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Use Aadhaar data for NPR, Govindacharya urges Amit Shah

New Delhi

27-December-2019

 Former BJP ideologue K.N. Govindacharya, of the Rashtriya Swabhiman Andolan, has written to Home Minister Amit Shah suggesting that integration of previous National Population Register (NPR) information with the latest Aadhaar data may be helpful for preparation of an updated NPR.

Govindacharya has proposed to the government that it use existing IDs like Aadhaar, PAN Card, driving licence, passports, and voter ID for the NPR and NRC without burdening the exchequer. This will mean that only 5 per cent of the population needs to be verified, he said.

"The UPA government vision of Aadhaar with NPR needs execution by the BJP government," he said, in a strong statement coming from the former BJP functionary.

In the letter also marked to Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba and Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, Govindacharya said this will have all the necessary details which are required for population mapping.

He has pointed out that the first NPR was done by UPA Government in 2010-11 and it was updated by NDA Government in 2015. As per reports, there were around 115 crore persons in the NPR, which is to be now updated. To achieve the goals of NRC, the government is planning to expand the information by more questions via NPR, which was notified by the Registrar General & Census Commissioner's letter in July 2019.

The present government expanded the reach and scope of Aadhaar and as per UIDAI data, it covers around 125 crore persons in India. The government has taken a conscious decision to provide Aadhaar number to all the persons and that is why it is not treated as proof of citizenship in India. "However, Aadhaar can still be used to ascertain the NPR numbers in India," Govindacharya added.

The Union Cabinet has sanctioned Rs 8,754 crore for census operations and Rs 3,941 crore for NPR. Govindacharya has suggested that data integration will not only save national resources but also avoid unnecessary inconvenience to the millions of people in India.

In the same manner, he has suggested that NRC can also be executed without verification and scrutiny of physical documents of 137 crore people (estimated current population of India).

"As per reports, the Delhi government collected data of 21 lakh households for a socio-economic survey. Many such data is being collected by other states. There are more than 100 crore mobile connections and all such data needs to be synced with Central data for NPR questionnaire purposes," he added.

Recounting important data available with state and Central government, he has pointed out that there are around 90 crore persons in voter lists, who are above 18 years of age, 6.8 crore persons having Indian passports, 9.31 crore (government is updating this data) persons having driving licences, and around 42 crore with PAN Cards.

In addition, there are crores of persons having registered property (land, office, house, industry) in India.

Govindacharya has suggested that whose who are having Indian passports, voter IDs, registered property, and are paying income tax and/or GST may be considered to be bonafide citizen and part of the NRC. The Central Government may examine and scrutinize above data to prepare the NPR as well as NRC. It will also be helpful in eliminating the duplicity as well as fraudulent entries in the voter lists.

After completion of the above exercise, Govindacharya said the government may have data of all population which can be treated as NPR. Those on voter lists and their children may be around 130 crore, and who can be treated as bonafide citizens and part of NRC.

Accordingly, the government can do the verification of documents of remaining 7 crore persons, which may be 5 per cent of the whole population. This tentative figure matches with Assam wherein 19 lakh persons in total population of 3.29 crore are out of NRC.

"Verification of antecedents of 5 per cent population at all India level will be an easy exercise for the administrative machinery which may not have big financial burden on the Indian Economy," he said.IANS