At a time when Opposition-ruled states are firmly against the proposed NRC and cooperating with the NPR exercise, the Centre Tuesday reiterated that no document will be collected during the updation of the National Population Register (NPR), adding that providing Aadhaar number during the exercise is only voluntary.
“No document is to be collected during the updation of NPR,” PTI quoted Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai as saying.
An instruction manual for updation of NPR 2020 for enumerators and supervisors has been prepared and the people will have to provide information for the NPR to the best of their knowledge and belief, he said.
“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,” the minister said.
He also clarified that during the NPR updation exercise, no verification will be done to find individuals whose citizenship is doubtful.
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Elaborating on what the NPR is, Rai said, it 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.
“The NPR was first prepared in 2010 and 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,” he said.
Responding to a question over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, Raid said persons covered by the Act can submit applications for grant of citizenship after appropriate rules are notified by the central government.
“No specific instruction has been issued by the central government regarding the release of migrants from detention centers after enacting the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019,” he said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has appealed to her counterparts in the northeast and non-BJP states to carefully peruse the NPR form, its questions and criteria before taking a decision on updating it.
Meanwhile, the Kerela government has announced that it will implement the census exercise but will not cooperate with the NPR. If the NPR and NRC are implemented in Kerala, it will lead to widespread anarchy. That is the experience of the state where the NRC was implemented,” said a statement released by the Kerala Chief Minister’s Office.
The Centre announced that the NPR exercise will be carried out across the country along with the house listing phase of the Census 2021 from April 1 to September 30, 2020.
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