With the government likely to bring a Bill to amend the Registration of Birth and Deaths Act for a centralised data management, the Home ministry in its latest annual report has underlined the need to update the National Population Register (NPR) database across the country, except Assam. This is to incorporate the changes due to birth, death, and migration for which demographic and other particulars of each family and individual are to be collected.
The ministry’s annual report for 2021-22 said due to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, the work of NPR updation and other related field activities got postponed. “For updating the NPR database, a three-pronged approach will be adopted. It will include self updating wherein residents will update their own data after following some authentication protocols, updating of NPR data in paper format, and mobile mode. The demographic and other particulars of each family and individual are to be collected/updated during the exercise. No documents or biometrics will be collected during the updation,” it said, adding that the Centre has already approved Rs 3,941 crore for the purpose.
The report also said the from April 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021, a total of 1,414 citizenship certificates have been granted by all authorities, including the MHA. “Out of this, 1,120 were granted by registration under Section 5, and 294 by naturalisation under Section 6 of the Citizenship Act-1955,” the report added.
The annual report also said that the Central government has delegated its powers to grant Indian citizenship by registration or naturalisation with respect to members of Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Christian or Parsi communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to Collectors of 29 districts and Home Secretaries of nine states. “The delegation (of powers) will speed up the process of granting Indian citizenship to aforesaid category of migrants as the decision would be taken at local level,” the report said.
The Home ministry granted long-term visas — which is a precursor to Indian citizenship — to 2,439 members of minority communities from the three neighboring countries in the last one year; including 2,193 from Pakistan, 237 from Afghanistan and nine from Bangladesh, it said.
“On the direction of the Supreme Court, the hard copies of the supplementary list of inclusions and online family-wise list of exclusions have been published in the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Assam, on August 31, 2019. A total of 3,11,21,004 persons were found to be eligible and 19,06,657 persons ineligible for inclusion in the final NRC,” the report said.