The BJP has been telling people that the National Population Register (NPR) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) are two different things. However, the term ‘population’ has not been used anywhere in the Indian Citizenship Act, 1955, even in its present form after the preparation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. The expression NPR was introduced in the statute for the first time only in the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003. The NPR was prescribed in the said Rules as a step in the preparation of NRC. It has been categorically stated that an NRC will be prepared only by verifying and scrutinising the particulars in the NPR. Rule 4 (4) makes it more obvious by saying: “During the verification process, particulars of such individuals, whose Citizenship is doubtful, shall be entered by the Local Registrar with the appropriate remark in the Population Register for further inquiry.” These facts make it clear that Modi government has started up-gradation of the NPR only as of the first step in the preparation of NRC and hence there is every justification for examining the NPR process to anticipate its possible effects on the NRC.

S.P. Asokan,

Trichy, Tamil Nadu

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 8:36:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/npr-and-nrc/article30778519.ece

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