Odisha deletes question on birthplace of parents in NPR exercise
The National Population Register (NPR) in Odisha will not have a question on birth place of the parents of the residents and will have an additional question on other backward classes (OBCs) in the state, Biju Janata Dal MP Pinaki Mishra said Tuesday.
The NPR is being updated across the country from April 2020 to September 2020. Kerala and West Bengal has already announced that they will not update the NPR whereas Punjab will not seek answer to question on birthplace of parents.
“The BJD has a strong objection to 13(2) in the NPR questionnaire which seeks details of the birthplace of the parents of the respondent. We have decided to delete the column on parents’ birthplace,” Mishra said after a meeting of the BJD’s Parliamentary party. He added that the Central government has already clarified that replying to question on birth of one’s parents was optional.
The MP also said that chief minister and BJP president Naveen Patnaik has asked for adding a question in NPR related to whether a resident belongs to OBC category or not similar to the one asked for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes.
Odisha’a move of not seeking the details of birthplace of parents of its residents comes in the wake of several Muslim organisations expressing their apprehension they could be asked to prove their citizenship. Last month, members of the Chauda Mahala Muslim Jamat from Bhadrak had met Patnaik to express their concerns over BJD supporting the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and sought assurance that their interests will be protected.
Census officials said the NPR update would begin in Odisha from April 16 involving house-listing exercise for 45 days in which over 1 lakh enumerators would go to each of the houses with a questionnaire for updating the 2010 NPR. More than 1 lakh enumerators, most of them teachers, would fill up the questionnaire.
The NPR is a list of usual residents of the country. A usual resident is a person who has resided in a local area for the past six months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next six months or more.
Officials said in 2010 NPR, enumerators had asked people to name their father, mother and spouse in full and if they were alive or not. But in 2020 NPR, people will be asked to name their mother tongue. Unlike 2010, when the NPR was last updated, every person in 2020 would have to give Aadhaar number, mobile number, voter ID and driving license.