National Population Register (NPR)
Part of: GS Prelims and GS II – Citizenship
- According to a Union Home Ministry manual, migrants belonging to six non-Muslim minority communities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, while applying for long-term visas (LTVs), can also produce National Population Register (NPR) enrolment slips as proof of the duration of their stay in India.
- The NPR number is part of an illustrative list of more than 10 documents that could be provided to apply for an LTV, which is a precursor to acquiring Indian citizenship either by naturalisation or registration under Section 5 and 6 of the Citizenship Act, 1955, for the six Non-Muslim communities
- These communities are: Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, Christians and Buddhists
- The special provision of LTVs for Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan and Afghanistan was first made in 2011.
- It was also asserted that the awareness drive is not related to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA), which is intended to benefit undocumented migrants from the six groups who entered India before the 2014 cut-off date.
- The CAA is yet to be implemented.
- The NPR was first compiled in 2010 simultaneously with the decadal Census exercise and later updated in 2015.
- It already has a database of 119 crore residents.
- The NPR is a register of usual residents linked with location particulars down to the village level.
- It is updated periodically “to incorporate the changes due to birth, death and migration”.
- The next phase of the NPR, expected to include contentious questions on date and place of birth of father and mother, last place of residence and mother tongue, was to be simultaneously updated with the 2021 House Listing and Housing Census that has been indefinitely postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.