Related Topics: – Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country, Assam Accord
- The final National Register of Citizens or NRC – a list intended to identify legal residents and weed out illegal immigrants from Assam has been published.
- The final NRC is a supplementary list of inclusion or exclusion of those applicants whose names were not included in earlier drafts, those who faced objections on their inclusions or those who were in the earlier drafts but called for hearings that took place since July this year.
In the final draft of NRC, out of 3.30 crore applicants, 3.11 crore names have been found to be eligible for inclusion in updated NRC and a total of 19.06 lakh persons were excluded.
What is NRC?
- National Register of Citizens (NRC) is the list of Indian citizens in Assam.
- NRC process mainly aims to address the issue of illegal migrants, specifically from Bangladesh.
- The process of NRC update in Assam differs from the rest of the country and is governed by Rule 4A and the corresponding Schedule of the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
- The process of the updating NRC is being carried out by the Registrar General of India.
- It is being closely monitored by the Supreme Court.
- The process started in 2013 as per the order of the apex court.
History of Migration in Assam
- Assam was merged with Bengal Presidency for administrative purpose during British rule.
- British continuously brought migrant workers to Assam for cheap labour in tea plantations.
- There were two major waves of migration after British rule.
- The first one was from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) after Partition.
- The other was in the aftermath of the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971.
- This eventually led to an agitation during 1979-85, led by the All Assam Students’ Union.
- It culminated in the 1985 Assam Accord, under which illegal migrants were to be identified and deported.
Assam Accord and the Cut-Off Date
- The Assam Accord (1985) was a Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) signed between representatives of the Government of India and the leaders of the Assam Movement in New Delhi on 15 August 1985.
- The Accord ended the six-year anti-foreigners’ agitation and decided March 25, 1971 as the cut-off date for NRC.
- The Citizenship Act of 1955 was amended after the Assam Accord for all Indian-origin people who came from Bangladesh before January 1, 1966 to be deemed as citizens.
- Those who came between January 1, 1966 and March 25, 1971 were eligible for citizenship after registering and living in the State for 10 years.
- Those who came after the cut-off date were to be deported.
What will happen to 19 lakh excluded people?
- Though the NRC was called ‘final’, the excluded people would have opportunities to be back on the citizens’ list if they appeal against their exclusion and establish their citizenship via courts.
- Each excluded person will have 120 days to file an appeal at any of the existing 100 Foreigners’ Tribunals (200 more are to be established within a month), which in turn will have to dispose of the cases within six months.
- The appellant then has the option of approaching the High Court and Supreme Court.
- Government has assured that those left out of the NRC will not be detained under any circumstances until the Foreigners Tribunals declare them as foreigners.
What is Foreigners Tribunal?
They are quasi-judicial bodies meant to “furnish opinion on the question as to whether a person is or is not a foreigner within the meaning of Foreigners Act, 1946”.
Impact of NRC
- It is likely to put an end to speculations about the actual number of illegal migrants in Assam in particular and the country in general.
- It is expected to deter future migrants from Bangladesh from entering Assam illegally.
- Inclusion of their names in the NRC will provide respite to all those Bengali speaking people in Assam who have been, hitherto, suspected as being Bangladeshis.
Issues and Challenges
- From the non-transparent “family tree verification” process, to the somewhat arbitrary rejection of the gram panchayat certificates (affecting mostly women), the process has been riddled with legal inconsistencies and errors.
- The family tree verification process has resulted in numerous instances of parents being on the draft list but children being left out.
- There is uncertainty about the future of those left out from the list.
- Expelling the excluded people to Bangladesh is not an option since Dhaka has never accepted that they are its citizens or that there is a problem of illegal immigration.
- In the absence of a formal agreement, India cannot forcibly push the illegal migrants back into Bangladesh.
- The option of large scale detention camps is not a suitable option for a civilised democracy like India.
- Central Government should clearly chart out the course of action regarding the fate of excluded people from final NRC data.
- Political parties should refrain from colouring the entire NRC process through electoral prospects that may lead to communal violence.
- The claims of those left out in the NRC must be heard carefully, humanely.
- State authorities need to be prudent in their actions so that good sense prevails and ensure that large-scale humanitarian crises do not erupt.
Deporting all illegal migrants from India is not a feasible and recommended solution. Analyse the statement with respect to National Register of Citizens (NRC) which was recently published in Assam.[Sources: The Hindu, Hindustan Times, Economic Times]
Related Topics: Biometric Identity Card, Government Policies & Interventions
Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) will soon issue a notification to announce changes in allotment of Aadhaar numbers to NRIs.
Aadhaar for NRIs
- UIDAI has said that its systems will be ready within three months to offer the facility of issuing Aadhaar cards to NRIs with Indian passports without the mandatory waiting period, as announced in the Budget.
- Currently, NRIs have to stay for at least 182 days in the last 12 months to be eligible to get an Aadhaar card.
Aadhaar Seva Kendras (ASKs)
- The UIDAI is setting up Aadhaar Seva Kendras — similar to the concept of Passport Seva Kendras — covering 53 cities across the country at an estimated project cost of ₹300-400 crore.
- These Aadhaar centres are meant to facilitate enrolment, updation and other activities.
- They are UIDAI’s own and will operate in addition to thousands of centres currently being run by banks and post offices, as well as in government premises (offering similar Aadhaar services).
- As ASKs have more capacity, more requests for enrolment and updation can be processed on a daily basis compared to other centres.
- The new ASK model entails an online appointment management system to allow people to book a slot as per their convenience.
- It is a statutory authority established under the provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 on 12 July 2016.
- Prior to its establishment as a statutory authority, UIDAI was functioning as an attached office of the then Planning Commission (now NITI Aayog) vide its Gazette Notification dated 28th January, 2009.
- It was created with the objective to issue Unique Identification numbers (UID), named as “Aadhaar“, to all residents of India that is robust enough to eliminate duplicate and fake identities, and can be verified and authenticated in an easy, cost-effective way.
- The agency has been mandated by the government to develop, identify and set up the necessary infrastructure for issuing Aadhaar cards.
Related Topics: State Executive, Dual Role of Governor
President Ram Nath Kovind announced the appointment of five new Governors in the states of Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Telangana.
- Article 153 says that there shall be a Governor for each state.
- 7th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1956 facilitated the appointment of the same person as governor of two or more states
- Constitutional heads of Union Territories are called Lieutenant Governors.
The Governor of a State shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal.
The only qualifications for appointment as Governor are that he should be a citizen of India and must have completed the age of thirty-five years.
The oath of office to the governor is administered by the chief justice of concerned HC and in his absence by the senior-most judge of the HC available.
- The Governor acts in ‘Dual Capacity’ as the Constitutional head of the state and as the representative.
- He is the constitutional head of the state, bound by the advice of his council of ministers.
- He functions as a vital link between the Union Government and the State Government.
- He is a Representative of the President (Union Government or Central Government) in the State.
- Governor holds office for a term of 5 years.
- However this term of five years is subject to the pleasure of the President.
- He may be removed by the President at any time.
- The Constitution does not lay down any ground upon which a Governor may be removed.
- He is only `appointed’ by the President, and not `elected.’
- Though he is the head of the executive and the legislature, the people of the State have no voice in his appointment.
- The manner of the appointment and the uncertainty of tenure tend to make the Governor an object of the Central government in politically charged circumstances.
- Governor’s discretionary powers to invite the leader of the largest party/alliance, post-election, to form the government has often been misused to favour a particular political party.
[Source: The Hindu]
Related Topics: Art & Culture, International Relations
The historic coastal town of Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu is expected to be the venue for the second India-China informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, scheduled in October, 2019.
- Mamallapuram is also known as Seven Pagodas or Mahabalipuram.
- The town’s religious centre was founded by a 7th-century Hindu Pallava King—Narasimhavarman, also known as Mamalla—for whom the town was named.
- The town has a collection of 7th and 8th century religious monuments that has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- The town also hosted the Defence Expo 2018 or known as Defexpo, the Union Defence Ministry’s annual event with international participation.
[Source: The Hindu]
FACTS OF THE DAY
EK BHARAT, VIJAYI BHARAT
Kanyakumari-based Vivekanand Kendra and its state units have launched a year-long nation-wide mass contact programme, titled “Ek Bharat Vijayi Bharat”. The programme coincides with the 50th foundation year of Vivekanand Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari. Vivekananda Rock Memorial is a monument in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu at the Tri-junction of Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea. It was built in 1970 in honour of Swami Vivekananda who is said to have attained enlightenment on the rock where he mediated in 1892.
The High Commissions of Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Fiji jointly organised a cultural event called ‘Namaste Pacific’ in Delhi. The event was organised to showcase the culture of the Pacific countries. There was also showcase of the International Solar Alliance and Pollinate Energy based in Australia, Nepal and India, and solar lanterns from Barefoot College in Rajasthan.
AYUSHMAN BHARAT-MAHATMA GANDHI RAJASTHAN SWASTHYA BIMA YOJNA (AB-MGRSBY)
The Rajasthan state government has launched a new health insurance scheme called Ayushman Bharat-Mahatma Gandhi Rajasthan Swasthya Bima Yojna (AB-MGRSBY) by integrating the Bhamashah Health Insurance Scheme (BSBY) of the State Government and Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna Scheme (AB-PMJAY) of the Central Government. The merger has increased the number of families from 1 crore to 1.1 crore for availing cashless treatment at empanelled hospitals.
The Vikram lander of Chandrayaan-2 has undergone its first de-orbit manoeuvre successfully. After spending more than six weeks in space, Vikram separated from the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter to prepare for its historic Moon landing on September 7, 2019. Vikram, weighing nearly 1,471kg, also carries the six-wheeled rover Pragyan, which weighs 27kg.