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Thursday 9 April 2020

Census officials meet Amarinder to address misgivings about NPR

West Bengal and Kerala are the subsequent destinations for these officials whom these states are not allowing to do their job

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Under an exercise the union government has started in view of the protest in non-BJP ruled states against the proposed change in the National Population Register (NPR), the Registrar General of India (RGI) and Census Commissioner will visit these provinces in the coming days and will meet the chief ministers there and try to allay their fears on NPR.

In this context, RGI and Census Commissioner Vivek Joshi met Chief Minister Amarinder of Punjab on Friday and informed him about the house-listing phase of Census 2021. Along with this, he informed the chief minister of the proposed work of updating the NPR that will be started between April and September this year.

According to sources, the census commissioner may soon visit other states opposing NPR and meet chief ministers or senior state representatives. In these states, there is a demand to remove questions related to the birthplace and birthdates of parents from the NPR form. These states include Kerala, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh that Joshi can visit.

During the tour in each state, the census commissioner will explain the legal status related to NPR, the utility of it in the planning of welfare schemes of the state. Along with this, he will explain how sharing of data on NPR will be a voluntary option, for which no papers will be required. He will echo the political heads in New Delhi in telling the states that the union government has no plans to implement NRC nationwide right now.

Among the states opposing NPR, the Kerala government says that it will not implement it in the state but will support the census. The West Bengal government has kept NPR pending. INC-ruled states, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, have demanded the removal of questions related to birthdates and birthplaces of parents in NPR. Even Odisha and Bihar have suggested that these questions be removed from the NPR form.

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