Future of National Population Register (NPR) in India


National Population Register (NPR) is one of the most anticipated Indian Government projects that are expected to deliver its real value in coming years. NPR comes with the idea to merge biometric and demographic details of Indian citizens onto a single electronic chip that can be accessed through all digital scanners (government will issue those scanners). Ultimate goal of NPR scheme is to form the basis of National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) which will act as online directory in coming years.

NPR Scheme Process

Everything was going well and as expected. In initial phase of NPR scheme, it was decided to collect biometric details from UIDAI store (which they have collected during Aadhar Card Registration) whenever required. However Centre has recently passed Aadhar Bill is restricting Indian government resources to share biometric details of Indian citizens with any other portal. In an official statement, Centre has made it clear that National Population Registration scheme must not expect any sort of biometric data help from UIDAI. They won’t be able to share details now.

If this statement goes true then NPR might be in trouble and so will be Rs. 4800 crore that is already spent for this scheme. A total of Rs. 6600 crore was approved for NPR scheme out of which nearly 4800 crore rupees are already spent. Till now NPR has biometric details of around 280 million people only. These are the people who have registered biometrics through NPR organized camps only.

List of Documents for NPR Card

As discussed above, NPR was aiming at combining demographic details with biometric ones which would have outcome in a strong unique identification pattern that is hard to break for any migrant. It would have been the replacement for Birth Certificate, Ration Card, Aadhar Card even but without biometric details authorities won’t be able to do much on large scale. NPR database will act like a central repository where all the details (related to card) will be stored online.

Possible ways out

As of now we don’t see any clear possible ways to solve the disputes. However it would be best to come up with some amendments in Aadhar Bill that allows NPR authorities to use biometric details from UIDAI. If it is not feasible and government wants to move ahead with NPR scheme then they will have to collect biometrics on their own which will be too expensive to handle now. So the best possible solution will be to come up with some sort of amendments that can solve the disputed.

Stay tuned, we will keep you updated with latest news. Do let us know your views on future of NPR in India.

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