NRC ASSAM: 10 important facts every Indian citizen must know

In the past few days, we heard a lot about the term “NRC ASSAM”. 24/7 news channels were running the debates on this new sensational issue.
But finally, on the 30th of July 2018, the second and final draft of NRC was issued. The first NRC has conducted in 1951 following the census held in the same year.

 1. The final Draft of NRC ASSAM states: 

  •  Only 2,89,93,677 were qualified out of 3.29 crore applicants.
  • The NRC will include all Indian citizens who have been residing in Assam before 25th March 1971. The names of 40.07 lakh people have been left out of the NRC list.
  • The Registrar General of India Sailesh said the process for making entitlements and objections would begin on 30th August 2018 and continue till 28th September 2018. The government has set 31st December 2018 as the last date to complete the final process. 
The reasons for not including the name of the 40 lacs people are not mentionedNRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela said, “We are not going to make the reasons public”.
It will be informed individually and for further details, they should visit NRC Sewa Kendras (NSK).
Hajela, however, clarified that people belonging to four categories were not included in the draft as their eligibility were put on hold by the Supreme Court.

 2. These four categories are: 

  •  ‘D’ (doubtful) voters.
  •  Descendants of ‘D’ voters.
  • References pending at Foreigners Tribunals and progenies of the references pending at Foreigners Tribunals. 
  • The state coordinator also said: The names which were included in the first draft but were deleted from the complete one “they will be intimated through individual letters in the coming days,”.

 3. What is NRC?  

NRC stands for The National Register of Citizens of India.
The NRC is a database of all the legal citizens of Indian state Assam. First NRC was formed in 1951 following the Census of the same year.
It was basically a serialized list of houses and assets holdings in every Indian village, with the number of residents along with their identity.
The government then instructed the records to be deposited and archived in the offices of the Deputy Commissioners and Sub-Divisional Officers.
In the 1960s, the NRC data was handed over the police. However, by the 1980s, there had been demands in Assam to update the list.

 4. Why there is a need for updating NRC lists? 

Updating the NRC was a decades-old demand, with numerous modalities and cut-off dates suggested over the years and many rounds of talks held.
During the 1980s, there were demands from leaders of indigenous communities to update the list following reports that illegal immigrants from Bangladesh were entering the state in masses, by terminating the signing of the famous Assam Accord on 15th August 1985.
The deceptive threat to indigenous cultures and changes to the state’s demographic profile were highlighted as reasons.
NRC ASSAM: 10 important facts every Indian citizen must know

 

image courtesy@Jagran English

 

Gradually changes started and on 5th May 2005, tripartite meeting held between the Centre, Assam government including All Assam Students’ Union.
The meeting was Led by contemporary Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and finally, they decided to update the NRC.
The Supreme Court intervened in 2009 when an NGO(Assam Public Works) filed a petition for the deletion of ‘illegal migrants’ names from voter lists in Assam.
Experimental projects for updating the NRC started in two blocks (in Kamrup and Barpeta districts) in June 2010 but were interrupted in subsequent months because of law-and-order problems.
In July 2011, the state government set up a cabinet sub-committee to streamline the procedure.
In May 2013, the supreme court ordered the Central government to finalize the modalities by 16th July 2013.
In 2014, the court directed the government to resume updating the NRC.
Delivery and receipt of filled-in NRC application forms started in 2015. Receiving of applications ended on 31st August 2015. The authentication process started on 1st September 2015.

 5. Who are eligible citizens according to the lists? 

The Assam state government has set 25th March 1971 the cut-off date to identify those who immigrated into Assam illicitly from Bangladesh (former East Pakistan).
People can track their identification records or names from 1951 NRC lists or electoral roll-up to 1971.
If they cannot find their names in the electoral rolls, claimants must provide other documents like land occupancy records, certificates of permanent residence and passports, and this is how they can prove they aren’t illegal immigrants.

 6. How can anyone check his/her name on the citizenship lists? 

NRC ASSAM: 10 important facts every Indian citizen must know about it.
Image courtesy@ Assam Government
Check your name in State NRC final draft on the official website www.assam.gov.in.

 7. Misconceptions about the NRC updated list: 

Few misconceptions are floating on various social media platforms, but Mr. Hajela made a crystal clear statement that those who are not in the NRC list “will not be sent to detention camps” or Foreigners’ Tribunals.
They will have a chance to back their claims for citizenship and also submit new evidence for the same.

 8. The team behind the updated NRC list: 

The credit of this comprehensive workout goes to Hajela and his team of 68,000 officials, together with government officials, contractual workers and specialists who ran the NRC Secretariat in Guwahati and 2,500 Nagrik Seva Kendras (NSKs) across the state.

 9. Who is Hajela(The man behind this updated NRC list)? 

Prateek Hajela image courtesy@pratidin time
Prateek Hajela, Principal Secretary, Home, and State Coordinator of the National Register of Citizens says :
“The process of updating the NRC list took nearly two years to establish before he began the citizen verification process on 1st September 2017”.
Hajela is an IAS officer of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre with a BTech in Electronics from IIT-Delhi. He took over as Assam coordinator of the NRC in September 2013.
The mission in front of Hajela and his team was staggering as the State NRC hadn’t been updated since 1951. Hajela and his team had to develop an utterly new model for updating the NRC.
Hajela belongs to an eminent family in Bhopal—his father, SP Hajela, was a former officer with the MPPSC (Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission) while his brother, Anoop Hajela, is a reputed doctor in the same city, in the intervening time his uncle, was the VC of the Allahabad University.
According to The Hindu as Home Commissioner, he was tasked with supervision of the horrific Bodo-Muslim riots of 2013. In fact, the State government selected him as the Special Commissioner to manage emergency operations in the state.

 10. The main problems with this Judgement of NRC? 

According to news18.com, The first draft of the NRC was released in January 2018, listing only 1.9 crore people as citizens out of the 3.9 crore people who had filed the NRC application. The updated NRC will count only those as Assam citizens who can prove their residency on or before March 21, 1971.
This means that all those not included in the list run the risk of being rendered, illegal immigrants.
The government has not yet announced any concrete plans about what it wishes to do with those who are not identified as indigenous citizens.
The NRC updation collides with the proposed Citizenship Amendment 2016 Bill by the BJP-AGP alliance in Assam, which seeks to grant citizenship to Hindus living in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

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