Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS Mains Exam: Paper - III (General Studies – II) - 15 November 2018


Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS Mains Exam


UPSC Syllabus:

  • Paper-III: General Studies -II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)

Q. Examine how the proposed amendments in the citizenship act, 1955 violate the fundamental rights provided by the constitution. Also, explain how these amendments will affect the Assam Accord. (250 words)

Model Answer:

Answer Hint (NOT a model answer):

Broad Outlines

  • Introduction
  • Violation of fundamental right
  • Affecting the Assam Accord
  • Conclusion

Introduction

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 in order to allow the illegal right who are Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan to become eligible for citizenship of India. The bill provides for cancellation of registration of overseas citizens of India (OCI) cardholders.

Violation of fundamental right

These amendments are being regarded as a violation of fundamental right to equality, guaranteed under article 14 of Indian constitution because illegal migrants belonging to these six particular religions from only three neighboring countries are being allowed to become citizens. This change goes against the secular credentials of our country.

Affecting the Assam Accord

Besides, these amendments stand in the way of Assam accord, 1985 undermining the National Register of citizens (NRC) which is being prepared by Assam for checking the   illegal migrants entering into Assam from Bangladesh.

According to Assam accord, 1985, foreigners who had entered India between 1951 and 1961 would be eligible for citizenship however those who had entered the country after December 14, 1971 would be deported.  The current amendments has relaxed the cut-off date to December 31, 2014, undermining the process of NRC, for checking illegal migrants and the original provisions  of Assam accord of  1985. The relaxation of the cut-off date would mean that people belonging to these six religions and three countries would be eligible for citizenship.

Conclusion

The government should take into consideration the feedback from all the stakeholders and act accordingly. It should reconsider the restriction of religion and possibly bring more neighbors into the bill unless there are some compelling reasons for it to do so like ones affecting the country’s security, integrity, and sovereignty.

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