The publication of the much anticipated final draft of Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) has kickstarted a political slugfest as 40 lakh people found their names excluded from the list. Prateek Hajela, the man at the centre of the NRC exercise said that only a judicial scrutiny can establish whether a person can be called an illegal migrant or not.
Hajela, as the Supreme Court mandated coordinator of NRC, has been involved in the task since September 2013 and was responsible for creating a “legacy data” system. Of the 3.29 crore people who had filled their applications for the NRC, 2.89 crore found their names in the draft list.
Prateek Hajela, a native of Madhya Pradesh, is a 1995-batch IAS officer of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre with B.Tech in Electronics from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. His father S P Hajela was a civil service officer in Madhya Pradesh while his brother is a doctor in Bhopal. His uncle P D Hajela was the Vice-Chancellor of Allahabad University and Sagar university in Madhya Pradesh.
Presently, he is the Commissioner and Secretary, Home and Political and State Coordinator to update the National Register of Citizens (NRC) of 1951 for the state of Assam. He has earlier held the position of Mission Director, National Rural Health Mission; Commissioner and Secretary, Health and Family Welfare. He has also served as the Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup Metropolitan, Goalpara and Nagaon. In September 2013, he was appointed by the Supreme Court of India as the Assam State Coordinator to prepare the much-debated National Register of Citizens.