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Assam’s final NRC data safe, says Home Ministry

A file photo of people checking their names in the NRC in Assam.  

The Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday claimed that all data of the Assam’s final National Register of Citizens (NRC) were “safe” after the data of exclusions and inclusions could not be accessed through the government portal.

A ministry spokesperson said “some technical issue regarding visibility in cloud storage was being resolved soon.”

IT major Wipro was given the contract to store the data in its cloud platform. Wipro said in a statement that “the IT services contract was not renewed by the authorities upon its expiry in October 2019. However, as a gesture of goodwill, Wipro continued to pay the hosting service fee until January end, 2020.”

The contract with Wipro expired in October last year and it was not renewed as the new NRC coordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma assumed charge only on December 24, an official explained. 

Transferred to M.P.

Previous NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela was transferred to Madhya Pradesh in October last year on the orders of the a Special Bench of the Supreme Court led by former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi. After Mr. Hajela’s transfer, Assam BJP chief Ranjeet Kumar Dass demanded that he give an account of ₹1,600 crore spent on the NRC.

The data went offline, leading to an uproar in Assam with the Opposition questioning the move.

Congress MP from Assam Gaurav Gogoi tweeted on Wednesday, “The loss of NRC data in Assam is deliberate by the BJP. How can a ₹1600 cr project be so unprofessional and not renew their membership of a cloud platform? This is to derail the current NRC exercise in Assam and demand a new one which will be independent of the Supreme Court.”

The final NRC published on August 31, 2019 was uploaded on www.nrcassam.nic.in. Around 19 lakh of the 3.4 crore applicants were excluded from the final list.

Plea to Registrar

Leader of the Opposition Debabrata Saikia wrote to the Registrar General of India and requested him to look into the matter urgently.

“It is a mystery as to why the online data should vanish all of a sudden, especially as the appeals process has not even started due to the go-slow attitude adopted by the NRC Authority. There is, therefore, ample scope to suspect that the disappearance of online data is a mala fide act,” he said.

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2020 4:39:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/assams-final-nrc-data-safe-says-ministry-of-home-affairs/article30798301.ece

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