Hyderabad: The Telangana government has, for now, decided to stop the proceedings of the National Population Register (NPR) in the state. Various doubts and objections raised by several groups have led to this decision.
The Census, which is conducted every 10 years, is set to happen in 2020-21. Besides this, household surveys will also be conducted. The Centre has directed the state to gather details for the NPR, too. A few corrections have been made to the NPR format and new questions added. Since the NPR is considered the basis for the preparation of NRC, the new questions have raised some serious doubts. The state government has already asked the Centre to withdraw the CAA. Trusted sources also said that the state wants the old NPR format.
The Centre has to notify that the NPR or Census will be conducted under some section of the law. However, the Centre has not clarified if the new questions fall under this section of the law. Questions like whether a person has been staying in a residential area from the past six months and has the intention to stay in the same area for the next two months will be the NPR's primary focus.
The Census and NPR are to be conducted anytime between 1 April and 30 September and should be done within 45 days. Other states are yet to start the process. Since there is time to complete the procedure, at present, the NPR is being postponed and a decision will be taken later. The programme to train Collectors for the NPR has also been postponed. As of now, Pattana Pragathi programmes are being conducted all over the state to ensure basic amenities in towns. Following that, the Assembly Budget session will be underway. The government is expected to get back to the NPR once these are done.
West Bengal and Kerala have also put the NPR on hold. The Telangana government has decided to speak to other states who have opposed the NRC and NPR. It is also believed that all these states will put collective pressure on the Centre to change the new format. The state government has also called meetings with experts to discuss the future course of action.