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NPR 2019 vs NPR 2010: Key difference that rings alarm bells

Many see NPR as the first step towards preparation of NRC and there have been also calls for its boycott

Wednesday December 25, 2019 3:24 PM, ummid.com News Network

NPR 2010 vs NPR 2019

New Delhi: The Narendra Modi cabinet Tuesday gave its nod to National Population Register (NPR) amidst widespread protests over National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA).

As per the proposal, the exercise to update NPR would be held between April and September 2020 in all states and Union Territories. The NPR was last conducted in 2010 before the 2011 Census.

NPR is a register of usual residents of the country. It is being prepared at the local (village/sub-town), subdistrict, 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.

Soon after the cabinet gives its nod to NPR, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said NPR and NRC are not linked. However many see the process as the first step towards preparation of NRC and there have been also calls for its boycott.

Chief Ministers of West Bengal and Kerala have already announced that they will not proceed with the NPR in their states. Appeals are issued to other states, especially to 12 CMs who have opposed the implementation of NRC, to boycott NPR as well.

Why states are boycotting NPR?

Those opposing NPR 2019 raise concern over the question that deals with the birth places of father and mother both. Under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, for people born after 1987, at least one parent must be a citizen.

However, the National Population Register (NPR) announced by Modi government requires people to declare "date and place of birth of both parents" for the first time. This data was not collected for the NPR in 2010, many have pointed out.

"It is very clear that NPR will lay the foundation for the NRC. At least 12 CMs have said no to the NRC. Kerala & West Bengal CMs have decided to not proceed on NPR as well. We appeal to all CMs, who have opposed NRC, to ensure that the NPR exercise is abandoned in their states", CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechuri said.

21 Point NPR

The 2019 NPR will have 21 questions as against 15 in NPR 2010.

"Govt has decided to update National Population Register (NPR) with a sanction of ₹8,500 crores. NPR will require people to declare date & place of birth of parents and furnishing of data on 21 other points. Most of this data was not collected in the last NPR exercise in 2010", Yechuri said.

The additional 06 points in NPR 2019 are last place of residence, passport number, Aadhaar ID, Voter ID card number, drivers' license number and mobile phone number, which were not asked before.

Are NPR and NRC Linked?

Critics are citing statements by some ministers who had earlier said "NPR is the first step of NRC".

"Minister of State for Home Kiren Rejiju had also told Parliament on November 26, 2014 that NPR is the first step towards NRC", AIMIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi said while requesting Telangana CM KCR to stay NPR work in the state.

Explaining the link between NPR and NRC, Owaisi said under NPR even a low-rank official could write a remark that the information provided by a household is doubtful and depending on this such names will be deleted from NRC.

The government however downplayed all these concern and said NPR and NRC are not linked.

"NPR is the register of population on the basis of which schemes are made. NRC asks people on what basis they are the citizens of the country. The two processes are not linked. The NPR data cannot be used for NRC," Union Home Minister Amit Shah told media.

Union minister Prakash Javadekar said, "No proof or document to be given to anyone during the process. Whatever you will say would be correct."

"All states will use NPR data," said the minister adding that no biometrics will be required and it will apply to all Indian citizens.

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