Nationwide NRC: Centre has to set common cut-off date

The central government is planning to decide the common cut-off date for implementing a countrywide National Register of Citizens(NRC) on the lines of the document compiled in Assam.

The Assam NRC was monitored by the Supreme Court. The final list published on August 31 excluded 19 lakh out of 3.29 crore applicants in the State.

What is the National Register of Citizens?

  • It is the list of Indian citizens and was prepared in 1951, following the census of 1951.
  • In order to wean out cases of illegal migration from Bangladesh and other adjoining areas, NRC up-gradation was carried out under The Citizenship Act, 1955 and according to rules framed in the Assam accord.

Need of NRC:

  • The influx of immigrants has created a crisis of identity among the locals.
  • Environmental degradation risks by the immigrants who are settling and doing cultivation irking the locals.
  • Immigrants increasing the burden on state resources as the government have to increase the expenditure on education and health facilities.
  • Illegal voting registration and becoming a vote bank for the political parties in Assam.

Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019

  • The Bill seeks to facilitate the acquisition of citizenship by six identified minority communities namely Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Christians and Parsis from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh who came to India before December 31, 2014.

Bone of contention

  • The general sentiment in Assam with respect to the citizenship amendment bill has been that it will defeat the purpose of the NRC.
  • Several other states like Tripura, Nagaland have filed petitions in the Supreme court opposing the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) that negates the purpose of the NRC as it allows citizenship to all illegal non-Muslims from the three neighbouring countries who came in till December 31, 2014.

Provisions to deal this:

As per norms, the power to identify and deport the foreign nationals staying illegally in the country have also been delegated to the State governments. Police can exercise power to arrest a foreign nationals living illegally in India under section 4 of Passport ( Entry to India) Act, 1920. The action on any foreign national who stays beyond the period stipulated in the visa or without valid documents can be taken under section 14 of Foreigners Act, 1946.

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