NEW DELHI, March 4 � The Government of Assam has been asked by the Centre to prepare two pilot projects based on updated National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) 1951.
Ministry of State for Home Affairs, M Ramachandran in a Rajya Sabha reply to a question by Kumar Deepak Das said that the special provision as to the manner of preparation of NRIC in Assam based on relevant records was as per the amended Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2009.
As reported yesterday, the Centre has so far not responded to the State Government�s repeated pleas to review the controversial November 9 notification, providing for 1971 electoral rolls and NRIC of 1951, as the basis for ascertaining citizenship status. The amended notification specifies that voter�s list prior to 1971 i.e. rolls of 1966 be considered while establishing citizenship.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister, P. Chidambaram clarified that local officials are not required to seek proof of nationality or citizenship from each and everyone, as National Population Register (NPR) is a register of Usual Residents and the nationality being canvassed in the form is only as per the declaration of the respondent.
�This will not confer any rights of citizenship on anybody. The emphasis at this stage of data collection is on inclusion rather than exclusion,� he said.
Chidambaram said that there had been occasions, when State Governments came up with the plea that the Census had not been conducted properly in their States. He pointed out that it was the State�s own officers who conducted the Census and certified that the exercise had been conducted without omission or duplication.
The exercise will involve 35 States, 640 districts, 5767 tehsils, 7742 towns, 6,08,786 villages, 24 crore households and 1.2 billion population. Over 2.5 million field functionaries will be involved with the exercise. The Census exercise is likely to cost Rs.2,200 crore and the NPR exercise Rs. 3,756 crore.
He was addressing here today an All India Conference of State Coordinators,District Magistrates, Collectors, Deputy Commissioners on the subject of �Census of India 2011 and National Population Register�.
The exercise will be taken up from April 1. While India has considerable experience in conducting Censuses, this is the first time a National Population Register is being prepared. There are no existing models that the country can emulate. This is a path breaking initiative for others to follow, he said.