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NRC : From Fundamentals To The Protest

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NRC Fundamentals

The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a register maintained by the Government of India containing names and certain relevant information for identification of Indian citizens in the state of Assam.

The register was first prepared after the 1951 census of India, and since then it has not been updated till NRC came into the picture. Assam has become the first Indian state where the updating of the NRC is being taken up to include the names of those individuals whose names appeared in the NRC of 1951 and are still alive; and/or of their currently living descendants who have a permanent residence within the state.

The process of NRC in the state of Assam started in the year 2013 when the Supreme Court of India passed an order in favour of NRC. Since then, the Supreme Court of India (bench of chief justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Rohinton Fali Nariman) has been monitoring it continuously.

NRC v/s CAA

In Assam, one had to apply for the inclusion in the register of citizenship; however, for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), there is no clear set of terms and conditions. Moreover, guidelines on how people will proceed with CAA, and how the Act will be executed is still vague.

Process of NRC In Assam

The entire process is conducted by Mr Prateek Hajela, an officer from the Indian Administrative Service Cadre. He has been designated as the State Coordinator of National Registration, Assam along with 52,000 government officials. The process is being carried out under the monitoring of the Supreme Court of India, which has been holding a periodical hearing on representations made to it, by various interested parties or stakeholders in Assam. Hundreds of NRC Sewa Kendra’s were also set up to carry out the process of NRC. The processed documents and conditions are divided into two lists namely List A, and List B. The documents that come under List A are as follows:

  1. 1951 NRC
  2.  Electoral roll(s) up to 24 March (midnight), 1971
  3. Land and tenancy documents
  4. Citizenship certificate
  5. Permanent residential certificate
  6. Refugee registration certificate
  7. Any government-issued license/certificate
  8. Government service/employment certificate
  9. Bank or post office accounts
  10. Birth certificate
  11. State educational board or university educational certificate
  12. Court records/processes
  13. Passport
  14. Any LIC policy

While the List B contains:

  1. Birth certificate
  2. Land document
  3. Board/University certificate
  4. Bank/LIC/post office records
  5. Circle officer/Gaon Panchayat secretary certificate in case of married women
  6. Electoral roll
  7. Ration card
  8. Any other legally acceptable document

For women who were married to other regions or states and with no documents to choose from list B to establish a family link, the state has allowed

  • Circle officer or Gaon Panchayat secretary certificate that need not be on or before the 1971 date
  • A ration card issued on or before 1971.

What about those whose names were missing from the list?

Various help centres along the process were there to help people whose name were missing from the list. The steps were as follows:

If one’s name was not in the final list, that individual had to approach the Foreigners Tribunals for which around 200 new Foreigners Tribunals were set up in the state of Assam.

Additionally, to support these people, six detention centres were opened in the state of Assam in Goalpara, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Silchar, Kokrajhar and Tezpur. Moreover, if an individual was not satisfied with FTs services, he/she can file a complaint against FTs.

What would a pan-India NRC mean?

Who all are Indian citizens under CAA?

The Citizenship Act, 1955 states that anyone born in India on or after January 26, 1950, up till July 1, 1987, is an Indian citizen by birth.

Anyone born on or after July 1, 1987, but before the initiation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003 and either of whose parents is an Indian citizen at the time of his/her birth is an Indian citizen.

Plus anyone born after the commencement of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003 and both of whose parents are Indian citizens at the time of his/her birth is an Indian citizen.

The only exemption to this was Assam, wherein as per the 1985 Assam Accord foreigners who arrived in the state up to March 24, 1971, were to be regularised as Indian citizens. In this context, only Assam was permitted to take in foreigners up to March 24, 1971. For the rest of the country, those born outside the nation after January 26, 1950, and residing in India without proper documents is a foreigner, illegal immigrant. Such individual is subject to laws like the Foreigners Act, 1946 and Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920; tribunals are already empowered to identify, detain and deport them.

Let’s assume that NRC becomes a success in Assam, but the question is how far and how long this process of proving citizenship will take? Around 19 lakh people were found illegal immigrants as per the current list of NRC in Assam, what will happen to these people? Will they be deported? If yes, will Bangladesh Government take them back?


Disclaimer: Above mentioned information is based on government-issued articles and information passed on by the Government of India. NewsAurChai Media, by any means, does not support or oppose the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 via this article. The sole purpose of this article is to spread information not, to show any sort of favouritism to any decision of any side.

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All You Need To Know About National Institute Of Food Technology Entrepreneurship And Management Bill 2021

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National Institute Of Food Technology Entrepreneurship And Management Bill 2021

On July 26, 2021, Lok Sabha passed a bill under the ministry of Food Processing Industry. The bill is titled as National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2021. The main motive of this bill is to address issues with the Food Processing Industry, Entrepreneurship and one Institution for National Importance. With the passing of this bill, the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) and National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) is now merged as Institutions of National Importance, and it aims at providing various research and advancement in learning about the Food Industry and its associated branches. The bill was first introduced in the house in February 2019 but was pending due to protest by the opposition.

Significance of Institutions of National Importance (INI)

With the passing of this bill, the institutions enjoy greater autonomy through which they can carry out various courses, research attracting skilled faculties and students from all over the country and overseas. Good standards in education will be adopted to improve the present and future of education in this branch and sector, overcoming the technological gap in the country. This law aims to improve and introduce new changes in food, bio-nanotechnology, cold chain technology etc. The desired efforts will be taken in terms of human resources and infrastructure developments, labs for research etc. Liberty to open centres anywhere in India is also granted to INI and include courses regarding food technology certification and improving the workforce of the country.

Some other important features of this act are the Institution has been authorized with the Board of Government, Senate and other acting Authorities. The Council of Board will include 16 members from different branches from the same field. The Head will be Chairperson, who will be a skilled person from the Food Industry, the Director, Dean and Registrar. Members appointed from Centre and State Governments, Members from FSSAI and Council of Agriculture Research, as mentioned in the bill. The 16 members of the board will carry out work of taking administrative decisions, creating annual budgets and paths for institution progress as an organization, establishing departments, their appointment terms of services, faculties etc. The Board of Council also holds power to grant Honorary Degrees and Diplomas. The Senate shall be the principal academic body of the Institute, consisting of the people such as Director as the Chairperson; Registrar; Full-time skilled level Professor; and Three academically skilled Individuals nominated by the board from the field.

The Union Minister of Food Processing Industry, Mr Pashupati Kumar Paras, expressed his gratitude to PM Modi for this landmark step in this industry from his Twitter handle, indicating new opportunities in Food Technology Industries. Therefore, this Act looks promising on paper with new opportunities and in Educational Development. Amidst the Pegasus Spyware and repeal of the farm laws, this looks positive from the Modi Government.

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Fake News: Accountability Of News Organisations

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Fake News II News Aur Chai

Fake news is false news stories or hoaxes, which are deliberately released to misinform and to create chaos in society or among readers. Fake news is one of the main reasons behind the disruption of peace in society and it becomes more dangerous in volatile places. Fake news is generally shared with propaganda to mislead the audience by hiding or twisting the truth. However fake news isn’t new to the web, it recently became an enormous problem in today’s digital world. Fake news mostly comes from sites that are bogus or have sensationalized stories.

Most of the users do not check the facts before sharing the information on their social media, which can be a reason for widespread fake news. So, it is important to differentiate between fake news and authentic news to maintain harmony in society and to avoid false news and its repercussions.

Fake News Stories

  • On 2nd April, a team of doctors, health workers, and revenue officials were attacked by the family members of a 65-year-old man who died of COVID-19 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh because of the fake video which claimed that healthy Muslims were being injected with the virus, reiterating the risks and physical manifestations of misinformation.
  • On March 22, 2020, Mr. Modi’s new term ‘Janta curfew’ has sparked a buzz on the Internet. Social media users started interpreting PM Modi’s concept of ‘Janta curfew’ in their own ways. Social media was flooded with a certain ‘scientific explanation’ behind the curfew as to how it will break the chain of transmissions of the deadly coronavirus infection. The claim was found out to be misleading. PM Modi, while announcing the curfew, didn’t mention this particular ‘scientific’ logic behind it.
  • Rumours were circulated on WhatsApp groups about a kidnapping gang operating in India’s western state of Maharashtra in 2018. The rumors eventually cause a mob lynching, that killed five migrant workers because they were suspected of being kidnappers.
  • On November 13, 2016, when the government of India has demonetized Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes and planned to replace them with new Rs 500 and Rs 2000 notes, rumors were spreading about Rs 2000 notes. Rumors claimed the new higher denomination currency comes with a Nano-GPS chip which acts as a reflector, giving precise location coordinates of the currency to permit every note to be tracked. However, the RBI officials had dismissed these as false and said the new Rs 2000 note does not have a Nano-GPS chip as is being claimed on social media, WhatsApp.
  • In the pandemic situation, where vaccination has become crucial, in a series of viral videos it was seen that people are claiming that magnet was attracted to the arms of alleged COVID-19 vaccinated recipients. This kind of fake news can create misconceptions about vaccines and people may not take their jab of vaccines. The Centre has declined the claims that Covid-19 vaccines can make people ‘magnetic’. It has also dismissed theories about microchips in coronavirus vaccines.

Need of Accountability

False information on social media can cause huge problems. It is often done to influence political processes. Need for Accountability increases in such situations because the false information provided by certain news organizations can create a ruckus in society. Before publishing the news, it is necessary to check the facts.

If the news organizations, shared misinformation unintentionally they must remove the content right away and they should apologize to the readers. If fake news is spread with propaganda to create chaos in society, then the news organization should be punished under the law. The information must be checked before sharing it with other people.

 

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Curious Case Of Pegasus: Explained

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Pegasus II News Aur Chai

Pegasus is a spyware that can hack the victims’ mobile phones and read their SMS messages and emails. The Pegasus spyware is owned by an Israeli software company named NSO Group. According to the various reports, this company has targeted more than 50,000 phone numbers at the Global level, of which 300 are in India for surveillance.

The news broke out after the 17 media partners investigated. This investigation brought into the picture information about a leaked database of mobile telephone numbers of Indian Ministers, Opposition leaders, journalists, the legal community, business people, government officials, scientists, activists and many influential personalities of the nation.

Pegasus Spyware and India

According to the report by the agency, the Israeli company which sells Pegasus around the world says that its clients are confined to ‘vetted governments”, believed to number 36. The NSO Group also says that ‘the target list in India is not ours, never was.’ Their refusal of the leaked database has created a loophole in understanding this case.

This whole case has violated the integrity of democratic institutions. According to the report by the agencies, after the mobile phones of the opposition leader Rahul Gandhi and various other leaders were hacked under the Pegasus spyware surveillance. Multiple tweets were made against the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) government in India. This whole case has become one of the major threats in the political arena and the Indian Democracy.

Though at the start, it was used for national security purposes. The explosive expansion of surveillance technology vendors has become a vast human rights and a global security issue. If such surveillance technologies increase, it might cause a lot of problems to countries around the globe. Hence, as a precaution, all these countries need to work on regulating this technology.

According to the reports by the agency, one of the targeted phones by the Pegasus spyware was of the former election commissioner of India, Ashok Lavasa. Various such people and such opposition leaders were somehow against the BJP government having their phones hacked with the NSO-owned spyware. All these instances and the names in the leaked list have pointed figures towards the Modi Government.

The Modi government’s stand on this case was put forward in Lok Sabha by two serving ministers, Ashwini Vaishnaw and Prahlad Singh Patel. These two leaders were also featured in the leaked database. The recent Information Technology Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw defended the BJP government in the parliament by saying, “the expose was an attempt to malign Indian democracy and its well-established institutions.” She even said, ‘any form of illegal surveillance is not possible with the checks and balances in our laws and robust institutions.’

This case has adjourned the parliament proceedings due to the protests inside and outside the house of parliament by the opposition party.

Pegasus Spyware and World.

 In the statement given to the agency, Access Now, an organisation defending the digital rights of global users, said it was outraged that products sold by NSO were allegedly “used to hack and invade the private communications” of thousands of people across the globe.

At a global level, France’s Emmanuel Macron was targeted in the Pegasus spyware case. As the phone of French President Emmanuel Macron was hacked, the investigation was carried out and later on was published which was directed by the Paris-based non-profit journalism group Forbidden.  After this case came in front of the whole world, the Pegasus spyware surveillance came into the picture.

If this continues for some more time, it will ruin India’s Democratic values at a global level. As well as this might become a huge technological threat between the different nations around the globe.

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