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No decision yet on nationwide NRC, says Govt


‘No document will be collected during NPR exercise’

New Delhi, February 4: The Ministry of Home Affairs Tuesday clarified in Parliament that the Government has not yet decided on implementing the National Register of Citizens (NRC) across the country.
In a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai, said, “Till now, the Government has not taken any decision to prepare (NRIC) at the national level.” The clarification comes amid protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act – the new law, which the government had said, will be followed by NRC.
The remark is a departure from comments made by senior ministers and party leaders, including Home Minister and BJP president Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP working president J P Nadda. The BJP’s manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections also promised NRC in “other parts of the country in a phased manner”.
But Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at a rally in Jharkhand, had said his government had not discussed pan-India NRC exercise. The Prime Minister had also denied that there are any detention centres in the country, saying these were lies being spread by the “Congress, its allies, some educated Naxals and urban Naxals”.
The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a register of all Indian citizens whose creation is mandated by the 2003 amendment of the Citizenship Act, 1955. Its purpose is to document all the legal citizens of India so that the illegal migrants can be identified and deported.
In the NRC exercise adopted in Assam, names of over 19 lakh applications were excluded from the final list released last year. Protests erupted across the country in December last year after the citizenship law was introduced and passed in Parliament. The Cabinet later cleared over Rs 3,900 crore for a National Population Register (NPR). Coming in the backdrop of protests over the CAA and NRC, the NPR is being seen by many as the first step towards the NRC, while the Centre has sought to delink the two.
NPR: The Centre Tuesday reiterated that no document will be collected during the updation of the National Population Register (NPR), adding that providing Aadhaar number during the exercise is only voluntary.
“No document is to be collected during the updation of NPR,” Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said.
An instruction manual for updation of NPR 2020 for enumerators and supervisors has been prepared and the people will have to provide information for the NPR to the best of their knowledge and belief, he said.
“The NPR updation will be undertaken through house to house enumeration for collection of specified particulars relating to each family and individual. The respondent has to provide the information true to the best of his knowledge and belief. Aadhar Number is collected voluntarily,” the minister said.
He also clarified that during the NPR updation exercise, no verification will be done to find individuals whose citizenship is doubtful.
Elaborating on what the NPR is, Rai said, it is a register containing details of persons usually residing in a
Responding to a question over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, Rai said persons covered by the Act can submit applications for grant of citizenship after appropriate rules are notified by the central government.
“No specific instruction has been issued by the central government regarding the release of migrants from detention centers after enacting the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019,” he said.
The Centre announced that the NPR exercise will be carried out across the country along with the house listing phase of the Census 2021 from April 1 to September 30, 2020. (IE)