Odisha has begun process to update National Population Register: Official

Bhubaneswar: Amid a countrywide brouhaha over the implementation of the amended citizenship law, the Odisha government has initiated the process to update the National Population Register (NPR), with the launch of a pilot survey, an official said.

A door-to-door survey would be conducted soon as part of the process, he said.

“As per instructions of the Registrar General of India, the NPR exercise has begun. A pilot survey has been carried out in parts of the state, while door-to-door survey and house-listing will be taken up mid-April,” he added.

Amid fears that the exercise could be a precursor to NRC implementation, the Union Cabinet had last month given its go-ahead for Census 2021 and NPR updation, while making it clear that the apprehensions were unfounded.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her  Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan, however, insisted that it was the “first step” towards NRC implementation.

Explaining the format, the official said the number of fields on the registration form had been increased and several questions rephrased. Unlike 2010, when the NPR was last updated, every applicant, this time, would have to furnish Aadhaar number, mobile number, voter ID and driving license.

“In 2010, people were asked by NPR enumerators to provide names of father, mother and spouse, while also stating if they were alive. This time, people will have to provide date, place of birth of parents, mother tongue and other relevant details if born outside country,” the official said.

Sources said ‘master trainers’ have been given necessary lessons for undertaking the exercise.

Reiterating that NPR and NRC were not connected, state BJP leader Samir Mohanty on Tuesday said it was necessary to update the population register for proper distribution of welfare scheme benefits.

(PTI)

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