With controversy around updation of the National Population Register (NPR) failing to abate, the government is working on making the process online where participants can themselves update their information without an enumerator asking them questions or filling up forms. This may help alleviate anxiety around NPR updation and make the process truly voluntary.
However, this facility would be available only to those who gave their Aadhaar details during the 2015 exercise. This means about 60 crore people whose Aadhaar numbers were updated with the NPR at the time.
The Registrar General of India (RGI) has digitised NPR data of 119 crore Indians already. This was to be updated by enumerators in the 2020 NPR exercise, beginning April 1, through paper forms and a mobile app accessible only to them. The Home Ministry is now planning online enumeration for the NPR through the RGI website.
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“Since we already have 60 crore Aadhaar numbers, those people can self-enumerate their NPR data by logging onto the RGI website. Entering their Aadhaar number and generating an OTP, they can see their 2015 data and update the same. We are working on it,” a ministry official told The Sunday Express.
Such participants whose Aadhaar data is not seeded with the NPR (roughly 70 crore people) will have to wait for the next NPR exercise — to be held in 2030 — for online self-enumeration (presuming their Aadhaar, NPR data are seeded this time). “We can’t allow it without Aadhaar as authentication of the participant would be required. It can’t be done on the basis of mobile number as since 2015, it might have changed hands,” the official said.
These 70-crore-odd people would be covered for the current NPR by enumerators visiting them. Those who have already updated their data online will not be asked any questions.
The ministry is already working on making the Census 2021 exercise online by using the mobile numbers which will be collected during the houselisting phase to be carried out along with the NPR exercise. This would happen again through generation of a unique ID number and OTP on the registered mobile number, followed by issuance of a reference number after self-enumeration is complete. The applicant would need to just give this reference number to the Census enumerator, who would then feed the same into his app to check if the enumeration has actually been done.
The recent inclusion of NPR letter by the Reserve Bank of India among “officially valid documents” for customer KYC in banks is also in line with the objectives envisaged for NPR data.
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