National

West Bengal, Kerala governments want NPR data collection halted

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan. File

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan. File  

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The two States wrote to the district census commissioner, who forwarded the request to the Registrar General of India, saying data collection should be halted citing maintenance of ‘public order’

State governments of West Bengal and Kerala have communicated to the Registrar General of India (RGI) that the collection of data for updating the National Population Register (NPR) should be halted citing maintenance of "public order".

The two States wrote to the district census commissioner, who forwarded the request to the RGI. The Chief Ministers of both the States have been vociferous in opposing the NPR exercise, which according to Citizenship Rules 2003 is the first step towards the compilation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC). The government has clarified that there was no proposal to compile NRC as of now.

"We have received the communication from West Bengal and Kerala. Both the States and others also had notified the exercise last year. They have not cancelled it, they have requested to put it on hold," a senior Home Ministry official said on Wednesday.

States of West Bengal, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and Union Territories of Ladakh and Puducherry, despite notifying the exercise last year are yet to convey the dates to the RGI to collect NPR data, that is to begin from April 1 along with the Census exercise.

A column on Permanent Account Number (PAN) has been dropped from the final NPR form following responses received from around 30 lakh respondents during the trial stage in August last year, the official said.

21 parameters

The new NPR form will, for the first time, also collect information on "mother tongue", the official said.

NPR will seek details on 21 parameters, seeking specific details on "place of birth of father and mother, last place of residence" along with other information like Aadhar (optional), voter ID card, mobile phone and driving license numbers. In 2010 and 2015, it collected details on 14 parameters.

The official said that NPR enumerators will not seek any documents or verify the documents provided by the respondent. They will merely note down the details provided by the respondent.

Data for the NPR was first collected in 2010, and updated in 2015. The Modi government has proposed that the next phase of NPR will be conducted along with Census exercise between April to September 2020.

The decennial Census exercise will be conducted in two phases - House Listing and Housing Census from April to September 2020 and Population Enumeration from February 9 to February 28, 2021.

The NPR will be updated along with House listing and Housing Census except in Assam, a government press release had said.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 10:17:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/west-bengal-kerala-governments-want-npr-data-collection-halted/article30573006.ece

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