Pakistan conducting first ever digital census
February 27, 2023 01:11 AM
An economic census is one of the comprehensive measures of a country’s economy that provides statistics on its various industries, sectors and markets.
It is necessary for the growth and development of a country, for it tells about the sectors in which the government needs help in order to increase employment or build more infrastructure.
Pakistan is going to conduct a digital census for the first time since its formation.
What will be the procedure, and how will it be carried out? These are some questions that pop up in everyone’s mind.
For the digital census, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has recruited 126,000 enumerators and purchased the same number of tablets.
Each enumerator will be the in-charge of collecting information from two census blocks. A 'block' is a geographical unit for the census, consisting of 200-250 houses.
Currently, there are 185,509 census blocks in the country. This survey will also include those people who do not possess a National Identity Card (NIC).
PBS chief statistician Dr Naeem-Ul-Zafar told the BBC that the enumerators would collect information from every Pakistani citizen irrespective of their lifestyle, age and gender.
Data such as information about rooms in a house, basic amenities of life, number of family members, and a person’s education, occupation, religion, disability, etc. will also be collected.
According to Dr Naeem Al-Zafar, no such economic census has been conducted in Pakistan till date.
Further step after data collection:
PBS has set up a central control room in Islamabad similar to NCOC, that was set up during the height of coronavirus pandemic. Census data will still be gathered and sent to the central control room even if the tablets are offline because of connectivity issues in a particular location.
He added that earlier it used to take years to compile the information, but now it will be done within no time due to technology.
In response to a question regarding the release of the final census results by 30th April, he said that PBS, which has been entrusted with the task of conducting the national census, would need another 30 days to release the final results.
Dr. Zafar admitted that the timelines given to his department are very onerous.
He continued, “we have worked very quickly. There are risks involved when you operate on such a large scale. It would have been better if there had been a little more time, but despite this, we are confident that we will complete the work by April 30.”