Citizenship and Related Issues

One register to count them all — how the NRC fares

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Mains Paper 3: Internal Security | Role of external state & non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: National Register of Citizens, 1985 Assam Accord

Mains level: Issue of migrants creating problems in various states across India

National Register of Citizens (NRC) of the State updated in Assam

  1. Millions of people in Assam on Sunday lived through the “the stroke of midnight” as the Assam government published the first draft of an updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) of the State
  2. NRC is a process by which a bona fide Indian citizen can be distinguished from a foreigner
  3. Assam is the only state to have its own register of citizens

Why update NRC in Assam?

  1. The NRC is being updated in Assam to detect Bangladeshi nationals, who may have illegally entered the State after the midnight of March 24, 1971, the cut-off date
  2. This date was originally agreed to in the 1985 Assam Accord, signed between the then Rajiv Gandhi government and the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU)
  3. In 2005, another agreement was signed between the Centre, the then Tarun Gogoi government in Assam and the AASU where it was decided to update the NRC that was first published after the Census data of 1951 in post-Partition India

Is the NRC a court-mandated exercise?

  1. The publication of the first draft of the NRC by December 31, 2017, was ordered by the Supreme Court
  2. The top court has been hearing this case since July 2009 when Assam Public Works moved court to intervene in detecting and deporting Bangladeshis

Violence expected

  1. The security challenge will emerge only when the process of updating the NRC gets completed and a large number of people are left out
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