26.9 C
New Delhi
Friday 18 October 2019
India Hajela, officer behind NRC, thinks he's done a helluva...

Hajela, officer behind NRC, thinks he’s done a helluva job

Interestingly, the names of Prateek Hajela himself and his daughter were missing from the first NRC draft published on 31 December 2017

-

- Advertisment -

Guwahati: Prateek Hajela, the officer tasked with supervising the gigantic NRC updating exercise in Assam, must be a relaxed man after the final National Register of Citizens was published on Saturday. The 1995 batch IAS officer of Assam-Meghalaya cadre, appointed the NRC coordinator by the Supreme Court, was in the thick of things while navigating the choppy political waters of the state that was cleaved along communal and linguistic lines over the sensitive issue.

Hajela, who hails from Madhya Pradesh, had his share of bouquets and brickbats while he led a team of 52,000 officials that sifted through over six crore documents of 3.3 crore applicants, in one of the most complex of exercises to validate the Indian citizenship of the residents of Assam.

The man of the moment, who is keeping a safe distance from media following a Supreme Court directive, was captured on TV cameras leaving his office on Friday night sporting a broad smile. He attended office on Saturday, the day the final NRC was published online, but was unavailable to journalists.

The final NRC list was made public at 10 AM with 3,11,21,004 people found eligible for inclusion and 19,06,657 left out, said Hajela in a press release.

Former chief minister Tarun Gogoi of the Congress who claims credit for initiating the NRC update work during his tenure had appointed Hajela as the state coordinator following a Supreme Court order for updating the citizenship roll in 2013. Soon after his appointment, the 50-year-old bureaucrat hit the ground running.

Introduction of the concept of “family legacy data”, that traced the family tree of an applicant for validation of citizenship, brought him the accolade. Drawing on his technological expertise, Hajela, who has a BTech degree in Electronics from IIT, Delhi, introduced an innovative mechanism for collecting and collating data of the family tree of every resident of Assam.

The legacy data consisted of the names of residents or their descendants who figured in the first NRC prepared in 1951, or in any of the electoral rolls up to the the midnight of March 24, 1971, or any other admissible document which would prove their presence in Assam or any part of India on or before that date.

On the way, Hajela faced criticism from political parties and civil society organisations for alleged flaws in the compilation of the citizenship register.

Guwahati-based civil society group Sachetan Nagarik Mancha alleged wrongful exclusions and inclusions in the list. Hajela responded, saying: “Such a system of this scale has been put in place for the first time in the entire country only during the NRC update for Assam. This system would certainly qualify to be one of the most scientific methods of verification.”

Hajela, in his letter to the Mancha, said, “Handling more than six crore documents in a span of four years would not have been possible without an extremely sophisticated IT-based system. This scale of verification of documents through comparison with the back-end is definitely a very scientific system of verification”.

The term back-end refers to authorities who issue original documents like a municipal body in case of birth or death or the revenue department where ownership of land or transfers are recorded.

Both the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress as well as the AIUDF, which has a strong Muslim support base, repeatedly voiced concern over “faulty” inclusions and exclusions in the NRC.

Interestingly, the names of Hajela and his daughter were missing from the first NRC draft published on 31 December 2017. The two had then appeared for a hearing after which their names figured in the final draft.

Subscribe to our newsletter

You will get all our latest news and articles via email when you subscribe

The email despatches will be non-commercial in nature
Disputes, if any, subject to jurisdiction in New Delhi

Leave a Reply

Opinion

Karva Chauth: Faith, legend behind viewing the moon through a sieve

The legend and Karva Chauth rituals vary across Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Delhi and, in south India, Andhra Pradesh

Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, Here We Come!

Study Wuhan and Mamallapuram in the backdrop of the fact that things are not quite working out in China-Pakistan economic relations, notwithstanding the urge of the communist state to contain India and that of the Islamic state to challenge it

Slowdown Has Reasons Other Than GST, Demonetisation

When all economic sectors decline, the mood of the market turns sombre, turning investors all the more reluctant to pump in money; the interdependence of industries means that the slowdown suffered by one would affect many

Where China & India, Resisting & Improving Democracy, Meet

What you see in Hong Kong is China resisting democracy; what you see in Kashmir is India promoting it; a reasonably capitalist China does not offer freedom politically but India, held back at times by the choice of the people, is still opening up; there could be a point of convergence as the two nations move in opposite directions

Omega-3: Study published in BMJ claiming no benefit for type 2 diabetes has myopic vision

Most respondents in the omega-3 study published in the BMJ are from Europe and North America; such results can hardly be applied worldwide
- Advertisement -

Elsewhere

Pakistan-sponsored terrorists now sneaking into India are Afghan, Pashtun

A meeting attended by heads of Pakistan Army, ISI and terror outfits was held in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of Pakistan where the plot was hatched

Manmohan Singh, is this your dissent or self-goal?

While the Congress is opposed to Veer Savarkar, Manmohan Singh tried today to not let the BJP take all the credit for recognising the freedom fighter

Pakistani F-16s chased Indian passenger plane in September

Two Pakistani F-16 aircraft tried to stop a SpiceJet aircraft on its way to Kabul carrying 120 passengers mid-air on 23 September

पाकिस्तान के साथ क्रिकेट संबंधों पर बोले सौरभ — मोदी, ख़ान तय करें

'पाकिस्तान के साथ खेलने के लिए हमें अनुमति लेनी होगी; अंतर्राष्ट्रीय दौरे सरकारों की अनुमति से होते हैं; हमारे पास इस सवाल का जवाब नहीं है'

Malaysia wants to import more from India after adverse comment on Kashmir

Mahathir Mohamad has always been supportive of Pakistan; India-Malaysia relations had improved after he was out of power in 2003

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you

%d bloggers like this: