Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing at the Joint Session of Parliament in a file photo. Pakistan’s 2023 general elections will be held as per the new census. Image Credit: APP

Islamabad: Taking another step towards digitalization, Pakistan will begin preparations to conduct the first digital census in 2023.

The federal cabinet has decided to run a pilot census to test all aspects of the digital census backed by geographic information system (GIS). The use of digital technology and GIS will modernize the entire census process, making it more transparent, efficient and accurate. Prime Minister Imran Khan has constituted a special committee for a detailed discussion on the seventh population census.

Pakistan will be utilizing sophisticated technology for the first time to conduct the census, said Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry in a post-cabinet media briefing. The entire process would take 550 days (or one and a half years) to complete the population census.

Pakistan’s 2023 general elections will be held as per the new census, he added. The country has also introduced locally-made electronic voting machines (EVM) for the next general elections to ensure transparency.

A national census coordination center will be set up along with the involvement of all stakeholders, integrated media strategy for public awareness campaign and comprehensive security arrangements will also be made, according to the officials.

The questionnaire for the census will be simplified, the field operation procedure will be comprehensive and census workers will be thoroughly trained, according to the details. A post-census survey will be conducted to validate the census results.

The population of Pakistan is 207.68 million according to the 2017 census which was conducted after a gap of 19 years. Pakistan has conducted total six population censuses in 1951, 1961, 1972, 1981, 1998, and 2017.