Mains Paper 1: Social Issues | Population & associated issues
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: PRC, Various tribes mentioned
Mains level: Row over PRC
- Violence erupted in the state over Arunachal Pradesh government’s proposal to grant permanent resident certificate (PRC) to six non-tribal communities.
- The state government announced it was considering issuing PRC to six non-Arunachal Scheduled Tribes (APSTs) communities.
- There is resentment among several community-based groups and organisations who feel the rights and interests of indigenous people will be compromised.
Permanent Resident Certificate
- Permanent resident certificate is a legal document issued to Indian citizens that serves as evidence of residence and is required to be submitted as residential proof for official purpose.
- It is a domicile certificate otherwise called as Permanent Residence Certificate (PRC) to the residents of the state who stayed therein over a period.
- Those citizens who are not currently residing in the state but are sure of permanently staying therein can also apply for it.
- Besides the permanent residence certificate, the State also offers Temporary Residence Certificate (TRC) for those who reside in the State on a temporary basis.
- It enables the citizens to avail various policies and claims made in their particular state.
Communities under Proposal
- The government in the state is considering issuing the certificate to the six non-APSTs communities living in Namsai and Changlang districts and to the Gorkhas living in Vijaynagar.
- Amongst those communities are Deoris, Sonowal Kacharis, Morans, Adivasis and Mishings.
- Most of these communities are recognised as Scheduled Tribes in neighbouring Assam.
Who gets PRC in Arunachal Pradesh?
- Communities listed as Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribes (APST) have been given PRC status.
- This is because they are considered the original natives of the state.
- Several other communities have been demanding the status to get domicile-linked benefits.
- These non-APST communities say that while their names are on land records, they do not get “pattas” (ownership documents).
What is the main bone of contention?
- The non-APST communities have a sizeable population in neighbouring Assam and enjoy domicile-linked rights in that state.
- Many of these communities are recognised as STs in Assam, while Morans and Adivasis come under the Other Backward Classes category in Assam.
- They say that they should have the same rights in Arunachal Pradesh; the APST communities are opposed to this.
Why do APST communities not want other communities to get PRC?
- APST communities say that giving other communities PRC will dilute the Bengal Eastern Frontier (Regulation) Act 1873, which says that all non-residents and visitors to Arunachal Pradesh must get a permit to travel to the state and stay there.
- The APST communities say that allowing residency to other communities will lead to many non-tribals entering the state.