No decision yet on nationwide NRC, govt replies in Parliament
The Union government has informed Parliament that they have not yet made a decision on creating a National Register of Citizens (NRC) at the National level. Additionally, they have delayed the update of NRC and the first phase of the 2021 Census due to the Covid-19 pandemic. On Tuesday, Nityanand Rai, who holds the position of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, provided information in reply to a question by Sushil Kumar Modi, a member of the Rajya Sabha from BJP. The question was related to the NRC, CAA, and NPR.
Protests erupted throughout India after the CAA was enacted in December 2019, which aimed to expedite the citizenship process for individuals who are not Muslim and who entered India from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh prior to December 31, 2014. Those who were against the law argued that it was unfair and went against the constitution because it excluded Muslims and associated religion with citizenship in a country that was supposed to be secular.
They were concerned that it could lead to Muslims being removed or imprisoned if they couldn’t provide the required documents, especially if the law was considered in relation to a proposed nationwide NRC. In Assam, a procedure was conducted to identify individuals who were not officially documented, and as a result, approximately two million people were removed from the National Register of Citizens (NCR) in 2018.
The National Population Register (NPR) is a thorough collection of biometric information for all individuals considered ‘regular residents’ in India. This initiative has caused controversy as critics argue that it is related to the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Initially, the government stated that the NPR is the initial stage in implementing a nationwide NRC. However, later on, they denied any association between the two and clarified that there are no plans to implement an all-India NRC in the near future. Last year, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) received a seventh extension to establish guidelines for the CAA. After the rule is announced, individuals who qualify will be able to apply for Indian citizenship.