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Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 09 November 2022

Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 09 November 2022


  1. The requisite to update the National Population Register
  2. Putin’s Nuclear Bluff and Lessons

The Requisite To Update the National Population Register


In its most recent annual report, the Home Ministry emphasised the importance of updating the National Population Register (NPR) database across the country, with the exception of Assam. This includes changes due to birth, death, and migration, for which demographic and other information about each family and individual will be collected.


GS Paper 2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Mains Question

What exactly is the National Population Register (NPR)? What exactly are its goals? What distinguishes it from the National Register of Citizens (NRC)? Discuss. (250 Words)

National Population Register (NPR)

  • The National Population Register (NPR) is a list of the country’s regular residents. Every ordinary resident of India is required to register in the NPR.
    • A usual resident is defined as: a person who has resided in a local area for the past 6 months or more; or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next 6 months or more, according to the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
    • It includes both Indian citizens and foreign citizens.
  • The NPR’s goal is to compile a comprehensive identity database of every regular resident in the country.
  • The first National Population Register was created in 2010, and the data was updated in 2015 through a door-to-door survey.
    • The next National Population Register was scheduled to coincide with the 2021 Census.
    • Due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the work of updating the NPR and other related field activities was put on hold.
  • NPR is carried out by the Home Ministry’s Office of the Registrar General of India (RGI).

NPR’s legal foundation

  • The NPR is prepared in accordance with Rule 3 of the 2003 Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules.
    • The Citizenship Act of 1955 established these rules.
  • The NPR differs from the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which does not include foreign citizens.
    • The NRC is a register that contains information about Indian citizens living in and outside of India.

Details required for NPR

  • The demographic details for every usual resident are required on 21 points, which include ‘date and place of birth of parents,’ last place of residence, Permanent Account Number (PAN), Aadhar (on a voluntary basis), Voter ID card number, Driving License Number, and Mobile Number. • In the NPR done in 2010, data was collected on 15 points, which did not include ‘date and place of birth of parents,’ and last place of residence.
  • The NPR must be updated again to account for changes caused by birth, death, and migration, for which demographic and other information about each family and individual must be collected.
  • This was emphasised in the MHA’s recently published annual report.

Key Highlights of the report:

  • A three-pronged approach to updating the NPR database
    • It will include self-updating, in which residents will update their own data on a web portal after following some authentication protocols.
  • NPR data is being updated in both paper and mobile formats.
    • During the exercise, the demographic and other details of each family and individual must be collected and updated.
    • During the update, no documents or biometrics will be collected.
  • Certificates of citizenship issued by authorities
    • According to the report, a total of 1,414 citizenship certificates were granted by all authorities between April 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021.
    • According to the report, the Central Government has delegated to Collectors of 29 districts and Home Secretaries of nine states the authority to grant Indian citizenship in certain categories.
  • This includes the authority to grant citizenship through registration or naturalisation to members of the Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Christian, or Parsi communities in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.
  • Long-term visas granted o According to the report, the Home Ministry granted long-term visas to 2,439 members of minority communities from the three neighbouring countries (Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh) in the previous year.
  • A long-term visa is a prerequisite for Indian citizenship.
  • CAA not mentioned o The report, which compiles all of the Ministry’s accomplishments and functions, does not mention the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019.
  • CAA expedites the naturalisation of six non-Muslim undocumented communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh who arrived in India before December 31, 2014.
  • This legislation has yet to be implemented because the rules have not yet been drafted.

Putin’s Nuclear Bluff and Lessons


India’s foreign minister, S Jaishankar, recently paid a bilateral visit to Moscow, which coincided with a heightened global perception of Russia’s nuclear threat. The article discusses possible lessons for India from its hostile neighbour Pakistan in the midst of Putin’s nuclear bluff in the ongoing Ukraine war.


GS Paper 2: Multipolar World, Bilateral, regional and global grouping involving India or Affecting India’s interest etc

Mains question

The Russia-Ukraine conflict is not only harming the economies of these two countries, but it also has broader implications for the current world order. Discuss (150 words) 


  • Since President Putin directed defence minister Sergei Shoigu to place the country’s deterrence forces on high combat alert in February, the status of Russian nuclear forces on the ground has remained unchanged.
  • However, there have been no signs of increased nuclear readiness, and Russia has since denied the use of nuclear weapons.

Tactical nuclear weapons deployment (TNWs)

  • Even speculations about the possible use of Russia’s strategic arsenal have been limited to tactical nuclear weapons (TNWs).
    • Strategic nuclear weapons are larger (up to 1,000 kilotons) and launch from a greater distance (over 5500 km).
  • Regarding tactical nuclear weapons:
  • These are small nuclear warheads and delivery systems designed to carry out a limited strike in a smaller area and are intended for use in battle as part of a conventional weapon attack.
    • These are intended to engage targets in the tactical depth of enemy deployment (up to 300 km) in order to complete a tactical mission.
  • These can be “one kilogramme or less” (producing the equivalent to a thousand tonnes of the explosive TNT).
    • The largest can weigh up to 100 kilotons. For example, the US dropped a 15-kiloton atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945, making it a TNW.
  • Shifting war outcomes:Limited use of TNWs is unlikely to change conventional battle outcomes unless they are used in large numbers, which is impractical because it would have a negative impact on the user’s forces as well as contaminate the battlefield.

What resulted from Putin’s early posturing?

  • Western moves were thwarted: Putin’s warning of the unpredictable consequences of outside intervention in Ukraine kept the US and NATO at bay.
    • For example, the US and NATO did not deploy forces to Ukraine or respond positively to Ukrainian President Zelenskyy’s request to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
  • Weapons modernization: Each nuclear-weapon state is currently upgrading its nuclear weapons and delivery systems.
  • New acquisitions: Non-nuclear weapon states have been persuaded to acquire nuclear weapons.

Sovereignty must be respected

  • The Budapest Memorandum of 1994: Under this, Russia pledged to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and borders in exchange for Ukraine giving up the 4,400 nuclear weapons stationed on its soil.
  • Weak promises: Recent events have taught non-nuclear weapon states that the negative security assurances offered by nuclear-weapon states are meaningless when dealing with a nuclear-weapon state.
    • This undermines the prevailing international consensus on which the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is based.
  • Raising concerns: South Koreans and Japanese are raising concerns about the US’s dependability.
    • Even before the Ukraine war, public opinion in Japan and South Korea was leaning toward the two countries acquiring nuclear weapons.
    • This was due to a widespread belief that the US would not jeopardise the security of its mainland in order to defend its allies and friends.
  • The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) It is an international treaty whose goal is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapon technology, promote peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and advance the goal of disarmament.
    • The treaty was signed in 1968 and took effect in 1970. It currently has 191 member countries. India is not a member of the organisation.
    • It requires countries to abandon any current or future plans to build nuclear weapons in exchange for access to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
    • It is the only legally binding commitment in a multilateral treaty by nuclear-weapon states to the goal of disarmament.

Pakistan is defying global trends in TNWs.

  • Dwindling weaponry: According to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the number of tactical nuclear weapons (TNWs) has decreased worldwide since the Cold War, from 20,000-30,000 in the 1980s to 2,500 in 2019. The number of TNWs in the US inventory has decreased from 9,000 in 1989 to 230 in 2019.
  • Outlier: Pakistan was the sole exception to this global trend, having abandoned its declared nuclear posture of minimum credible deterrence in favour of the ‘flexible response’ doctrine and then ‘full-spectrum deterrence.’
  • Pakistan’s justification: For Pakistani officials, increasing and diversifying Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is a necessity in order to maintain an effective deterrent against India.
    • Any advances in India’s conventional military capability, nuclear arsenal, or strategic position amplify the perception of an unending and unrelenting threat to which Pakistan has no other recourse than nuclear weapons.
    • In this view, deterrence is more relative and elastic than fixed; rather than a new strategy, “full-spectrum” capabilities provide a way to keep up and ensure Pakistan’s deterrence remains credible.
  • Apparent objectives: The apparent objectives of Pakistan’s TNWs appear to be conflict management, early termination of military hostilities, and war prevention.
  • Opposite effects: The use of TNWs, on the other hand, would have the opposite effect.
  • Controlling the escalation will be difficult, and wholesale destruction may become a possibility.

Alternatives for India

  • Transnational cooperation: Assess the disposition and deployment of Pakistani TNWs in collaboration with intelligence agencies from friendly countries.
  • Arsenal deployment: Hasten the deployment of multilaterally layered missile defence batteries.
  • Boost domestic capabilities: bolster Indian intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities.
  • Direct communication: Establish a direct line of communication between the Pakistani Strategic Plans Division (SPD) and the Indian Strategic Forces Command.
  • Technological advancement: Continue to improve nuclear weapons and delivery systems in proportion to emerging threats, as well as maintain reliance on credible minimum deterrence.

December 2023