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National Population Register


The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has recently highlighted the need to update the National Population Register (NPR) database across the country.


GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is the National Population Register (NPR)?
  2. How is the NPR linked to the National Register of Citizens (NRC)?
  3. Significance

What is the National Population Register (NPR)?

  • The NPR is a database of usual residents in the country who have stayed in a local area for the past six months or more and who intend to remain in the same place for the next six months or more.
  • The NPR is individual and identity specific unlike the Census which only provides information on the status of the residents of India and population swings.
  • The NPR database was first created in 2010.
  • The data collection is done under the aegis of the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India.
  • The NPR is undertaken under the provisions of The Citizenship Act, 1955 and The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
  • The NPR was last updated, except in Assam and Meghalaya, in 2015-16.

How is the NPR linked to the National Register of Citizens (NRC)?

  • NPR is the first step toward compiling a National Register of Citizens, according to Citizenship Rules 2003. (NRC). A national NRC could proceed to validating the citizens from that list when a list of residents (i.e., NPR) has been generated.
  • The NPR, in contrast to the NRC, does not serve as a citizenship enumeration drive because it keeps track of foreign residents who stay in a community for more than six months.


  • Data on residents across numerous platforms will be streamlined.
  • For instance, it is typical to see a person’s birthdate differ on various government documents. NPR will assist in removing that.
  • It will improve policy formulation for the government and benefit national security.
  • In a manner similar to how Aadhaar has helped, it will aid in better targeting of government beneficiaries and further reduce paperwork and red tape.
  • It will assist in putting into practise the government’s newly proposed “One Identity Card” plan.
  • Aadhaar cards, voter ID cards, banking cards, passports, and other forms of segregated paperwork are all intended to be replaced by the “One Identity Card.”

-Source: The Hindu

November 2023