The Union cabinet on Tuesday (December 24) approved a proposal to update the National Population Register (NPR), an exercise that will cost over ₹3,941.35 crore. The updating exercise will begin from April next year.
No documents or bio-metric information will be sought for the process, Information and Broadcast Minister Prakash Javadekar said while briefing reporters about the decision of the cabinet. “It is self declaration, no document, no bio-metric is required for it,” he said. He said the cabinet has approved ₹8,754.23 crore for Census 2021 and ₹3,941.35 crore for NPR.
Data for the NPR, which is a list of “usual residents” of the country, was last collected in 2010 along with the house-listing phase of Census of India 2011. The data was updated in 2015 by conducting door-to-door survey.
A “usual resident” is defined for the purposes of NPR as a person who has resided in a local area at least for the past six months or a person who intends to reside there for the next six months or more.
The digitisation of the updated information has been completed. Now it has been decided to update the NPR along with the house-listing phase of Census 2021 during April to September 2020 in all the states/union territories except Assam, according to the website of the Office of the Registrar General, and Census Commissioner.
A gazette notification to this effect was issued in August this year.
The NPR will be 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 objective 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 governments of West Bengal and Kerala have stopped the NPR exercise in protest against the amended Citizenship Act.
(With inputs from agencies)