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Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA): Key Insights



  Mar 12, 2024

Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)


 
1. What is the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)?

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is a modification to the Citizenship Act of 1955, enacted to provide a fast-track path to Indian citizenship for persecuted minorities (Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians) from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh who entered India on or before December 31, 2014. The act aims to protect those who have fled religious persecution in their home countries.

2. Who will be impacted by the CAA?

The CAA specifically aims to benefit the aforementioned six religious minority groups from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh seeking refuge in India. Indian citizens are not affected by this act. The legislation does not include Muslim migrants as it is designed for minorities facing religious persecution in the three specified Muslim-majority countries.

3. How will citizenship be granted under the CAA?

The process of granting citizenship under the CAA will be conducted online through a dedicated portal set up by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Applicants will need to declare their entry into India without valid travel documents and the year of their entry. The procedure aims to be streamlined, requiring minimal documentation from the applicants.

4. Why are only three countries targeted by the CAA?

The CAA focuses on Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh because these countries have a state religion, as outlined in their constitutions, which has led to the persecution of followers of other religions. The act is designed to provide refuge and citizenship to those fleeing such persecution.

5. What is the National Register of Citizens (NRC)?

The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a register maintained by the Indian government that contains the names of Indian citizens. Initially created in 1951, it is primarily used to identify illegal immigrants. The government has stated that the CAA and NRC are separate entities, with the CAA focusing on providing citizenship to persecuted minorities, while the NRC aims to document and verify the citizenship status of residents.

6. Is the CAA linked to the NRC?

The government has clarified that the CAA and the NRC are not directly linked. The CAA is focused on granting citizenship to persecuted minorities from specific neighboring countries, while the NRC is a general exercise to document and verify the citizenship status of all residents, irrespective of religion.


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