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National Population Register Pilot Project Enumerates 1,200 Villages and 43 Towns

Enumerators report greater success in villages than in metro towns in collecting additional information like Aaadhar, passport numbers, election identification numbers, among other details.

Arunima | CNN-News18Arunima24

Updated:September 26, 2019, 8:22 PM IST
National Population Register Pilot Project Enumerates 1,200 Villages and 43 Towns
Image for representation only.

New Delhi: The pilot project for the National Population Register (NPR) 2020 has enumerated 1,200 villages and 43 towns, collecting additional data like mobile numbers, driving licence numbers, PAN, Aaadhar numbers, voter identification card numbers and passports for Indian nationals.

The pilot project will be the basis of an NPR for the country to be started next year.

An officer involved with the enumeration said people this time are being asked for additional information along with demographic and house listing data. However, the “the additional information is voluntary”, the officer told CNN-News18.

“We are not compulsorily asking for these additional details or for any supporting documents. If a person wishes to disclose their Aaadhar number or election identification card number, it is up to them,” said the officer.

Unlike the 2010 NPR that was updated in 2015, NPR 2020 will not seek details of the ration card. The 2010 NPR had asked for demographic details along with house listing. In 2015, it was updated with mobile numbers, Aaadhar, and ration card numbers. The process this time is digitised, with an option of self-enumeration available.

“The head of the household can use a mobile number to log on to the NPR website and get enumerated. A unique OTP will ensure a number is used only once,” said another senior officer.

The questionnaire for NPR 2020 has also undergone qualitative and substantive changes compared to the one in 2015.

The house listing questionnaire seen by CNN-News18 has 34 questions – one of them asks how many members of the household have access to banking services.

In 2010 questionnaire, the enumerator sought to know if anyone in the household had access to banks. The 2020 questionnaire also seeks to know about internet access for members of a household.

The population enumeration questionnaire, with 28 questions, also gives people more options from which to choose.

The pilot project enumerators have reported greater success in villages in sharing additional information. In metro cities, enumerators have faced difficulty and privacy concerns while asking for additional details.

“Census data has never been leaked, so privacy concerns are hyped. But people in urban centres are paranoid. In Delhi, for instance, a lady enumerator was roughed up when she suggested that passport and other details can be given,” said a source.

The pilot project ends on September 30. The NPR 2020 is likely to begin in April 2020 and the register published in December. The final notification confirming the dates is expected soon, said an officer.

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