New Delhi: A Parliamentary panel has said that there have been a lot of dissatisfaction and fear among the people regarding the upcoming National Population Register (NPR ) while the centre has assured that till now "no decision" has been taken to create the National Register of Indian Citizens.
An Action Taken Report (ATR), the Home Ministry said, “It has been clarified at various levels in the Government time and again that till now no decision has been taken to create the National Register of Indian Citizens.”
According to the report, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Hone has expressed concern over apprehensions of the people regarding the National Population Register and the Census operation, official sources said.
The report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Ministry was submitted to the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, M Venkaiah Naidu, by panel chairman and Congress lawmaker Anand Sharma.
The committee, while discussing the issue, had observed in a hearing earlier this year that there have been a lot of dissatisfaction and fear among the people regarding the upcoming NPR and Census.
The Centre’s clarification is seen as a response to the controversy over reports that the NRC would be implemented across the country.
The BJP had promised to implement the NRC in the lines of Assam for all of India in its election manifesto for the 2019 general election.
On November 19, last year, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had declared in the Rajya Sabha that the NRC would be implemented throughout the country.
A 360-degree approach for communicating the right and clear message on the NPR has been planned. The right kind of messaging will be done to tackle the miscommunication and rumours around the NPR and Census 2021, the Action Taken Report said.
However, the Home Ministry also informed the panel that in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Phase-I of Census 2021 and update of the NPR and other related field activities have been postponed until further orders.
The committee also felt that these apprehensions on NPR should have been duly ventilated in the media. The MHA must consider some way out so that the Census process goes smoothly.
In its ATR, the Home Ministry said that the Census is conducted in India under the Census Act-1948 and Census Rules-1990. As per the provisions contained in Section 15 of the Census Act-1948, all individual-level information collected in the Census are confidential and only the aggregated data are released at various administrative levels.
The multi-party committee in one of its earlier reports in May 2020 had said that all the states across India should be "fully convinced" on NPR matters so that there is absolutely no apprehension.