NRC, NPR and CAA are not the same: know the differences

  • CAA was passed when the government had incidentally announced about updating NPR.

  • Much of the stir against CAA is due to the confusions about what NRC, NPR and CAA mean.

  • The government says NPR will never be used as NRC.
The passing of CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) by the parliament has stirred the country giving rise to massive levels of mass protests led by the parties in opposition. Confusions prevailing over the CAA is partly due to the fact that the act is passed around the time when the government will update the NPR and conduct census 2021. Here we learn the key differences between NRC, NPR and CAA to be able to understand them better.

NPR will not be used as NRC

With the center allocating a budget of Rs 8,754 crores for census 2021 and Rs 3,941 crores for updating the NPR, the Union Cabinet has said census is to be conducted in 2021 and NPR will be updated between April and September 2020. Meanwhile, ruling out the confusions prevailing among the protesters against the CAA, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar has said that the data collected for the purpose of NPR will not be used for updating the NRC. He said, “We have never said that NPR (National Population Register) will be used as NRC (National Register of Citizens). I completely deny (this).”

NPR, Census and CAA

Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003 define that a usual resident of a locality is an individual who has resided there over the past 6 months or the person who wishes to reside in the locality over the next 6 months. Getting entered in the NPR is mandatory for all residents irrespective of whether they are Indian or foreign nationals. NPR seeks to create a comprehensive database of identity of every usual citizen in the nation. The data is used only for deciding on the various government policies and welfare schemes.

Census conducted every 10 years is the enumeration of the population of the country. The details found in the census about individuals are far more comprehensive and inclusive.

The recently passed CAA intends to amend the definition of illegal immigrants of Hindu, Sikh, Parsi, Christian and Buddhist faiths from countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who live in India without documentation. These individuals will be granted Indian Citizenship within the next six years.

NPR and NRC: key differences

NPR (National Population Register) and NRC (National Register of Citizens) are quite different from each other since NRC does not include foreign citizens. NPR’s scope and purpose are limited and for entering the person to the list, the details presented by the individual by word of mouth are only considered and no document proof is required as mandated in case of NRC.

As per the Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards rules 2003, ‘National Register of Indian Citizens’ will present details of every Indian citizen including Name, Father’s name, Mother’s name, Sex, Date of birth, Place of birth, Residential address both present and permanent, Marital status in case the person is married, name of the spouse; identification mark, Date of registration of Citizen, Serial number of registration, and National Identity Number.



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