Certain aspects of NPR ‘under process of finalisation’: RTI

I will be filing a first appeal shortly, says activist S.Q. Masood

With just over a month for the National Population Register (NPR) exercise to begin, the NPR Division of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), in response to a Right to Information query, has indicated that certain aspects of the exercise are still being finalised.

These include a provision to assure respondents that the enumerator has entered the correct information, and the terms of reference between the NPR app developing agency and the Government of India.

The MHA responded to a set of questions asked by RTI activist S.Q. Masood, who told The Hindu, that he wanted clarity on a host of issues connected to the exercise before it is scheduled to begin with the first phase of House Listing and Housing Census on April 1.

In its response to the method of data capturing – whether there will be two devices, or if the same device with two apps will be used – the MHA’s NPR Division stated that the ‘NPR and Census are two different exercises’ and ‘there will be different applications for Census 2021 and NPR 2020’.

Growing apprehensions

Given that there are growing apprehensions among citizens, especially those within the Muslim community, the RTI activist also sought to know whether there exists a provision for respondents to know if information entered by the enumerator is correct. The RTI response reads that ‘it is under process of finalisation’.

Another question seeks information about the agencies which have been engaged by the Union government to develop NPR application and related software, and a copy of the terms of reference between them.

The response to this too is that ‘it is under process of finalisation’.

The response to a request to provide screenshots of the NPR app showing data capturing too did not yield much.

“There is a lot of fear about NPR among citizens. The timing of NPR with Census could ruin both the operations as many have called for a boycott of the NPR. I wanted clarity on the several aspects. Unfortunately, in the RTI reply I received form MHA last month, the clarity I was hoping for was not there. I would be filing a first appeal shortly,” Mr Masood said.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 10:30:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/certain-aspects-of-npr-under-process-of-finalisation-rti/article30926076.ece

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