Pakistan will conduct its first-ever digitized census from August

Minister for Planning Asad Umar announced during the inauguration of the National Census Coordination Center (N3C) that the first digital population census would take place in August 2022 on an “as is, where is” basis, with no Requirement for Computerized National Identity Cards.

The Ministry of Information Technology and the National Telecommunication Center will ensure that the data is safe from possible hackers and that it is not accessible via the Internet. The procedure will be monitored using geofencing and GIS mapping. Minister of Planning Asad Umar briefed reporters on N3C’s establishment during a news briefing at the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Tuesday.

Every person will be counted based on where he or she has resided in the previous six months. In response to a concern about the census’s complexity due to interprovincial travel, Umar said persons will be tallied based on their current location as of the previous six months. He stated that the families of those who are present will be counted in that city or otherwise wherever they live. There will be no curfew during the next census, according to Asad Umar. The results will be published in December 2022, giving enough time for constituency delimitations to take place after the PTI’s five-year tenure ends in August 2023.

Asad Umar Stated, the PTI government will complete its five-year tenure. In response to a query on the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan, He stated the third generation has arrived, beginning with Sharif and Zardari and continuing with Maryam and Bilawal. There was also a question concerning the opposition’s request for a long march and a vote of no confidence in parliament,  The minister answered by saying that the government does not take the opposition seriously because they have “failed in their designs numerous times.”

He Says that Pakistan Army soldiers would be in charge of security. The house listing and counting process will start on August 1, and each enumerator will cover two blocks under his jurisdiction in 30 days until August 30, 2022. There will be 180,000 census blocks in the Next population census, up from 168,000 in 2017, and each enumerator will count 250 households in his block.

During the census, the Minister of Planning urged the Chief Census Officer to meet with legislators and the media on a regular basis and address any legitimate complaints. The administration does not want to “manipulate” the exercise’s findings, and it should be conducted in a transparent manner. The census, he says, is critical because it is used to distribute financial resources to the Centre and provinces under the NFC Award. In response to a question, the minister stated that because the digital system will not be internet-based, it will be fully secure. The minister also responded to a second question about the placement of IT security, saying that IT security would be monitored by the Ministry of IT and the National Telecommunication Center (NTC) to ensure that it could not be attacked.

Pakistan’s Chief Census Naeem Uz Zafar told journalists that a pilot census would be held in May 2022, followed by a full-fledged census in August lasting a month. There are now 10 languages on the census forms, up from 5 previously. An economic census frame will also be developed based on the upcoming population census. The province departments of health, education, local government, and family planning will hire a total of 115,000 enumerators. A total of Rs10 billion has been spent on hardware and software so far. For current expenditures, the government had set aside Rs5 billion. He hoped that in the next budget for 2022-23, extra funds will be devoted to the population census.

Dr Naeem uz Zafar, Chief Statistician, presented the key characteristics of the 7th Digital Population and Housing Census, as well as the achieved and planned targets. As per him, the upcoming census would be Pakistan’s first-ever digital census, and it will be performed by the NTC, Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications, PTA, SUPARCO, and NRTC. Greater transparency and quality will be achieved by the use of tablets, geo-tagging, real-time monitoring, comprehensive training through technological intervention, and a reduction in the time required to release results.

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