The 2011 Census of India was significant in that it was the first time the data of transgender persons were collected with details related to their employment, literacy and caste.
However, up until now, trans people had to tick off one of the boxes mentioning either male or female, in the census. This year however, trans people heading a family would have the option of identifying themselves as “trans”, instead of being compelled to categorize themselves as either male or female. An attempt at gender inclusivity, this provision is meant to help the transgender community attain a sense of recognition that they had been denied so far.
This year the government will collect data on households headed by a person from the transgender community and members living in the family. During the house-listing and housing census exercise scheduled from April 1 to September 30, census officers will be seeking specific information based on 31 questions from every household.
According to the home ministry officials, there will be sub-options viz male, female and transgender under the head, “sex of the head of the household”.
This is an attempt at gender inclusivity and sensitivity.
In this census, there will also be collection of data on “ownership status of the census house”—whether it is owned or rented,” information on building number (municipal or local authority or census number), census house number, predominant material of the floor, wall and roof of the census house, condition of the census house, household number and the total number of persons normally residing in the household, according to a notification issued by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner.
Apart from gender, the census also has options such as Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Other, the notification said.
According to a PTI report, another new aspect to the 2021 census is the fact that it would be conducted through a mobile phone application.
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