[Model Answer] UPSC GSM2: National Register of Citizens (NRC) & Assam Accord: Features & Interconnections (250 words)

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Majid Hussain
  1. (Mock Question for UPSC Mains GS2
  2. Introduction (Origin of Why Assam Accord)
  3. Body#1: Assam Accord Features
  4. Body#2: What is NRC, How it is connected with Assam Accord?
  5. Conclusion
  6. Mistakes and Self-Assessment Benchmarks (SAB)

Mock Question for UPSC Mains GS2

  • Enumerate the major points of the ‘Assam accord (1985)’. How is it associated with the present issue of the National Register of Citizens? (250 words, 15 marks.)
  • असम समझौते (1985) के प्रमुख बिंदुओं की सूचि दीजिए. राष्ट्रिय नागरिक रजिस्टर के वर्तमान मुद्दे से यह कैसे जुड़ा हुआ है?
  • Relevance to Syllabus? Polity: Constitution subtopic ‘Citizenship’.

Introduction (Origin of Why Assam Accord)

  • (For Essay / 250 words) Since the colonial Times Assam has seen migration from the adjoining areas. British brought farmers and plantation workers from Bengal and Bihar to augment their revenue. However, the problem of immigration aggravated after separation of East Pakistan and the persecution of Bangladeshis by the Pakistani Army. The large-scale immigration from Bangladesh into the Assam during 60s and 70s had erupted mass-protests in the state, culminated into signing of an accord between the leaders of Assam and the Union Government headed by PM Rajiv Gandhi. (OR)
  • (For 150 words) Assam Accord was signed between Government of India headed by PM Rajiv Gandhi and the leaders of Assam movement [All Assam Students’ Union-AASU] during 1985, to deal with the problem of Bangladeshi immigrants.

Body#1: Assam Accord Features

Citizenship act 1955 will be amended to implement following:

Resident of Assam Citizenship status
Those living since before 1/1/1966 Will be given citizenship.
Those who entered after 1/1/1966 upto 24/3/1971
  • Their names would be deleted from electoral rolls and disenfranchised for period of 10 years. OR
  • if they registered and lived for 10 years, they’ll be given citizenship.
Those who entered after 24/3/1971 will be expelled and deported
  • Foreigners Tribunals will be established for the detection and deportation of illegal migrants in Assam.
  • Constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.
  • Speedy all-round economic development of Assam as to improve the standard of living of the people.
  • National institutions for education, science & technology will be setup.

In real exam, no need to mention exact years and dates, just that ‘depending on the entry and year of residence, people will be either given citizenship or will be expelled.’

Body#2: What is NRC, How it is connected with Assam Accord?

  • After conducting the Census of 1951, National Register of Citizens (NRC) was prepared.
  • It shows the houses in a serial order in each village, the number and names of persons staying therein.
  • To implement Assam Accord and to detect the illegal immigrants, the NRC had to be updated to find the original inhabitants, and their descendants.
  • However, this exercise couldn’t start for variety of reasons**, until SC gave deadline of 31/12/2017 to publish the first draft of NRC for Assam. [**In real exam, don’t write ‘for Muslim vote bank Congress Government didnot update the NRC.]
  • 1/1/2018: First draft published by the Registrar General of India.
  • July 2018: Second draft published. Nearly 40 lakh inhabitants of Assam were omitted in this list, leading to mass panic of deportation. Fears of rioting, vigilantism by Pressure-Groups and harassment by Government officials in mid-day meal, PDS, MNREGA etc.
  • However, these people are given 60 days window (starting from 25th September 2018) to present their claim and objections. Government will publish the final list in December 2018.
  • Those who’re not in the final NRC list, can file appeal in the Foreigner’s Tribunal. Only then, a proved illegal immigrant will be put in the detention centre.
  • Whether such people will be deported to Bangladesh or established in separate colony or removed from voters list but allowed to reside in their present homes- These issues are been deliberated by Government of India and the SC.

No need to remember dates for descriptive exam.

Assam accord and National Register of Citizens NRC

Conclusion

  • The issue of illegal Bangladeshi migrants is harming the development, peace and tranquillity of Assam due to its economic, ethnic & religious dimensions.  Speedy resolution of NRC and Assam Accord is therefore need of the hour. OR
  • NRC is important process taken up to protect the political and economic rights of Indian citizens. It must be allowed to reach its logical conclusion without giving it a communal or political colour.

In the “Conclusion“, don’t give long list of suggestions / “way forward” about what should be done with illegal immigrants. Because that’s not asked in the question

Mistakes and Self-Assessment Benchmarks (SAB)

Parameter Marks Benchmarks
Introduction 0-1-2
  • +2 marks if introduction contains atleast two keywords: 1985, AASU, Rajiv Gandhi, illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
Conclusion 0-1-2
  • 0 if long list of suggestions given under the heading ‘Way forward’, because that’s not asked.
  • +2 If attempted to connect how / why this issue is important for Assam’s development.
Body 0 to 4 marks
  • Not more than 1 mark, if you’ve not elaborated on what exactly is Assam Accord and NRC, you’ve done just bolbacchan that they’re related to illegal immigrants.
Logical structure -1 to 0
  • (1) if giving longwinded explanation of how illegal immigrants pose economic challenges and internal security of Assam. That’s not asked here.
  • (1) if suggesting about what should be done to those 40 lakh people not mentioned in the NRC.
  • (1) if writing that ’40 lakh people are declared illegal immigrants’. They’re not yet declared illegal, they’re given opportunity to present proofs.
Concise expression -1 to 0
  • (1) if longwinded explanation given on the 15 types of documents accepted in NRC, and the difficulties faced by NRC staff regarding internet, electricity, training etc. OR how xyz noted MLA, sportsperson is not included in NRC list followed by three exclamation mark!!! as if writing a personal blog instead of officer-like report.
Language -1 to 0
  • (-1) If using political statements like “Rajiv Gandhi signed the accord to appease the Assamese students”, “Congress party did not start NRC updation because of Muslim Votes”.
Total Marks out of 15 0 to 8
  • After adding / subtracting above parts, don’t give yourself less than zero and not more than eight marks.

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