NRC Current Affairs - 2019

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2021 census through mobile application

Every 10 years the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India operating under the Ministry of Home Affairs carry out the massive exercise to count different aspects of India’s billion plus population. At the recently held conference of state coordinators and directors of Census operations it was decided that the 2021 census will be conducted through mobile phone application.

Key Highlights

The official reference date of the census is to be March 1, 2021 and for the snow bound Himachal Pradesh, Uttarkhand and Himachal Pradesh it is to be October 1, 2020. Training of the officials participating in the program is to begin by October 14, 2019. The exercise is to be carried out in 16 different languages at a cost of 12,000 crore rupees

This is the first time Government is adopting a Digital method moving away from the traditional pen and paper method.

After the publish of NPR – National Population Register, the government is planning to prepare NRIC – National Register of Indian Citizens

About India Census

The last and 15th Census began in 2010. Around 2.7 million officials visited households in 7,935 towns and 600,000 villages. The Government spent around 2,200 crores rupees to conduct the census. In 2011, the transgender population was counted in population census in India for the first time. There were around 490,000 transgenders in the country according to 2011 census.

SECC

The SECC – Socio Economic and Caste Census was conducted in 2011. So far, the GoI has conducted SECC census four times in 1992, 1997, 2002 and 2011.

In 2017, the GoI agreed to use SECC instead of below poverty line as main instrument for identifying beneficiaries.

SC Verdict: Foreigners Tribunal decision will prevail over NRC

The Supreme Court of India has held that a Foreigner Tribunal’s order declaring a person as an illegal foreigner will be binding and will prevail over government decision to include or exclude name from National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam.

Key Highlights

  • Argument: The SC bench constituted of Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and SC Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna unanimously distinguished between decisions of NRC) and of foreigners tribunals and upheld that the tribunal’s order being the quasi-judicial one will prevail.
  • Verdict: As per SC the persons whose names are not included in NRC in Assam can produce documents including ones related to their family tree and thus seek review of tribunal’s decision. As per SC it cannot create an appellate forum for those, declared as illegal foreigners by the foreigners tribunal, by using its power under Article 142 of Indian Constitution.
  • Outcome: If the name of a person, included in NRC in Assam is deleted on ground that he was a foreigner, then principle of ‘res-judicata’ (a judicially decided issue cannot be re-agitated) would apply on decision taken by foreigners tribunal. Thus a person who has been declared an illegal immigrant cannot seek re-decision (right of appeal) against exclusion or dropping of his name in normal circumstances.

About Foreigners (Tribunal) Order, 1964

  • The order was passed by Government of India (GoI) under section 3 of foreigners Act, 1946.
  • The GoI can constitute foreigners tribunals whenever required to look into question of whether a person is or not a foreigner within the meaning of Foreigners Tribunals act, 1946.
  • The Foreigners tribunal shall consist of persons having judicial experience as government may think fit to appoint.
  • It has powers of a civil court while trying a suit under code of civil procedure, 1908. It includes summoning any person, requiring any document and issuing commissions for examination of any witness.