NEW DELHI: While the National Population Register has been made earlier in 2010, additional criteria in this NPR are what make the exercise controversial. In 2010, when NPR was prepared for the first time, there were 14 question heads.
But in the pre-test of NPR conducted earlier this year, there were six new question heads, including one seeking details of parents’ birthplace, which points to a clear link between NPR and the contentious National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC).
On Tuesday, while announcing the Cabinet’s decision of approval Rs 3,941.35 crore for updation of NPR, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said the upcoming NPR was no different than the one conducted in 2010 by the UPA government. But the NPR schedule that was used in the pre-test this year shows otherwise.
Besides the birthplace of parents, the other controversial heads in the pre-test were: last place of residence, Aadhaar ID, driving licence, voter ID and mobile number.
The schedule of NPR 2010 had 14 question heads: name, relationship to head of the household, father’s name, mother’s name, spouse’s name (if married), sex, date of birth, marital status, place of birth, nationality (as declared), present address of usual residence, duration of stay at present address, permanent residential address, occupation and educational qualification.
During August-September , the NPR pre-test was conducted in some districts of Delhi, UP, Rajasthan, Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhatisgarh, MP, Gujarat, Assam, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalya, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Maharshtra, Chandigarh, J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Goa, Lakshadweep, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar, Telengana, Andhra Pradesh.
The difference between NPR 2010 and the upcoming exercise, has been pointed out by Congress leaders too, some of whom have put out NPR 2020 forms that were used in the pre-test earlier this year.
Punishment for false info
According to the Citizenship Rules 2003, NPR is compulsory and providing any false information during data collection exercise “shall be punishable with fine which may extend to `1,000.”