Ministry of Home Affairs clarifies citizenship status of gorkhas living in Assam

What is Important?
UPSC perspective:
Prelims:About NRC
Mains:Issues associated with NRC and Gorkhas
Non-UPSC perspective:NCR Establishment date
Why in News?
In a communique to Assam government dated September 24, MHA had listed various provisions to obviate the difficulties faced by Gorkhas in the matter of Indian citizenship.

What’s the issue?
Recently, some cases of members of Gorkha community living in Assam were referred to the Foreigners Tribunals. Following this, a representation from the All Assam Gorkha Students’ had approached the Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh to solve the issue.
What is National Register for Citizenship
*The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is the register containing names of Indian citizens.
*National Register of Citizens (NRC) was prepared first in 1951 after the conduct of the Census of 1951.
*The NRC will be now updated to the names of those persons who appear in the NRC, 1951, or in any of the Electoral Rolls up to the midnight of 24th March, 1971, which would prove their presence in Assam or in any part of India on before 24th March, 1971.
*All the names appearing in the NRC, 1951, or any of the Electoral Rolls up to the midnight of 24th March 1971 together are called Legacy Data. Thus, there will be two requirements for inclusion in updated NRC (Existence of a person’s name in the pre-1971 period and providing linkage with that person).
*The provisions of governing NRC update in Assam are The Citizenship Act, 1955 and The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity cards ) Rules , 2003.
*The demands to update the NRC of 1951 were first raised by the All Assam Student’s Union (AASU) and Assam Gana Parishad more than three decades ago. The organization had submitted a memorandum to the Centre on January 18, 1980, two months after launching the anti-illegal foreigners Assam movement.
*On November 17,1999, at an official -level tripartite meeting to review the implementation of the Assam accord, a decision was taken that the NRC would be updated and the Centre sanctioned Rs 20 lakh for the purpose and released Rs 5 lakh of it to start the exercise . Later, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh led government took the final decision to update NRC on May 5, 2005. Thereafter, the government created a directorate for updating the NRC and the process of computerization of the voter’s list up to 1971 and the NRC of 1951 began.
Directions by the Centre:
In a communication to the Government of Assam, MHA has listed various provisions to obviate the difficulties faced by Gorkhas in the matter of Indian citizenship. These include:
*The members of the Gorkha community who were Indian citizens at the time of commencement of the Constitution, or those who are Indian citizens by birth, or those who have acquired Indian citizenship by registration or naturalization in accordance with the provisions of The Citizenship Act, 1955 are not “foreigners” in terms of section 2 (a) of The Foreigners Act,1946 as well as The Registration of Foreigners Act,1939, therefore, such cases will not be referred to the Foreigners Tribunals.
*Any member of the Gorkha community holding Nepalese nationality and who has arrived in India by land or air over the Nepal border even without a passport or visa and staying in India for any length of time shall not be treated as an illegal migrant if he/she is in possession of any of the identity documents namely the Nepalese Passport, Nepalese Citizenship Certificate, voter Identification card issued by the Election Commission of Nepal, limited validity photo-identity certificate issued by Nepalese Mission in India when deemed necessary and for children between age group of 10-18 years, photo ID issued by the principal of the school, if accompanied by parents having valid travel documents.
*No such document is required for children below the age group of 10 years, the communication added citing provisions of India-Nepal Treaty signed in 1950.
 Exempt from Foreigner Tribunals:
*The cases of members of Gorkha community falling within the parameters shall not be referred to the Foreigner Tribunals for opinion as to whether the person is a “foreigner” within the meaning of The Foreigners Act, 1946.
*Only those individuals, who have come from specified territories i.e. territories included in Bangladesh immediately before commencement of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 1985, to the State of Assam, and are not Indian citizens, can be referred to the Foreigners tribunals.



Ministry of Home Affairs clarifies citizenship status of gorkhas living in Assam  Ministry of Home Affairs clarifies citizenship status of gorkhas living in Assam Reviewed by The Hindu Current Affairs on October 12, 2018 Rating: 5

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