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Nagaland to start its own version of NRC

Nagaland to start its own version of NRC

Tag:GS2 || Polity || Other constitutional dimensions || Special provisions for some States

Why in news ?

  • Nagaland government has decided to set up a Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN) with the aim of preventing fake indigenous inhabitants’ certificates.

 Key features:

  • The RIIN will be the master list of all indigenous inhabitants of the state.
  • The RIIN list will be based on “an extensive survey”.
  • It will involve official records of indigenous residents from rural and (urban) wards and would be prepared under the supervision of the district administration.
  • This provisional list will then be published in all villages, wards and on government websites by September 11, 2019.

What will the unique identity look like?

  • All indigenous inhabitants of the state would be issued a barcoded and numbered Indigenous Inhabitant Certificate.

How will the list be prepared?

  • It would be prepared under the supervision of the district administration.
  • The preparation of the list will start from July 10, 2019, and the whole process will be completed within 60 days from the start.
  • Designated teams of surveyors will be sent across each village and ward.

How will be the process be monitored?

  • The entire exercise will be monitored by the Commissioner of Nagaland.
  • In addition, the state government will designate nodal officers of the rank of a Secretary to the state government.
  • Their role will be to monitor the implementation. However, they will have no say in the adjudication process.

How will the RIIN be updated?

  • Once the RIIN is finalised, no fresh indigenous inhabitant certificates will be issued except to newborn babies born to the indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland.

 What is an ILP?

  • The process will be conducted across Nagaland and will be done as part of the online system of Inner Line Permit (ILP), which is already in force in Nagaland.
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) is an official travel document required by Indian citizens residing outside certain “protected” states while entering them.
  • The ILP is issued by the Government of India and is obligatory for all those who reside outside the protected states. With the ILP, the government aims to regulate movement to certain areas located near the international border of India.

Origin of ILP:

  • ILP’s origin dates back to the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations, 1873, which protected the British Crown’s interest in tea, oil and elephant trade.
  • It prohibited “British subjects” or Indians from entering into these protected areas.
  • After Independence, in 1950, the word “British subjects” was replaced by Citizens of India and the focus of the ban on free movement was explained as a bid to protect tribal cultures in northeastern India.
  • Currently, the Inner Line Permit is operational in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.
  • It can be issued for travel purposes solely.

NRC experience in assam :

  • The NRC experiment in Assam witnessed extremely divisive political posturing.
  • The Assam experiment has no clear end-point.
  • Bangladesh has repeatedly suggested that the process going on in Assam is “an internal matter” of India, implying that there is no deportation possibility here.

Way forward :

  • It is unclear what the Nagaland government hopes to achieve through the exercise.
  • In the complex demographies of North-Eastern States, it may prove to be difficult.
  • The right to appeal and a humane hearing should be in-built in this exercise.
  • In Nagaland, various local attempts have been made previously to determine non-locals, non-tribals and non-nagas. Two years ago, a town near Dimapur passed a resolution to place curbs on illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.
  • RIIN should not become a vehicle to determine outsiders / insiders. It is expected to deepen the existing fault-lines.