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India: Economists’ and Social Scientists’ Statement on Necessary Delinking of NPR and Census 2021

5 March

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[released via SAHMAT]

Mar 5, 2020

Economists’ and Social Scientists’ Statement on Necessary Delinking of NPR and Census 2021

We are economists and social scientists who are deeply concerned about the major implications for the Indian statistical system, of the attempt to combine data collection for the 2021 Census of India with that for the proposed National Population Register.

The Census of India, which provides a basic household and population listing based on anonymous data, is an essential requirement for the country and provides the statistical basis for all assessments of the conditions of the population and for necessary social and economic policies. The Census data are also important in enabling central and state governments to exercise their basic functions and meet their responsibilities to the people. It is therefore essential to ensure that the exercise of data collection for Census 2021 is absolutely safe, comprehensive and uncontaminated by any other factors.

However, there is a real danger that the concerns around the National Population Register and the fears that are growing among substantial sections that investigators can determine whether a respondent’s citizenship is “doubtful”. This possibility has already led to widespread public distrust and suspicion about the NPR, and it is not at all clear that there are any benefits from the NPR at the present juncture. Conducting NPR along with the Census also violates Clause 15 of The Census Act 1948 that bars anyone from accessing “any book, register or record made by a census-officer in the discharge of his duty”. It also violates the provision in the same clause that “no entry in any such book, register, record or schedule shall be admissible as evidence in any civil proceeding other than a prosecution under this Act”.

We therefore demand that, in order to preserve the integrity of Census 2021, it should be completely delinked from any NPR exercise. In any case, any attempt at data collection for the NPR should be abandoned at present.

Signed:

1. A. K. Shivakumar, Economist, New Delhi

2. A. V. Jose, Economist, Thiruvananthapuram

3. Aasha Kapur Mehta, former Professor, IIPA New Delhi

4. Abhijit Mukhopadhyay, Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi

5. Abhijit Sen, Former Member, Planning Commission, New Delhi

6. Achin Chakraborty, Institute for Development Studies Kolkata

7. Achin Vanaik, former Professor, Delhi University

8. Aditya Bhattacharjea, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University

9. Ajit Karnik, Middlesex University, Dubai

10. Alex Thomas, Azim Premji University, Bengaluru

11. Amelia Correa, St Andrews’ College, Mumbai

12. Amit Basole, Azim Premji University, Bengaluru

13. Amit Bhaduri, former Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

14. Amiya Kumar Bagchi, Institute for Development Studies, Kolkata

15. Anand Chakravarti, former Professor, University of Delhi

16. Aneesh Correa, Pratham, Mumbai

17. Anil Bhatti, Professor Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

18. Anirban Mukherjee, University of Kolkata

19. Anita Banerji, University of Delhi

20. Anita Rampal, Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti, New Delhi

21. Anjana Mangalagiri, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi

22. Anjana Thampi, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonepat

23. Anup K. Sinha, former Professor, Indian Institute of Management Kolkata

24. Anuradha Chenoy, former Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

25. Arindam Banerjee, Ambedkar University Delhi

26. Arindam Dasgupta, Professor, Goa Institute of Management

27. Arjun Jayadev, Professor, Azim Premji University, Bengaluru

28. Ashima Sood, Indian School of Business, Hyderabad

29. Ashok Kotwal, Vancouver School of Economics

30. Ashwini Deshpande, Professor, Ashoka University, Sonepat

31. Atul Sood, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

32. Avinash Mishra, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

33. Awanish Kumar, St Xavier’s College, Mumbai

34. Balbir Singh Butola, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

35. Balveer Arora, Professor Emeritus, Centre for Multilevel Federalism, New Delhi

36. Balwinder Singh Tikana, Professor, University of Patiala

37. Barbara Harriss-White, Oxford University

38. Benny Kuruvilla, Focus on the Global South, New Delhi

39. Bharat Ramaswami, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi

40. Bibhas Saha, University of Durham, U.K.

41. Biswajit Dhar, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

42. C. P. Chandrasekhar, former Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University

43. Chandan Mukherjee, Professor, Ambedkar University Delhi

44. Chiranjib Sen, Azim Premji Foundation, Bengaluru

45. Chirashree Dasgupta, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

46. D. Narasimha Reddy, former Professor, University of Hyderabad

47. D. Narayana, formerly Gulati Institute of Finance and Taxation, Kerala

48. D. Raghunandan, Delhi Science Forum

49. Debabrata Pal, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

50. Debashish Bhattacharjee, Indian Institute of Management Kolkata

51. Debraj Ray, Professor, New York University, USA

52. Deepak Malghan, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore

53. Deepankar Basu, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, USA

54. Dilip Mookherjee, Boston University, USA

55. Dinesh Abrol, former Professor, NISTADS, New Delhi

56. Dipa Sinha, Ambedkar University Delhi

57. Gita Sen, former Professor, Indian Institute of Management Bengaluru

58. Guglielmo Chiudi, former Professor Sapienza University of Rome

59. Harsh Mander, Centre for Equity Studies, New Delhi

60. Hema Swaminathan, Indian Institute of Management Bengaluru

61. Himanshu, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

62. Imrana Qadeer, Distinguished Professor, Council for Social Development, New Delhi

63. Indira Chandrasekhar, Publisher, New Delhi

64. Indira Hirway, Centre for Development Alternatives, Ahmedabad

65. Indraneel Dasgupta, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata

66. Ishan Anand, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonepat

67. Ishita Mukhopadhyay, University of Kolkata

68. J. Mohan Rao, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, USA

69. Janaki Abraham, University of Delhi

70. Jayan Jose Thomas, Member, Kerala State Planning Board

71. Jayati Ghosh, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

72. Jayati Sarkar, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research Mumbai

73. Jens Lerche, University of London

74. Jesim Pais, SSER New Delhi

75. Joe Athialy, Centre for Financial Accountability, New Delhi

76. John Harriss, Professor, University of London

77. K. K. Kailash, University of Hyderabad

78. K. N. Harilal, Member State Planning Board, Kerala

79. K. Nagaraj, Professor, Indira Gandhi Institute for Development Research, Mumbai

80. K. P. Kannan, former Professor, Centre for Development Studies, Thurvananthapuram

81. K. T. Suresh, Social Analyst, New Delhi

82. K. V. Ramaswamy, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai

83. K. Velupillai, former Professor, University of Trento, Italy

84. Kalyani Raghunathan, Economist, New Delhi

85. Kamal Mitra Chenoy, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

86. Kamala Menon, Educationist, New Delhi.

87. M. Vijayabaskar, Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai

88. Madhav K. Datar, Indian Banks Association

89. Mahalaya Chatterjee, Professor, Kolkata University

90. Maitreesh Ghatak, London School of Economics

91. Malini Chakravarty, Economist, New Delhi

92. Mampi Bose, Economist, New Delhi

93. Manisha Chakrabarty, Indian Institute of Management Kolkata

94. Manisha Jain, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai

95. Manoranjan Mohanty, former Professor, University of Delhi

96. Meena Gopal, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

97. Mohan Rao, former Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

98. Mridul Eapen, Member, Kerala State Planning Board

99. Mritiunjoy Mohanty, IIM Kolkata

100. N. D. Jayaprakash, Delhi Science Forum

101. Nalini Nayak, former Professor, Delhi University

102. Nandini Manjrekar, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

103. Nandini Sundar, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University

104. Neera Chandoke, former Professor, Delhi University

105. Niladri Sekhar Dhar, ADRI, Patna

106. Nivedita Menon, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

107. P. Vijayshankar, Samaj Pragati Sahayog

108. Padmini Swaminathan, Independent Researcher, Chennai

109. Parag Waknis, Ambedkar University Delhi

110. Partha Ghosh, former Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

111. Partha Saha, Ambedkar University Delhi

112. Parthapratim Pal, Indian Institute of Management Kolkata

113. Peter de Souza, Centre for Study of Developing Societies, Delhi

114. Prabhat Patnaik, Professor Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

115. Pradipta Bandopadhyay, Indian Statistical Institute Kolkata

116. Prasenjit Bose, Economist, Kolkata

117. Praveen Jha, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

118. Protiva Kundu, Economist, New Delhi

119. Pulapre Balakrishnan, Ashoka University, Sonepat

120. Pulin Nayak, former Professor, Delhi School of Economkcs, Delhi University

121. R. Nagaraj, Indira Gandhi Institute for Development Research, Mumbai

122. R. Ramakumar, Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

123. Ragupathy Venkatachalam, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

124. Rahul Roy, Professor, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi

125. Rajendran Narayanan, Azim Premji University, Bengaluru

126. Rajesh Bhattacharya, Indian Institute of Management Kolkata

127. Rajiv Jha, University of Delhi

128. Rajni Palriwala, Delhi University

129. Rakesh Basant, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad

130. Rama Baru, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

131. Ramana Murthy, University of Hyderabad

132. Rammanohar Reddy, Editor, The India Forum

133. Ranjit Nair, independent scholar, New Delhi

134. Ratan Khasnabis, former Professor, University of Kolkata

135. Ravinder Jha, Delhi University

136. Ravinder Kaur, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi

137. Reetika Khera, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad

138. Renu Khanna, Sahaj, Vadodara

139. Ritu Dewan, former Professor, University of Mumbai

140. Ritu Priya, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

141. Rohit Azad, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

142. Roma Chatterji, University of Delhi

143. Romar Correa, Former RBI Professor of Economics, University of Mumbai

144. Ritu Menon, Publisher, New Delhi

145. Runa Sarkar, Indian Institute of Management Kolkata

146. S. Irfan Habib, former Professor, NUEPA, New Delhi

147. S. Krishnaswamy, Former Professor, Madurai Kamaraj University

148. S. Krithi, Tata Institute of Social Studies Hyderabad

149. S. Subramanian, former Professor, Madras Institute of Development Studies

150. Sachidanand Sinha, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

151. Samira Nadkarni, St Andrews’ College, Mumbai

152. Santosh Verma, Tata Institute of Social Studies, Mumbai

153. Sarmishtha Pal, University of Surrey, U.K.

154. Sashi Kumar, Asian College of Journalism, Chennai

155. Saumya Chakrabarti, Viswabharati University, Shantiniketan

156. Sebastian Morris, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad

157. Shiney Chakraborty, Institute of Social Studies Trust, New Delhi

158. Shiva Sikdar, University of Surrey, U.K.

159. Shruti Ambast, Economist, New Delhi

160. Smita Gupta, Economist, New Delhi

161. Snehashish Bhattacharya, South Asian University, New Delhi

162. Sona Mitra, Economist, New Delhi

163. Sripad Motiram, University of Massachusetts at Boston, USA

164. Stefano Zambelli, University of Trento, Italy.

165. Subhanil Chowdhury, Institute for Development Studies Kolkata

166. Subrat Das, Economist, New Delhi

167. Sudha Vasan, University of Delhi

168. Sudip Chaudhuri, Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram

169. Sudipta Bhattacharya, Viswabharati University, Shantiniketan

170. Sugata Ghosh, Brunel University, London

171. Sumangala Damodaran, Ambedkar University Delhi

172. Sumeet Gulati, University of British Columbia, Canada

173. Sumit Sarkar, former Professor, Delhi University

174. Sunanda Sen, Former Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

175. Surajit Das, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

176. Surajit Mazumdar, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

177. Sushil Khanna, former Professor, Indian Institute of Management Kolkata

178. Tanika Chakraborty, Indian Institute of Management Kolkata

179. Tanika Sarkar, former Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

180. Taposik Banerjee, Ambedkar University Delhi

181. Uma Chakravarti, former Professor, Delhi University

182. Utsa Patnaik, Professor Emerita, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

183. Vamsi Vakulabharanam, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, USA

184. Venkatesh Athreya, former Professor of Economics, Chennai

185. Vibhuti Patel, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

186. Vickram Krishna, privacy and technology expert, Mumbai

187. Vikas Rawal, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

188. Yoshifumi Usami, Tokyo University, Japan

189. Yuko Nikaido, Musashi University, Tokyo, Japan

190. Zoya Hasan, Professor Emerita, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi