A 3941 crore project once propelled by the UPA government (Congress Led alliance), National Population Register (NPR) was cleared by the Union Cabinet on Tuesday (December 24, 2019). This initiative recently became a hot topic since it is the first step to form the contentious National Register of Citizens.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the decision at the Cabinet meeting to update the National Population Register. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said at the cabinet briefing, “The estimated cost of this project will be Rs 3941 crore.There is no need of any proof, document and biometric as we believe on people. Whatever you will say would be correct. All states have accepted and notified it. The states have also started their campaign.”
The Citizenship Rules, 2003 clearly state that the Centre can decide a date to prepare the NPR by issuing an order. NRIC (National Register of Indian Citizens) can also be created (which is strongly opposed by the people of the country) which will flow from the data gathered in the NPR.
As per reports, Eleven states have decided that they will not implement the National Register of Citizens. So far, there is no clarity as to how they will block the citizens’ register which does not need to go to parliament for any more approvals.
The dates of the door-to door survey clashes with the house listing phase of the Census 2021 and will be carried out between April and September 2020 in all states. It is proposed that when the census calculators go from house to house to list them in the country, they shall carry a second form for the NPR just as they did in 2011. After they fill the house listing form, (which shall give out their details regarding their houses and assets of the people staying in the area) they have to get people to respond to a questionnaire of 14-20 questions. The law makes it mandatory for people to respond to the population register questionnaire.
Author: Swetalana Rout