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NPR, first phase of Census deferred due to countrywide lockdown: Officials

NEW DELHI: The exercise to update the National Population Register (NPR) and the first phase of the Census-2021 have been deferred indefinitely due to the 21-day lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, officials said on Tuesday.

The two exercises were supposed to be carried out from April 1 to September 30.

Due to the prevailing situation, the NPR and Census exercises have been deferred till further orders, a senior home ministry official said.

The Prime Minister Tuesday evening announced a 21-day countrywide lockdown from this midnight due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The home ministry had recently said the preparation for the Census 2021 and updation of the NPR were at its peak and will begin from April 1.

The ministry said this after a conference of the Directors of the Census Operations on status of preparatory work around Census 2021 and NPR updation.

There have been opposition from several state governments to the NPR and some of them even adopted a resolution expressing their opposition to the exercise.

The states which have been opposing the NPR include Kerala, West Bengal, Punjab, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Bihar.

However, most of them also said they will cooperate with the house listing phase of the Census.

The objective of the NPR is to create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country.