New Delhi, Apr 1: The mammoth 2011 National Census Project began on Thursday, Apr 1 as the government aims to create a comprehensive database of the country's people and their identities.
The Rs 2,200 crore project, which is one of the most ambitious national projects, will try to enumerate and identify every member of 1.2 billion population spread across 35 states and union territories.
The census will also try to collect information like ownership of mobile phones, computers, internet, having treated or untreated drinking water facility.
Additionally, It will try to obtain finger prints and photographs of the residents in a bid to bolster government's efforts into strengthening the security of the nation.
However, as it has been the practice since India won independence, even the 2011 project will not be collecting any caste-based information.
The project will begin with the enumeration of the first citizen of the country, President President Pratibha Patil. On completion of the census exercise the National Population Register (NPR) will be created.
With the NPR, the government will have the entire population's information under one database. After this, every citizen will be given a unique number.
This is the first time an NPR has been created and it has come to be termed as the largest census exercise ever to be attempted in the history of mankind.