Mains Paper 1: Social Issues | Population & associated issues
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: National Register of Citizens (NRC), NPR
Mains level: Measures to curb illegal immigration in border areas
- The Union government has decided to revive ambitious National Register of Indian Citizens project across country as part of drive to identify illegal immigrant.
- The Centre has decided to give a fresh impetus to the department of the National Population Register (NPR) under the Registrar General of India.
About National Population Register (NPR)
- The NPR is a Register of usual residents of the country.
- 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.
- It is mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR.
- A usual resident is defined for the purposes of NPR as a person who has resided in a local area for the past 6 months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next 6 months or more.
- The objective is to create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country. The database would contain demographic as well as biometric particulars.
Why such move?
- The division had turned almost non-functional after Aadhaar gained supremacy in the NDA government’s agenda in late 2014.
- Data for NPR was collected in 2010 along with the house-listing phase of the Census.
- However, the main task assigned to the department for the creation of the National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) had been shelved by the government.
- If a final go-ahead is given by the government, an exercise will be carried out for the creation of two databases.
- The NPR’s main task is to generate the NRIC.
- The rest will automatically become National Register of Residents or NRR. It is called a filtering process, and involves field verification as well as scrutiny of documents.
In line with NRC
- The process for the NRC has been envisaged in the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
- The NRC exercise in Assam and the subsequent releasing of the data appears to have provided a much-needed push for the NRC project.
- The idea of the NRC is being seen as a last-ditch effort to contain the influx of illegal immigrants.
- Over 40 lakh people were left out of the Assam NRC in July, and after claims and settlement, a final list will be released.
MPNIC Proposal First Moved In 2000
- The Group of Ministers’ (GoM) report after the Kargil war had suggested that the government must identify citizens and non-citizens, and both should be given different identity cards.
- Illegal migration has assumed serious proportions.
- There should be compulsory registration of citizens and non-citizens living in India which will facilitate preparation of a national register of citizens.
- All citizens should be given a Multi-Purpose National Identity Card (MPNIC) and non-citizens should be issued identity cards of a different colour and design.
- This should be introduced initially in the border districts, or maybe in a 20-kilometre border belt and extended to the hinterland progressively.