Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging that the NPR updation be postponed due to COVID- 19 crisis.

  • Significance of state in NPR exercise:It is the state governments that provide manpower for the Census exercise, with school- teachers enlisted as enumerators. They go door to door and seek information on family members in each household.
  • Concerns
    • Practical difficulties: some states had not been able to complete the NPR and Houselisting Census training for enumerators due to COVID-19. 
  • No time left: It was 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. 

About NPR

  • Rule 2(l) of Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003 define Population Register as - "Population Register means the 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;"
  • It is a register of residents of the country with demographic and biometric details.
  • The NPR is being prepared under provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003
  • Objective of the NPR is to create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country. The database would contain demographic as well as biometric particulars.
  • Getting entered in the NPR is mandatory for all residents irrespective of whether they are Indian or foreign nationals.
  • The particulars of every family and individual found in the Population Register shall be verified and scrutinized by the Local Registrar.
  • Once the basic details of the head of the family are taken by the enumerator, an acknowledgement slip will be issued. This slip may be required for enrolment in NPR.
  • And, once the details are recorded in every local (village or ward), sub-district (tehsil or taluk), district and State level, there will be a population register at each of these levels. Together, they constitute the National Population Register.
  • In the process, details of those “whose citizenship is doubtful” will be entered with a comment suggesting further inquiry. 
  • The RGI (Registrar General of India (RGI) under the Home Ministry) has already begun a pilot project in over 1,200 villages and 40 towns and cities through 5,218 enumeration blocks, where it is collecting various data from people. Digitisation of the updated information has been completed.

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Government To Postpone Census And NPR Exercise (Summary)