Unlike Bengal, Kerala may update population register

Process scheduled between April 15 and May 29 next year in the State

December 20, 2019 12:49 am | Updated 09:03 am IST - Kochi

Councillors belonging to the BJP-led ruling front and the Opposition came to blows in the Palakkad municipal council over CAA.

Councillors belonging to the BJP-led ruling front and the Opposition came to blows in the Palakkad municipal council over CAA.

Kerala may update the National Population Register (NPR) though the West Bengal government, which also opposes the recently enacted Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), has stalled it.

Early this week, the West Bengal Government withdrew all activities related to the NPR. The Census Cell of the Home and Hill Affairs Department had communicated to the officials concerned that all activities regarding the preparation/updating of the NPR have been suspended. No activity regarding the NPR may be taken up without the prior clearance from the State government, it informed the officials.

The anti-NPR campaigners had criticised the register as the first step towards the preparation of the National Register of Citizens.

In Kerala, updating of the NPR is scheduled between April 15 and May 29 next year. The register will be updated along with house listing and housing census to be carried out in the State.

Details of slum areas

The details of slum areas in each municipality will have to be obtained in connection with the first phase of the census and the updating of the NPR, said a communication issued by the Director of Census Operations, Kerala.

The objective of the NPR, according to the website of the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India, is to “create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country. The database will contain demographic as well as biometric particulars”.

It is “mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR”.

The website defines a usual resident “as a person who has resided in a local area for the past six months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next six months or more,” it said.

Notifications before CAA

In Kerala, the notifications regarding the updating of the NPR were issued before the controversy over the CAA surfaced. There has not been any directive from the State Government regarding stoppage of the NPR in the State, said senior Government officials.

A senior functionary with the directorate maintained that he was unaware of any order for stopping the process.

A gazette notification issued by the Principal Secretary (General Administration Department), Kerala, which republished the notification issued by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India “regarding the declaration of intention of the Central Government to prepare and update National Population Register in connection with the Census of India 2021”, has also been forwarded to District Collectors and census officers.

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