So, in short does anyone know if foreign nationals have to register and if so when is the deadline for registration. Am really confused and a little worried!!
AFAIK the Home Office is saying that any visas issued to non-EU students and non-EU spouses and civil partners after 25th November will be in the form of a plastic card, not a sticker in the applicant's passport, and that the applicant will have to be fingerprinted in order to get this plastic card visa.
Even though these visas are being issued under immigration legislation, not the Identity Cards Act 2006, and will only be issued to those from outside the EU, the Home Office is announcing them as "ID cards for foreigners". In fact they seem to have the same legal status as the old visa (but are easier to lose, because they aren't attached to the applicants passport). When entering the country, the visa-holder will need to show both their passport and the new, separate card.
So, while I'm not an expert, I believe that your partner would get one of the new plastic cards (and be fingerprinted) next time she renews her visa.