No decision yet on nationwide NRC, Minister tells Parliament

During NPR, no verification of citizenship or document collection, says Minister.

Updated - June 19, 2020 06:26 pm IST

Published - February 04, 2020 04:45 pm IST - New Delhi

Nityanand Rai.

Nityanand Rai.

The government informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday that till now it “has not taken any decision to prepare National Register of Citizens (NRC) at the national level.”

Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai was responding to a question by Lok Janshakti Party’s (LJP) Chandan Singh and Telengana Rashtra Samithi’s (TRS) Nama Nageswara Rao on whether the government had any plans to introduce the NRC all over the country.

While replying to another question, Mr. Rai said the “government is in discussion with the States having concerns in regard to the preparation of National Population Register (NPR)”.

Mr. Rai said in a written reply that “during the exercise of updation of NPR, no verification is done to find individuals whose citizenship is doubtful”.

Several Opposition-ruled States have vociferously opposed the NPR, slated to begin from April 1 onwards along with the decennial Census. According to the Citizenship Rules, 2003, the NPR is the first step towards the compilation of the NRC.

Form not finalised

The NPR form is yet to be finalised and notified but the trial form last year collected details from 30 lakh respondents on 21 parameters, including the place of birth of father and mother and the last place of residence.

On December 9 last year, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had told Parliament that “there is no need to create a background for NRC; we are clear that NRC ought to be done in this country, our manifesto is the background.”

To a question on whether the government had finalised the questionnaire for the NPR, Mr. Rai said, “The demographic and other particulars of each family and individual are to be updated/collected during the exercise of updation of NPR. No document is to be collected during this exercise.”

Mr. Rai added that “an instruction manual for updation of NPR 2020 for enumerators and supervisors has been prepared. The NPR updation will be undertaken through house-to-house enumeration for collection of specified particulars relating to each family and individual.”

“The respondent has to provide the information true to the best of his knowledge and belief. Aadhar Number is collected voluntarily,” Mr. Rai said.

In reply to another question on NPR, Mr. Rai said, “Population Register is a register containing details of persons usually residing in a village or rural area or town or ward or demarcated area within a ward in a town or urban area. NPR was first prepared in 2010 and [was] updated in 2015. In pursuance of Sub-rule (4) of Rule 3 of the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003, framed under the Citizenship Act,1955, Central Government decided to prepare and update the population register during April to September, 2020, throughout the country except Assam for collection of information relating to all persons usually residing in village or town.”

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