New Delhi: The Central government on Thursday gave its nod to the Census based on caste and religion apart from documenting the number of people living Below Poverty Line (BPL) in the country. It would be for the first time that a Census, which commences in June and ends by 2011, may separately account for the urban poor.

Speaking after the Cabinet meeting, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said, “This fulfils the assurance given by government in Parliament to have caste-based Census along with the socio-economic outlining. The census would be completed by Dec 2011.”

Soni also made it clear that people's caste and religion-related information will be kept confidential.

Before this, caste-based Census was done way back in 1931. Even, the parameters for figuring out the number of poor in the country would be different than the exercise conducted in 2002.

Elaborating on it, Sanjay Kumar Rakesh, Joint Secretary, Rural Development Ministry said, “Rural population will be divided into three categories. The first is exclusion category, by which they will be deemed to be removed from the BPL list. Second, will be automatic inclusion of so-me groups. The rest will be ranked on the basis of seven deprivation indicators.”

“The seven indicators will include home landline phone, Rs 10,000 as monthly income, house, land, male member in house and academic situation. The survey will, by and large, follow recommendations of the N C Saxena committee to identify the poor,” he added.

The results of the BPL Census would be utilised in formulation of development plans during the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-13 to 2016-17).

This Paper-less census will be completed through special tablet computers and state government employees will be deployed for the door-to-door counting.