The Union Cabinet on Tuesday approved the updation of the National Population Register (NPR) and conduct of Census of India 2021, even as protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) continued across the country.
The Cabinet has approved an expenditure of Rs 8,754 crore for conducting the Census and Rs 3,941 crore for updation of NPR.
“The Union Cabinet has approved a proposal to update the NPR. No one needs to give any proof. Everyone who lives in India will be included,” NDTV quoted Union Minister Prakash Javadekar as saying.
NPR data will be used for identifying the beneficiaries of subsidies, Livemint quoted him as saying.
The NPR exercise will be held between April and September 2020 in all states and Union Territories, the NDTV report added. Assam will be excluded from the exercise because the state has just undertaken the National Register of Citizens exercise.
The NPR is a register of “usual residents” of the country that will contain demographic and biometric details, according to Scroll. The data collected during this exercise, the report added, will be used when government rolls out the NRC across the country.
A “usual resident”, for the purposes of NPR, is a person who has resided in an area for the past six months or more, or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next six months or more.
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi tweeted on Monday, saying that NPR is the first step to the NRC.
The West Bengal and Kerala governments have stopped work related to the updation of the NPR.
In Kerala, an order by general administration department principal secretary KR Jyothilal said the government has decided to stay all activities related to updation of NPR in the state, considering the “apprehensions among the general public about the conduct of NPR related activities would lead to NRC in the wake of CAA 2019”, according to The Times of India.