NPR & NRC: What is the link and difference?

NPR, NRC, CAA, these acronyms have been flashing all over the media for a while now. Everyone is discussing but no one is explaining and the people are left confused. If you too are wondering how these terms are different or related, read ahead for a better clarity.
Created On: Jan 16, 2020 18:42 IST
Modified On: Jan 16, 2020 18:42 IST

The Union Cabinet approved an amount of Rs. 3985/- crores for updating the NPR. Coming along the nationwide protests against the NRC, these two major terms have been dominating the Indian News these days. While both the terms NRC (National Register of Citizens) and NPR (National Population Register) appear to be similar, both have a basic difference among them. Amidst the clutter of various terms flashing in media, we have tried to explain the difference between NPR and NRC in  most understandable manner for you. It is important to know what these terms mean before jumping to their difference and similarities. Let’s learn each step by step. 

What is National Population Register (NPR)?

 NPR is a register of the usual residents of the country. A usual resident, for the purposes of NPR is defined as a person who has resided in a local area for the past 6 months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next 6 months or more. 

A local area can be defined by (village/sub-town), sub-district, district, state and national level under provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards). 

The National Population Register was created in 2010. After the Modi government came to power, the biometrics collected through Aadhaar were linked to the NPR in 2015. The database under the NPR is maintained by the Registrar General of India and Census Commissioner of India, Ministry of Home Affairs.

As per the recent declaration by Home Minister, Amit Shah, NPR exercise will be carried out from April to September 2020 in all the states and union territories except Assam, according to the website of the Office of the Registrar General, and Census Commissioner. NPR listing will be carried out simultaneously along with the Census.

What is The National Population Register (NPR)?

What is National Register of Citizens (NRC)? 

 NRC is a verified digital register containing names and basic demographic information about all Indian citizens in a digital format. A person born in India or having Indian parentage or having resided in India for at least 11 years, is eligible for Indian citizenship.

 Difference between NPR & NRC Explained

Among the on-going protests and breaking news in media, the general public is confused about both the terms and its implications.

According to the Citizenship Rules, notified on December 10, 2003, NPR is ‘the register containing details of persons usually residing in a village or rural area or town or ward or demarcated area within a ward in a town or urban area. NRC is a register containing details of Indian Citizens living in India and outside India. 

The rules further say that ‘National Register of Indian Citizens’ shall contain the particulars of every citizen i.e.


Father’s name; 

Mother’s name; 


Date of birth; 

Place of birth; 

Residential address (present and permanent); 

Marital status ñ if ever married, name of the spouse; 

Visible identification mark; 

Date of registration of Citizen; 

Serial number of registration; and 

National Identity Number.

 In the case of NPR, both demographic and biometric data are collected. From the last NPR collected in 2010, certain new categories have been added to the list. These are as follows:

 Aadhaar Number (voluntary);

Mobile Number;

Date & Place of Birth of Parents;

Place of Last Residence;

Passport Number (if Indian passp;ort holder);

Voter ID Card Number;

Permanent Account Number;

Driving Licence Number;

The Home Ministry said the objective of conducting NPR is to “prepare a credible register of every family and individual living in the country apart from strengthening security and improvement in the targeting of beneficiaries under various Central government schemes”

What is the difference between NPR and Population Census?

 NPR is not a citizenship enumeration drive; it would also include a foreigner staying in an area for more than six months. NRC will contain details of only the citizens of India excluding the foreigners staying in India.  

 The Home Ministry issued a statement saying, “There is no proposal at present to conduct a nationwide NRC based on the NPR data.” 








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