The decision by Twitter to label National Public Radio (NPR) in the USA as “state-affiliated media,” which it then changed to “government-funded media” after a barrage of criticism, underscores the need to rethink the role of major social media platforms as critical gatekeepers in the public sphere.
In its 2021-22 annual report, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has said that there was a need to update the National Population Register (NPR).
The issue of NPR had created lot of furor in the country with people being apprehensive about the government move. Several political parties opposed it alleging that it was a step towards making the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The report, which was published on Monday, citing Covid-19 pandemic for the delay in updating the NPR and other field activities, stressed the need to update the NPR database across the country, except Assam.
According to the report, through this exercise, the ministry is looking to identify and record information of people and their families, changes in the demographic data due to births, deaths and migration in the country.
The home ministry said no documents or biometrics will be collected during the updation. People can update the NPR data themselves.
A budget of Rs 3,941 crore has been sanctioned for the purpose by the Central government.
The report claimed that the NPR has been prepared in keeping with various provisions of the Citizenship Rules, 2003 made under the Citizenship Act, 1955.
The name, gender, date of birth, place of birth, place of residence, father’s and mother’s name were updated and Aadhaar number, mobile number and ration card numbers were collected. The ministry said that the register needs to be updated to include the changes due to births, deaths and migration.
The NPR was prepared in 2010 and was updated in 2015.
According to the report, from April 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021, a toatl of 1,414 people across the country were provided certificates of citizenship under the Citizenship Act, 1955.
The ministry apprised that the district magistrates (DMs) of 29 districts and home secretaries of nine states have been empowered by the government to grant Indian citizenship after investigation to the people from the Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Christian and Parsi com