For NPR, parents’ DOBs & places birth optional: Principal Citizenship Act remains for giving citizenship to foreigners: Govt


After confusion among   the people and nationwide agitation over the National Population Registration (NPR) , Government says disclosure of information sought for declaration in the exercise is voluntary.  Kerala and West Bengal governments have barred undertaking any work related to NPR..The Union Government has approved Rs. 3,941.35 crore for updating National Population Register. The NPR is a list of “usual residents” of the country. A “usual resident” is defined for the purposes of NPR as a person who has resided in a local area for the past six months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next six months or more. The data for National Population Register was last collected in 2010 along with the house-listing phase of Census of India 2011. Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Wednesday, 22 January, that the questions on the date and place of birth of parents are optional and “will be considered dropped” if the respondent does not provide the details during the National Population Register (NPR). Replying to queries on NPR at a briefing on the decisions taken at a Cabinet meet chaired by Prime Minster Narendra Modi in New Delhi, Javadekar said: “If you don’t have it or don’t remember, don’t give it… many questions are optional.”“When I briefed you about NPR, I told you very clearly that there are many questions that are optional. If you remember the place and date of birth of your father and mother, then give it; if you don’t remember, then don’t give it,” he added. Referring to the origin of the NPR, he pointed out that it was introduced by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government in 2010. “Then you all welcomed it. They bring it, it is good. When we bring, it is bad. This cannot be the case. This is not fair;” he is quoted as saying by The Indian Express. The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is limited to Assam, and it was brought by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.”They brought it (NRC) so it is good. We did not bring, so we are bad,” he added. He also said the provision of “naturalisation” to grant Indian citizenship to foreign nationals in the principal Citizenship Act of 1955 still remains, and Pakistani singer Adnan Sami became an Indian citizen under the act. The Supreme Court on January 22 refused to stay the amended citizenship law and NPR before hearing the Centre’s stand on the contentious issues. As many as 144 petitions have been filed in the apex court challenging constitutional validity of the amended citizenship act.GOI has been directed to respond to SC within four weeks on the pleas   for striking down the Constitution (Amendedment ) Act seeking to give citizenship to the Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Jains who have been forced to leave their homelands in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan minus valid documents till December 31, 2014.(edited by Chakravarty PK with courtesy to ANI for the image)

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