‘National Register of Indian Citizens’ (NRIC) –
Does the Assam Experience help Mainland States?
Abusaleh Shariff (email@example.com)
Chief Scholar at the US–India Policy Institute, Washington DC;
and Centre for Research and Debates in Development Policy, New Delhi and Bengaluru.
The preparation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state of Assam is now a reality. The procedures conduct of preparation of a register and the due process utilized in the state of Assam is a precursor to similar exercise in other states to cover the whole nation. Ideally all democratic nations should hold a register of citizens especially those whose national economies are built through sustained and organized immigration policies. However, Indian economy which is growing mostly based on domestic demand and indigenous resource exploitation has no record of major immigration excepting those crossing border due to socio-political reasons.
This paper articulates possible execution of the design and manufacture of the ‘National Register of Indian Citizens’ (NRIC) by the ruling party coalition - a preview of things to come. It is utmost important that people at large ensure reconciling key documents with respect to the names, date of birth and other vital information so that a consolidated evidence is presented should such opportunity is warranted. This paper argues that the national and state government must amend the complicated and exclusionary methodology used in Assam to prepare NRIC across the nation. The NRIC exercise will cost the nation an amount which is even higher than current level of defense budget and the cost to the nation is estimated to be two percent of GDP.
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