The Indian government may soon set up disaster recovery centres in Bengaluru and Lucknow to safeguard census data in addition to the existing such facility in New Delhi.
These centres will store the data safely by taking a backup of the country’s census data. The centres will be equipped with disaster recovery mechanisms for an unexpected event that may damage the data.
“One centre will hold the entire data, while the remaining will be shut at any given point in time, but the location of the centre taking the load would not be disclosed,” a senior Census of India official was quoted as saying by ET.
The operation or development of the centres will not see any partnership with any agencies by the Registrar General of India (RGI). “We have procured hardware items through a nation-wide tender. All other work will be handled by our in-house engineers and a team hired of consultants will assist our workforce in peripheral work,” the official said.
The responsibility of conducting the decennial census rests with the office of the registrar general and census commissioner under the home ministry.
The government had earlier said the next census of India in 2021 will be a “digital census” with a mobile app used to collect data. An idea of multipurpose identity card was also floated. The multipurpose ID card would include passport, Aadhaar and the voter card.
It was also announced that a National Population Register was being prepared for the first time in the 2021 census. Additionally, around 33 lakh enumerators, people who conduct door-to-door counting, will be mobilised for data collection. The government had also said that the next census will be conducted in two phases with March 1, 2021, as the reference date. For Jammu and Kashmir, snow-bound areas of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the reference date shall be the first day of October 2020.
Additionally, CSC E-government services had said that it was working on the digitisation of services and it ran a small program with MeitY to digitise the contents for various government departments.
In February 2020, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Assam government lost the data collected for the implementation of state-wide National Register of Citizens (NRC) in a goof-up by the staff. The Assam government forgot to renew the cloud storage provided by WIPRO, where the database was saved. Sources said the government had transferred Prateek Hajela, who was a coordinator in the department, to another post, leaving the department unmanned. However, sources were certain that the renewal process is underway with a new coordinator being appointed and the data will be restored.
The matter came to light after, the NRC database, which was publically available since October 2019, disappeared from the NRC’s official website without notice. Assam leader of the opposition Debabrata Saikia had written to the Registrar General and Census Commissioner regarding the same.