The NPR has nothing to do with NRC

The Union government has approved the National Population Register (NPR) in recently held cabinet meeting. It will be implemented from next year. In this, a register will be prepared on basis of data collected from each household in the country. This is completely different from NRC.

In this, the names of people living in every village, city and states in the country will be recorded in a register. If a person has been living in the local area for six months or more, then he should register himself in the NPR.

NPR can also be called census work in other words. The Government of India had undertaken similar process of preparing a house-to-house list for Census 2011 during April 2010 to September 2010. Information will be kept in the National Population Register for every citizen. It is prepared at the local, sub-district, district, state and national levels under the provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955.

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The populations register means that it will include details of people living in a demarcated area of a village or rural area or town or ward or any ward or urban area. There is a lot of confusion in the country about how the Population Register (PR), National Population Register (NPR), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC). But NPR and NRC are completely different and it can only be linked to the census.

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The entire exercise of National Population Register is divided in three parts. The first phase will be held from April 1, 2020 to September 30, during this the central and state government employees will go door-to-door to gather data. The second phase will be completed between 9 February and 28 February 2021. In the third phase, the amendment can be done in the collected data and will be held from 1 March to 5 March.

The first census was done in 1951 after independence. The census is to be held in every 10 years and till now it has been done 7 times after independence. Currently the data of 2011 census is available and work is going on the 2021 census.

The National Population Register (NPR) aims to:

  • The benefits given under government schemes should reach the right person and the person can be identified.
  • The National Population Register (NPR) can improve the security of the country and help in preventing terrorist activities.
  • All the citizens of the country can be linked together.

The National Register of Indian Citizens will have details of every Indian citizen and those who are living outside India. Sub-rule (3) of Rule 4 states: For the preparation of the local register of Indian citizens and to include people in it, the details of every family and person in the population register shall be verified and examined by the local registrar.

Subsection (4) of Rule 4 of the 2003 Rule makes it very clear what will happen in this verification and investigation process: ‘The details of the people whose citizenship will be suspected during the verification process will be sent to local registrar for further investigation and appropriate comment. Such people and their families will be kept in a prescribed pro-forma immediately after the verification process is over.

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