Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 21
Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy today reiterated that disclosure of personal information in the National Population Register (NPR) was “not mandatory, but voluntary”, even as the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India (RGI) in a series of tweets claimed that Census data was “confidential and guaranteed under the law and those violating it will be punished”.
Countering the opposition to NPR by some non-BJP ruled states, Reddy said the NPR was first initiated by the Congress-led UPA in 2010 and it was a constitutional obligation. It being a “constitutional obligation, state governments should not oppose it”, he insisted.
The minister said the Centre would keep sensitising states about various aspects of the NPR exercise to be carried out along with the house-listing phase of Census 2021 from April 1 to September 30, 2020.
Meanwhile, Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India (RGI) asserted that Census data was confidential and guaranteed under the law and those violating it would be punished.
In tweets, the RGI said the 2021 Census would be the first one to be conducted with a mixed mode approach — a mobile app (created in-house by the RGI office).
“While confidentiality about your data is guaranteed by the Census Act, 1948; the same law specifies penalty for both public and Census officials for non-compliance or violation of any provision of the Act,” he said. The Census will have its reference date as March 1, 2021, but for snow-bound Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, it will be October 1, 2020.
Last week, at a meeting convened by the Union Home Ministry, a few non-BJP-ruled states raised objections over the new methodology to be adopted for the NPR exercise.
However, the Central Government defended the steps saying certain responses to be given by people were not mandatory, but voluntary.
In NPR, every “usual resident” will be asked to give his demographic details, including name, relationship to head of household, father's name, mother's name, spouse's name, gender, date of birth, marital status, place of birth, nationality, present address of usual residence, duration of stay at present address, permanent residential address, occupation, educational qualification, etc.
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