New Delhi: Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday said that the Central government has decided that it will go ahead with its decision to implement the National Population Register (NPR), and for this, no biometric is required.

He also stated that the Union Cabinet has approved an expenditure of Rs. 8,754.23 crore for the exercise of Census of India in 2021 and Rs 3,941.35 crore for updating National Population Register (NPR).

He said that the Central Government has approved the creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff. “The officer to be appointed as Chief of Defence Staff will be a four-star General and will also head the Department of military affairs,” he added.

He added that the Chief of Defence Staff will not exercise any military command, including over the three Service Chiefs.

Saying that the Armed forces will fall under the ambit of Dept of Military Affairs which will have appropriate expertise to manage military affairs, he said the Chief of Defence Staff will head it. “The Department of Military Affairs will have an appropriate mix of civilian and military officers,” he added.

He also said that the Chief of Defence Staff will act as Principal Military Adviser to Defence Minister on tri-services matters. “The three Chiefs will continue to advise Defence Minister on matters exclusively concerning their respective services,” he added.

He said that the Chief of Defence Staff would not be eligible to hold any Government office after demitting the office of CDS. “He will also not hold any private employment without prior approval for a period of 5 years after demitting office of CDS,” he added.

Javadekar also stated that the department of military affairs under the Chief of Defence Staff will facilitate the restructuring of military commands for optimal utilisation of resources by bringing about coordination in operations, including through the establishment of joint/ theatre commands.

The Union Minister further stated that the Chief of Defence Staff will also have a second role as he will be the permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee. “In this role, the CDS will be supported by the Integrated Defence Staff,” he added.

Javadekar stated that the Union Cabinet has decided that the National Population Register (NPR) along with the Census 2021 from April to September 2020 will be updated in all the states and union territories, except Assam.  To make the process smooth, the Union Cabinet has also granted funds to the tune of over Rs 8,500 crore for updating the NPR.

Apart from this, the Cabinet has also approved the restructuring of the Railway Board by reducing its strength from eight to five including the chairperson. It has also decided to merge its different cadres into a single Railway Management System. As per the update, the Indian Railways will now have only one cadre Indian Railway Service.