Context: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Nityanand Rai said that population register is a register that contains details of persons usually residing in a village or rural area or town or ward or demarcated area within a ward in a town or urban area.


He further said that “No document to be collected during the exercise of updation of NPR and the respondents are supposed to provide information true to best of their knowledge and belief.”

What do you need to know about NPR?

NPR or The National Population Register is a Register of usual residents of the country. “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.”

It is being prepared at the local (Village/sub-Town), sub-DistrictDistrictState and National level under provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.

The process of updating NPR will be carried out under the aegis of the Registrar General and ex-Officio Census Commissioner, India.

It is mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR

OBJECTIVE: To create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country. The database would contain demographic as well as biometric particulars.

PRESENT STATUS: The data for National Population Register was collected in 2010 along with the houselisting phase of Census of India 2011. This data was updated during 2015 by conducting door to door survey. Further digitisation of the updated information has now been completed. 

Now it has been decided to update the National Population Register along with the Houselisting phase of Census 2021 during April to September 2020 in all the States/UTs except Assam

INFORMATION TO BE COLLECTED: The database would contain demographic particulars such as:

  • Name
  • Relationship to head of household
  • Father’s name
  • Mother’s name
  • Spouse’s name (if married)
  • Sex
  • Date of birth
  • Marital status
  • Place of birth
  • Nationality (as declared)
  • Present address of usual residence
  • Duration of stay at present address
  • Permanent residential address
  • Occupation
  • Educational qualification

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: During the NPR, a respondent will not require to produce any document and will be self-attested, i.e., whatever information is provided by the respondent will be deemed correct and no documents or biometric would be required.

NPR Vs CENSUS: The decennial census is the largest single source of a variety of statistical information on different characteristics of the people of India. While NPR only contains demographic information, more details are required for census like information on demographyeconomic activityliteracy and education, and housing and household amenities besides others. Further, The census is the basis for reviewing the country’s progress in the past decade, monitoring the ongoing schemes of the government and plan for the future. 

  • The census, 2021 will be done in two phases. In the first phase, the work of house-listing or housing census will be conducted from April to September 2020. In the second phase, the enumeration of the population will be done from February 9 to February 28, 2021, with reference moment as 00:00 hours of March 1, 2021.

NPR Vs NRC: While National Population Register is a database of people living in India, citizens or not, but National Resgiter of Citizens (NRC) is a database of Indian citizens which demands proof of citizenship from the respondents. Unlike NPR, those who found in want of the proof may face deportation or detention in long run. But in NPR, there is no need to provide any document.

ANY CITIZENSHIP LOSS?: It is possible that some names will be missed in the NPR, still their citizenship will not be revoked because this is not the process of NRC which is a different process.

WHY NPR if we have CENSUS?:  The NPR data will help to identify the demographics of actual residents who will be direct beneficiaries of any schemes launched in the area. To understand better, consider the example: “A majority of permanent residents of an industrial town in Maharashtra may be Marathi speaking, but the majority of current residents may consist of Hindu speaking people from various parts of the country.” Thus, the NPR data will help government design and adapt schemes like Ayushman Bharat, Jandhan Yojna, or medium of instruction in schools according to the current demographics, thus making the schemes more effective.

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