Why in News?
The first draft of an updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) for the State listed 1.90 crore names out of the 3.29 crore applicants. The updated NRC was published at midnight on December 31.
FACTS FOR PRELIMS
Assam is the only State in the country that prepared an NRC in 1951 following the census of that year and has become the first State to get the first draft of its own updated NRC. The NRC, 1951, is being updated in Assam with the names of applicants whose names appear in NRC, 1951, or any electoral rolls of the State up to midnight of March 24, 1971, and their descendants and all Indian citizens, including their children and descendants who have moved to Assam post March 24, 1971.
Why was it necessary to bring out an NRC in Assam?
The NRC is being updated in Assam to detect Bangladeshi nationals, who may have illegally entered the State after the midnight of March 24, 1971, the cut-off date. This date was originally agreed to in the 1985 Assam Accord, signed between the then Rajiv Gandhi government and the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU).
The Assam Accord (1985) was a Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) signed between representatives of the Government of India and the leaders of the Assam Movement in New Delhi on 15 August 1985.
The accord brought an end to the Assam Agitation and paved the way for the leaders of the agitation to form a political party and form a government in the state of Assam soon after.
i) All those foreigners who had entered Assam between 1951 and 1961 were to be given full citizenship, including the right to vote.
Those who had done so after 1971 were to be deported.
ii)The entrants between 1961 and 1971 were to be denied voting rights for ten years but would enjoy all other rights of citizenship.
iii)A parallel package for the economic development of Assam, including a second oil refinery, a paper mill and an institute of technology, was also worked out.
iv)The central government also promised to provide ‘legislative and administrative safeguards to protect the cultural, social, and linguistic identity and heritage’ of the Assamese people.