- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
National Population Register (NPR)
What to study?
For prelims and mains: NPR- features, composition and uses.
Context: Government has revived National Population Register project at a time when National Register of Citizens has been published in Assam. This has raised concerns among many.
What is National Population Register (NPR)?
- It is a Register of usual residents of the country.
- 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.
- It is mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR.
- Objectives: To create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country.
Who is a usual resident?
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.
- The NPR database would contain demographic as well as biometric details.
- As per the provisions of the NPR, a resident identity card (RIC)will be issued to individuals over the age of 18.
- This will be a chip-embedded smart card containing the demographic and biometric attributes of each individual.
- The UID number will also be printed on the card.
What is the controversy around it?
- Comes in the backdrop of the NRC excluding 19 lakh people in Assam.
- Even as a debate continues on Aadhaar and privacy, the NPR intends to collect a much larger amount of personal data on residents of India.
- The idea of conducting a nationwide NRC would only happen on the basis of the upcoming NPR. After a list of residents is created, a nationwide NRC could go about verifying the citizens from that list.
- There is yet no clarity on the mechanism for protection of this vast amount of data.
Why does the government want so much data?
- Every country must have a comprehensive identity database of its residents with relevant demographic details. It will help the government formulate its policies better and also aid national security.
- It will ease the life of those residing in India by cutting red tape. Not only will it help target government beneficiaries in a better way, but also further cut down paperwork and red tape in a similar manner that Aadhaar has done.
- With NPR data, residents will not have to furnish various proofs of age, address and other details in official work.
- It would also eliminate duplication in voter lists, government insists.
Sources: the Hindu.
Mains Question: Government has revived National Population Register project at a time when National Register of Citizens has been published in Assam. How are the two different? What kind of data will be collected, and why? Elucidate.