What is the difference between NPR and NCR ? How is it related to Aadhaar and Census ?

Raghu Raghu
Answered on October 09,2019

NPR is National Population Register. The objective of the NPR is to create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country. A usual resident is a person who has resided in a local area for the last six months or more or someone who intends to stay in that area for the next six months or more. Every usual resident has to provide the following data: name, relationship to head of household, father’s name, mother’s name, spouse’s name (if married), sex, date of birth, marital status, place of birth, nationality (as declared), present address of usual residence, the duration of stay at present address, permanent residential address, occupation or activity and educational qualifications.

The NPR process was initiated in 2011. The database under the NPR will be maintained by the Registrar General of India and Census Commissioner of India, Ministry of Home Affairs. The NPR is prepared at the local (Village or 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) Rules, 2003. It will be mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR. The exercise will be carried out during the house-listing phase of Census 2021, during April to September 2020, in all the states and union territories, except Assam, where a National Register of Citizens was recently released.

The data collected during the NPR will then be sent to the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) for verification with Aadhaar details. The cleaned database, along with the UID Number, will then be sent back to the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India (ORG&CCI) and would form the National Population Register.

The Citizenship Act mandates that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) list should be prepared after NPR updation.


National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a register maintained to identify the citizen of India. First such register was prepared in 1951. National Register of Citizens, 1951 is a register prepared after the conduct of the Census of 1951 in respect of each village, showing the houses or holdings in serial order and indicating against each house or holding the number and names of persons staying therein. These registers covered each and every person enumerated during the Census of 1951 and were kept in the offices of Deputy Commissioners and Sub Divisional Officers according to instructions issued by the Government of India in 1951.

NRC in Assam

NRC updation process has started in Assam in 2015. The NRC, when updated, shall become an important legal document to fall back upon for a citizen with reference to his/her status of Indian Citizenship. Moreover, as Assam has been facing the problem of illegal migrants from Bangladesh, it is important to identify them. It is therefore imperative on the part of citizens of India in Assam to ensure inclusion of his/her name in the updated NRC.

NRC in Rest of India

An amendment in the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964, issued by the central government on May 30, 2019, paves the way for expanding the scope of NRC beyond. The amended order empowers state governments and even district magistrates of all states and Union Territories to set up tribunals to identify a "foreigner" who is living in India illegally.

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