What is NPR and should you worry about its implementation
New Delhi, Dec 24: Move over citizenship bill, the hot topic now is the NPR. The focus over the next couple of days is likely to shift to the NPR or the National Population Register.
Several politicians have already questioned the need for the exercise, which was in fact an initiative started by the Manmohan Singh government in 2010. Let us examine what the NPR is.
What is the NPR:
The National Population Register or the NPR is a census that would be conducted from house to house. This would be conducted from across the country from April 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020.
The aim of the NPR is to create data on the comprehensive identification of the common residents of the country. The data would also comprise biometric information along with the demographics.
Any resident residing in India in any area for six months or more would be required to register with the NPR.
Can the states stop it:
A Home Ministry official told OneIndia that the states cannot stall this process. The states have no right to stop either the NPR or the newly amended citizenship law.
While the states have said that the Act will not be implemented, legally speaking it is not possible for them to do so. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was enacted under the Union List of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution. Among the 97 items under this list, citizenship and naturalisation are one among them.
Defence, external affairs, railways among others also fall under the Union List. Since citizenship and naturalisation fall under this List, it is entirely under the powers of the Centre to implement the same and the states cannot refuse it.
The Seventh Schedule of the Constitution defines the powers and functions between the Centre and States. There are three lists under this, namely the Union, State and Concurrent List.
Items that fall under the Union List gives the Centre or Parliament the exclusive powers to legislate on matters. Extradition, naval, military, citizenship and naturalisation, Air Force, passports, war and peace are some of the items under this list.
The State List, on the other hand, involves 61 items on which the state has the exclusive power to legislate. This does not comprise citizenship and naturalisation. Some items include law and order, public health, agriculture etc.
The Concurrent List, on the other hand, deals with 47 items. The items under this list fall under the joint domain of the Centre and State. In case of a dispute on this List, then the law made by the Centre would prevail. Some items under this list are criminal law, motor vehicle law, insolvency, forests etc.