With the nation wide protests going on against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), the Union Cabinet on December 24 approved funds of approximately Rs. 8,500 crores for updating the National Population Register (NPR).
The NPR is a list of “usual residents” of the country. It must be noted that a “usual resident” is defined as a person who has resided in a local area for the past six months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next six months or more.The data for NPR was first collected in the year 2010 and was updated in the year 2015 by conducting door to door survey.
Now, the cabinet has decided to update the NPR from April to September, 2020 in all the states and union territories, except Assam. It is for this purpose that the union cabinet has released funds.Furthermore, as decided, the NPR will be prepared at the local (village/sub-town), sub-district, district, state and national level under the provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955 and the Citizenship Rules, 2003.
Many people see it as a step closer towards the attainment of NRC which is why new protests have started taking place against NPR as well,However, according to Amit Shah, Minister of Home Affairs, “NPR is just about maintaining a database of all the citizens of India for further development of all the sections of the society.”
Furthermore, Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Information and Broadcasting confirmed has confirmed that, “All the states have already accepted to do NPR and their officers are being trained. And also, no documents or biometrics will be taken during the NPR process. Whatever people will say will be accepted.”
According to the rules, it is mandatory for every ‘usual resident’ of India to register in the NPR in order to create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country.