NEW DELHI (IANS) – West Bengal in a written communication to the Ministry of Home Affairs has informed that it will not be present in the meeting convened on Friday to discuss the upcoming census and National Population Register (NPR) exercises with the states for their cooperation, Ministry sources said on Friday.
All states have agreed to participate in the conference of state chief secretaries and directors to discuss the modalities of census and NPR beginning April 1, and they are on board.
All chief secretaries and census officials will meet at Ambedkar Bhawan where Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai, Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla and Registrar General of India (RGI) Vivek Joshi will be present along with chief secretaries and census directors of all states and Union Territories, among others.
“All states participating in today’s conference of state chief Secretaries and Directors of Census to discuss Census and NPR, except West Bengal which has given in writing. All other states are on board,” the sources said.
Officials said that the meeting is aimed at sensitizing senior officials in states and seeking their cooperation for the smooth conduct of the exercise.
The meeting will also help the central government seek suggestions from state representatives on the NPR. The appointment, training of census officials in-charge, district officers and sub-divisional level officers will also be discussed in detail.
The conference comes amid reservations expressed by some states against NPR, citing its link with National Register of Citizens (NRC).
On Thursday, MHA officials said that the census and NPR will be rolled out in all states where enumerators will neither ask residents to share or show any papers nor collect biometrics.
At least two states — West Bengal and Kerala recently put the NPR process on hold.