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Fact Box: Assam’s National Register of Citizens' final draft

Jul 30, 2018 15:01 IST
Assam Government releases final draft of National Register of Citizens

The Assam government released the second and final draft of the state’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) on July 30, 2018. The list incorporates names of 2.89 crore people out of 3.29 crore applicants.

However, the names of 40.07 lakh people have been left out. Their claims and objections will be taken up from August 30 to September 28.

The first draft of NRC was published on December 31, 2017, and it incorporated the names of 1.9 crore people out of the total 3.29 crore applicants.

Key Highlights

Around 2, 89, 83,677 names were found eligible for inclusion in the final draft. However, over 40.07 lakh people were left out.

The process of making objections and claims will commence on August 30 and continue till September 28.

Every person whose name featured in the first draft but was left out from the final draft will be provided with an individual letter to appeal against her or his non-inclusion.

The names of those left out from the list will not be referred to the Foreigners’ Tribunal or taken to the detention centre until they exhaust all forms of appeal.

What is National Register of Citizens?

The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a list that contains names of Indian citizens of Assam. It was last prepared after Census in 1951.

The recently updated draft of the NRC includes the names of Indian citizens who have been residing in Assam before March 25, 1971.

What is Legacy Data?

The NRC (1951) and the Electoral Rolls updated up to the midnight of March 24, 1971 together are collectively called as the Legacy Data.

The names of only those people would be available in the Legacy Data who were 21 years of age in 1971.

Eligibility Criteria for inclusion in NRC

People whose names are included in the 1951 census.

People whose names feature in the Electoral Rolls up to midnight March 24, 1971.

People who came to Assam before 25 March 1971 and registered themselves in accordance to the rules made by the Central Government and those who have not been declared by the authorities as illegal migrants or foreigners.

Those whose names feature in any one of the admissible documents issued before the midnight of March 24, 1971, which would prove their presence in the state.

The descendants of those who appear in legacy data and admissible documents issued before the midnight of March 24, 1971.

Key Objective of NRC

The citizens' register is being compiled in Assam under the orders of the Supreme Court in order to identify illegal foreigners residing in the state.

The people who entered Assam after March 24, 1971 will be viewed as illegal immigrants.

The move has been undertaken, as there has been large-scale illegal migration from Bangladesh to Assam in the past couple of decades.

The illegal migration has not only changed the demographic complexion of the state but is also proving to be a threat to the identity of the indigenous people of Assam as well as to national security.

How to claim inclusion in updated NRC?

The copies of NRC, 1951 and those of Electoral Rolls up to 1971 referred to as Legacy Data were made available for inspection at NRC Seva Kendras (NSK) and at notified Polling Stations.

Those supporting claim for inclusion in the updated NRC will have to look for their own, parents’ or ancestor’s names in the documents published at the designated NSK and polling stations.

Family-wise application forms have to be submitted for getting names included in the updated NRC. One application form has the provision to provide details of up to six members

The application forms were distributed house to house by Government functionaries and they were also made available at the NRC Seva Kendras (NSKs) and the NRC website.

The applications for inclusion into the National Register for Citizens started in May 2015 and documents were received from around 68 lakh families across Assam.

What is the verification process for the application forms?

The verification of the application forms is done in two parts:

Office Verification:
Validation of documents submitted as proof, which was done during application form receipt phase.

Field Verification:
Verification carried out in the field to establish identity of the applicants and their linkage to the quoted reference in the Legacy Data. The verification process was carried out to identify the applicants and authenticate the eligibility claims for inclusion in NRC.

Following verification, a draft NRC is published to facilitate applicants with another opportunity to submit claims, objections and corrections before the publication of the final NRC.

Who implements the drafting of NRC?

The Union Government provides the policy decisions, guidelines and funds for the NRC updation.

Its implementation, however, is done through the State Government machinery under the Registrar General of India, who functions as the Registrar General of Citizen Registration under Rule 15 of Citizenship Rules, 2003 as amended in 2009 and 2010.

The modalities for NRC updation have been developed jointly by the Government of Assam and the Government of India.

What is the process of filing claims and objections?

Those persons, whose names do not appear in the Draft updated NRC, can file claim application within the given time period at the NSK where their Application Form was submitted.

A notice will be issued to every person filing claim to substantiate his or her claim.

Such person may cite relevant documents in support of his or her claim for consideration of Registration Officer.

The officer in charge of the NSK, designated as Local Registrar of Citizens Registration (LRCR), shall dispose the claims after the claimant is duly heard by way of a speaking order.

What happens to those whose names don’t feature in the NRC?

Those whose names don’t feature in the NRC of Assam face the prospect of being declared illegal and sent out.

However, no such move will be undertaken until the applicants exhaust all forms of appeal.

 

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