New Delhi: The Centre has extended the task of enumeration for National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam by a month. The decision comes in the wake of the Government failing to complete the task and publish the list on July 1. (Also read: Worried Over Absence of Name From NRC Draft, Assam Youth Commits Suicide)

In a notification, the Registrar General of India said the decision has been taken as the exercise to enumerate citizens in the NRC, a list of Assam’s residents, could not be completed within the specified date of June 30. “And whereas, the said enumeration in the state of Assam could not be completed within the period specified…the Centre has considered it necessary and expedient in the public interest to complete the said enumeration in connection with the updation of the National Register of Citizens, 1951 by 31st day of July, 2019,” the notification by Registrar General of Citizen Registration Vivek Joshi read.

The first such notification had been issued in 2013 with a deadline of three years for the completion of the NRC process. There have been six extensions since.

Controversy erupted even over the draft NRC when it was published on July 30 last year over the exclusion of 40.7 lakh people. Of the total 3.29 applications, the draft NRC carried 2.9 crore names. The names of over a lakh more people were excluded in a list published last month as well.

The Supreme Court-monitored NRC exercise, aimed at identifying illegal immigrants in the state that borders Bangladesh, was carried out only in Assam.

Meanwhile, Joshi also announced that a pre-test of the Census 2021 will be carried out across the country from August 12 to September 30 this year. The reference date for the census is October 1, 2020, for Jammu and Kashmir and snow-bound areas of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, while for the rest of country is March 1, 2021.

For the first time in the 140-year history of the census in India, data is proposed to be collected through a mobile app and enumerators would be encouraged to use their own phone. The census 2021 will be the world’s largest enumeration exercise, an official said.