Cabinet Decisions: India To Launch ‘Massive’ Census And Update National Population Register Simultaneously
File picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a meeting of the Union Cabinet on May 31. (Source: PIB/Twitter)

Cabinet Decisions: India To Launch ‘Massive’ Census And Update National Population Register Simultaneously

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Cabinet Decisions: Census 2021, Updating NPR And Restructuring The Railway Board

The Indian government will launch its massive decadal programme of a national census from April to September 2020. It will also undertake updation of the National Population Register, which was last updated in 2015.

"No proof or document will have to be submitted," Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said while announcing decisions taken at the Cabinet meeting today. "Anyone who lives in India will be counted in it. This will help the delivery of targetted benefits."

Javadekar also clarified that there will be no requirement of any biometric data. The complete process will be one of self-declaration. "We trust our citizens," the minister said.

The NPR was first started under former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2010 where cards were distributed as proof of having been registered in the list.

Javadekar added categorically that the NPR is different from the controversial National Register of Citizens.

The Union Minister also said that the government will rely on technology to speed up the process of the census results. He said that the complete results of the previous census only came nine years later.

A headcount will be done in February 2021. "This time technology will make the counting much easier. We have prepared an app for that. You can fill the details for NPR on the app itself. This has been accepted and notified by all states," Javadekar said.

The Cabinet has provisioned a total outlay of nearly Rs 13,000 crore for the NPR and Census.

Cabinet Approves Restructuring Railway Board

The Union Cabinet has approved a restructuring of the Railway board by consolidating eight separate service cadres into one.

These eight organised services will be merged into the Indian Railway Management Service, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said.

Goyal said that over the years the railway board had formed several "silos and departments". The restructuring is being done to ensure that the Railways functions as a modern, unified service.

All 8,400 employees at management level will be amalgamated into the IRMS.

Indian Railways will now have only one cadre instead of current eight services for various departments including Engineering, Traffic, Mechanical and Electrical.

The Cabinet has also approved downsizing the Railway Board's strength to five from eight members earlier. Instead of Railway Board Members for Traffic, Rolling Stock, Traction and Engineering, the newly constituted Board will have Members for Operation, Business Development, Human Resources, Infrastructure and Finance.

Watch the full press conference here.

New Department Of Military Affairs

The Cabinet is establishing a new department of military affairs which will be headed by a four-star general. A new post called Chief of Defence Staff will also be created for this department.

IBC Amendment Ordinance Approved

The Cabinet has approved the Promulgation of the insolvency and bankruptcy code (amendment) ordinance, 2019.

Rs 4,000 Crore For Manali-Leh Tunnel

The Atal Tunnel Project from Manali to Leh, where work started in 2005, has been allotted Rs 4,000 crore for completion. 80 percent work has already been done. The tunnel will cut short the mountainous journey by 46 kilometres and will save 5 hours.

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Minister of Information & Broadcasting Prakash Javdekar and Minister of Railways and Commerce Piyush Goyal is slated to hold a press conference at 3:30 p.m., after the Union Cabinet of India - headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi - held a meeting earlier today.

In the previous meeting on Dec. 4, the cabinet cleared six bills including the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which was later signed by India’s President into law.

The Act - which has led to nation wide protests, internet blackouts and violence in some parts of India - seeks to provide citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis or Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Muslims are excluded from the list.

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