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politics | IST

What is the National Population Register?

The National Population Register is part of the agenda in today's Union cabinet meeting. Under the NPR, a census will be conducted from house to house across the country from April 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020.

The National Population Register is part of the agenda in today's Union cabinet meeting. Under the NPR, a census will be conducted from house to house across the country from April 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020. The Union Cabinet is likely to consider a proposal to allocate funds for the NPR updation, PTI reported, citing sources. NPR's aim is to create a database of the comprehensive identity of common residents of the country.
Home minister Amit Shah in September said that the government plans to use a mobile application to collect Census and NPR data. "This is for the first time that the mobile app will be used for the census exercise. India will be moving from the pen and paper census to digital data, which will be a big revolution in the country's census exercise," he had said.
Here are the key things to know about the National Population Register:
*
The NPR is a list of "usual residents" of the country defined as a person who has resided in a local area for the past six months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next six months or more.
* The NPR data was last collected in 2010 under the Manmohan Singh government along with the house listing phase of Census of India 2011. The updation of this data was done during 2015 by conducting door to door survey. The digitisation of the updated information has been completed.
* Any resident residing in any area in the country for six months or more is required to register with the NPR.
* The government has now decided to update the NPR along with the Houselisting phase of Census 2021 during April to September 2020 in all the states/UTs except Assam, according to the website of the Office of the Registrar General, and Census Commissioner.
* A gazette notification to this effect was issued in August this year.
* "In pursuance of sub-rule(4) of rule 3 of the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003, the central government hereby decides to prepare and update the Population Register.... ...and the fieldwork for house to house enumeration throughout the country except Assam for collection of information relating to all persons who are usually residing within the jurisdiction of Local Registrar shall be undertaken between the 1st day of April, 2020 to 30th September, 2020," said the notification.
* The NPR will be prepared at the local (village/sub-Town), sub-district, district, state and national level under provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
* The database would contain demographic as well as biometric particulars.
A key question being asked right now is whether NPR is linked to NRC?
On July 23, 2014, Kiren Rijiju who was then MoS, Home Affairs informed the parliament:
"The Government has now decided to create the National Register of Indian Citizens based on the information collected under the scheme of NPR by verifying the citizenship status of all individuals in the country."
Later, on April 21, 2015, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary, MoS Home Affairs at that time, told the parliament:
"The objective of creating a NPR is to net all usual residents of the country at a given point of time. This would serve as the mother database for creating the National Register of Indian Citizens."
(With inputs from agencies)