West Bengal to skip MHA meet on Census, NPR

 thehindu.com  01/16/2020 18:28:55 

The Union Home Ministry has convened a meeting on Friday to discuss the modalities for the 2020 Census and the National Population Register (NPR), officials said. Except West Bengal, the representatives of all other States have agreed to attend the meeting.

Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai will chair the meeting which will be attended by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla and Chief Secretaries and Census Directors of all States.

The meeting will discuss the modalities for the houselisting phase of the Census and the NPR, to be carried out from April 1 to September 30, a Home Ministry official said.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced on Wednesday that officials from the State will not attend the meeting.

Earlier, State governments of West Bengal and Kerala citing maintenance of public order, had communicated to the Registrar General of India (RGI) that the collection of data for updating the NPR should be halted.

The Chief Ministers have opposed the NPR exercise, which according to Citizenship Rules 2003 is the first step towards compilation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC). The government has said that there was no proposal for compilation of a countrywide NRC as of now.

West Bengal, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Ladakh and Puducherry notified the NPR exercise last year but are yet to convey the dates to RGI. NPR will be conducted along with the Census exercise from April 1.

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

The 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 Aadhaar (optional), voter ID card, mobile phone and driving licence numbers. In 2010 and 2015, it collected details on 14 parameters.

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

Data for the NPR was first collected in 2010, and updated in 2015. 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.

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