Govt to consult states on NPR, Census process today

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New Delhi: Senior officials of the central and state governments are to meet today as the central government prepares to roll out the Census and National Population Register (NPR) exercises in the face of stiff opposition to the NPR by non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled states.

Senior officials of the home ministry will meet chief secretaries of states and Census directors to take stock of the situation ahead of the roll-out, scheduled for April.

Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai will chair the meeting which will be attended by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla and Chief Secretaries and Census Directors of all states.

The meeting will discuss the modalities for the houselisting phase of the census and the NPR, to be carried out from April 1 to September 30, a Home Ministry official said.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already announced that representatives from her state will not attend the meeting.

A few state governments, including West Bengal, have declared that they will not participate in the NPR exercise now because they see it as a prelude to a country-wide National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Officials said the objective of the NPR is to create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country. The database would contain demographic as well as biometric particulars, they said.

The notification for the houselisting and NPR exercise came amid furore over the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

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