Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 | CAA UPSC Notes

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 was passed on December 10 2019, in Lok Sabha, and in Rajya Sabha it passed by 11 December 2019. Citizenship defines the relationship of a citizen with the nation in which they live, serve, and share responsibility. The Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 was passed to amend the Citizenship Act 1955 by the Parliament of India. The Citizenship Act of 1955 includes regulations on who can become a citizen of India and under what grounds.

Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 comes under the constitution of India in the UPSC Syllabus. That’s why in this article, we have prepared the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 UPSC notes that would help the candidates during preparation.

What is Citizenship Amendment Act 2019?

Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 was introduced in India on 11 December 2019, which provide citizenship right to people who belong to six religion ( Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, partisan, Christian, And Hindu), who illegally migrated to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh till 31 December 2014.

  • CAA 2019 will exempt all these people from any illegal case due to illegal immigration under the foreign and passport act, which has provisions to punish illegal immigrants.
  • Foreign and passport act specifies the punishment for an illegal immigrant who illegally migrated.

According to Citizenship Amendment Act 2019, people will be considered citizens of India from the date they enter India and will not consider criminals according to their foreign and passports acts.

  • It is important to note that the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 does not apply to people living in tribal areas like Meghalaya and Tripura or other tribal or backward areas.
  • The Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 also reduces the qualifying length of the residency phase in the country for all such migrants as covered in the ACT not less than 11 years to not less than five years.
  • The Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 also has a provision whereby the government can cancel the Overseas Citizen of India card of individuals on the grounds of violation of any laws for a major or minor offence.

Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019

In the Citizenship Act of 1955, illegal migrants were prohibited from acquiring Indian citizenship. But in 2014, the Bharatiya Janta Party’s primary election plan was to grant citizenship rights to Non-Muslim Immigrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan who were forced or compelled to seek shelter in India due to persecution on the ground of religion.

Thus, In 2016, a bill was introduced to amend the Citizenship Act 1955. The primary focus of the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 was on the realization of the amendment to the Citizenship Act to make provision for six religious minority communities to attain citizenship in India through the naturalization process. The six communities that will be granted the provision are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jain, Parsi, and Christians from Pakistan, Bangladesh, or Afghanistan on or before 31st December 2014.

Before The Citizenship Amendment Act 2019

Illegal migrants were not allowed to apply for citizenship in India; they were considered illegal immigrants till their death. Due to the introduction of the foreign and passport act, illegal immigrants have to face serious circumstances after committing the crime of illegally migrating to the country.

Who are illegal immigrants?

Illegal immigrants are people who have entered the country without a visa, passport, or permission. A person who lives in the country with an expired visa or permission is also an illegal immigrant. According to the foreign and passport acts, such illegal immigrants residing in the country are deported or punished for such offences.

Criticism of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)

In the words of opponents, CAA is exclusionary and violates Article 14 of the Constitution of India. The Constitution of India prohibits any religious discrimination and guarantees equality before the law for all. And it also violated the principle of secularism as enshrined in the Preamble. By dividing the Muslim migrants from Non-Muslim migrants while protecting the interest of the latter, this Citizenship Act is causing a violation of very crucial secular rights.

  • The Citizenship amendment act does not apply to all religions; especially it does not include Muslims; Muslims are excluded from this act, which again makes them forced to prove their citizenship.
  • Also, there are other refugees in India, like Tamils in Sri Lanka and Rohingya in Myanmar, but the act does not pertain to them. According to critics, one’s faith cannot be one’s criterion for citizenship, and this act is doing just the same. And in the light of the National Register of Citizens, as witnessed in Assam, CAA will act as a protection for Non-Muslim migrants. At the same time, Muslims will have to face the consequences of exclusion from the NRC, which may lead to statelessness, deportation or prolonged detention.
  • Anti-CAB Protests in the Northeast result from the fear that the bill will change the demography of the states. The bill exempts part of North East from its provisions: Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, and parts of Assam and Tripura.

Northeast conflict related Citizenship Amendment Act 2019

  • Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 formed the conflict between the centre and the northeast government. The Assam accord of 1955 states that illegal immigrants should be punished and deported to their countries, but that act challenged this.
  • Northeast is also concerned about the population issues because illegal immigrants have affected the country’s demographic population and the availability of resources to the indigenous people.
  • Economy: Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 also affects the northeast state’s economy because a population surge means more land and job demand, which will affect the economic resources available for indigenous people.

Political View of Citizenship Amendment Act 2019

  • The increase in the immigrant population as the citizen of the country will surge them into the political way, or they could also lead the highest political seat. This makes the country fear dominance from other religions.
  • Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 act excludes many other religions which are part of India and are a minority, which outrages this community, Like Jews, aestheticists, and Muslims. Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 will also make it difficult for the government to differentiate between illegal and legal migrants.
  • According to many people, Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 has also violated article 14, which guarantees the right to equality to every citizen without discrimination based on caste, religion, and sex. And according to this act, the citizen is given rights according to their religion, which puts the question on government governance.

Effects Of Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 On India’s Bilateral Relations

  • Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 excludes many religions, the same way the act also excludes many countries from these benefits with whom India has great bilateral relations, and this act can affect their relationship with the country.
  • India tries to defend itself by saying that Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan are religious states, which constitute the major minorities in India, so it is important to protect them.
  • Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 provides support and helps those who are religious and forced to leave their hometowns due to fear and against their will and forced to live in other countries as illegal criminals.

Claims Support Citizenship Amendment Act 2019

  1. According to the Central government, Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 is not excluding any communities; it just that they give extra benefits to others; otherwise, other communities like Jews and Muslims have full rights to apply for citizenship through traditional methods of naturalization like earlier.
  2. Every Muslim is allowed to apply for their citizenship like it was earlier, and they will not be exempted from this right; if all documents are correct, then they are eligible for citizenship.
  3. Even people covered under the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 must complete all the procedures and document work to become applicable for citizenship.
  4. Harish savand, one of the biggest names in national and international law, also said that the action is not anti-Muslim.

CAA Not violating Article 14

  • According to an article in the Constitution of India, the government has the full power to refuse any citizen’s citizenship rights, and it cannot relate to article 14
  • No illegal immigrant is allowed to ask for citizenship right as the right; it is the choice of the country whether they want to give citizenship or not to immigrants.
  • For Northeast: The citizenship amendment act does not challenge the Assam accord, as the state can still practice the provision of the Assam accord to deport and punish illegal immigrants.
  • Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 is not for Assam, it is for the whole world and the northeast to accept it. This is not against the national registration of citizens, which promises to differentiate indigenous people from illegal immigrants.

Scope Of Citizenship Amendment Act 2019

  • India has a diverse culture, which is diverse and constitutes minorities and the majority. There are many chances that the majority might dominate the majority. Hence, it is the best way to protect the right of such minorities who migrated from foreign countries so that they can ask for their right from the government in case of violation.
  • Two joint committees in parliament minister of home Affairs, given the responsibility to build the provision under the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019, can clarify the act clearly.
  • The provision also helps to implement the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 with ease. But the Ministry of Home minister missed the deadline to present the provision assigned to them in front of parliament.

Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 UPSC

The citizenship amendment act 2019 is an important topic from the UPSC SYllabus. The topic is very crucial for UPSC prelims, mains, and interview processes. UPSC aspirants need to focus on the detail of this topic as per the UPSC syllabus and keep an account related to Current Affairs for excellent preparation. Here we have covered all the necessary information related to the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 that would help the UPSC aspirants during their preparation.

Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 UPSC Sample Questions

Question: In which part of the constitution can we find provisions related to citizenship?

  1. Part 1
  2. Part 2
  3. Part 11
  4. Part 6

Answer: B

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