Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
- Questionnaire of NPR being finalised: RGI
The issue in news
The office of the Registrar-General of India (RGI) has said the schedule, or the questionnaire, of the National Population Register (NPR) is being finalised.
National Population Register
- National Population Register is a register of usual residents of the country.
- NPR is different from both the decennial census and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
- It will be in pursuance of the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
- The objective of the NPR is to create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country.
- It is mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR.
- The decision exempts the state of Assam from NPR-2020.
- For the purpose of the NPR, a usual resident is defined as a person who has resided in a local area for six months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next six months or more.
- The database would contain demographic as well as biometric particulars.
- It will be the next round of recording biometric and family tree details of Indian citizens.
- The exercise was conducted earlier in two phases in 2010 and 2015.
- The first phase of the Census — House listing & Housing census — and an update of the NPR was earlier scheduled to begin on April 1, 2020.
- The two were to be conducted simultaneously from April to September but were postponed indefinitely due to the pandemic.
- As many as 13 States and Union Territories have opposed the update of the NPR due to its link to the proposed National Register of Citizens and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
- Critics allege that NRC, NPR and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act would shield non-Muslim illegal immigrants while making a large number of Muslims stateless people with an uncertain future.
- Getting MGNREGS wages harder than the labour
The issue in news
Problems being faced by the rural workers dependent on the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
- According to a study by LibTech India, many of the workers are forced to make multiple trips to the bank, adding travel costs and income losses, and face repeated rejections of payment, biometric errors and wrong information, just to get their hands on their wages.
- The study found that almost 40% of the workers must make multiple trips to the bank branch to withdraw their money.
- The branch is usually at the block headquarters, a significant distance from the home village, and the time spent at the bank is three to four hours, a worker will also lose the day’s wages while he/she attempts to withdraw money.
- This effectively works out to spending a third of the weekly wage just to withdraw it.
- The study found that only one in 10 workers get an SMS message that their wages have been credited. A third of workers must visit the bank branch just to find out whether their wages have been credited.
- It was also found that despite being informed that their wages had been credited, they found that the money was not in the accounts.
- The last mile challenges make it hard for workers to access their own wages in a timely manner. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation is exacerbated as transport becomes harder.