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Inner Line Permit (ILP)

Topics Covered: Internal security related issues.

Inner Line Permit (ILP):


Seven Meghalaya-based organisations have renewed their movement for the implementation of the British era inner-line permit (ILP) for entry into the State and the scrapping of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

What is an ILP?

It is a document required by non- natives to visit or stay in a state that is protected under the ILP system.

At present, four Northeastern states are covered, namely, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland.

  • Both the duration of stay and the areas allowed to be accessed for any non native are determined by the ILP.
  • The ILP is issued by the concerned state government and can be availed both by applying online or in person.

When was it introduced?

The Inner Line Permit is an extension of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act 1873.

  • The Britishers framed regulations restricting entry in certain designated areas.
  • This was done to protect the Crown’s interest in certain states by preventing “British subjects” (Indians) from trading within these regions.
  • In 1950, the term ‘British subjects’ was replaced with ‘Citizens of India’.
  • Today, all non-natives require the permit. This was done to protect the indigenous tribal communities of these states from exploitation.

What about foreigners?

An ILP is only valid for domestic tourists. For foreign tourists in:

  • Manipur: No permit is required. But, have to register themselves.
  • Mizoram: No permit is required. But, need to register.
  • Nagaland: No permit is required. However, they need to register.
  • Arunachal Pradesh: Tourists need a Protected Area Permit (PAP) or Restricted Area Permit (RAP) from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.


Prelims link:

  • States requiring an ILP to visit.
  • Concentrate on Map based questions involving North- Eastern states.
  • NE state and their international neighbours.

Mains link:

Analyse the issue of imposition of ILP system in India’s northeastern states and the dilemma this system has posed to the Indian government.

Sources: the Hindu.