The National population Register (NPR), a database of every usual resident in the country, for the first time will include details of mobile number, Aadhaar, PAN and driving license among others, The Times of India reported. Passport details of only Indian-passport holders will be collected. According to the government, a usual resident is a person who has resided in a local area for the last six months or more or someone who intends to stay in that area for the next six months or more.
The NPR updation was last done in 2015 by conducting door-to-door survey and this time the exercise will take place along with the houselisting phase of Census 2021 during April to September, 2020, in all the states and union territories except Assam.
The NPR process was initiated in 2011. Usually the data would include name of the person, relationship to head of household, father’s name, mother’s name, date of birth, marital status, present address of usual residence, permanent residential address, occupation and educational qualification among other details.
The new details collected would not lead to privacy concerns, assured an official according to Times of India. "The data will not be out in public domain but will be accessible to users via password-protected protocols", he said. The government will use the data to better deliver targeted schemes such as Ujwala Yojana, PM Kisan and others. The data may also be required to improve national security.
The Times of India noted that the government was planning to provide an option to citizens before the NPR process begins. Under this, a user can self upload details such as Aadhaar, mobile number, PAN, driving license, voter identity card and passport directly on the census portal with the help of a mobile number.
The Citizenship Act mandates that National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) list should be prepared after NPR updation, but according to Times of India, the government has not taken any decision in this regard. If the government goes ahead with the NRIC process, then people who have given passport details during the National Population Register exercise would be considerd Indian citizens.