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There is no need for National Register of Citizens, says former home secretary Gopal Pillai

Updated : December 25, 2019 06:23:42 IST

The union cabinet has paved the way to update the National Population Register (NPR) in 2020. The exercise will take place between April and September next year and will be followed by a census in 2021.

The cost of both the NPR and the census will be Rs 13,000 crore. The government has called this a routine process and claimed that no documentary proof is needed and this will be done through self-certification.

The government also claimed that no biometrics data will be collected. All this comes at a time when many fear that this NPR could set the stage for the all-India National Register of Citizens (NRC). But the government has clarified that there is no link between the National Register of Citizens and the NPR.

Former home secretary, Gopal Pillai,  shared his views and outlook on the subject.

“The NPR is based on the household census data collected during the 2011 census. Now we are getting the census data for the 2021 census. So I am only presuming that it would form the basis for the NPR which is going to be updated using that basic census data for 2021,” he said.

"There is some element of confusion but I think, from what I could gather from the Home Minister’s statement and the PM’s statement, the government is actually in one sense taking a step back from the NRC and going ahead with updating the NPR which was a half-completed exercise during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime,” said Pillai.

“I personally feel that there is no need for NRC. It would create a lot of complications because of the type of data and the bureaucratic exercise that would need to be done to carry out that,” he further noted.
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