Census Current Affairs - 2020

Odisha’s Bhitarkanika National Park Census: Increase in Salt Water Crocodiles

According to the recent census at the Bhitarkanika National Park, the population of salt water (or estuarine) crocodiles have increased to 1,757 as compared to 1,742 in 2018.

Highlights

The peak winter is the ideal time to carry out the census as it exposes more than 50% of mud banks. Around 22 teams were formed to count the crocodiles in the creeks and rivers in the park and its surrounding area. The teams sited 620 hatchlings, 288 juveniles, 325 yearlings, 185 sub adults and 339 adults. The crocodile count in the park has been increasing gradually. According to the census, in 2000, there were 1,192 crocodiles in the park.

In August 2019, the Bhitarkanika National Park reported that 3,000 crocodiles were born from 103 nests. The chances of baby crocodiles reaching adulthood is very less. Only one in 500 baby crocodiles reach adulthood.

The IUCN status of salt water crocodile is Least Concern.

Bhitarkanika National Park

The Park obtained the status of Ramsar site in 2002. It was the second area to get the status after Chilika lake. The Park is the second largest mangrove ecosystem in India.

The Fauna of the park includes saltwater crocodile, black ibis, Indian Python, wild boar, cobra, darter, monitor lizard, etc. The park holds Guinness World Record of spotting largest male salt water crocodile in the world that weighed 2,000 kg in 2006.

2021 census through mobile application

Every 10 years the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India operating under the Ministry of Home Affairs carry out the massive exercise to count different aspects of India’s billion plus population. At the recently held conference of state coordinators and directors of Census operations it was decided that the 2021 census will be conducted through mobile phone application.

Key Highlights

The official reference date of the census is to be March 1, 2021 and for the snow bound Himachal Pradesh, Uttarkhand and Himachal Pradesh it is to be October 1, 2020. Training of the officials participating in the program is to begin by October 14, 2019. The exercise is to be carried out in 16 different languages at a cost of 12,000 crore rupees

This is the first time Government is adopting a Digital method moving away from the traditional pen and paper method.

After the publish of NPR – National Population Register, the government is planning to prepare NRIC – National Register of Indian Citizens

About India Census

The last and 15th Census began in 2010. Around 2.7 million officials visited households in 7,935 towns and 600,000 villages. The Government spent around 2,200 crores rupees to conduct the census. In 2011, the transgender population was counted in population census in India for the first time. There were around 490,000 transgenders in the country according to 2011 census.

SECC

The SECC – Socio Economic and Caste Census was conducted in 2011. So far, the GoI has conducted SECC census four times in 1992, 1997, 2002 and 2011.

In 2017, the GoI agreed to use SECC instead of below poverty line as main instrument for identifying beneficiaries.