No decision yet on nationwide NRC, applications under CAA after rules notified: Centre

Updated on Dec 01, 2021 12:07 AM IST

The union home ministry on Tuesday reiterated in Parliament that it has not taken any decision yet on preparing a pan-India National Register of Citizens (NRC).

A file photo of women protesting against the NRC and the CAA in Mumbai in 2020. (HT Photo/ File)
A file photo of women protesting against the NRC and the CAA in Mumbai in 2020. (HT Photo/ File)
ByNeeraj Chauhan, New Delhi

The Union home ministry on Tuesday informed the Lok Sabha that it has not taken any decision yet on preparing a pan-India National Register of Citizens (NRC) and added that the people who come under the ambit of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) can apply for citizenship after the rules for the law are notified.

The written statement by minister of state for home affairs Nityanand Rai came after Congress MP Hibi Eden asked whether the government is considering implementation of CAA and NRC.

Rai said CAA, which was notified on December 12, 2019, came into force from January 10, 2020 and that people covered under the law may apply for citizenship after the rules for CAA are notified.

The government in July sought another six-month extension up to January 2022 to frame the rules under CAA, which was passed in 2019 to fast-track citizenship for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, who arrived in India till December 31, 2014.

Opponents of the law insist it is discriminatory and unconstitutional as it leaves out Muslims and links citizenship to faith in a secular country. Critics say it could result in the expulsion or detentions of Muslims unable to provide the documentation if the law is seen in the context of a nationwide NRC. A process carried out in Assam to detect undocumented immigrants led to the exclusion of around two million people from the NRC in 2019.

In response to another question on the number of Indians who have taken up citizenship of other countries, Rai told the Lok Sabha that 608,162 people have given up their Indian nationality since 2017. Till September 20 this year, 111,287 people renounced their Indian citizenship. Rai said 10,645 foreign nationals applied for Indian citizenship between 2016 and 2020. Most of them (7,782) were from Pakistan and 795 from Afghanistan. Indian citizenship has been granted to 4,177 people since 2016. As many as 452 “stateless” people also applied for Indian citizenship between 2016 and 2020, according to the home ministry. Rai did not elaborate how many of them were given Indian citizenship and where did they apply for citizenship from.

Rai said over 13.38 million Indian nationals were currently living abroad.

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