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July 14, 2024
Opinion Politics

Government to prepare ‘National Population Register’ by September 2020 to lay foundation for #PanIndiaNRC

The Union government has decided to prepare a National Population Register (NPR) by September 2020 to lay the foundation for rolling out a citizens register across the Nation. It will be a list of usual residents of the country. After the formation of the 17th Lok Sabha, The move came over a month after President Ram Nath Kovind had unveiled the Prime Minister Narendra Modi 2.0 government’s priorities ahead. “The government has decided to implement the process of National Register of Citizens on priority basis in areas affected by infiltration,” The president asserted in his customary address on June 20.

According to a notification issued by Vivek Joshi, Registrar General of Citizen Registration and Census Commissioner, “The field work 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,” The notification mentioned.

In pursuance of sub-rule(4) of rule 3 of the Citizenship, The Union government hereby decides to prepare and update the Population Register… The primary goal of the NPR is to create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country. The database would contain demographic as well as biometric particulars. The reason for excluding Assam is because of the ongoing exercise of NRC in the state. When the draft NRC was published in Assam on July 30 2018, there was a huge controversy over the exclusion of 40.7 lakh people from it.

In other words, The major goal of creating such identity database is to help in better utilization and implementation of the benefits and services under the governmental schemes, it also helps to improve planning and security in the Nation. Hence, The Union Government of India has initiated the creation of this database, by collecting specific information of all usual residents in the country during the House listing and Housing Census phase of Census 2011.

“Once the NPR is completed and published, it is expected to be the basis for preparing the National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC), a pan-India version of Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC)”. For the purpose of NPR, a usual resident is defined as a person who has resided in a local area for past 6 months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next 6 months or more. It is being 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 statement asserted.

As per Section 14A of the Citizenship Act 1955 as amended in 2004 remarked that, it is compulsory for every citizen of the country to register in the National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC). The creation of the NPR is the first step towards preparation of the NRIC. Out of the universal dataset of residents, the subset of citizens would be derived after due verification of the citizenship status. Therefore, it is compulsory for all usual residents to register under the NPR.

Following the official record, There are various activities being performed under the NPR Project. For instance, house listing by enumerator, scanning of NPR schedules, data digitization, biometric enrolment and consolidation, LRUR correction and validation, duplication by UIDAI and issuance of Aadhar number, and consolidation of cleansed data at ORGI. Also, There is a proposal to issue Resident Identity Cards to all usual residents in the NPR of 18 years of age and above is under consideration of the Government. This proposed Identity Card would be a smart card and would bear the Aadhar number. 

Several government agencies are working towards the creation of this National Population Register. The draft included the names of 2.9 crore people of the 3.29 crore applicants. In addition to those excluded, the names of over a lakh people were left out in a list published last month. The final list of the NRC in Assam will be published on August 31. While the data for National Population Register was collected in 2010 alongwith the houselisting 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 is in process.

Author: (Trilok Singh, CEO at Youth Darpan MediaIASmind.com & India’s Journal). Currently Studies Master’s in Journalism at International School of Media and Entertainment Studies (ISOMES)-News 24. MA in Political Science from Kirori Mal College, DU. First published at YD blog.

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