A Bill to amend the Registration of Birth and Death Act, which is among the 21 new Bills listed to be introduced in the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament, is likely to make Aadhaar compulsory for registration of births and deaths for whoever has one.
The database will be used to update the National Population Register (NPR), the Bill proposes.
NPR is the first step towards the creation of a National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) or NRC.
If the amendments are implemented, the Centre could use the data to update the NPR that was first prepared in 2010 and revised through door-to-door enumeration in 2015. NPR already has a database of 119 crore residents. The real-time update of the data on births and deaths will eliminate the requirement of such enumeration to a large extent.
The database will also be used to update the electoral register, Aadhaar, ration card, passport and driving licence databases.
The official said Census besides being a headcount exercise also contains more granular details on socio-cultural indicators and is conducted every 10 years, an aberration being the 2021 Census which has been suspended indefinitely post-COVID-19, but updating the population register will give a clear picture of population figures in real time.
The National Population Register (NPR)
The National Population Register (NPR) is a register of usual residents of India. It was first created in 2010 and updated in 2015. The NPR is being updated again in 2023 along with the house listing and housing operations of the 2021 Census.
The NPR is a database of demographic and biometric information of all usual residents of India. The demographic information includes name, age, gender, marital status, religion, education, occupation, and address. The biometric information includes fingerprints, iris scans, and photographs.
The NPR is being created for a number of purposes, including:
- To provide a comprehensive database of Indian citizens for the purposes of identification and verification.
- To assist in the implementation of welfare schemes and programs.
- To help in the prevention and detection of crime.
- To provide a basis for the preparation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The NPR is a voluntary registration process. However, it is mandatory for all usual residents of India to register in the NPR if they are asked to do so.
The NPR has been criticized by some people who believe that it is a violation of privacy. However, the government has said that the NPR is necessary to ensure the security and welfare of the Indian people.
Here are some of the key features of the NPR:
- It is a register of usual residents of India, not citizens.
- It is a voluntary registration process, but it is mandatory for all usual residents to register if they are asked to do so.
- It contains demographic and biometric information of all registered persons.
- It is being created for a number of purposes, including identification, verification, welfare, crime prevention, and the preparation of the NRC.
The NPR is a significant database that will be used for a variety of purposes. It is important to understand the purpose of the NPR and the implications of registering in it.