NPR
Representative photo. Image credit - malayalam.news18.com

As the Centre gears up to update the National Population Register (NPR), the citizens are likely to be asked to declare the ‘date and place of birth’ of their parents during the upcoming exercise.

This was not asked in the earlier NPR.

But the new requirement holds significance in the context of the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The Centre is getting ready to update the NPR amid protests across the country over the nationwide NRC.

In Assam, the 1955 NRC was updated under the direct supervision of the Supreme Court and the final list of the NRC in the state was published on August 31, 2019, with deletion of over 19 lakh names.

According to media reports, union home ministry has approached the Union Cabinet for Rs 3,941 crore to update the NPR.

The union home ministry has sought Rs 8,754 crore for the Census 2021 and Rs 3,941 crore for updating the NPR, says a media report.

The Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is likely to approve the proposal on December 24.

“The data for NPR will be updated alongside the first phase of Census…No biometric data is being collected during the updation exercise,” the report quoted a source as saying.

Data on 21 points will be collected for updating the NPR.

The points include date and place of birth of parents, last place of residence, Permanent Account Number (PAN), Voter ID card number, driving license number, Aadhaar (on a voluntary basis) and mobile phone number.

However, in the last NPR carried out in 2010, data were collected only on 15 points.

These 15 points did not include date and place of birth of parents, last place of residence, Aadhaar ID, passport number, driving license number, Voter ID card, PAN and mobile phone number.

This time, three points of the mother’s name, father’s name and name of the spouse have been made into one point.

The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules were notified on December 10, 2003.

It is a population register “containing details of persons usually residing in a village or rural area or town or ward or demarcated area (demarcated by the Registrar General of Citizen Registration) within a ward in a town or urban area”.

The Census of India website says: “It is mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR. A usual resident is defined for the purposes of NPR as 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.”

Earlier this week, the West Bengal government stayed all activities relating to the preparation and update of the NPR in the eastern state amid the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and NRC.

On Friday, the Kerala government also said it has ordered a stay on all activities related to the updating of the NPR in the state in view of apprehensions that it would lead to the NRC amid protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019.

A statement from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said the action was taken as the NPR “deviates from Constitutional values” and also because the matter was before the Supreme Court.

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