NEW DELHI: Collecting new details such as “date and place of birth of parents” in the upcoming National Population Register (NPR) is to “facilitate back-end data processing and making the data items of date and place of birth complete for all households,” the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has told a parliamentary standing committee.
When questioned by the panel on including additional questions in NPR 2020, which have been objected to by several “non-BJP ruled states” and has caused “fear” among people, MHA officials said the date and birthplace of parents, who were not living with those enumerated, were not collected during the 2010 exercise.
They added that the details of parents are to be collected in a “more comprehensive manner” in the upcoming NPR, which is to be carried out from April to September, along with the first phase of Census.
The panel headed by senior Congress leader Anand Sharma pointed out that there is a lot of dissatisfaction and fear among people regarding NPR, which many feels, will lead to controversial countrywide NRC.
The panel has warned MHA that there is “quite a chance” that the entire Census exercise may get “stymied” in such places if doubts remain and has urged the ministry to consider “some way out” so that the Census operations “goes smoothly”.
The panel also asked the MHA whether it can update the NPR by using Aadhaar database and not undertaking a fresh exercise. The MHA said the NPR is being updated and not created afresh, and there was a need to update the NPR to “incorporate the changes due to birth, death and migration”.
On the possibility of using Aadhaar database for updating NPR, MHA officials submitted that Aadhaar does provide a unique identity number to individuals but Aadhaar database contains only bare minimum demographic parameters while the NPR is a comprehensive identity database.
Though maintaining that Aadhaar information will be collected on a voluntary basis during NPR 2020, MHA officials said, “NPR database can be further enriched by linking with Aadhaar number to provide a base frame of the population for preparing various public welfare schemes. It will not be possible without visiting each and every household to construct family-based data from Aadhaar database” as the latter is individual-based data, it said, adding Aadhaar number is collected voluntarily in the 2020 exercise.
Documents sought for updation of NPR 2020
Place of the last residence, mother tongue, Aadhaar number (voluntary), mobile number, passport (Indian passport holder), voter ID card, driving licence number, date and place of birth of father and mother.