The Modi government is mulling reviving the citizenship project under which every bona-fide national of the country will be enrolled as a citizen and given a national identity card (NIC) to distinguish him or her from the illegal immigrants.

The Modi government is mulling reviving the citizenship project under which every bona-fide national of the country will be enrolled as a citizen and given a national identity card (NIC) to distinguish him or her from the illegal immigrants.Sources in the union home ministry said a fresh proposal to initiate enrollment of citizens has been sent to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) under which the citizenship drive will be launched in a phased manner by taking the vulnerable border districts and coastal areas. Is it different from Aadhaar, UID?Unlike Aadhaar or UID (unique identity number) which is meant for targeted benefit transfer schemes and is not a legal instrument, national identity card (NIC) is mandated by an Act passed by the parliament and having much tighter scrutiny measures will be the main proof of citizenship of a person. Will it be linked with Aadhaar?”The PMO will take a call on when to start it and what would be the scope of the national identity card (NIC) and if it would be linked in any way with the Aadhaar number or would be a separate card. Once it gets the nod, the vast government machinery under district magistrates will start undertaking the work under the guidance of the registrar general of India (RGI),” sources said. Citizenship: On whom the onus?The process of enrolling citizenship will involve preparation of national register of Indian citizens (NRIC) right from the taluk level through tight scrutiny where the onus of proving the citizenship would lie on the person. Those who clear the scrutiny and meet the criteria will be enrolled as citizens and be handed over the national identity card (NIC). Whose concept was NIC?The move is a logical extension of the key amendments that the BJP led NDA government had brought in the Citizenship Act and Rules in 2003 following Kargil committee report but could not pursue it beyond once it was replaced by the Congress led UPA government in 2004 for next 10 years. Did Mumbai attacks give it a push?The citizenship became a burning issue again in 2008 following Mumbai terror attacks by 10 Pakistan trained LeT terrorists resulting in partial go ahead given by the UPA government to carry out resident identity card (RIC) drive in vulnerable coastal areas. But it failed to go beyond a few districts that covers only a minuscule population of a few million fishermen. Was it aimed at B’desh migrants?The core of the amendments brought in 2003 were to mark the illegal migrants that have come in huge numbers mainly from Bangladesh and settled as Indians across the country by managing to get fake ration cards and even voter identity cards. What does the Citizenship Act say?Section 14A of the Citizenship Act 2003 makes registration of every citizen of India and issuance of national identity cards to him or her compulsory. It also puts the onus on the central government to maintain a National Register of Indian Citizens and for that purposes establishment of a National Registration Authority.

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Here’s one more ID to you, in addition to Aadhaar or UID