The exercise of the National Population Register and the first phase of census 2021 has been postponed due to the three-week lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi amid grave health crisis caused by Wuhan Coronavirus in the country, Home Ministry officials said on Wednesday. The National Population register exercises are normally carried out from April 1 to September 30.
The Home Ministry stated that census 2021 was to be scheduled to be conducted in two phases–house listing and housing census during April-September and population enumeration from February 9 to 28. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, a high alert has been declared by the center as well as the states and union territories. The update of NPR was also supposed to be done beside the phase I of census 2021 in all the states and union territories, except the state of Assam.
The first phase of Census 2021 and updating of NPR, which was supposed to begin on the dates decided by the states and the union territory governments including various related field activities are postponed until further order, said the statement of Home Ministry.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day lockdown across the country from Tuesday night due to the epidemic of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus that has infected nearly 600 people in the country and has claimed 11 lives so far. Officials asserted that the Census and NPR exercise requires the enumerators to visit every household and meet people, such kind of exercise is not possible to carry out due to the prevailing situation. That’s why it has been postponed by the government.
Certain states like Kerala, West Bengal, Punjab, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, and Bihar are constantly opposing the National Population Register and some of them even adopted a resolution against NPR.
The objective of the NPR is to create a comprehensive database of every usual resident in the country.