From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : National Population Register
Mains level : NPR, NRC, Census
The latest form of the National Population Register (NPR) appears to have retained contentious questions such as “mother tongue, place of birth of father and mother and last place of residence”.
National Population Register
- 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.
- This is carried 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.
Why NPR is under fire?
- Though NPR was first compiled in 2010 and updated in 2015, the new questions were part of a trial exercise involving 30 lakh respondents in September 2019.
- The exercise has perceived the first step toward the compilation of the National Register of Indian Citizens (NRC) according to Citizenship Rules, 2003.
Questions in NPR
- In 2020 NPR, the respondent will have to specify the “name of State and district” if the place of birth of father and mother is in India and mention the country’s name if not born here.
- The form will collect details on 14 parameters of all family members.
- The sub-heads include passport number, relationship to head of the family, whether divorced/widowed or separated, mother tongue, if non-worker, cultivator, labourer, government employee, daily wage earner among others.
- The form also has a column on Aadhar, mobile phone, Voter ID and driving license number, which are to be provided if available with the respondent.
How are NRIC and NPR related?
- Out of the NPR, a set of all usual residents of India, the government proposes to create a database of “citizens of India”.
- Thus, the “National Register of Indian Citizens” (NRIC) is a sub-set of the NPR.
- The NRIC will be prepared at the local, sub-district, district and State levels after verifying the citizenship status of the residents.
- The rules say the particulars of every family and individual found in the Population Register shall be verified and scrutinized by the Local Registrar.
How NPR is different from Census?
- The census involves a detailed questionnaire — there were 29 items to be filled up in the 2011 census.
- They are aimed at eliciting the particulars of every person, including age, sex, marital status, children, occupation, birthplace, mother tongue, religion, disability and whether they belonged to any SC or ST.
- On the other hand, the NPR collects basic demographic data and biometric particulars.
- While the census is legally backed by the Census Act, 1948, the NPR is a mechanism outlined in a set of rules framed under the Citizenship Act, 1955.