After the Narendra Modi cabinet approved funds to the tune of ₹8,700 crore for the Census and another ₹3,900 crore for updation of the National Population Register (NPR), the exercise will begin from April next year. Data for the first NPR was collected in 2010 and then updated in 2015. The same exercise will now be carried out again in 2020 along with the 2021 Census.
What is NPR:
NPR contains a list of all residents, who have lived at a locality for at least the last six months and plans to stay in that area for the next six months or more. 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, it is mandatory for every “usual resident” of India to register in the NPR.
The idea is to create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country. The database would contain demographic as well as biometric particulars.
NPR exercise will be carried out from April to September 2020 in all the states and union territories except Assam, according to the website of the Office of the Registrar General, and Census Commissioner. NPR listing will be carried out simultaneously along with the Census.
The demographic details of every individual are required for every usual resident: name, relationship to head of household, father’s name, mother’s name, spouse’s name (if married), sex, date of birth, marital status, place of birth, nationality (as declared), present address of usual residence, duration of stay at present address, permanent residential address, occupation, educational qualification.
NPR vs NRC:
Amidst the massive protests over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in different parts of India, NPR is now being confused with NRC. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar has clarified that the two are independent lists with no relationships with each other.
“NPR is a population registrar and not a citizens’ registrar. NPR has nothing to do with NRC,” Javadekar said.