NATIONAL REGISTER OF CITIZENS (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Governance)

News-CRUX-10     15th April 2024        
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Context: Recently, the ruling party's 'Sankalp Patra' was released without the promise to roll out the National Register of Citizens (NRC), while it did include a pledge to reduce the geographical area covered by the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in northeastern states.

National Register of Citizens (NRC)

  • About: The NRC is the register containing names of Indian citizens. 
  • Prepared by: Recording particulars of all the persons enumerated during that Census.
  • The register was first prepared after the 1951 Census of India and since then it has not been updated until recently.
  • About: The NRC in Assam is a roster of Indian citizens residing in the state, aiming to distinguish them from foreign nationals, especially those from neighboring Bangladesh.
  • Historical Context: The first NRC in Assam was crafted in 1951 amid concerns over migration from East Pakistan, now Bangladesh.
  • Initiation and Legal Mandate: The process to update the register commenced after a directive from the Supreme Court in 2013, with the task of verifying the citizenship status of approximately 33 million individuals in Assam prior to March 24, 1971..
  • How does one prove citizenship?

oCriteria for Proof: Applicants in Assam were required to demonstrate familial ties to individuals listed in the 1951 NRC or in electoral rolls up to March 24, 1971.

oDocumentary Evidence: Alongside lineage evidence, applicants could submit various documents such as birth certificates, land records, government-issued licenses, passports, and educational certificates.

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