PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during a BJP rally.IANS

The union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a green signal to the proposal to update the National Population Register (NPR) on Tuesday, December 24.

NPR is linked to the Census and is seen as the first step towards a nationwide exercise to implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC). The cabinet has also approved Rs 8,500 crore to update NPR.

The NPR exercise will be held between April 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020, in all states and Union Territories except Assam, where the National Register of Citizens exercise to identify illegal migrants has already been conducted.

The Centre has been preparing for the National Population Register amid the ongoing protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and NRC.

What is National Population Register (NPR)?

National Population Register
Amit Shah said that the NPR is being prepared for the first time in the next census of India which will be carried out in 2021.[]

The aim of NPR is to create a database of the comprehensive identity of common residents of the country. This data will also contain biometric information along with the demographics.

NPR initiative started in 2010 under the Congress government headed by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Any resident residing in any area in the country for six months or more is required to register with the NPR.

According to the reports, the NPR data was first updated in 2015 with the help of surveys and now has been digitised. the officials said that the updated data is now complete now. Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah had said that the government has decided to update NPR along with the house-listing phase of Census 2021 in 2020.

After the Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed by the parliament, Kerala and West Bengal had halted all preparation and updating of the NPR.