Everything you wanted to know about the CAA and NRC (2023)

Everything you wanted to know about the CAA and NRC (1)It is perhaps a first in independent India's political history. The protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019 has spread to almost every corner of the country, yet the reasons for the protest vary with the geography. Some are protesting because the CAA allegedly violates the secular identity of the country while others fear that it will endanger their linguistic and cultural identity. Yet others believe that while the CAA itself is innocuous, combined with the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC), an exercise that has run into controversy in Assam, it will become a tool to exclude the Muslim population of the country. That the Union government has been hit hard by this allegation is evident from the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has publicly contradicted home minister Amit Shah's assertion that a nationwide NRC will be prepared by 2024.

So why has the country against the NRC, which has made even the Modi government do a volte face? How is it connected to the CAA? If implemented, what will be their implications for the aam aadmi, irrespective of religion or geography?


What is the CAA?

According to the CAA, Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh and Parsi migrants who have entered India illegally-that is, without a visa-on or before December 31, 2014 from the Muslim-majority countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and have stayed in the country for five years, are eligible to apply for Indian citizenship.

Why is the provision extended only to people of six religions, and not Muslims, and why does it apply only to people coming from these three countries?
The Union government claims that people of these six faiths have faced persecution in these three Islamic countries, Muslims haven't. It is, therefore, India's moral obligation to provide them shelter.

So, is the provision open only to those who have been persecuted in the three countries?

No, the CAA itself does not mention the word 'persecution' anywhere, contrary to the BJP's assertion that the act covers only persecuted people. And since persecution is not the criterion, it does discriminate against illegal Muslim immigrants from these three countries.

(Video) Everything you wanted to know about the CAA and NRC

MORE FROM INSIGHT | Citizenship Amendment Act: The anatomy of a protest

If the act is not only about people facing persecution, why are migrants from other countries -- such as Hindus from Sri Lanka -- not eligible to apply for citizenship under this act? Or Muslim (Rohingya) migrants from Myanmar?

The government says this is a time-bound provision to provide relief to immigrants who have suffered in Islamic countries because India got divided on religious lines. India has, from time to time, provided citizenship to immigrants of all religions from different countries. Sri Lankan Tamil Hindus, too, were given citizenship in the 1970s and 1980s. The Union government has openly said that the Rohingyas are a threat to national security. Even an Islamic country like Saudi Arabia has deported Rohingya migrants. The BJP's logic is that Hindu migrants have only India to fall back on while Muslim migrants have several Islamic countries to seek shelter in.

Is it not unconstitutional and against India's secular ethos to discriminate on religious lines?

Sixty-five writ petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the legal validity of the CAA. The apex court has asked the Union government to respond by the second week of January. Constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap says there are arguments both in favour of and against the act. "Article 14 says that all persons are entitled to equality, but there have been several Supreme Court judgments which say that reasonable classification can be applied to this principle of equality. Even all fundamental rights are subject to reasonable classification. Anyone can challenge the act in the apex court and the future of the act will depend on whether the Supreme Court accepts the classification made within this act as reasonable enough," he says.


MORE FROM INSIGHT | While Bengal was Burning

Why do we need this new provision? Don't we have enough provisions to offer citizenship to outsiders -- Adnan Sami, for example?

Yes, we do have, but they are applicable only to those who have entered India legally, that is, with a valid visa. Sami was in India legally. Illegal immigrants-who cross the border without any paperwork-can't apply for citizenship and, when caught, face prosecution. India is among the few countries in the world that has neither a national refugee protection framework nor an immigration policy. It is also not a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, or its 1967 Protocol. India has also not ratified the 1954 UN Convention on Statelessness or the 1961 UN Convention on Reduction of Statelessness. It is under no obligation, therefore, to provide rights set out in the conventions to refugees. It takes decisions on granting long-term visas to refugees essentially on an ad hoc basis. It does have some laws that govern refugees, including the Registration of Foreigners Act, 1939; Foreigners Act, 1946; and the Passport Act, 1967.

(Video) CAA in place amidst protests, pan-India NRC next: All you need to know


In India, while refugees from neighbouring countries (barring Myanmar) can seek protection directly from the government and are issued documentation by the Foreigner Regional Registration Officers (FRROs), non-neighbouring countries and Myanmar come under the UNHCR mandate that assesses each individual asylum claim and issues an ID card to those recognised as refugees after seeking biometric data for registration, followed by a comprehensive interview by a UNHCR officer. The whole process takes anywhere between six months and a year. The government currently allows refugees, including Rohingya, with UNHCR IDs to apply for a "long-term visa", which the government issues on a case by case basis. However, this doesn't make them Indian citizens.

Why is Assam protesting against the CAA?

Though this legislation covers refugees from three countries, the indigenous people of Assam fear it will primarily benefit illegal Bengali Hindu migrants from Bangladesh who have settled in large numbers across the state. The Assamese fear that if citizenship is granted to Bangla-speaking Hindu immigrants from Bangladesh, they will outnumber Assamese-speaking people in the state. They cite the example of Tripura, where Bengali-speaking Hindu migrants from Bangladesh now dominate political power, pushing the original tribal population to the margins. Unlike in the rest of India, where people are questioning the exclusion of Muslims, the Assamese don't want immigrants of any religion, whether Hindu or Muslim.


MORE FROM INSIGHT | What led to the SAD's U-turn on the inclusion of Muslims in CAA?

How is the CAA connected to the NRC?

The two have no connection. The NRC is a count of legitimate Indian citizens. Barring the state of Assam, this exercise has never been done anywhere in the country. Union home minister Amit Shah has said he will frame a nationwide NRC by 2024 to detect illegal migrants. On December 22, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government had never said anything about an NRC except in Assam.

Will the proposed NRC be like the one prepared in Assam?


No. The Assam NRC has a different historical context. The first NRC in Assam was prepared in 1951, owing to widespread allegations of massive, unabated illegal immigration from Bangladesh. The first NRC was published by recording the particulars of all the persons enumerated in that year's census. The 1951 NRC found that nearly 1.5 million illegal immigrants-one-sixth of Assam's population-lived in the state. However, there is no account of what happened to those illegal immigrants. Three decades later, at the end of a six-year-long agitation in Assam against illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, the Union government and student leaders signed the Assam Accord in 1985. As part of the accord, the 1951 NRC would be updated. That's why people residing in Assam were asked to provide documents showing their connection to those whose names appeared in the 1951 NRC. Because the Assam Accord accepted any illegal migrant entering the state before March 25, 1971, as a legal Indian, documents showing connection to anyone whose name featured in the voter lists between 1951 and 1971 were also accepted as proof of citizenship.

What will be the basis of the proposed nationwide NRC?

The Union home ministry had framed the rules for a nationwide NRC in 2003, following an amendment to the Citizenship Act, 1955. These rules categorically state that the central government shall, for the purpose of the NRC, carry out a house-to-house enumeration for collection of specified particulars relating to each family and individual residing in a local area, including the citizenship status. So, unlike what many are claiming, people will not be asked to submit documents related to their grandparents. Just like people present their identity cards or any other document for registering their names in the voter list or getting an Aadhaar card, similar documents will need to be provided for the NRC.
Any document related to date and place of birth will suffice as proof of citizenship. However, the decision on what documents will be acceptable is still pending. They are likely to include voter ID cards, passports, the Aadhaar card, driving licences, insurance papers, birth certificates, school-leaving certificates, documents relating to land or home or other government-issued documents. If a person is illiterate and does not have the relevant documents, the authorities will allow them to bring a witness. Other evidence and community verification will also be allowed.

Is the NRC an exercise to exclude Muslims?

No. Even in Assam, of the 1.9 million people excluded from the NRC, 1.3 million are Hindu and from indigenous tribes, as unofficial sources confirm. That also explains why the BJP has rejected the NRC in Assam. A scrutiny of the 2003 guidelines for a nationwide NRC reveals that there is no provision that can exclude a legal Muslim citizen from the NRC.

(Video) CAA and NRC Explained

But the CAA does exclude Muslims.

The CAA excludes Muslim immigrants who have entered India illegally, not legal Indian Muslim citizens.

However, since the CAA will provide citizenship to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from three countries, only Muslim immigrants will be left out when the NRC is rolled out. Is it not a clever way for the RSS-BJP to realise their dream of a Hindu Rashtra?

Partly true. The CAA will provide citizenship to illegal non-Muslim migrants from three countries and who have entered India before December 31, 2014. An honest NRC should exclude illegal migrants of all religions. That, however, will depend on the intent of the government and a framework that is flawless, a huge challenge for Amit Shah. There is nothing wrong per se with the exercise of detecting illegal migrants-irrespective of their religion-but to discriminate on the basis of religion is against India's secular ethos, especially when the CAA does not specify that it will cover people who have faced religious persecution.

Do we really need an NRC?

On paper, there is nothing wrong with counting the legal citizenry of the country. But if it becomes a basis for discrimination or put to other uses, then it is certainly problematic. Besides, it will be an enormous exercise given the size of our population and other complexities. This was evident in Assam, where even genuine Indian citizens got excluded and many illegal migrants allegedly, got included. Before the government embarks on this exercise, it also needs to put in place a policy on stateless people. India does not have one yet, and keeping illegal migrants in detention centres is something the country can ill afford.

Read | Anti-CAA protests: Why political parties are hiding behind students
Read |
Protest against CAA: Where do political parties stand?
Read | Protests against CAA intensify across country: How Indian newspapers covered the stir
Read | Gujarat CAA protesters corner policemen, rain stones as locals rescue struggling cops
Watch | Anti-CAA protests: Who is inciting mob and creating unrest?

--- ENDS ---

(Video) Swara Bhasker’s Quick NRC-CAA Guide: The Protests and the Act, Explained | The Wire


What are the reasons for NRC? ›

The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a register of all Indian citizens whose creation was mandated by the 2003 amendment of the Citizenship Act, 1955. Its purpose is to document all the legal citizens of India so that the illegal immigrants can be identified and deported.

What is the full form of CAA in banking? ›

CAA - Commercial Account Analysis.

Why is NRC important in Assam? ›

The main purpose for the introduction and updating of the NRC in Assam was the identification of the illegal immigrants in Assam who had migrated to Assam from Bangladesh during the 1971 war with Pakistan.

How does the NRC protect you? ›

The NRC licenses and regulates the Nation's civilian use of radioactive materials to provide reasonable assurance of adequate protection of public health and safety and to promote the common defense and security and to protect the environment.

What are 3 major responsibilities of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission? ›

The NRC licenses and regulates the Nation's civilian use of radioactive materials, to provide reasonable assurance of adequate protection of public health and safety, to promote the common defense and security, and to protect the environment.

What is the role of the NRC in the US economy? ›

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission licenses and regulates civilian use of nuclear energy to protect public health and safety and the environment.

How many NRC agreement states are there? ›

There are currently 10 regional compacts.

What is NRC cost? ›

NRC stands for a Non-recurring charge, which is basically a one-time charge. MRC stands for a Monthly recurring charge.

What does CAA mean work? ›

Learn how to become a Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant (CAA)!

What does CAA stand for in law? ›

Congressional Accountability Act (CAA) Dispute Resolution Process.

What is CAA full information? ›

The principal features of CAA. The Act is intended to amend its Citizenship Act, 1955 to allow Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian illegal immigrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Pakistan people of India. The Delhi High Court has said that an official passport is an acceptable document.

Who controls the NRC? ›

The NRC is headed by five Commissioners appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for five-year terms. One of them is designated by the President to be the Chair and official spokesperson of the Commission.

Who regulates the NRC? ›

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulates commercial nuclear power plants, and other uses of nuclear materials.

Who runs the NRC? ›

The NRC is headed by five commissioners appointed by the president of the United States and confirmed by the United States Senate for five-year terms. One of them is designated by the president to be the chairman and official spokesperson of the commission. The current chairman is Christopher T. Hanson.

What is the disadvantage of NRC? ›

Drawbacks of NRC:

Even the family of a former President of India is not mentioned on the list. It will be very difficult to physically verify all the members who are not on the list. Deportation and detention camps are not good options for a democratic country like India.

What does NRC stand for and what do they do? ›

Report an Oil or Chemical Spill. Contact the National Response Center at: 800-424-8802. The National Response Center (NRC) is a part of the federally established National Response System and staffed 24 hours a day by the U.S. Coast Guard.

When should you report to NRC? ›

Any person in charge of a vessel or an onshore or offshore facility must notify the National Response Center (NRC) immediately after he or she has knowledge of the discharge. Contact Us to ask a question, provide feedback, or report a problem.

When must the NRC be notified? ›

The licensee shall notify the NRC immediately after notification of the appropriate State or local agencies, but not later than one hour after the time the licensee declares an emergency.

What is trustworthy and reliable NRC? ›

Trustworthiness and reliability are characteristics of an individual considered dependable in judgment, character, and performance, such that unescorted access to category 1 or category 2 quantities of radioactive material by that individual does not constitute an unreasonable risk to the public health and safety or ...

Does NRC cost money? ›

Yes, there are annual fees and hourly fees. Annual fees that are less than $100,000 are charged once a year and annual fees over $100,000 are charged quarterly to each company or person that has a license from the NRC.

What are NRC policies? ›

NRC works to protect the rights of displaced and vulnerable people during crisis. Through our programmes we provide assistance to meet immediate humanitarian needs, prevent further displacement and contribute to durable solutions.

What are NRC examples? ›

NRC is always expressed as a decimal, rounded to the nearest 0.05. For example, a thick, polished marble floor may have an NRC of. 00 (absorbs very little sound), while a 2” thick piece of SilentFiber can have an NRC of . 95 -1.00 (very absorbent).

How do we regulate the NRC? ›

The NRC's regulatory process has five main components: (1) developing regulations and guidance for our staff and for applicants and licensees, (2) licensing or certifying applicants, (3) overseeing licensee operations and facilities, (4) evaluating operating experience, and (5) conducting research, holding hearings to ...

What are the stages of NRC? ›

The processes involved with setting up and running an NRC can be described in three phases: establishment, roll-out and maintenance.

What is NRC background check? ›

The check is conducted by capturing the individual's fingerprints, submitted thru the NRC to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and compared those to individuals who have criminal records.

What is NRC Title 10 of the Code of Federal regulations? ›

These regulations govern the transportation and storage of nuclear materials; use of radioactive materials at nuclear power plants, research and test reactors, uranium recovery facilities, fuel cycle facilities, waste repositories, and other nuclear facilities; and use of nuclear materials for medical, industrial, and ...

What is NRC final rule? ›

Direct Final Rule Procedures

An NRC direct final rule becomes effective in a certain number of days, usually 75 days after publication, unless the NRC receives significant adverse comments within a prescribed comment period, usually 30 days after publication.

How many years is NRC? ›

The Atomic Energy Act and NRC regulations limit commercial power reactor licenses to an initial 40 years but also permit such licenses to be renewed.

What came before the NRC? ›

Atomic Energy Commission (AEC)

Before the NRC was created, nuclear regulation was the responsibility of the AEC, which Congress first established in the Atomic Energy Act of 1946.


1. All you need to know about National Register of Citizens (NRC) of Assam
(HW News English)
2. Do CAA/NRC Protesters Know What They Are Actually Protesting Against? | NewsMo
(India Today)
3. DeepDive -Episode 1 CAA,NRC,NPR | Current Affairs | IIM Interview Preparation
(2IIM CAT Preparation)
4. What is NRC? | #CAA #CAA_NRC #VishayKhol
(Vishay Khol)
5. What Is NRC? Here's What You Need To Know | NewsMo
(India Today)
6. Here’s all you need to know about Assam NRC final draft


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Sen. Emmett Berge

Last Updated: 11/04/2023

Views: 6663

Rating: 5 / 5 (60 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Sen. Emmett Berge

Birthday: 1993-06-17

Address: 787 Elvis Divide, Port Brice, OH 24507-6802

Phone: +9779049645255

Job: Senior Healthcare Specialist

Hobby: Cycling, Model building, Kitesurfing, Origami, Lapidary, Dance, Basketball

Introduction: My name is Sen. Emmett Berge, I am a funny, vast, charming, courageous, enthusiastic, jolly, famous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.