States to meet Centre on Census, NPR today
The meeting, which will be chaired by minister of state for home, Nityanand Rai, will also be attended by the Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla and chief secretaries and census directors of states.Updated: Jan 17, 2020 00:45 IST
The Union home ministry has called a meeting of state government officials on Friday to discuss the modalities for carrying out the house-listing phase of the Census and the 2020 National Population Register (NPR), officials said on Thursday.
The meeting, which will be chaired by minister of state for home, Nityanand Rai, will also be attended by the Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla and chief secretaries and census directors of states.
A ministry official said that modalities for the Census and NPR, to be carried out from April 1 to September 30, are on the agenda.
However, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced on Wednesday that representatives from her state would not attend any meetings of this nature because of her decision not to implement NPR in the state.
There was no clarity whether officials from Kerala, which has also announced that it will not carry out the NPR enumeration exercise, would attend or not.
Home ministry officials said Census Commissioner of India, V K Joshi, would give a presentation in the meeting on the entire census exercise and the protocol for collecting and saving the data on secure servers. “States will also share their experiences during the pre-test of the Census house-listing exercise carried out between August and September 2019,” a Rajasthan government official said, asking not to be named.
The meeting is to take place at a time when three state assemblies of the Congress-ruled states -- Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh -- will discuss the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, NPR and a proposed all-India National Register of Citizens (NRC) in their respective states.
“Wait till Friday,” was the reply of Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, when asked whether a resolution would be introduced in Punjab assembly on Friday against CAA, NPR and NRC. Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath and Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel also said that decisions on the three controversial exercises would be taken on the floor of the house on Friday.
An official from the Madhya Pradesh government, who asked not to be named, said there was no official communication from the state government that NPR would not be carried out in the state. “We have prepared the detailed chart for carrying out the exercise in summer months,” he said.
The Union government has said the objective of NPR is to create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country, containing demographic and biometric details.
For the purposes of the NPR, a usual resident is defined as 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.
Home ministry officials said that most states have notified provisions related to NPR, which is being prepared at the local (village/sub-town), sub-district, district, state, and national levels under provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
The rules have a provision for fine of up to Rs 1,000 on those violating norms.