National Population Register

  Aug 06, 2020

National Population Register

Why in news?

The Union Cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal to conduct Census 2021 and update the National Population Register (NPR). While the Census will be conducted in 2021, the NPR update will take place from April to September 2020 in all the States/UTs except Assam.

 According to sources, the Union Cabinet has approved a proposal of the Home Ministry to spend Rs 8,754 crore for the Census 2021 and Rs 3,941 crore for updating the NPR.

What is NPR?

The NPR exercise aims to create a comprehensive identity database by collecting biometric and demographic details of every “usual resident” of India. It is mandatory for every usual resident of country to register in NPR. The NPR database would contain demographic as well as biometric details.

It will be conducted by the Office of the Registrar General of India (RGI) under the Home Ministry.

Who is a “Usual Resident”?

A ‘usual resident’ is defined as a person who has resided in an area for past 6 months or more, or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next 6 months or more. 

When was the last NPR conducted?

The NPR was last updated in 2010 and 2015. The data for the National Population Register was collected in 2010 along with house-listing phase of 2011 Census of India. 

What is the legal backing for the NPR?

The NPR is being prepared under provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003. It is mandatory for every “usual resident of India” to register in the NPR.

What is the scope of NPR?

NPR will be prepared at National, State, District, Sub-District and local (Village or Sub-Town) level under provisions of Citizenship Act 1955 and Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003. 

What are the details required for NPR?

The demographic details of every individual are required for every usual resident on 21 points which includes ‘date and place of birth of parents’, last place of residence, Permanent Account Number (PAN), Aadhar (on a voluntary basis), Voter ID card number, Driving License Number and Mobile Number.

In the last NPR done in 2010, the data was collected on the 15 points and it did not include ‘date and place of birth of parents’ and last place of residence. 

When will the next NPR exercise be conducted?

NPR will be updated along with house-listing phase of Census 2021 from April 2020 to September 2020 in all States/Union Territories, except Assam. 

What are the advantages of having NPR?

Note- ‘One Identity Card’ seeks to replace duplicate and siloed documentations of Aadhaar card, voter ID card, banking card, passport, and more. 

What is the privacy concern regarding it?

There is no clarity on the mechanism for protection of the vast amount of data that will be collected through NPR. 

What is the difference between NPR and NRC?

The NPR is different from the National Register of Citizens which excludes the foreign citizens.

According to the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, notified on December 10, 2003, a Population Register is ‘the register containing details of persons usually residing in a village or rural area or town or ward or demarcated area (demarcated by the Registrar General of Citizen Registration) within a ward in a town or urban area. Whereas, the ‘National Register of Indian Citizens’ is a register containing details of Indian Citizens living in India and outside India.

The rules further say that ‘National Register of Indian Citizens’ shall contain the particulars of every citizen i.e. Name; Father’s name; Mother’s name; Sex; Date of birth; Place of birth; Residential address (present and permanent); Marital status and if ever married, name of the spouse; Visible identification mark; Date of registration of Citizen; Serial number of registration; and National Identity Number. 

What is the link between NPR and NRC?

Unlike the NRC, the NPR is not a citizenship enumeration drive, as it would record even a foreigner staying in a locality for more than six months.

With the government insisting that the NRC would be implemented across the country, the NPR has raised anxieties around the idea of citizenship in the country.