NATIONAL

NPR data useful for welfare schemes, says Home Ministry

Mandated by law:People waiting to enrol their biometric details for the National Population Register, 2013.File PhotoK_Ananthan

Mandated by law:People waiting to enrol their biometric details for the National Population Register, 2013.File PhotoK_Ananthan  

It tells parliamentary panel that date and place of birth of parents will complete data for all households

The Union Home Ministry has informed a parliamentary panel that it proposes to collect details on additional questions such as “date and place of birth of parents” in the National Population Register (NPR) to “facilitate back-end data processing and making the data items of date and place of birth complete for all household[s]”.

The Ministry said there was a need to update the the NPR to “incorporate the changes due to birth, death and migration”. “Aadhaar is individual data whereas NPR contains family-wise data,” it said. “Various welfare schemes of State and Central governments are generally family-based for which NPR data may be used.”

Though the final NPR form for 2020 has not been made public yet but on February 18, Ministry officials informed the parliamentary panel that “during the update of NPR 2020, it is proposed to collect data on some additional items like place of last residence, mother tongue, Aadhaar number (voluntary), mobile number, passport (Indian passport holder), voter ID card, driving licence number, date and place of birth of father and mother”. The submission was made in response to a question by parliamentary committee members on the new questions in the NPR form.

More than a dozen States including West Bengal, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Puducherry, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Delhi have demanded either that the NPR be scrapped or that the update be done using the 2010 form.

The NPR questionnaire used in 2010 and 2015 had 14 columns. The Centre has proposed that the next phase of NPR will be conducted along with the house listing and house census exercise between April and September.

Ministry’s rationale

On the rationale behind collecting details on date and place of birth of parents, Ministry officials said, “The date and place of birth of parents were collected in NPR 2010 as well for all parents who were enumerated within the household. For parents living elsewhere or expired at the time of enumeration, only the names of parents were collected. To facilitate back-end data processing and making the data items of date and place of birth complete for all household[s], the details of parents are being collected in a more comprehensive manner in NPR 2020.”

The parliamentary committee on Demands for Grants of the Ministry, headed by Congress leader Anand Sharma, said there was dissatisfaction and fear among the people regarding the upcoming NPR and Census. “The Committee also feels that these apprehensions should have been duly ventilated in the media. The MHA must consider some way out so that the Census goes smoothly. Otherwise, there is quite a chance of the entire process being stymied in many States,” the panel said in its report tabled in the Parliament on Thursday.

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