Indian students in the UK and Census 2021

Indian students in the UK and Census 2021

The Indian National Students Association (INSA) UK recently collaborated with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to host a virtual event on Census 2021 for Indian students studying in Britain.

The census is a survey that happens every 10 years and gives the government a picture of all the people and households in England and Wales. The next census takes place this month – on Sunday, March 21.

The virtual event, on March 7, commenced with an introductory speech by Ranjeet Rathore, an INSA student affairs coordinator, followed by an encouraging video by experienced students. The guest host of the event was Harkishan Mistry, an Indian community advisor at the ONS.

The event kicked off with an introduction on Census 2021, facts, personal data, and how it helps the ethnic minority communities, including Indians, across the UK. Harkishan spoke about the importance of the census, which takes place every 10 years and its particular importance for the Indian community. He explained the impact of census on the Indian communities and its influence on planning for places of worship, healthcare, and council funding, economic benefits, immigration, and many others.

Harkishan assured that the information collected is kept confidential for almost 100 years, thus allaying concerns about privacy and data misuse. The completion of the census has been made legal since 1920; every international student (including students with Indian citizenship) needs to complete the census else risk being fined up to £1,000.

The event focused on a few critical questions regarding the census form, which is segregated into four main sections. The census form starts with an introduction, household accommodation, individual questions, and the visitors (if any). It also asks you to fill in your national identity (say Indian), language (Hindi, Marathi etc), and education.

The census campaign, which started from March 3, is on until April 29. The form needs to be filled with a 16-digit code provided to you via snail mail, sent to your postal address (including student accommodation).

Kishore Dutta, an INSA student coordinator, reiterated the importance of filling important information like citizenship, language and educational information in the census.

Harkishan Mistry concluded the event by answering a few informative questions for the virtual audience.

by Rashi Agarwal

Rashi Agarwal [@Rashi_2208] represents the Indian National Students’ Association (INSA) UK in Westminster, London.

*This column is part of a regular ‘iGlobal’ Campus Roundup series.

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