for updating National Population Register (NPR). The process shall commence from April next year and will be completed by September.
NPR was first done in 2010 and was later updated in 2015 when it was linked with the Aadhar. But since the announcement of the NPR update has come in the middle of a raging controversy on the National Register of Citizens (NRC), there is widespread confusion between the two. Many have also confused the National Population Register with Census, which is also due.
So what is National Population Register and how is it different from NRC or Census? Let’s have a look:
WHAT IS NPR
The NPR is a register of the usual residents of the country. It contains information collected at the local (village/sub-town), subdistrict, 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.
WHO IS USUAL RESIDENT OF INDIA
A usual resident is defined, for the purposes of the NPR, as a person who has resided in a local area for the past six months or more, or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next six months.
The law compulsorily seeks to register every citizen of India and issue a national identity card.
WHO WILL CONDUCT NPR
The process of updating NPR will be carried out under the aegis of the Registrar General and ex-Officio Census Commissioner, India.
WHAT INFORMATION WILL BE COLLECTED UNDER NPR
The objective of the NPR is to create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country. The database would contain demographic particulars such as:
Relationship to head of household
Spouse’s name (if married)
Date of birth
Place of birth
Nationality (as declared)
Present address of usual residence
Duration of stay at present address
Permanent residential address
WHAT DOCUMENTS DO YOU NEED TO PRODUCE FOR NPR
During the NPR, a respondent will not require to produce any document. As per a statement was given by Home Minister Amit Shah to news agency ANI, NPR information will be self-attested, that is, whatever information is provided by the respondent will be deemed correct and no documents or biometric would be required.
WHEN AND WHERE NPR WILL BE CONDUCTED
The process of collecting information for NPR will start in April 2020 and will be completed by September. NPR will be conducted across India, except Assam as the state has already gone through the National Register of Citizens. Gazette notification for the forthcoming NPR has been published by the central government in August.
HOW IS NPR DIFFERENT THAN CENSUS
While the process of NPR and Census will begin simultaneously, the two databases are not same.
The decennial census is the largest single source of a variety of statistical information on different characteristics of the people of India.
While NPR only contains demographic information, more details are required for census like information on demography, economic activity, literacy and education, and housing and household amenities besides others.
The census is the basis for reviewing the country’s progress in the past decade, monitoring the ongoing schemes of the government and plan for the future.
A census official collects details from village residents during Census 2011. REUTERS
The census provides detailed and authentic information on demography, economic activity, literacy and education, housing and household amenities, urbanisation, fertility and mortality, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, language, religion, migration, disability besides others.
The enumerators also collect data related to cultivators and agricultural labourers, their sex, occupational classification of workers in the non-households industry, trade, business, profession or service by class of worker and sex.
There will be a detailed survey on gender and literacy rate, a number of towns, slum households and their population.
Information is also collected on sources of potable water, energy, irrigation, method of farming, whether a house is a concrete, thatched or others.
The census, 2021 will be done in two phases. In the first phase, the work of house-listing or housing census will be conducted from April to September 2020. In the second phase, the enumeration of the population will be done from February 9 to February 28, 2021, with reference moment as 00:00 hours of March 1, 2021.
For snow-bound areas in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the reference date will be October 1, 2020.
With a history of more than 130 years, this reliable, time tested exercise has been bringing out a veritable wealth of statistics every 10 years, beginning from 1872 when the first census was conducted in India non-synchronously in different parts.
HOW IS NPR DIFFERENT THAN NRC
National Population Register is a database of people living in India, citizens or not, but National Resgiter of Citizens is a database of Indian citizens. The NRC process demands proof of citizenship from the respondents. Those who found in wnat of the proof may face deportation or detention in long run. But in NPR, there is no need to provide any document.
“It is possible that some names are missed in the NPR, still their citizenship will not be revoked because this is not the process of NRC. The NRC is a different process. I want to make it clear that nobody will lose citizenship because of NPR,” Amit Shah said.
Home Minister Amit Shah to ANI: It is possible that some names are missed in the NPR, still their citizenship will not be revoked because this is not the process of NRC. The NRC is a different process. I want to make it clear that nobody will lose citizenship because of NPR.
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The home minister’s statement came amid controversy that NPR was the first step towards NRC. Several opposition leaders requested CMs to boycott the NPR process to avoid NRC. But the home minister has claimed that the two are not linked in any way.
The home ministry officials have also said that there is no plan to use data collected during NPR to form the basis of NRC.
WHAT IS THE USE OF NPR
The question remains that if the government has Census than why does it need NPR.
The officials say that NPR data helps identify the demographics of actual residents who will be direct beneficiaries of any schemes launched in the area.
For example, a majority of permanent residents of an industrial town in Gujarat may be Gujarati speaking, but the majority of current residents may consist of Hindu speaking people from various parts of the country. The NPR data will help government design and adapt schemes like Ayushman Bharat, Jandhan Yojna, or medium of instruction in schools as per the current demographics, thus making the schemes more effective