EXPLAINED : The National Register of Citizens of Assam

Assam NRC
The headlines of Assam NRC have hit the front page of every newspaper be it in regional or national level during the past few months.
The issue has continued to grab the attention of the common citizens around the nation. And several debate sessions have been going on regarding the importance of the same. The people from the state of Assam has undergone several situations regarding the issue of Assam NRC. In this article, you will get to know everything you need to know about it.

What is NRC in ASSAM?

The National Register of Citizens (NRC) (ৰাষ্ট্ৰীয় নাগৰিক পঞ্জীকৰণ ) of Assam is a data containing names of all legal Indian citizens residing in India. The register was first formulated after the 1951 Census of India.
nrc assam

Who is the head of the project of Assam NRC?

The entire project of Assam NRC is supervised by the State Coordinator of National Registration Assam, Mr. Prateek Hajela ; in addition to that The Supreme Court of the country further provides strict monitoring on the same.
Assam Nrc head Prateek Hajela

Purpose of NRC

The purpose of NRC is to filter out original Indian citizens from amongst all the residents of Assam thereby leading to identification of illegal immigrants residing in Assam, who are suspected of entering the Indian borders illegally (after the midnight of 24th March 1971) and to determine the citizenship of the applicants who have applied for inclusion of their names in the updated NRC.

Who are eligible for inclusion in Assam NRC?

  • NRC put an eligibility criteria for the inclusion on the citizenship list. 
  • People who are original inhabitants of Assam and their children and descendants who are citizens of India provided their citizenship has been verified by the registering authority.
  • Basically, the cut-off date to be eligible for Indian citizenship is March 24, 1971 as per the Assam Accord signed in 1985. Generally, those people or their descendants whose names appeared in the NRC 1951, or any of the electoral rolls up till March 24, 1971.

The detailed list of the citizens who are eligible for inclusion in the updated Assam NRC as declared by the National Registration of Assam is as follows

  • Persons whose names appear in NRC 1951.
  • Persons whose names appear in any of the Electoral Rolls up to 24th March (midnight) 1971.
  • Persons who came to Assam on or after 1st January 1966 but before 25th March 1971 and has registered themselves in accordance with the rules made by the Central Government with the Foreigners Registration Regional Officer (FRRO) and who have not been declared as illegal immigrants or foreigners by the competent authority.
  • Persons who are original inhabitant of Assam and their children or descendant who are citizens of India provided the citizenship of such persons is ascertained reasonable doubt by the registering authority.
  • ‘D’ voters can apply for inclusion of their names in the updated NRC. However, their names will be finally included only when the appropriate Foreigner Tribunal declares them as non- foreigners.
  • Persons who can provide any one of the documents issued up to midnight of 24th March,1971 as mentioned in the list of documents admissible for citizenship. 

As per the latest order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court.

  • All Indian Citizens including their children and descendants who have moved to Assam post 24th March,1971 would be eligible for inclusion in the updated NRC on adducing satisfactory proof of residence in any part of the country (outside Assam) as on 24th March,1971.
  • All the members of the Tea Tribe shall be covered under ‘Original inhabitants of Assam’ category provided for under Clause 3(3) of the Schedule of The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
  • All such original inhabitants shall be included on the basis of proof to the satisfaction of the Registering Authority. On establishment of the Citizenship of such persons beyond reasonable doubt, their names shall be in the updated NRC. 
[Data Source - Government of Assam]

History and Origin

The preparation of the NRC in Assam is not a new concept.
The origin of Assam NRC dates back to 1951 when it was first prepared following the demand of most of the political organisations in the state. It has since been updated by the verdict of the Supreme Court.
The fear of unemployment and demographic changes caused by the illegal immigrants has been one of the major concerns of the citizens of the state. There have been state wide agitations by the local people regarding the same.
The Assam accord signed in 1985 by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and he organisations that had been demanding identification and deportation of illegal immigrants, helped further to strengthen the contextual relevance.
Although the topic of Assam NRC was taken to the national government, nothing was brought into action due to the negligence of the then State Government until 2013.
Hon’ble Supreme Court in 2013, headed by the bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohintan Fali Nariman, directed the Union Government and the State Government to complete the update of NRC which is to be implemented in adherence to Citizenship Act, 1955 and the Citizenship Rules, 2003, in all parts of Assam with the objective to rule out immigrants from Assam.
Assam NRC history
Image Source

Past and Present Issues

Earlier, when the issue of Assam NRC was brought into the notice of local inhabitants of Assam, various riots and disputes were seen in the state.
Although now the situation has reached a peaceful condition, there are still dark matters of concern lingering around regarding the issue of Assam NRC.
Records say that many political parties in the state has taken this issue as their benefit. In order to gain extra votes in elections, these parties meanwhile were seen trying to be on the side of the illegal immigrants. There is a dark side of political involvement regarding this issue.
 Even the present BJP Government in power made several attempts that showed they wanted to keep the Hindu people of Bangladesh in the state even when they fall into the category of illegal immigrants. Under their scheme of ‘Hindutva’, they wanted to give special privileges to the Hindu Bengalis from Bangladesh even if they are not Indian Citizens. They also mentioned all ‘Non-Hindus’ shall be thrown out of the state even if they are original inhabitants or qualify as legal citizens under the Assam NRC list.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court didn’t give permission to the above concept along with the full agreement of the local Assamese people.
The first draft NRC published on December 31 and January 1, 2018 had the names of 19 million people out of the total 32.9 million who had applied for inclusion as citizens on the list. In the second draft of NRC, published on July 30, 2018 left out 4 million people. Around 3.6 million of them subsequently filed citizenship claims. An ‘additional exclusion list’ was issued on June , 2019 which included 1,02,463 names earlier in the draft list.
Again, reverification process of the list has been going on these days. The state NRC Coordinator reported that up to 27% names have been reverified during the process of disposal of claims.


Assam is a state of peace loving individuals. There has been people of different religion, region residing in this state.
The long procedure of Assam NRC has been a fool proof issue according to me. The whole process allows both legal and illegal citizens to apply for the NRC list. Till date, there has been multiple drafts published where names of illegal citizens have been included whereas many deserving legal inhabitants didn’t find their names on the list.
This process hasn’t helped much in curbing out the illegal immigrants out of Assam as there is no procedure of restricting the suspicious minority access to the due process.
Even after publishing of multiple drafts, the final draft is yet not ready as the reverification for the process of disposal of claims follows. It was announced by Mr. Prateek Hajela recently that the final draft of NRC Assam is expected to be published by 31st August,2019.

Chaste Sriya Barman, an 18 year old girl from Guwahati, Assam has recently completed her 10+2 and passed out from Don Bosco School, Guwahati. She is a strong girl with big dreams to follow on the journey of living. An introverted soul who yearns to be a change in the society. Writing has been a medium to express the words inside the heart which otherwise are not expressed verbally. Apart from writing, an artist by passion who believes imperfections are beauty and must be appreciated.

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The Radical - Information That Matters: EXPLAINED : The National Register of Citizens of Assam
EXPLAINED : The National Register of Citizens of Assam
The National Register of Citizens (NRC) (ৰাষ্ট্ৰীয় নাগৰিক পঞ্জীকৰণ ) of Assam is a data containing names of all legal Indian citizens residing in India. The register was first formulated after the 1951 Census of India. The headlines of Assam NRC have hit the front page of every newspaper be it in regional or national level during the past few months. The issue has continued to grab the attention of the common citizens around the nation. And several debate sessions have been going on regarding the importance of the same. The people from the state of Assam has undergone several situations regarding the issue of Assam NRC.
The Radical - Information That Matters
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