The Union Home Ministry has initiated the process to create a national database of all Indian citizens to register their birth and death records. A cabinet note and the NRC bill that has been presented by the Home Ministry revealed that in the first step, a database of the death and birth of all Indian citizens will be created.
The government wants to integrate this database with the population register and electoral rolls, Aadhaar card, ration card, passport and driving licences and has moved a cabinet note to amend the Registration of Births and Deaths Act.
The Registrar General of India will be bestowed with the responsibility to maintain this database and will be working with chief registrars in states to maintain it. At present, this database is maintained by states through local registrars.
Contrary to speculations that this could be a move in the direction to implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC), sources said that this is being done to strengthen the National Population Register (NPR).
As reported from time to time, the announcement to implement NRC was first made in Assam. The announcement had triggered massive protests across the country.
Critics then came up with the thought that coupled with CAA, which was in favor of granting citizenship to any refugee hailing from neighbouring countries if they had moved to India before 2015 but only if they were not Muslims, the NRC process could result in the persecution of the minority community.
The renewed push for the NRC-like move comes as census operations remain on hold because of COVID-19 and the government has learnt it needs to appoint a special sub-registrar to take care of spot death registration during disasters.