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APW seeks probe into �corruption� during NRC updating process

By AJIT PATOWARY

GUWAHATI, Dec 30 - Voluntary organisation Assam Public Works (APW) today placed a demand before the new coordinator of the State�s National Register of Citizens (NRC) to institute a high-level inquiry into the allegations of �huge corruption� during the State�s NRC updating process conducted under the former NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela.

APW has also pleaded for a third party audit by some internationally acclaimed organisation into the functioning of the softwares applied and the IT infrastructure during the process of updating the NRC.

In a memorandum to the new NRC coordinator, the voluntary organisation, which was the main litigator before the Supreme Court in the NRC updating case, has alleged, �It seems, there has been misappropriation of huge amount of public money for his (Hajela�s) personal gain. Under the aforesaid circumstances, it is hereby requested for an investigation to be carried out to bring the truth...�

It needs mention here that APW is the primary petitioner in the Writ Petition WP(C) 274/2009 pending before the Supreme Court. The apex court is monitoring the entire NRC updating process of the State.

In its memorandum to the present NRC coordinator, the voluntary organisation has stated that hundreds of different softwares were used in updating the NRC. It has alleged that though ideally there should be a test run for every software to judge its performance, and all the softwares needed some time to get settled, it seems that most of the softwares were put into verification without any test whatsoever, leading to serious malfunction. This ultimately resulted in wrong entries into the NRC.

It has stated further that it also suspects manipulation of data, which can be detected only through an IT audit. But this was never done during the process of NRC updating. The third party quality check done by the then State NRC coordinator Hajela was through an agency employed by him, and it had performed as per his direction only, leaving a space for one to question whether it was authentic or not.

It also maintains that the family tree verification did not work properly. For, almost all the data entry operators (DEOs) working at the NRC Sewa Kendras of the immigrant-dominated areas are from the �immigrant community itself.� This is due to the fact that the remuneration received by each of the DEOs is a meagre Rs 5,000 per month. This is despite the system integrator WIPRO getting around Rs 14,000 per month against each of the DEOs. As a result, the DEOs are recruited locally at Rs 5,000 per month, which was not sufficient for a DEO to work from a distant place.

Moreover, before engagement of the DEOs, their citizenship was never verified, said the voluntary organisation.

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APW seeks probe into �corruption� during NRC updating process

GUWAHATI, Dec 30 - Voluntary organisation Assam Public Works (APW) today placed a demand before the new coordinator of the State�s National Register of Citizens (NRC) to institute a high-level inquiry into the allegations of �huge corruption� during the State�s NRC updating process conducted under the former NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela.

APW has also pleaded for a third party audit by some internationally acclaimed organisation into the functioning of the softwares applied and the IT infrastructure during the process of updating the NRC.

In a memorandum to the new NRC coordinator, the voluntary organisation, which was the main litigator before the Supreme Court in the NRC updating case, has alleged, �It seems, there has been misappropriation of huge amount of public money for his (Hajela�s) personal gain. Under the aforesaid circumstances, it is hereby requested for an investigation to be carried out to bring the truth...�

It needs mention here that APW is the primary petitioner in the Writ Petition WP(C) 274/2009 pending before the Supreme Court. The apex court is monitoring the entire NRC updating process of the State.

In its memorandum to the present NRC coordinator, the voluntary organisation has stated that hundreds of different softwares were used in updating the NRC. It has alleged that though ideally there should be a test run for every software to judge its performance, and all the softwares needed some time to get settled, it seems that most of the softwares were put into verification without any test whatsoever, leading to serious malfunction. This ultimately resulted in wrong entries into the NRC.

It has stated further that it also suspects manipulation of data, which can be detected only through an IT audit. But this was never done during the process of NRC updating. The third party quality check done by the then State NRC coordinator Hajela was through an agency employed by him, and it had performed as per his direction only, leaving a space for one to question whether it was authentic or not.

It also maintains that the family tree verification did not work properly. For, almost all the data entry operators (DEOs) working at the NRC Sewa Kendras of the immigrant-dominated areas are from the �immigrant community itself.� This is due to the fact that the remuneration received by each of the DEOs is a meagre Rs 5,000 per month. This is despite the system integrator WIPRO getting around Rs 14,000 per month against each of the DEOs. As a result, the DEOs are recruited locally at Rs 5,000 per month, which was not sufficient for a DEO to work from a distant place.

Moreover, before engagement of the DEOs, their citizenship was never verified, said the voluntary organisation.