- The Modi government has taken a step backwards on Farm laws but at the same time, a step forward on the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
- The Ministry of Home Affairs, led by Amit Shah, has released the draft bill to amend the Registration of Births and Deaths Act 1969.
- Under the proposed amendment, the Ministry of Home Affairs has introduced several changes in order to overhaul the registry of birth and death data of the citizens.
The Modi government has taken a step backwards on Farm laws but at the same time, a step forward on the National Register of Citizens (NRC). The Ministry of Home Affairs, led by Amit Shah, has released the draft bill to amend the Registration of Births and Deaths Act 1969.
Under the proposed amendment, the Ministry of Home Affairs has introduced several changes in order to overhaul the registry of birth and death data of the citizens. So far, only the state governments maintained the Register on the birth and death of citizens but now the Union government will also maintain a collective database of birth and death in all the states.
And this database will be used to update all the other data like passport, driving license, motor vehicles, and other databases like Aadhar and Ration card. “The Registrar General, India shall maintain the database of registered births and deaths at the national level, that may be used, with the approval of Central Government, to update Population Register prepared under the Passport Database of the Passport Act; and Driving Licence database under Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 and other databases at national level subject to provison of Section 17 (1) of RBD Act, 1969, the Aadhar data prepared under Aadhaar Act, 2016, and the Ration Card database prepared under National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA),” reads the act.
An integrated database/master database, linked to a unique identity (Aadhar), will be useful to keep all the records of a person, from Driving License to passport, educational certificate to work experience, property details to income tax returns at one place. This will eliminate the use of paper altogether for any of these purposes and take India towards a fully digital society of the 21st century.
Also, this would prove to be very useful for security purposes as well as targeted and efficient welfare delivery. All kinds of Union and State government subsidies would directly go to the bank account of the beneficiary without any leakage or duplication. The Government of India would save billions of dollars per annum just by plugging these loopholes.
On the security front, a master database will ensure that any person involved in criminal and terrorist activities can be blacklisted. Also, millions of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar (Rohingyas) who illegally benefit from social security measures would be identified and eliminated. So, in this sense, it is more of a precursor to NRC and this has already rattled the likes of Asaduddin Owaisi.
Owaisi tweeted a long thread, arguing the intention of the government behind this amendment and its legality. “Govt wants to amend Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969. The amendment will allow Central govt to create a unified database of all registered births & deaths. Currently, this is carried out by states. But now Union will be allowed to collect data,” said Owaisi.
A year after the passing of the CAA, the people protecting illegal immigrants thought Amit Shah has missed chronology and NRC will never be implemented. However, while campaigning, Amit Shah assured that CAA will be implemented in the state and communities like Matua and Namashudra will get citizenship. “Didi likes infiltrators as it is her vote bank. But for 3-3 generations, people of the Matua community-Naamshudra community have not been given citizenship. What is their fault? During independence, everyone including Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Azad had promised citizenship to the people of the Matua community, I promise you, BJP will give citizenship to each of them,” said Shah.
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Now the Home Minister has brought the precursor to NRC and the first step to eliminate the illegal immigrants from the country has been taken. From the reaction of people like Owaisi, one can already imagine how much this is going to hurt the Islamists and people who thought that they now have got a lifetime of validity in this country.