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National Register of Citizens (NRC)

Topics covered:

  1. Population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
  2. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

National Register of Citizens (NRC)

 

What to study?

  • For Prelims: Particulars of NRC.
  • For Mains: Update of NRC- issues associated including ethical concerns.

 

Context: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has assured the Supreme Court that names have not been deleted from the Assam electoral roll on the basis of their exclusion from the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC), which was published in July last year.

 

What’s the issue?

A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court alleging that that several categories of persons were deprived of voting rights ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

  1. One category included persons whose names figured in the draft NRC but not in the voter list.
  2. Second category included persons whose names were deleted from the voter list appeared in the draft NRC published on July 30, 2018. The petition claimed these people had voted in the last Lok Sabha election in 2014.
  3. The third category of people were those declared foreigners by the foreigners’ tribunal as well as by the Guwahati High Court; the court order was stayed by the Supreme Court.
  4. The fourth category comprised those already declared foreigners by the tribunal; this was set aside by the Supreme Court. However, their names had been deleted from the voters list pursuant to the order of the tribunal.
  5. In the fifth category were those whose names had not been included in the draft NRC, but their family members were included; these had filed a claim for the inclusion of their names.

 

About National Register of Citizens (NRC) of Assam:

The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is the list of Indian citizens of Assam. It was prepared in 1951, following the census of 1951.

For a person’s name to be included in the updated NRC list of 2018, he/ she will have to furnish:

  1. Existence of name in the legacy data: The legacy data is the collective list of the NRC data of 1951 and the electoral rolls up to midnight of 24 March 1971.
  2. Proving linkage with the person whose name appears in the legacy data.

 

Why was it updated?

The process of NRC update was taken up in Assam as per a Supreme Court order in 2013. In order to wean out cases of illegal migration from Bangladesh and other adjoining areas, NRC updation was carried out under The Citizenship Act, 1955, and according to rules framed in the Assam Accord.

 

Why is March 24, 1971 the cut-off date?

There have been several waves of migration to Assam from Bangladesh, but the biggest was in March 1971 when the Pakistan army crackdown forced many to flee to India. The Assam Accord of 1985 that ended the six-year anti-foreigners’ agitation decided upon the midnight of March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date.

 

Who is a citizen in Assam?

The Citizenship Act of 1955 was amended after the Assam Accord for all Indian-origin people who came from Bangladesh before January 1, 1966 to be deemed as citizens. Those who came between January 1, 1966 and March 25, 1971 were eligible for citizenship after registering and living in the State for 10 years while those entering after March 25, 1971, were to be deported.

 

Sources: the hindu.

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