National Population Register

The National Population Register updation exercise, to be undertaken alongside Census 2021, will for the first time collect several particulars such as Aadhaar, mobile number, PAN, driving licence and voter ID details and Indian passport numbers from all usual residents of India.

A usual resident is defined, for the purposes of NPR, as a person who has resided in a local area for the past six months or more or someone who intends to reside in that area for the next six months or more. The NPR, with the stated objective to create a comprehensive identity database of such residents, was first prepared in 2011 followed by an updation in 2015 when Aadhaar, mobile numbers and ration card details were collected. For the first time now, NPR database will additionally have PAN, driving licence, voter ID and passport information.

While a passport can be issued at any age, the minimum age for issuance of Aadhaar number, which records biometric details, is 5 years. All other documents whose details are to be collected for NPR are issued to those aged 18 years or above.

Sharing of Aadhaar number will be voluntary in view of the Supreme Court’s ruling in this regard.

Other details being sought such as PAN, driving licence, voter ID and passport number are all part of various government-held databases and sharing with the census authorities will not involve privacy concerns, official sources said.

According to an official, NPR data would not be put in public domain but would remain a secure database accessible to the relevant user through password-protected protocols. It will be used by the government to enhance targeting of beneficiary-oriented schemes and will have implications on improving internal security.

Identification of particulars such as Aadhaar number, mobile number, PAN, driving licence, voter ID and passport can be uploaded on the Census Management & Monitoring Portal by residents themselves, using the mobile number furnished by them as part of the house-listing process.

The mobile number will be good to enter details for members of the entire household. The options being discussed include allowing residents to self-upload details, say a month before the NPR process begins, for which they will be allotted a unique file number. This file number can be quoted to the enumerator, who will refrain from collecting specified identification particulars.

Passport details of only Indian passport holders will be collected. While Citizenship Act and rules relating to NPR provide for exercise to be followed by preparation of National Register of Indian Citizens, sources said no decision has been taken by government.

But, should an NRIC exercise be undertaken, people who furnished details of Indian passports during National Population Register process will automatically be counted as citizens.

Among details to be collected during National Population Register exercise are name, sex, father’s name, mother’s name, spouse’s name (if married), date of birth, occupation, qualifications, present and permanent address.

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