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In reply to PC letter,Modi writes to PM: Why biometrics for NPR?

Centre is currently seized of 'duplication' matter,with HM signalling Cabinet would soon resolve it.

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi |
October 6, 2011 1:39:30 am

Nearly three months after Gujarat stopped collection of biometric data for creation of the NPR (National Population Register),Chief Minister Narendra Modi has written to the Prime Minister questioning the need for such enumeration.

In his letter to Manmohan Singh,he has written that “there is no mention of capturing biometrics in the Citizenship Act or Citizenship Rules 2009”.

“In the absence of any provision in the Citizenship Act,1955,or rules for capturing biometrics,it is difficult to appreciate how the capture of biometrics is a statutory requirement. Photography and biometrics is only mentioned in the Manual of Instructions for filling up the NPR household schedule and even in that there is no mention of capturing the Iris,” he argues.

After Gujarat stopped collection of biometric data,Home Minister P Chidambaram had sent a letter to Modi in August pointing out that creation of the NPR was a “statutory requirement” under the Citizenship Act,1955,and “once initialized,has to be necessarily completed”. The home minister had also requested the CM to instruct state government officers to cooperate in creation of the NPR.

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In his letter to the PM,Modi has also added his voice to the debate over both the UIDAI and Registrar General of India,which is creating the NPR,collecting biometric data. Pointing out that this was leading to “duplication of work” and “waste of public resources”,he has asked the PM to “settle the issue” of two agencies doing the same work.

The centre is currently seized of the “duplication” matter,with Chidambaram signalling that the union cabinet would soon resolve it.

In the letter,the CM repeated the serious reservations that he had expressed last year about the process of verification of citizenship status for creation of the NPR.

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