जानें क्या है नागरिकता संशोधन बिल 2019

All you need to know about Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (CAB)

Points to Remember:

  • The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (CAB) is a bill amending the Citizenship Act of 1955 to make illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who entered India on or before 31 December 2014, eligible for Indian citizenship.
  •  Under the Act, one of the requirements for citizenship by naturalization is that the applicant must have resided in India during the last 12 months, and for 11 of the previous 14 years.
  • The Bill relaxes this 11-year requirement to five years for persons belonging to the same six religions and three countries.
  • The bill exempts the tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura, included in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution from its applicability.
  • As per the citizenship bill, a foreigner may register as an OCI under the 1955 Act if they are of Indian origin.
  • It entitles the OCI cardholders to benefits such as the right to travel to India, and to work and study in the country.
  • The new bill amends the Act to allow cancellation of OCI registration if the person has violated any law notified by the Central government.

Need:

  • In the 2019 election campaign, the BJP’s manifesto reiterated its commitment to bring in the Bill.
  • The National Register of Citizens (NRC) was updated in Assam state in 2019, leaving out 1.9 million residents, a majority of whom were Hindus, without citizenship.
  • This matter brought urgency to the bring in the Bill.

Legislative History:

  • The Union Cabinet cleared the Bill on 4 December 2019. It was passed by the Lok Sabha on 10 December 2019 and, subsequently, in the Rajya Sabha on 11 December 2019.
  • Now the Bill will go to the President for his assent. As many as 125 lawmakers voted in the favour of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and 99 against it.

Political parties involved:

  • The CAB was supported by BJP, JD(U), SAD, AIADMK, BJD, TDP and YSR-Congress. The Shiv Sena did not participate in the voting.

How much of Northeast does the Bill cover?

  • CAB won’t apply to areas under the sixth schedule of the Constitution – which deals with autonomous tribal-dominated regions in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
  • The bill will also not apply to states that have the inner-line permit regime (Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram).

Why is Assam angry about it?

  • Among the states in the Northeast, the outrage against CAG has been the most intense in Assam.
  • While a chunk of these states have been exempted from the legislation, CAB overs a large part of Assam.  
  • The protests stem from the fear that illegal Bengali Hindu migrants from Bangladesh, if regularised under CAB, will threaten cultural and linguistic identities of the state.
Isn’t it the same like the NRC?
  • The National Register of Citizens or NRC that we saw in Assam targeted illegal immigrants.
  • A person had to prove that either they, or their ancestors were in Assam on or before March 24, 1971.
  • NRC, which may be extended to the rest of the country, is not based on religion unlike CAB.

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