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CENTRE: IMMEDIATELY ISSUE REJECTION SLIPS TO NRC-EXCLUDED

Context:

The Centre has asked the Assam government that “rejection slips” to those excluded from the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) published in 2019 shall be issued immediately.

Relevance:

GS-II: Polity and Governance (Government Policies and Interventions, Issues arising due to the design and implementation of policies)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About the recent developments in implementation of NRC in Assam
  2. What is National Register of Citizens (NRC)?
  3. NRC in Assam
  4. What is the National Population Register (NPR)?
  5. How is the NPR linked to the National Register of Citizens (NRC)?

About the recent developments in implementation of NRC in Assam

  • The exercise was a culmination of the Assam Accord of 1985 signed between the Centre and the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and the All Assam Gana Sangram Parishad (AAGSP) for detection, disenfranchisement and deportation of foreigners.
  • In the letter, the joint director asked the Assam government to assess the software used for managing the register and discontinue the ones not required.
  • The Assam government has rejected the NRC in its current form and demanded re-verification of 30% names included in the NRC in areas bordering Bangladesh and 10% in remaining State.

What is National Register of Citizens (NRC)?

  • National Register of Citizens, 1951 is a register prepared after the conduct of the Census of 1951 in respect of each village, showing the houses or holdings in a serial order and indicating against each house or holding the number and names of persons staying therein.
  • The NRC was published only once in 1951.

NRC in Assam

  • The issue of its update assumed importance as Assam witnessed large-scale illegal migration from erstwhile East Pakistan and, after 1971, from present-day Bangladesh.
  • This led to the six-year-long Assam movement from 1979 to 1985, for deporting illegal migrants.
  • The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) led the movement that demanded the updating of the NRC and the deportation of all illegal migrants who had entered Assam after 1951.
  • The movement culminated in the signing of the Assam Accord in 1985.
  • It set March 25, 1971, as the cut-off date for the deportation of illegal migrants.
  • Since the cut-off date prescribed under articles 5 and 6 of the Constitution was July 19, 1949 – to give force to the new date, an amendment was made to the Citizenship Act, 1955, and a new section was introduced.
  • It was made applicable only to Assam.
  • There had been intermittent demands from AASU and other organisations in Assam for updating the NRC, an Assam based NGO filed a petition at the Supreme Court.
  • In December 2014, a division bench of the apex court ordered that the NRC be updated in a time-bound manner.
  • The NRC of 1951 and the Electoral Roll of 1971 (up to midnight of 24 March 1971) are together called Legacy Data. Persons and their descendants whose names appeared in these documents are certified as Indian citizens.

What is the National Population Register (NPR)?

  • The NPR is a database of usual residents in the country who have stayed in a local area for the past six months or more and who intend to remain in the same place for the next six months or more.
  • The NPR is individual and identity specific unlike the Census which only provides information on the status of the residents of India and population swings.
  • The NPR database was first created in 2010.
  • The data collection is done under the aegis of the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India.
  • The NPR is undertaken under the provisions of The Citizenship Act, 1955 and The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
  • The NPR was last updated, except in Assam and Meghalaya, in 2015-16.

How is the NPR linked to the National Register of Citizens (NRC)?

  • Successive governments have said that the NPR is the mother database for “identity purposes”.
  • The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003 mandates that particulars of “every family and individual” in the NPR would be used for verification in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) process.

-Source: The Hindu

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