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Inner Line Permit explained – Uttarakhand wants Centre to withdraw ILP system

Inner Line Permit explained – Uttarakhand wants Centre to withdraw ILP system


  • GS2 II Polity II Other Constitutional Dimensions II Special Provisions for Some States

Why in the news?

The Uttarakhand government, in a recent meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, had sought withdrawal of  “inner-line permit” (ILP) system in Niti Valley of Chamoli district and Nelang Valley of  Uttarkashi district for better border management and expansion of tourism and other economic activities in villages located there.

What is ILP in Uttarakhand?

  • The ILP system restricts movement in areas close to the border for everyone other than those with a formal permission.
  • In Uttarakhand, tourists have to obtain ILP for locations near China border, at least in the three districts of Uttarkashi, Pithoragarh and Chamoli
  • 2 other place where ILP is required are Milam village, Munsiari, PithoragarhVyas valley, Dharchula, Pithoragarh

History of ILP:

  • In contemporary India, the system is acting as a certificate or pass required for any outsiders who are entering into the aforementioned territory in which the ILP system is executed. The pass is issued only for the purpose of traveling for certain periods and not for a permanent residency. Moreover, it also restricts any outsiders from buying and owning any property.
  • ILP system also acts as insurance for the indigenous tribal people in the states from the amalgamation of their traditions, customs and languages with the popular dominant culture of the outsiders. At present, the Inner Line Permit is imposed in the northeastern states of India; Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, and Nagaland.
  • The ILP rule is valid under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations (BEFR), 1873. As regards Section 2 of BEFR 1873, residents of other states require the ILP to enter Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Mizoram. The primary goal of the ILP system is to minimize the settlement in these three states of other Indian nationals in order to safeguard the indigenous people.

Purpose of ILP:

  • As per the RajyaSabha, the main aim of the ILP system is to prevent any settlement of other Indian citizens within the States where the ILP regime is prevalent. This is done to protect the indigenous/tribal population of that area.
  • The ILP is considered the only mechanism to put control of the influx in the state. Influx is considered dangerous as it could upset the fragile demographic balance of the tribals of Meghalaya.
  • The indigenous tribes living in the hill areas would regularly be in contact with the outsiders leading to the gradual diminishing of their kind and culture
  • Inner Line Permit is required not only for the conservation of land but also for the culture of the tribes. It, however, is not a permanent solution to any problem of an influx in the North East states. However, the constitution gives the citizen’s free right to travel anywhere in India but the states where inner line permit is valid, the citizens require permission to enter and stay.

Issues faced by imposition of Inner line permit system:

  • For a multi cultured and diverse country like India its gives rise to thinking of regionalism among people.
  • AP,Nagaland and Mizoram have implemented ILP that is home of indigenous tribes are still affected by the outsiders as the infiltration is quite high.
  • There is no provision of limits or check on the other states citizens those are getting ILP so this give rise to tension and violent activities driven by various organization.
  • No stringent punishment if violates the ILP document.

Positive side of ILP:

  • Protects the land and its people from exploitation for its resources by outsiders
  • Preserves the social and cultural identities of the indigenous people
  • Prevents illegal migration from neighboring countries and states
  • Problems of the nation, such as over-population,socio-economic challenges, etc., do not drift to the states

Negatives side of ILP:

  • Absolutely not in the spirit of our constitution and against the democratic nature of our society
  • Although protected, this system might lead to alienation of the people
  • People from such states could be treated as outsiders in other states thus leading to feeling of alienation which has far reaching consequences as seen in Nagaland
  • Also, such people will be isolated from other developments occurring within the country

Reasons for the imposition for ILP are as below:

  • Protection of culture & tradition from the influence of outsiders.
  • Prevent Encroachment of land and other scarce resources by people from other countries and states of India
  • Prevention of flow of illegal migrants and others citizens of India into the region.
  • Providing employment opportunities like eco-tourism,bamboo cultivation and other sustainable economic practices if their rights are reserved in the region
  • Imposition of ILP has benefited these states a lot in the sense that it has preserved the local culture, checked the insurgency and migration of people is under control but this system is not without its fallout.

Problem faced by govt. due to this system:

  • Social and cultural harmony: Though restricting movement and settlement is regressive approach in democracy but allowing ILP is also as step to establish welfare state by addressing vulnerabilities.
  • Economic growth and development: Establishing industrial base is importance for development of these area. Govt thus need to ensure the displacement so made to be compensated by land and livelihood option along with training of local population via national skill development plan as per need and requirement.
  • Political eqilibrium: Elections are held on the basis of territorial constituencies based on population size. In such situation there may be decrease in local population representation due to migration and related distortion
  • Law and order problem: due to migrants and insurgents through open borders

Current status of ILP:

  • Currently, Protected Areas are located in the following States: – (i) Whole of Arunachal Pradesh (ii) Parts of Himachal Pradesh (iii) Parts of Jammu & Kashmir (iv) Whole of Manipur (v) Whole of Mizoram (vi) Whole of Nagaland (vii) Parts of Rajasthan (viii) Whole of Sikkim (partly in Protected Area and partly in Restricted Area) (ix) Parts of Uttarakhand A foreign national is not normally allowed to visit a Protected / Restricted Area unless it is established to the satisfaction of the Government that there are extra-ordinary reasons to justify such a visit.


This side of onslaught would be far more detrimental than any other force. In the absence of systematic and efficient human resource development strategy involving the youth of the state, development of infrastructures and formulation of suitable social, economic and cultural policies to protect the interests of the people inhabiting the state, anticipation of a glorious eastern gate opening would mean plunging oneself into the ocean without lifesaving mechanisms. Moreover, safeguard clauses needs to be negotiated at the level of treaty making process of such free trade regime. Safeguard clauses also requires to be adopted at the national and local level in the event of framing any model regulation

Mains oriented question:

Analyze the question of the ILP system being imposed in India’s northeastern states, as well as the dilemma this system has caused the Indian government. (200 words)