India

Centre postpones NPR update, first phase of Census

Centre postpones NPR update, first phase of Census
The RGI statement said the Census 2021 was scheduled to be conducted in two phases — House listing & Housing Census during April-September 2020 and Population Enumeration between February 9 to 28, 2021.

Amid the nationwide lockdown to curb the COVID-19 spread, the Centre has decided to postpone the process of the updating the National Population Register (NPR) and the houselisting phase of Census 2021. Both were supposed to start on April 1 and be completed by September 30.

A statement by the Registrar General of India’s office on Wednesday said that keeping in view the nationwide lockdown, “the first phase of Census 2021 and updation of NPR, which was to begin on various dates decided by the State/UT governments beginning 1st of April 2020 and various related field activities, are postponed until further orders”.

The Indian Express on Saturday reported that the NPR exercise was likely to be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to maintain social distancing. Several states had even written to the Centre, expressing their inability to implement the process given that their manpower was engaged in fighting the pandemic.

“Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, high alert has been declared by the Government of India as well as the States/Union Territories. The Ministry of Home Affairs vide order dated 24th March, 2020 has issued Guidelines with the directions for their strict implementation, on the measures to be taken by the Ministries/Departments of Government of India and State/Union Territory Governments for containment of COVID-19 Epidemic in the country. Lockdown has also been declared by many State/UT governments. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has issued advisories for various precautionary measures, including social distancing,” the RGI statement said.

It said the Census 2021 was scheduled to be conducted in two phases — House listing & Housing Census during April-September 2020 and Population Enumeration between February 9 to 28, 2021. The updation of NPR was proposed to be done along with Phase I of Census 2021 in all States/UTs, except Assam, as it has already gone through the process of preparing National Register of Citizens.

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