The Central government has clarified that it has no immediate plans to implement a nation-wide NRC.
"Till now, the Government has not taken any decision to prepare National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) at the National level," it said on Wednesday, while answering a query raised by AITC MP Md. Nadimul Haque.
Haque had asked the government if it was planning to conduct a nationwide NRC and NPR, and whether the NPR data will form the master data source for NRC.
Responding to this, the Ministry of Home Affairs said that it has no plans to implement a nation-wide NRC as of now; however it will update the National Population Register between April 1 and September 30, 2020 along with House listing and Housing Census throughout the country, except Assam.
"Pursuance of sub-rule (4) of Rule 3 of the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003, framed under the Citizenship Act, 1955, Central Government has decided to prepare and update the population register between 1st April to 30th September, 2020 along with Houselisting and Housing Census throughout the country except Assam," the official statement read.
This means that the updated NPR data will not be used for conducting NRC. "The question does not arise," the government said in response to whether the NPR data will be the master data source for NRC.
Created in 2010, NPR is a database containing demographic information of 'usual residents' of India, including both Indian as well as foreign citizens. Earlier, the government had clarified that there is no link between NPR and NRC and that the former was only a usual exercise for Census 2021. Further, the data collected for the NPR will be used to identify beneficiaries of various government schemes and subsidies.
The government is empowered to maintain the NPR under Rule 3 of the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003. For this purpose, it may collect the following data:
(i)Name; (ii) Father's name; (iii) Mother's name; (iv) Sex; (v) Date of birth; (vi) Place of birth; (vii) Residential address (present and permanent); (viii) Marital status- if ever married, name of the spouse; (ix) Visible identification mark; (x) Date of registration of Citizen; (xi) Serial number of registration; and (xii) National Identity Number.