No decision taken to prepare NRIC at national level: Govt

New Delhi: The government has not taken any decision to prepare a National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) at the national level so far.

In a reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 aims to facilitate grant of citizenship to migrants belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, or Christian communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who entered India on or before December 31, 2014, and who have been exempted by the Central Government by or under clause (c) of sub-section (2) of section 3 of the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 or from the application of the provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946 or any rule or order made thereunder.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 was notified on December 12, 2019 and came into force with effect from January 10, 2020. Under The Citizenship Act, 1955, one of the requirements for citizenship by naturalisation is that the applicant must have resided in India during the last 12 months, as well as for 11 of the previous 14 years.

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The amendment relaxed the second requirement from 11 years to 6 years as a specific condition for applicants belonging to these six religions, and the aforementioned three countries.

The Minister also informed that the government decided to update the National Population Register (NPR) under the Citizenship Act, 1955 along with the first phase of Census, 2021. The demographic and other particulars of each family and individual were to be updated/collected during the exercise of updation of the NPR wherein no document has to be collected during this exercise. However, due to the outbreak of Covid-19, the updation of the NPR and other related field activities have been postponed, he added.

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