You are being counted: Census 2011 begins

New Delhi: By this time next year, the biggest database of Indians would have been created as the world's biggest census begins on Thursday.

India will conduct a headcount of all its citizens, to eventually hand them an identity card with a unique number.

Beginning with President Pratibha Patil, India will undertake a headcount of a billion plus people. It's the largest exercise of its type in the history of mankind.

The census in two phases will include fingerprints and photographs of 1.2 billion people in one database. The census will have details of internet, computers, mobiles, drinking water.

The data will help create the national population register and each citizen will be given an I-card with a unique number. The Unique ID will help end duplicity of documentation.

While the first phase of census will be conducted between April and September, the second phase will begin from Feb 9, 2011 and will include details of religion, mother tongue, education level and details of SC/ST community.

The Census results will be out by March 2011. However, the details of the data will be kept confidential, says Union Home Minister P Chidambaram.

The previous census was conducted 10 years ago.

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