Prelims Level
Mains Level
Prelims Syllabus : Governance- Policies, Schemes Mains Syllabus : GS-II Government Policies and Interventions for Development in Various Sectors and Issues Arising out of their Design and Implementation.

Why in News?

  • The Kerala Government has recently decided to put on hold to all proceedings for updating the National Population Register (NPR).

About 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.
  • 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.
  • To create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country.

What does NPR consists of?

  • 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?

  • It comes in the backdrop of the NRC which excludes lakhs of people in Assam.
  • It intends to collect a much larger amount of personal data on residents of India.
  • There is yet no clarity on the mechanism for protection of this vast amount of data.

Significance of the 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.
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