NRC an introductionNRC in Brief

  • NRC is a register containing names of all genuine Indian citizens. It was first conducted in 1951 to enumerate Indian citizens.
  • In Assam specifically, there have been mass movements and violent agitations over the decades against infiltrators from Bangladesh and a demand to update the NRC.
  • The process of updating the NRC began in 2013 under the supervision of the supreme court of India.
  • To find out illegal migrants from Bangladesh and other adjoining areas, updating of NRC have been going on under The Citizenship Act, 1955, and according to rules framed in the Assam Accord.
  • The Assam government have updated the final draft of NRC on 30th July 2018. The list consists of the names of 2.89 crore people out of 3.29 crore people. The names of 40.07 lakh people have not included in the list.
NRC In News
  • Assam has updated the first draft of NRC data recently.
  • Those who have not included in the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) to be published on August 31 will get a window of 10 months to prove their citizenship before
  • e being sent to a detention camp.
Issue with NRC
  • The cut-off date for deciding and deporting illegal migrants and foreigners-24th March 1971– was agreed upon while signing the Assam Accord in August 1985 to end a 6-year violent agitation against illegal migrants and foreigners in the State.
  • However, they are demanded to declare 1951 as the cut-off year for deciding citizenship as in other parts of India.
Why there is a need to update the NRC/Significance of updated NRC
  • Security Issues: After 1951 many migrants from East Pakistan of that time and later Bangladesh moved to Assam. They can pose security challenges to India.
  • Political stability- The failure of the state government to stop the flow of illegal migrants led to agitation in Assam. Due to these agitation government instabilities, sustained disobedience campaigns and ethnic violence have been witnessed. The updated NRC can also solve the issues raised by AASU and other groups further providing a way for the peaceful political situation in the state
  • There is a crisis of identity among the indigenous people in Assam due to the influx of illegal migrants.
  • There is fear among indigenous peoples that their cultural survival will be affected. Political control will be weakened and employment opportunities undermined due to illegal migrants.
  • Environmental degradation: Huge areas of forest land were occupied by the illegal migrants foa brief history of NRCr settlement and cultivation. There is a reduction in the percent of land area under forest from 39% in 1951-52 to about 30% now.
  • Increase financial burden: Illegal migrants has put more pressure on the resources of the state. The state government has to increase the expenditure on health and education facilities to illegal migrants.
  • Illegal voters: Most of the illegal migrants from Bangladeshi have got their names in the voting list illegally, thereby claiming themselves as citizens of the state. These illegal migrants act as a vote bank for the political parties in Assam.
  • Section 6(a) of the Citizenship Act 1955, has been criticized on the grounds of inequality and discrimination. The judgment about the issue is still pending in the Supreme Court.
  • Citizenship Amendment Bill makes the illegal migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh belonging to Hindu, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jain, etc. eligible for Indian citizenship. This can create an obstacle in the fulfillment of updating NRC date and also against the demands of Assamese indigenous population.
  • Faulty process: People who Founded their name in the first list did not find their name in the second list.
  • The parallel process of NRC, the voters' list of the elections commission, and the foreigners’ tribunal with the help of Assam Border Police have led to utter chaos.
  • A large number of people have been excluded from the list; it will be very difficult to physically verify all of them.
  • If not citizens approach judiciary, it will be difficult for judiciary to handle this issue within time.
  • The people who left out are not sure about their future.
  • Forcing the illegal migrants to return back to Bangladesh is not a solution. Bangladesh never agreed that they are their citizens. It may affect the relation between India and Bangladesh.
  • NRC is processed without end.
  • Issuing work permit to illegal migrants will the put the question mark on the fate of their children.
  • Lack of cooperation from Bangladesh side regarding the extradition of illegal migrants. It may create a humanitarian crisis.
Way Forward
  • India should follow a cautious approach. Decision taken in haste may disenfranchise their own citizens.
  • India should commence discussions with neighboring countries, especially Bangladesh, to seek a mutually acceptable political solution for the issue of illegal immigrants. To work out a deal for repatriating these persons to Bangladesh.
  • Formulate a proper policy to tackle excluded persons from the list of NRC data.
  • The Assam government should review the working of detention center’s for ‘declared foreigners’, enforce safeguards against arbitrary, discriminatory and indefinite detention, and align procedures and practices to principles of natural justice and to international norms and standards.
  • Provide legal support who have not proven their citizenship.
  • The Assam government should review the working of the Foreigners Tribunals to make them effective judicial fora for redress for those likely to be aggrieved by NRC outcomes.
Also read: National Register of Citizens (NRC) Updation National People’s Party is now a National Party