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National Population Register: The Need of the Hour

“The objective of the NPR is to create a comprehensive identity database in the country with full identification and other details by registering each and every usual resident in the country. This would help in better targeting the benefits and services under the Government schemes/programmes, improve planning and prevent identity fraud.”
National Population Registration (NPR) is an important document that was scheduled to be updated along with the House listing phase of Census 2021 during April to September 2020 in all the States/UTs except Assam. The aim was to look into growth of population over the decade, to identify Indian citizen and state of their livelihood, to provide better facilities as Indian government has been running several welfare schemes and programmes and to elevate under-privileged people to a certain status. Addressing the concerns of the citizens, MHA clarified that the Indian citizens do not need to submit any documents for registering themselves in the NPR, information provided by them backed by documentary proof would be sufficient to get themselves registered in the NPR.
NPR is not a recent phenomenon. The data for National Population Register was first collected in 2010 along with the house listing phase of Census of India 2011 under the UPA-II government. This was done as the government has been planning to construct online data base of each and every individual to achieve many targets including minimising the multiplicity of documents and to avoid duplicity while facilitating scholarships, jobs, subsidised grains and gas etc. Apart from these, security of the country will be strengthened after each and every citizen has been identified thereby leaving little space for infiltrators and foreign agents. The current NPR is also expected to be the most authentic and reliable source to trace any person’s involvement in criminal and violent affairs. The Social Security Number and Card of America is an ideal example in this regard. The SSN has made it very easy for America to look after its citizens and respond promptly to any emergency.
Those opposing NPR must remember that it is compulsory for every citizen of the country to register in a National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) as per Section 14A of the Citizenship Act 1955 as amended in 2004. Being a responsible citizen of India, it is the responsibility of all to divulge their relevant details for recording in the NPR registration without any protest and noise as NPR would be beneficial for the citizens in the long run. After the last NPR was announced, protesting voices were heard from the minority community as they were misguided by people with political interest. However, a careful look would reveal that the data collected through NPR would eventually be used for the benefits of the masses. Identity of an Indian citizen is already proved through various documents including Voter ID, Aadhar etc. NPR would only synchronise and compile all the available info. Numerous avenues have been provided to those whop despite being an Indian citizen is deprived of the required documents. These avenues can be accessed easily. Only those claiming citizenship under forged documents and sucking government funds for their own benefits need to worried.

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