23/09/2020

No documents are required to be shown by people during the NPR and Census exercise: Minister

Officials of non-BJP-ruled States on Friday asked the Registrar General of India (RGI) to remove the column on place of birth of mother and father in the proposed National Population Register (NPR) to be updated simultaneously with the Census exercise in April-September.
The RGI and the Home Ministry had convened a day-long conference to discuss the modalities to be adopted during the house-listing phase of Census 2021 and the NPR.
During the meeting, presentations were given on the objectives of the Census and the NPR exercises and their benefits and on the use of mobile app, which will be used in the Census for the first time.
RGI and other Home Ministry officials told the State representatives that respondents could skip the questions in NPR if they wanted and answering them was not mandatory but voluntary, a senior government official said.
West Bengal and Kerala, citing maintenance of public order had earlier told the RGI that the NPR exercise should be halted.
Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy said no one will be pressured to collect details for the NPR.
No documents are required to be shown by people during the NPR and Census exercise. People can give the details they want to. NPR should not be linked to the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Mr. Reddy said.
The conference was inaugurated by Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai.
Rajasthan Chief Secretary D.B. Gupta who attended the meeting said, Many State governments objected to the new fields (in NPR) particularly the place of birth of parents. This is impractical. Sometimes in villages and even in cities people are not aware about their own place of birth. What is the purpose and objective of adding such a column? We asked them (Home Ministry) to remove the column. The Ministry officials replied that it was not mandatory for the respondents to provide information. If he or she wants they could deny or say that they are not aware. They cannot be forced to respond.
The conference was attended by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, chief secretaries and census directors of many States.
A few States were represented by principal secretaries, instead of the chief secretary. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced that the State will skip the meeting but an official attended the session.
Mr. Rai said the data collected in the Census will help the country in framing policies for the welfare of the people. He also inaugurated the official mascot for Census 2021.