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Indian Citizenship Act- Amendment, Main Provisions | Indian Polity | General Studies II

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  • Describe the main provisions of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019.


Describe the main provisions of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019.

( UPPSC, UP PCS Mains General Studies-II/GS-2 2019)


The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is a law enacted by the Indian Parliament in December 2019. 

The main provisions of the Citizenship Amendment Act are as follows:

Amendment to the Citizenship Act, 1955: 

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) amended the Citizenship Act of 1955, to provide specific criteria for granting Indian citizenship to certain categories of illegal immigrants.

Exemption for Specific Groups: 

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019 grants citizenship to specific religious minorities from three neighboring countries - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. The eligible religious communities are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians.

Cut-off Date: 

The Act specifies a cut-off date of December 31, 2014, which means that only those members of the eligible communities who entered India on or before this date are considered for citizenship.

Relaxation of Residence Requirements: 

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) relaxes the usual requirement of 11 years of continuous residence in India for illegal immigrants to apply for citizenship. Under the Act, eligible migrants from the specified communities need to have resided in India for only five years to become eligible for citizenship.

Protection from Detention and Deportation: 

The Act also provides immunity from detention or deportation to eligible illegal immigrants who came to India before the cut-off date.

Exclusion of Muslims: 

One of the main points of controversy surrounding the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is that it does not include Muslims among the eligible communities for citizenship, leading to accusations of discrimination based on religion.

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)'s primary objective, as stated by the Indian government, is to provide a fast-track mechanism for granting Indian citizenship to persecuted religious minorities from neighboring countries. The government argues that these communities face religious persecution in their home countries, and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) offers them a pathway to Indian citizenship.

However, the Act has sparked widespread protests and criticism, with opponents contending that it violates India's secular principles enshrined in the Constitution. Critics argue that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)'s exclusion of Muslims and its potential link to the National Register of Citizens (NRC) could lead to discrimination against Muslim citizens of India and marginalization of Muslim immigrants who cannot provide documentation to prove their citizenship.

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