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National Population Register (NPR) : The Union Government to conduct Census 2021 and update the National Population Register

  • IASbaba
  • December 28, 2019
  • 0
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POLITY

TOPIC: General Studies 2:

  • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

National Population Register (NPR) : The Union Government to conduct Census 2021 and update the National Population Register

  • The Union Cabinet recently approved a proposal to conduct Census 2021 and update the National Population Register (NPR) in all the States/UTs except Assam. 
  • To spend Rs 8,754 crore for the Census 2021 and Rs 3,941 crore for updating the NPR.
Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 28th December 2019

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 28th December 2019

SRC: ET

National Population Register (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. 

The objective of the NPR:

  • 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.
  • Also essential for providing good governance

Citizenship Act:

  • 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.
  • The announcement on the NPR came amid continuing protests against the recent Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019, in many parts of the country

Concerns:

  • NRC or NPR exercise, in combination with the recently enacted Citizenship (Amendment) Act, or CAA, could lead to disenfranchisement and harassment of the poor and undocumented segments of the population was not born out of anyone’s imagination

Criticisms

  • The NRC, as it was rolled out in Assam, puts the burden of proof on citizens to establish that they are indeed citizens. The undocumented and the poor will bear the brunt of this approach. 
  • The proposed format for enumerating the NPR only exacerbates this concern and adds a third axis to the ongoing confusion and turmoil.
  • With the passage of the CAA, and the announcement of the NRIC, there is enough factual basis for doubting the government’s claim that the NPR has nothing to do with the NRIC.

Way forward:

  • If the government has a rethink on its strident position on the NRC, it must say so upfront, and at any rate desist from denigrating critics.

Conclusion:

  • The NPR is not about citizenship but only about residency. However, when additional questions such as “place of birth of father and mother”, etc are being proposed for the forthcoming exercise, the concern that this may be a prelude to the NRIC is logical.

Connecting the dots:

  • Do you think NPR creates Confusion among people?
  • Do you think NPR NRC and CAA are Inter related?

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