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NPR exercise, Census 2021 updation process deferred till further notice: MHA

Both the activities - NPR exercise and Census 2021 updation - have been deferred indefinitely. This is being done after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a nationwide lockdown for 21 days in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

NPR exercise, Census 2021 updation process deferred till further notice: MHA
Anti-CAA protest in Bandra
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Amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the centre on Wednesday announced the postponement of the National Population Register (NPR) exercise which it was adamant on carrying out. Along with this, the first phase of Census 2021 has also been postponed. 

Both the activities - NPR exercise and Census 2021 updation - have been deferred indefinitely. This is being done after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a nationwide lockdown for 21 days in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The office of Registrar General and Census Commissioner informed that the NPR exercise and Census updation have been postponed until further orders. Both the activities were scheduled to start from April 1 to September 30. 

As per the press note issued by Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Census 2021 was scheduled to be conducted in two phases - Phase 1: House listing and housing census during April-September, 2020 while Phase 2 was to focus on population enumeration during February 9 to 28, 2021. 

The updation of NPR was also proposed to be carried out along with Phase 1 of Census 2021 in all the state and Union Territories except Assam. Earlier, the updation of National Register of Citizens (NRC) has already been carried out in Assam in which nearly 19 lakh were left out of the register. 

"Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, a high alert has been declared by the Government of India as well as the states/Union Territories. 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. Keeping in view the above, the 1st Phase of Census 2021 and updation of NPR, which was to begin on various dates decided by the state/UT governments beginning April 1, 2020, and various related field activities, are postponed until further orders,” India Today quoted the press note as reading.

Before the coronavirus outbreak in the country, there were huge protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the proposed NRC and NPR. The women across the country took to streets to protest against the Narendra Modi government. Several activists and parties in opposition have maintained that “NPR is NRC is disguise.”

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