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Day 43 – Q 1.What are the intended benefits of National Register of Citizens (NRC)? Explain. Is it a good idea to have a national level NRC? Critically examine.

1. What are the intended benefits of National Register of Citizens (NRC)? Explain. Is it a good idea to have a national level NRC? Critically examine. 

नागरिकों के राष्ट्रीय रजिस्टर (NRC) के इच्छित लाभ क्या हैं? समझाएं। क्या राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर एनआरसी होना एक अच्छा विचार है? समालोचनात्मक  जांच करें।


National Register of Citizens, 1951 is a register prepared after the conduct of the Census of 1951 in respect of each village, showing the houses or holdings in a serial order and indicating against each house or holding the number and names of persons staying therein. 

Recently NRC was updated in Assam. The updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) was published on August 31, 2019.


Intended benefits of National Register of Citizens

  • Identification of illegal migrant – The Assam accord 1985 promises to detection, deletion name from the electoral rolls and deportation of the Bangladeshi refugees who entered in the state on mid night of March 24, 1971 a day before the Bangladesh war of freedom began. An updated NRC is likely to put an end to speculations about the actual number of illegal migrants. Publication of an updated NRC is expected to deter future migrants from Bangladesh from entering Assam illegally.
  • Curbing fake illegal voters – It will avoid the illegal immigrants from swinging elections in favour of those who promise them legitimacy.
  • Resolve crisis of identity – Influx of immigrants has created a crisis of identity among the indigenous. Locals fear that their cultural survival will be affected, political control weakened and employment opportunities undermined because of immigrants.
  • Reduce financial burden and better resource utilisation. Immigration has increased pressure on the part of state government, as the government has to increase the expenditure on education and health facilities to the immigrants.
  • NRC also improves government data which could help in better planning and administration.
  • It will also create a peaceful environment in long run, ending the role of suspicion and violence against foreigner.  Just signing of Assam accord ended the six years of violence in 1985.

National level NRC is required for having a sound governmental data for effective public delivery of services and better planning and administration. However recent NRC demands arising out from different state leaders are disturbing as it may lead to rise of regionalism.     

Also updating of NRC in Assam has created large number of exclusion whose deportation is a huge challenge.      Further the official presumption that people residing in Assam areas are foreigners has reduced several million of these highly impoverished, mostly rural, powerless and unlettered residents to a situation of helplessness and extreme poverty, destitution, hardship. Exclusion of genuine citizen may happen especially women are in danger of exclusion from the citizenship register. Typically, they have no birth certificates, are not sent to school, and are married before they become adult.

Citizenship rights must be respected but it has to be balanced by human rights of foreigners. Likewise the feeling of Vasudev kutumbakam must be balanced by national security. Special arrangement has to be made for identified migrants such as making fresh talks with Bangladesh, allowing them to stay with reduction in rights etc. 


The Central Government should appoint a National Immigration Commission to  frame  a National  Migration Policy  and a National Refugee  Policy. The Commission should  examine ways of strengthening the  Foreigners Act 1946, as well as feasibility of Identity Cards for both citizens and non-citizens and Work Permits for migrants.

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