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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.
  3. Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

 

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 Centre has given an extension of six months to complete the ongoing exercise for updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam by June 30.

  • The decision was taken as the exercise to enumerate citizens in the NRC, a list of Assam’s residents, could not be completed within the specified date of December 31, 2018.

 

Background:

On December 6, 2013, the government issued the first notification setting a deadline of three years for completion of the entire NRC process. Since then, five extensions have been given by the government. The draft NRC was published on July 30 and included the names of 2.9 crore people of the total 3.29 crore applicants.

 

 

Why is NRC being updated in Assam?

Officially, the NRC process will address the issue of illegal migrants, specifically from Bangladesh. The National Register of Citizens was first published in 1951 to record citizens, their houses and holdings. Updating the NRC to root out foreigners was a demand during the Assam Agitation (1979-1985).

 

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.

Mains Question: Throw light on the nature of migration in Assam. Examine whether the National Register of Citizens will address the issues arising thereunder?