On Tuesday, the central government approved funding of Rs 3,900 crores for updating the National Population Register (NPR).
According to the authorities, the NPR will create a comprehensive identity database for every “usual resident”. A “usual resident” is defined as anyone who has lived in an area for the past six months or plans to live in an area for the next six months or more. As per this definition, any foreigner who has been living in an area for half a year will be counted inthe next year’s NPR. As per the law, every citizen of India needs to be registered under NPR and will be given an identity card.
NPR is usually conducted a year before the census; hence, it will be conducted next year as Census will take place in 2021. NRP was last conducted in 2010 and updated in 2015.
In light of the CAA-NRC Controversy, many critics have claimed that NPR will be the first step towards NRC, something the government has denied. According to Prakash Javadekar, the Cabinet Minister for Information and Broadcasting, “NPR will have nothing to do with NRC”. Similar words were echoed by Home Minister Amit Shah last evening during a television interview.
While the NPR is a database of residents in India, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), like the name suggests, is a database of Indian citizens. While NRC demands proofs of citizenship and contains a risk of deportation for those who fail to produce them, NPR needs no such document.
The government is predicted to spend another Rs 8754 crore for the National Consensus 2021. The process of NPR and National Consensus will start in 2020 and is expected to end by 2021.