Why doesn’t Amit Shah rule out NRC in clear terms: Chidambaram

Why doesn’t Amit Shah rule out NRC in clear terms: Chidambaram

New Delhi: Noting that NRC in Assam has led to”sour experience,” senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Saturday said the National Population Register (NPR) of the BJP government”was clearly linked to the NRC” and asked why Home Minister Amit Shah wasn’t saying in clear terms that the NRC exercise will not be carried out.

Former Home Minister Chidambaram told ANI in an exclusive interview that the NPR carried out by the UPA government was different from the NPR practice being carried out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi government as six questions are added.

He said the NPR exercise has been stopped after the population census during the Congress-led UPA government.

“Go back to what we did and what we did not do. The NPR was given to Census Commissioner and Registrar General only in selected states. It was an aid to the Census of 2011. So we did NPR in 2010 as an aid to the Census of 2011. The matter ceased When the census was finished. We didn’t go. We didn’t do NRC. We did not even begin to think of NRC. Today the context is different. The BJP government has done an NRC in Assam,” he said.

The former Finance Minister said that the NRC in Assam had left over 19 lakh people “stateless”.

“If the highest quarters inspired trust, we will accept that word. NPR is clearly linked to NRC. Why did the Home Minister not say yesterday we are doing NPR; we won’t do NRC? Why does he not say that? Let them say that NRC is ruled out. Let them say it will never be accomplished. It is the ten words that are simple. We just did NPR. It helped the census. We did not take half a step forward,” he said.

Home Minister Amit Shah had informed ANI earlier that NPR and NRC were not linked. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also said at a rally at the federal capital last month that there was no debate on implementing NRC.

Chidambaram said the content of NPR carried out by the UPA government and that by the Modi government was very different both in”text and context”.

He said that there were 15 questions in the NPR conducted during the UPA government but the BJP-led government has added questions such as the place of the last residence, place of birth of father and mother and licence number.

They have added six fields – what is your last place of residence, what’s the place of arrival of your father and mother, driving licence number, voter ID number, Aadhar number. Why are they asking all these items? Therefore, both the context and the text are different. We have experience of Assam NRC. Do not compare NPR 2010 that was to help the census with the NPR 2020, which is a step towards the NRC,” he said.

Chidambaram said if the BJP claims the NPR 2010 was correct, it should stick to the form. “Do not go beyond the 15 fields. And announce that the NPR will not be done. Even yesterday the Home Minister refused to declare the NRC won’t be done,” he said.

Shah had targeted the opposition parties over protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) during a rally at Jodhpur on Friday.

“We have a bitter experience of Assam NRC. There was no Assam NRC when we did NPR 2010. We didn’t have the bitter experience of 19,06,657 people. Do you discount that elephant? That elephant is sitting there. In the face of the elephant, you see that elephant and you pretend that there’s no issue,” he said.

Answering a query, he said the NPR done during the UPA government was useful to the census since NPR data “is practically all the information that census requires.”

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Thousands march to protest in Hyderabad against CAA

Thousands march to protest in Hyderabad against CAA

Hyderabad: tens of thousands of citizens turned up to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens at Hyderabad’s Dharna Chowk on Saturday afternoon. The’Million March’ protest, which was conducted by an umbrella of Muslim and civil society organizations, drew a sea of protestors from all walks of life, notwithstanding the Hyderabad police stating that only 1,000 people are permitted to gather the site.

The protest in a way was a victory for the organizers, who were first refused permission to perform a rally at Hyderabad’s Tank Bund (which is one of the principal thoroughfares connecting different parts of the city) last month.

The consent to hold the public meeting at Dharna Chowk was granted after the organizers approached the Telangana High Court, which asked the city police to rethink the application for its protest. The cops allowed to be held from 2 to 5 pm.

Given the anti-CAA and -NRC sentiments running among taxpayers, many turned up of the demonstration much before 2 pm, with the audience continuing to swell at around 3 pm. The incoming sea of taxpayer protestors also caused the police opening the NTR Stadium behind Dharna Chowk, in which many of the protestors were accommodated. The turnout was undeniably higher than what was expected.

From”Inquilab Zindabad” into”Narendra Modi down down”, protestors chanted various slogans.

“People are extremely angry and frustrated. The Centre will now know better than to go ahead with the NRC. This protest isn’t just about the CAA or NRC, but about all of the atrocities that were being perpetrated against minorities by right-wing activists associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS),” said Mohd. A student who turned up in the protest along with his friends, imran.

Muslim women, including housewives and the elderly, also turned up in large numbers. Students from the city left early from classes to show up in solidarity or also gave their school a miss. Moreover, from throughout the city, business owners from markets like the Pathargatti (from the Old City) and Abids areas also downed their shutters in solidarity and showed up the’Million March’ protest.

The major protest, which a police official, who did not wish to be named, said easily touched 10,000 individuals, comes only about 10 days after the RSS also held a march at the Saroor Nagar stadium (which comes under the Rachakonda police limits. The Greater Hyderabad area is divided between the Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda commissionerates) on 25 December last year.

“If the authorities can allow those RSS individuals to march on the streets, then there isn’t any way they can deny us our right to protest. We’re coming here with the Indian flag in hand, rather than the saffron flag which basically is a symbol of divisiveness. It is very unfortunate that the organizers had to go to the High Court, which clearly proves that the cops will also be biased,” said Sara Syeda, a second-year graduate in the town who turned up to protest with her friends.

Prior to this, there was a similar demonstration held in Dharna Chowk in December after the CAA was passed. Post that, ordinary citizens, who were fed up of the police also organized many flash protests.

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PM calls for revolutionising engineering science and innovation at India Science Congress

PM calls for revolutionising engineering science and innovation at India Science Congress

Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, today emphasised the need to revolutionise the landscape of Indian science, innovation and technology and stated both technology and logical temperament were needed to provide a new direction to the country’s socio-economic development process.

“I’ve always been of the opinion that science and technology had a great part to play in linking society and to bring about equality. As an example, the developments in the area of communication and information have ended a large supply of privilege by producing cheaper smartphones and data. For this reason, even a common man has gained confidence he is not alone and he can also connect with the Government and talk to it directly. We need to promote and strengthen these kinds of changes”.

Inaugurating the 107th session of the Indian Science Congress, which began at Bengaluru now, he said the common man has also been a witness to advancement in the area of rural development and noticed that technology and great effective governance was behind the success of big welfare programmes from Swachcha Bharat Abhiyan to Ayushman Bharat.

In this respect, he pointed that the Government had set a record yesterday by disbursing money under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi to six crore people in the nation simultaneously. “How did it happen? It was because of Aadhar enabled technology”, he said.

He also pointed out that the Government has been able to speed up the execution of various projects using the techniques of geo-tagging and information science and increasingly fill the gap between schemes and beneficiaries with the help of real time monitoring systems.

He claimed that the Government was continuing its efforts to guarantee ease of doing science and efficiently use information technology to reduce’red tape’ and said water governance might be a new frontier of research with the Government starting a programme on water called Jal Jeevan mission.

There is, he said, a need to develop cheaper and more effective technologies for water recycling and reuse, create scientific solutions for using domestic wastewater in agriculture, create high-quality seeds which required lesser quantity of water, and generate technologies to make the optimal use of the information in soil health cards.

Besides, he called for research to find alternatives to single-use plastic and to extract and recycle metals from electronic waste and said the technology that could be developed could be then transferred to medium, small and micro-enterprises. “Lot of opportunities are available to set up startups devoted to promoting the notion of green, circular and sustainable market in villages. Household wastes and agricultural residue are creating the problem of contamination in villages. We have to come out with methods to convert them. We want to reduce the import of crude oil by at least 10 per cent.

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