ounce of practice is worth more than a tonne of preaching,” he said.

Comprehensive plan

Speaking in Hindi, Mr. Modi reiterated India’s commitment to the creation of 175 GW renewable energy capacity by 2022 under the Paris Climate Agreement. “What is needed today is a comprehensive approach which covers education, values and everything from lifestyle to developmental philosophy... What we need is a global people’s movement to bring about behavioural change.”

India would spend approximately $50 billion “in the next few years” on the Jal Jeevan Mission to conserve water, harvest rainwater and develop water resources, he added.

Mr. Modi also said India planned to “considerably increase the proportion of the biofuel blend in petrol and diesel.”

He said India had plans to make the transport sector green through the use of electrical vehicles.

SIT had booked her in Chinmayanand extortion case

Swami Chinmayanand.File photo

The Allahabad High Court on Monday refused to grant relief to the Shahjahanpur law student seeking a stay on her possible arrest in an extortion case filed by BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand, who is accused of raping her.

Mr. Chinmayanand, who was arrested on Friday, was shifted on Monday from a Shahjahanpur jail to a Lucknow hospital, where he was tested for cardiac problems.

The Special Investigation Team probing the case submitted a report in a sealed cover before a two-judge Bench.

Expressing satisfaction with the probe so far, the Bench of Justices Manoj Mishra and Manju Rani Chauhan fixed October 22 for the probe team to submit the next report. The woman was also present in the courtroom. The postgraduate law student had sought a stay on her arrest after the SIT booked her and arrested three men for allegedly trying to extort money from Mr. Chinmayanand.

Fresh petition

“If the victim wants any relief in this regard, she may file a fresh petition before an appropriate Bench,” the High Court said. “This Bench was nominated to the case only for monitoring the investigation in this matter and has no jurisdiction to pass order on stay of arrest.”

Chinmayanand in ICU

Mr. Chinmayanand has been admitted to the intensive care unit of the Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute in Lucknow, where cardiologists examined him, Jail Superintendent Rakesh Kumar said.

Hospital Chief Medical Superintendent Amit Agarwal said angiography was done and no significant blockage was found, adding that angioplasty was not required.

The 72-year-old will be stabilised with medicines in four or five days and his discharge will be planned in due course of time, the doctor said. Mr. Chinmayanand was arrested last Friday and sent to 14 days’ judicial custody.

Category of agriculture being considered for first time, says officials

Reaching out: A page from the English-Hindi Sign Language dictionary.

Around new 4,000 words are likely to be added to the Indian sign language dictionary in 2020, including words about agriculture for the first time, according to officials of the Union Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry’s Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC), which is carrying out the project.

The work on adding more words to the dictionary, the first edition of which was launched in March 2018, followed by the second edition with 6,000 words in February 2019, started in April this year, an ISLRTC official said.

Work under way

Speaking on the occasion of the International Sign Language Day on Monday, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot said he hoped the addition of 4,000 words to the sign language dictionary would be done by 2020.

Right now, the work of identifying signs for words across categories, including administration, medical, legal, education and agriculture, a first, with the help of the hearing impaired community was on, the official said.

After that, a list of words would be presented before stakeholders from across the country at a national workshop to be held in January of February 2020, the official said.

First edition

The first edition of the dictionary, which was released in DVD form, had signs of everyday use along with the corresponding words in English and Hindi.

Apart from that, specialised terms used in legal, academic, medical and technical fields were also included.

The second edition had 6,000 words of academic, legal, medical, technical and everyday terms categories.

Meanwhile, the Minister handed out awards for a competition held for children with hearing impairment studying in the National Capital Region.

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