‘Questions on Birth of Parents Are Optional’: Javadekar on NPR
Questions on date and place of birth of parents “will be considered dropped” if details aren’t provided, he said.
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Wednesday, 22 January, that the questions on the date and place of birth of parents are optional and “will be considered dropped” if the respondent does not provide the details during the National Population Register (NPR) updation exercise, reported The Indian Express.
Responding to questions after a Cabinet meeting, Javadekar said: "If you don't have it or don't remember, don't give it... many questions are optional.”
“When I briefed you about NPR, I told you very clearly that there are many questions that are optional. If you remember the place and date of birth of your father and mother, then give it; if you don’t remember, then don’t give it,” he added.
Referring to the origin of the NPR, he pointed out that it was introduced by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government in 2010. "Then you all welcomed it. They bring it, it is good. When we bring, it is bad. This cannot be the case. This is not fair," he said.
The minister said the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is limited to Assam, and it was brought by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
"They brought it (NRC) so it is good. We did not bring, so we are bad," he quipped.
He also said the provision of "naturalisation" to grant Indian citizenship to foreign nationals in the principal Citizenship Act of 1955 still remains, and Pakistani singer Adnan Sami became an Indian citizen due to that.
"That provision (of naturalisation) still remains. The Citizenship (Amendment) Act takes note of persecuted minorities in three countries (Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan) who came to India seeking justice ... the amendment is about giving citizenship and not taking it," Javadekar said at a briefing of the decisions taken by the Union Cabinet. Kerala and West Bengal are some of the states who have opposed the NPR exercise.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to stay the amended citizenship law without hearing the Centre.
Responding to a question on the issue, Javadekar said, "Those who are opposed to the Citizenship (Amendment Act) made have their own views, but the Supreme Court decided not to give it (CAA) any stay," he said.
(With inputs from The Indian Express and PTI)
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