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National Population Register to be updated with Aadhaar, other IDs
7/9/2019 12:07:21 PM
New Delhi, July 9
The National Population Register (NPR), which is a database of 1.3 billion Indians that will be ultimately used to issue citizenship cards, will be updated with individual Aadhaar, passport, driving license, mobile, and voter identity card numbers along with the Census 2021, according to officials who did not want to be named. This is being updated for a second time since 2015.

The Union home ministry has asked the Register General of India to prepare for the exercise, an official said.

About 15 additional data points per person will be added to the 20-point database of the NPR, a second official said on condition of anonymity. “Disclosing Aadhaar, passport, driving license details will be voluntary and up to an individual. It is not mandatory to give this data.”

The issue was discussed last week at a ministry’s conference. Over 150 demographers, researchers, data users from various ministries and state government attended the conference.

Mobile phones will replace the time-tested paper record for the Census 2021 and for updating the NPR database. The data for both will be collected through a newly-developed mobile application that will be installed in phones of schoolteachers, who will double up as enumerators for the Census, officials who did not want to be named said.

Vietnam and Swaziland are among a handful of countries, which have done away with paper records for the census. Graduate students, who have been trained for about a year, are doubling up as enumerators in the two countries.

India will be using an estimated three million enumerators for the census and updating the NPR database.

A paper schedule will also be available in case enumerators prefer the old method. The ministry hopes a significant number of enumerators embrace the new method.

Recording data directly into a mobile phone is likely to speed up the process of data collection and subsequent analysis manifold. “Compared to the previous Census when data was recorded, then scanned and passed through the Intelligent Character Recognition, the process will now be much faster,” a third official said.
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