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Government plans to tweak law for national database of births, deaths

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    2nd Nov, 2021

Context

Ministry of Home Affairs has proposed to amend the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969 to require Registrar General of India to maintain a national database of registered births and deaths. It can be utilized with Centre’s approval, to update National Population Register (NPR) prepared under Citizenship Act, 1955.

About

What is NPR?

  • It is a list of “usual resident of country.
  • A “usual resident of country” is one who has been residing in a local area for at least six months, or intends to stay in a particular location for six months.

Background

  • The data for NPR was first collected in 2010 along with the house listing phase of Census 2011.
  • However, with the use of Aadhaar as the key vehicle for transfer of government benefits in the last few years, the NPR has taken a back seat.

Objective of NPR

  • The objective of the NPR is to create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country. The database would contain demographic as well as biometric particulars.
  • It is mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR.

Advantages

  • It will streamline data of residents across various platforms.
  • It will help government to formulate policies better and also aid national security.
  • It can help to target government beneficiaries in a better way and also reduce paper work and red tape.
  • It can help in implementing the idea of “One Identity Card” that has been recently floated by government.

How NRC and NPR related?

  • Out of the NPR, a set of all usual residents of India, the government proposes to create a database of “citizens of India”.
  • Thus, the “National Register of Indian Citizens” (NRIC) is a sub-set of the NPR.
  • The NRIC will be prepared at the local, sub-district, district and State levels after verifying the citizenship status of the residents.
  • The rules say the particulars of every family and individual found in the Population Register shall be verified and scrutinized by the Local Registrar.

Questions in NPR

  • In 2020 NPR, the respondent will have to specify the “name of State and district” if the place of birth of father and mother is in India and mention the country’s name if not born here.
  • The form will collect details on 14 parameters of all family members.
  • The sub-heads include passport number, relationship to head of the family, whether divorced/widowed or separated, mother tongue, if non-worker, cultivator, labourer, government employee, daily wage earner among others.
  • The form also has a column on Aadhar, mobile phone, Voter ID and driving license number, which are to be provided if available with the respondent.
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