TOPIC: General Studies 2:
- Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation
National Population Register (NPR) : Census will be conducted in 2021
- The Union Cabinet approved a proposal to conduct Census 2021 and update the National Population Register (NPR). While the Census will be conducted in 2021, the NPR update will take place from April to September 2020 in all the States/UTs except Assam.
- According to the sources, the Union Cabinet has approved a proposal of the Home Ministry to spend Rs 8,754 crore for the Census 2021 and Rs 3,941 crore for updating the NPR.
- The NPR is a register of usual residents of the country.
- It is mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR.
- It includes both Indian citizens as well as a foreign citizen.
- To create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country.
- The first National Population Register was prepared in 2010 and updating this data was done during 2015 by conducting door to door survey.
- The next update of the NPR will take place next year from April to September with the House listing phase of the Census 2021.
- 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.
- According to the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003, a usual resident is 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 Census is the enumeration of the population of the country It is being conducted at an interval of 10 years.
- Census 2021 will be 16th census in the country since the first census happened in 1872
- For the first time, the Census 2021 will use the Mobile App for data collection. It will also provide a facility to the public for self-enumeration.
NPR connected to NRC?
- The Citizenship Act empowers the government to compulsorily register every citizen and maintain a National Register of Indian Citizens.
- A nationwide NRC — if undertaken — would flow out of NPR.
- This does not necessarily mean that an NRC must follow NPR — no such register was compiled after the previous NPR in 2010.
- After a list of residents is created, a nationwide NRC — if it happens — could go about verifying the citizens from that list.
- Another debate has been about privacy.
- The NPR intends to collect many details of personal data on residents.
- The government position is based on two grounds. One is that every country must have a comprehensive identity database of its residents with demographic details.
- Largely to justify the collection of data such as driving licence, voter ID and PAN, is that it will ease the life of those residing in India by cutting red tape
Concerns in West Bengal and Kerala:
- These Opposition-ruled states are making a political point. Citizenship, aliens and naturalisation are subject matters listed in List 1 of the Seventh Schedule that fall exclusively under the domain of Parliament.
- Legally, the states have no say in implementing or ruling out NPR. However, given that the manpower is drawn from the states, the defiance could potentially result in a showdown.
Connecting the dots:
- Do you think NPR and NRC can create panic among the citizens?