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DMPQ: Discuss the features of citizen amendment bill 2016.( Acts)

RAS/RTS Prelims and Mains Exam Preparation

Citizen amendment bill (2016) seeks to ease norms for religious minorities from neighbouring countries (non-Muslims) to get Indian citizenship.  But it has polarised regions in borders states like Assam as the locals fear a demographic change might be ushered due to immigration.




  1. Citizenship Act, 1955 allows an immigrant to apply for citizenship if he/she has lived in India for 12 months immediately before applying.


  1. Additionally, the applicant should‘ve also resided in India for 11 of the last 14 years before the date of application.



  1. In 2016, an amendment bill was introduced, for relaxing the 11-year cutoff to 6 years out of 14 for immigrants of the 6 religious faiths.


  1. It is for enabling ―Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis& Christians‖ from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan to apply for Indian citizenship. In other words, the amendment seeks to make non-Muslim illegal immigrants from three neighbouring countries eligible for Indian citizenship.


  1. Also, the government passed two notifications for exempting such immigrants from the Foreigners Act 1946 and the Passport (Entry into India) Act 1920.
  2. Notably, this meant that they can‘t be deported – thereby enabling them to continue living in India (provided that they had arrived before 2015).
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