In an indication that the government is reluctant to drop contentious questions from the National Population Register (NPR) form, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had told a Parliamentary standing committee that these questions were asked in the past as well and are necessary for back-end data processing.
The committee has, however, observed that with the government unable to build a consensus on the NPR process, there is a danger of the Census exercise being stymied.
The NPR exercise is to be carried out with the house-listing phase of Census 2020 and is scheduled to begin on April 1.
The Standing Committee on Ministry of Home Affairs tabled its report on Demands for Grants (2020-2021) in Rajya Sabha on Thursday. The committee is headed by Congress MP Anand Sharma.
The report has stated that the committee had asked the ministry over questions regarding date and place of birth of parents as listed in NPR 2020 form.
Multiple states have raised objections to the questions, and even some NDA allies such as JD(U) and LJP have expressed reservations about the questions.
“The Ministry submitted…the Date & Place of Birth of Parents were collected in NPR 2010 as well for all parents who were enumerated within the household,” the report stated. “For parents living elsewhere or expired at the time of enumeration, only the names of parents were collected. To facilitate back-end data processing and making the data items of date and place of birth complete for all households, details of parents are being collected in a more comprehensive manner in NPR 2020.”
In the wake of several states passing resolutions against NPR, the committee noted the government’s inability to build a consensus. It stated: “The Committee…on 18th February observed that there is a lot of dissatisfaction and fear among people regarding the upcoming NPR and Census. The Committee feels these apprehensions should have been duly ventilated in the media. The MHA must consider some way out so that the Census goes smoothly……Read More>>