National Register of Citizens

  • The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is the register containing names of Indian CITIZENS.
  • National Register of Citizens (NRC) was prepared first in 1951 after the conduct of the Census of 1951
  • The NRC will be now updated to include the names of those persons (or their descendants) who appear in the NRC, 1951, or in any of the Electoral Rolls up to the midnight of 24th March, 1971 or in any one of the other admissible documents issued up to midnight of 24th March, 1971, which would prove their presence in Assam or in any part of India on or before 24th March, 1971.
  • All the names appearing in the NRC, 1951, or any of the Electoral Rolls up to the midnight of 24th March 1971 together are called Legacy Data. Thus, there will be two requirements for inclusion in updated NRC – 1.) existence of a person’s name in the pre-1971 period & 2.) providing linkage with that person. 
  • The provisions governing NRC update in Assam areThe Citizenship Act, 1955, and The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity cards) Rules,2003.
  • The demands to update the NRC of 1951 were first raised by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and Assam Gana Parishad more than three decades ago. The organisations had submitted a memorandum to the Centre on January 18, 1980, two months after launching the anti-illegal foreigners Assam Movement. On November 17, 1999, at an official-level tripartite meeting to review the implementation of the Assam Accord, a decision was taken that the NRC would be updated and the Centre sanctioned Rs 20 lakh for the purpose and released Rs 5 lakh of it to start the exercise. Later, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh led government took the final decision to update NRC on May 5, 2005. Thereafter, the government created a directorate for updating the NRC and the process of computerisation of the voters’ list up to 1971 and the NRC of 1951 began.

The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity cards) Rules,2003

It states that for the formation of National Register of Indian Citizens (1) The Registrar General of Citizen Registration shall establish and maintain the National Register of Indian Citizens. (2) The National Register of Indian Citizens shall be divided into sub-parts consisting of the State Register of Indian Citizens, the District Register of Indian Citizens, the Sub-district Register of Indian Citizens and the Local Register of Indian Citizens and shall contain such details as the Central Government may, by order, in consultation with the Registrar General of Citizen Registration, specify.

The Citizenship Act, 1955

This act mentions four ways in which a person may be Indian citizen viz. by birth, by descent, by registration and by naturalization. Citizenship by birth and descent are called natural citizens. 

Practice question

Which of the following fundamental rights are not provided to Aliens?

  • Article 15
  • Article 16
  • Article 21
  • Article 19


  • 1 and 2
  • 1, 3 and 4
  • 1, 2 and 4
  • All

Ans: c

Exp: Fundamental Rights available to only citizens and not foreigners

  • Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth (Article 15).
  • Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment (Article 16).
  • Six basic freedoms subject to reasonable restrictions (Article 19).
  • Protection of language, script and culture of minorities (Article 29).
  • Right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions (Article 30).