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The difference between NRC and CAA Bill

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) amended the Citizenship Act of 1955 to make it easier for illegal immigrants belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian communities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan to acquire Indian citizenship if they left their parent countries to escape religious persecution.

Citizenship Amendement Bill

What does the bill say?

The CAB amends the 64-year-old Indian Citizenship law, which currently prohibits illegal migrants from becoming Indian citizens.

It defines illegal immigrants as foreigners who enter India without a valid passport or travel documents, or stay beyond the permitted time. Illegal immigrants can be deported or jailed.

The new bill also amends a provision which says a person must have lived in India or worked for the federal government for at least 11 years before they can apply for citizenship.

National Register of Citizens

The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a list of people who can prove they came to the state by 24 March 1971, a day before neighbouring Bangladesh became an independent country.

All the names appearing in the NRC, 1951, or any of the Electoral Rolls up to the midnight of 24th March 1971 together are called Legacy Data. Thus, there will be two requirements for inclusion in updated NRC – 

1. Existence of a person’s name in the pre-1971 period &  2. Proving linkage with that person. 

Difference between CAB and NRC


  1. CAB will provide Indian citizenship based on religion.

  2. CAB likely to benefit non-Muslim immigrants.

  3. CAB to grant citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

  4. CAB will grant citizenship to the religious minorities who entered India on or before December 31, 2014.


  1. NRC has nothing to do with religion.

  2. NRC is aimed at deportation of all illegal immigrants irrespective of their religions.

  3. NRC Assam was aimed at identifying 'illegal immigrants', mostly from Bangladesh.

  4. NRC will include those who can prove that either they or their ancestors lived in India on or before March 24, 1971.


The Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 (CAB) was passed by the Indian Parliament on December 11, 2019 with 125 votes in favor and 105 votes against. The bill received formal approval from President Ram Nath Kovind on December 12, 2019.

References : BBC , TOI

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