16.7 C
New Delhi
Wednesday 11 December 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

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

Justice That Is Instant Is Travesty

But neither the state nor society can wash their hands off this social craving for settling scores in the name of doing justice to the victim

Karnataka Voters Punished INC, JDS Leaders

Even the BJP was not confident of the result even as their leaders kept saying for public consumption they were winning all the 15 seats

The United States Of The World

The United States, stereotyped as the land of plenty and plentiful guns, is still a destination of choice for people from across the world

प्याज़ के आँसू न रोएँ — महंगाई से किसान, उपभोक्ता दोनों को फ़ायदा

जिस अल्प मुद्रास्फीति की वजह से वे सरकार से बहुत खुश थे, उसी 1.38 प्रतिशत की खाद्यान्न मुद्रास्फीति के कारण किसानों को अपने पैदावार के लिए समुचित मूल्य नहीं मिल रहे थे

CAB Can Correct Wrongs Of NRC

… if the government can fix the inept bureaucracy and explain what happens to those marked as aliens, as the neighbours are not taking them back
- Advertisement -

Elsewhere

Pakistan says CAB akin to interfering in its matters

'We condemn the legislation as regressive and discriminatory, which is in violation of all relevant international conventions and norms...'

Shiv Sena’s volte-face on CAB: Will not support bill in RS

Earlier, Shiv Sena leader Arvind Sawant had said that in the Rajya Sabha, as in the Lok Sabha, the party would support the citizenship bill

Justice That Is Instant Is Travesty

But neither the state nor society can wash their hands off this social craving for settling scores in the name of doing justice to the victim

Karnataka Voters Punished INC, JDS Leaders

Even the BJP was not confident of the result even as their leaders kept saying for public consumption they were winning all the 15 seats

Nirbhaya to get justice the day she was tormented?

Sources say the Tihar authority has sent its officers to different jails in the country to look for an executioner even as they await the president's response to a second convict's mercy plea

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you

For fearless journalism

%d bloggers like this: