34 queries in Census 2020 form

Registrar-General asks States to give top priority to survey and the NPR

The Registrar-General of India has asked all States to “give highest importance, attention and time” to the Census and National Population Register (NPR) work as “the foundations of the statistics of the country” depend on them.

In a 14-page letter dated January 29 and addressed to the Directors of Census Operations (DCOs) in the States, Registrar-General and Census Commissioner Vivek Joshi said, “The district-level officials must be reminded of the importance of the census work and must ensure that a clear message is sent to the officers in charge to give the highest importance and attention (as well to devote sufficient time) for the House Listing and NPR work, on the results of which depend the foundations of the statistics of the country.”

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 28, 2021.

The Centre has proposed that the next phase of the NPR be conducted with the first phase of the census. On Sunday, the Uttar Pradesh government kick-started the process — the Census-NPR exercise will be conducted in the State from May 16 to June 30.

According to Citizenship Rules 2003, the NPR is the first step towards compilation of the NRC, though the government informed Parliament on February 4 that “till now, the government has not taken any decision to prepare National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC).”

N.S. Pandey, Uttar Pradesh DCO, told The Hindu : “There are 34 questions in the census proforma and 14 questions in the NPR. The NPR is only being updated, no new register is being created. Giving Aadhaar details [for the NPR] is voluntary.” The “pretest”, or trial NPR form, collected details from 30 lakh respondents last year on 21 parameters, seeking details of “place of birth of father and mother, last place of residence” along with other information such as Aadhar (optional), voter ID card, mobile phone and driving licence numbers. In 2010 and 2015, NPR collected details on 14 parameters.

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