National Population Register NPR

The National Population Register

(NPR) would be implemented according to the 2010 format.

What is the NPR?

1. It is a database of usual residents in the country who have stayed in a local area for six months or more and intend to remain in the same place for the next six months or more. Its objective is to have a comprehensive identity database of people residing in the country. It is individual and identity specific, unlike the Census which only provides information on the status of the residents of India and population swings. The NPR is undertaken under provisions of

a) The Citizenship Act, 1955

b) The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.

 The data collection is done under the aegis of the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India.

When was it created?

1. NPR was first created in 2010 and was last updated in 2015-16 except in states of Assam and Meghalaya. The electronic database of more than 119 crore usual residents of the country has already been created under the NPR in English as well as the regional languages.

How is the NPR linked to NRC?

1. The Citizenship Rules, 2003 mandates that particulars of every family and individual in the NPR would be used for verification in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) process.

National Register of Citizens (NRC)

i) It is a registry maintained by the Government of India containing names and certain relevant information for the identification of genuine Indian citizens in the state of Assam.

ii) The register was specifically made for Assam.

 The Local Registrar is empowered to mark out the particulars of individuals whose citizenship is doubtful during verification with ‘appropriate remarks’ for further inquiry.  The individual concerned has to then appear before the Sub-district or Taluk Registrar of Citizen Registration to prove he or she is a citizen. So the data collected through NPR becomes the crux for determining the citizenship of a person.

Why is it being opposed?

The NPR 2020 includes certain new identity particulars such as

a) disclosure of the mother tongue

b) disclosure of the districts and States of their parents’ birth.

 As NPR is seen as a facilitator for the NRC, these provisions are being opposed. The NPR data is expected to be used to target citizens on the basis of their identity and deprive them of their citizenship.

Where the challenges lie?

1. The workforce for updation of NPR 2020 has to be provided by the State governments. But with opposition from states, the exercise may reach a deadlock. Widespread doubts about the intentions behind the NPR may also affect the smooth conduct of the Census.

Source- Indian Express