The Basics: What is the National Population Register(NPR)?

People belong to the nation. Does the nation belong to them? Image- The New Leam Staff

Amid the nationwide Anti-CAA and NRC protests, the Union Cabinet  has approved funds to the tune of over Rs 8,500 crore for updating the National Population Register(NPR) and indicated by the officials.

The countrywide NPR project would begin from April, 2020. The National Population Register(NPR)is primarily a list of “usual residents”of the country. The updating of this data began in 2015 by conducting a door to door campaign survey.The process of digitalisation of the information gathered has been completed.

It has now been decided that the National Population Register along with the house-listing phased of Census 2021 from April to September 2020 across all the states and union territories, except for Assam.

What exactly does the NPR entail?

The National Population Register is a register of the “usual residents”of the country. It is being prepared at the local (village and sub-town), sub-district, district, state and national level under the provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship(Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards)Rules,2003. It is compulsory for every usual resident living in India to register her/his name in the NPR. Under the NPR, a usual resident of the country will be defined as a person who has resided in a local area for the art six months or more or has intentions of staying in that area for the coming six months and more.

What purpose will the NPR serve?

The purpose of the National Population Register is to create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident of the country. The database would comprise of demographic as well as biometric particulars.  Details collected from the usual residents would fall under various categories such as-

  1. Aadhaar(sharing of Aadhaar is voluntary in view of the Supreme Court’s ruling in this context)
  2. Mobile Number
  3. PAN
  4. Driving license
  5. Voter ID details
  6. Indian passport numbers

What are the details that the NPR would comprise of?

The details that the NPR would comprise of would be-

  1. Name of person
  2. Relationship to head of the household
  3. Father’s name
  4. Mother’s name
  5. Spouse’s name(if married)
  6. Sex
  7. Date of birth
  8. Marital status
  9. Place of birth
  10.     Nationality(as declared)
  11.     Present address of usual residence
  12.     Duration of stay at present address
  13.     Permanent residential address
  14.     Occupation/Activity 
  15.     Educational Qualification

What is the current status of the NPR?

The data for the NPR was collected in 201o during the collection of data for the Census of India 2011. The data for the NPR was updated in 2015 through a door to door survey that was conducted across the length and breadth of the country. The digitalisation of the updated information has been completed. The NPR data is now to be updated along with the house-listing  phase of Census 2021 (to be conducted between April-September 2020)across all Indian states and non territories except for Assam. A gazette notification for this has already been published by the central government.

Why does the NPR leave out Assam?

It has been decided by the government to leave out Assam from the ambit of NPR for the time being because Assam recently underwent the NRC exercise undertaken to identify and detain illegal immigrant and detain them irrespective of their religious affiliations. There are many concerns around the fact that it could leave out people arbitrarily.

How can NPR data be accessed?

The data collected under the NPR will not be put in the public domain and will apparently remain under a secure database. It will be accessible to the designated user through a confidential password  and protocols. The government has announced that it would use the data to enhance the targeting of beneficiary oriented schemes and will be helpful to enhance internal security.


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