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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

GS-II :
  • 17 December, 2019

  • Min Read

Citizenship Act rules get ready

Syllabus subtopic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Prelims and Mains focus: about salient provisions of CAA and the controversy around it; Citizenship related provisions in the constitution

News: The Union Home Ministry on Monday said no migrant from the six non­Muslim communities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh “will become an Indian citizen automatically”.

What is the procedure then?

A migrant should apply online and the competent authority would see whether he or she fulfilled all the qualifications for registration or naturalisation as an Indian citizen.

Background

The Citizenship Amendment Act, passed by Parliament last week, proposes to grant citizenship to “persecuted” minorities from any of the three countries who entered India on or before December 31, 2014. The Centre will soon frame rules to operationalise the provisions of the Act.

Advisory issued to States by the Centre

  • The Ministry on Monday issued an advisory to the States and Union Territories asking them to take all possible steps to check violence and ensure the safety of life and property.
  • It requested them to take action against circulation of fake news and rumours on social media having the potential to incite violence.

Why?

There are apprehensions that the Act, followed by a country­wide National Register of Citizens, will benefit non­Muslims, while excluded Muslims will have to prove their citizenship.

Assurances given by the govt.

  • The CAA does not target any religious community from abroad. It only provides a mechanism for some migrants who may otherwise have been called ‘illegal’ depriving them of opportunity to apply for Indian citizenship provided they meet certain conditions.

  • The Citizenship Act, 1955, which was amended last week, provides that Indian citizenship could be acquired by birth, descent, registration, naturalisation or by incorporation of territory.

  • Any foreigner on becoming eligible can acquire citizenship by registration or by naturalisation irrespective of his country or his community. The CAA enables migrants/foreigners of six minority communities from three specified countries who have come to India because of persecution on grounds of their religion to apply for Indian citizenship.

  • It does not amend any existing legal provision which enables any foreigner of any class, creed, religion, category etc to apply for Indian citizenship through registration or naturalisation modes.

  • Such a foreigner has to become eligible to apply for citizenship after fulfilling the minimum legal requirements.

  • The CAA does not apply to Indian citizens and they are completely unaffected by it. In the past six years, 2,830 Pakistani citizens, 912 Afghan citizens and 172 Bangladeshi citizens were given Indian citizenship and “hundreds of them are from the majority community of these three countries”.

  • Such migrants continue to get Indian citizenship and shall also continue to get it if they fulfil the eligibility conditions already provided in the law for registration or naturalisation.

Citizenship to Tamils

  • 4.61 lakh Tamils of Indian origin were given Indian citizenship from 1964 to 2008 after the signing of bilateral agreements in 1964 and 1974.
  • Nearly 95,000 Sri Lankan refugees are living in Tamil Nadu.

Source: The Hindu


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