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16 May 2024 : PIB Summary for UPSC

1. First set of citizenship certificates after notification of Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024 issued

Topic: GS2 – Indian Polity.
Context
The Union government granted citizenship certificates to over 300 people, predominantly Pakistani Hindus, under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019.

● This move comes after the implementation of the CAA was enabled by the Citizenship Amendment Rules, 2024, notified by the Ministry of Home Affairs in March.

 Analysis of the news:

  • Over 300 people were granted citizenship certificates under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019, by the Union government.
The Citizenship Amendment Act 2019:
About:

The Act seeks to amend the definition of illegal immigrant for Hindu, Sikh, Parsi, Buddhist, Jains and Christian (but not Muslim) immigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who have lived in India without documentation.

They will be granted fast track Indian citizenship in 5 years (11 years earlier).

● The Act (which amends the Citizenship Act 1955) also provides for cancellation of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) registration where the OCI card-holder has violated any provision of the Citizenship Act or any other law in force.

Who is eligible?

The CAA 2019 applies to those who were forced or compelled to seek shelter in India due to persecution on the ground of religion. It aims to protect such people from proceedings of illegal migration.

The cut-off date for citizenship is December 31, 2014, which means the applicant should have entered India on or before that date.

The act will not apply to areas covered by the Constitution’s sixth schedule, which deals with autonomous tribal-dominated regions in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram.

● Additionally, the act will not apply to states that have an inner-line permit regime (Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram).

  • Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla handed certificates to 14 individuals in Delhi.
  • Most applicants were Pakistani Hindus, but the country of origin was not disclosed.
  • Applicants from West Bengal, including Matuas and Namasudras, and those excluded from the National Register of Citizens in Assam, may have applied for citizenship under CAA.
  • The citizenship portal requires applicants to declare their country of origin and submit documents tracing their roots to Bangladesh, Pakistan, or Afghanistan.
  • Many Pakistani Hindus living in Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, and Delhi applied for citizenship.
  • Applicants shared their experiences, expressing relief and hope for better opportunities for their families.
  • The Citizenship Amendment Rules, 2024, were notified by the Ministry of Home Affairs on March 11, enabling the implementation of the CAA after more than four years since its passage in Parliament.
What are the concerns About CAA, 2019?
Constitutional Challenge: Critics argue that it violates Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, which guarantees the right to equality before the law and prohibits discrimination based on religion.

● The CAA’s provision of granting citizenship based on religion is seen as discriminatory.

Potential for Disenfranchisement: The CAA is often linked to the National Register of Citizens (NRC), a proposed nationwide exercise to identify illegal immigrants.

Critics fear that a combination of CAA and a faulty NRC could disenfranchise several citizens who are unable to prove their documentation.

● More than 19.06 lakh people were left out of the final draft of the Assam NRC released in August 2019.

Impact on Assam Accord: In Assam, there is a specific concern regarding the compatibility of the CAA with the Assam Accord, 1985.

● The Accord established criteria for determining citizenship in Assam, including specific cut-off dates for residency.

● The CAA’s provision of a different timeline for granting citizenship could conflict with the provisions of the Assam Accord, leading to legal and political complications.

Secularism and Social Cohesion: The CAA’s focus on religion as a criterion for citizenship eligibility has raised broader concerns about its impact on secularism and social cohesion in India.

● Critics argue that privileging certain religious communities over others undermines the secular principles upon which the Indian state was founded and could exacerbate communal tensions.

Exclusion of few Religious Communities: The exclusion of certain religious communities from the CAA and its subsequent rules, such as Sri Lankan Tamils and Tibetan Buddhists, who faced religious persecution in their home countries, raises concerns.

PYQ:

Q. With reference to India, consider the following statements: (UPSC civil services prelims 2021)

1.     There is only one citizenship and one domicile.

2.     A citizen by birth only can become the Head of State.

3.     A foreigner once granted citizenship cannot be deprived of it under any circumstances.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 1 and 3
(d) 2 and 3

Ans: Option A

 

Practice Question:  Discuss the implications of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019, on minority communities seeking refuge in India. Evaluate its socio-political ramifications and the government’s role in implementing and addressing concerns surrounding the legislation.  (150 Words /10 marks)

2. Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) – Quarterly Bulletin (January-March 2024)

Topic: GS3 – Indian Economy – Issues relating to development and employment.
Context
The latest Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) data for January-March 2024 indicates a decrease in urban unemployment rates alongside increasing trends in labour force participation and worker population ratios, highlighting positive economic indicators in India’s urban areas.

 Analysis of the news:

  • Unemployment Rate (UR) in urban areas decreased slightly to 6.7% during January-March 2024 for individuals aged 15 and above.
  • Female Unemployment Rate decreased to 8.5% in the same period, indicating a positive trend.
  • Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) in urban areas showed a significant increase from 48.5% to 50.2% between January-March 2023 and January-March 2024, suggesting growing economic activity.
  • Female Labour Force Participation Rate in urban areas rose from 22.7% to 25.6% during the same period, indicating an overall increasing trend in LFPR.
  • Worker Population Ratio (WPR) for individuals aged 15 and above increased from 45.2% to 46.9% between January-March 2023 and January-March 2024.
  • Female Worker Population Ratio in urban areas rose from 20.6% to 23.4% during the same period, reflecting an overall increasing trend in WPR.
 Conceptual Framework of Key Indicators:
●  Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) is the percentage of individuals in the population who are working or seeking work.

●  Worker Population Ratio (WPR) is the percentage of employed persons in the population.

Unemployment Rate (UR) is the percentage of unemployed persons among those in the labour force.

Current Weekly Status (CWS) determines the activity status based on the preceding 7 days before the survey.

Introduction to Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS):

  • The Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) was launched by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) in April 2017.
  • It aims to estimate key employment and unemployment indicators in urban areas every three months and annually in both rural and urban areas.
  • The present quarterly bulletin, the twenty-second in the series, covers the period January-March 2024.

Fieldwork and Sample Design

  • Fieldwork for the January-March 2024 period was completed timely, except for a few first visit and revisit samples treated as casualties.
  • A rotational panel sampling design is employed in urban areas, with each selected household visited four times.
  • At the all-India level, 5,706 FSUs were surveyed in urban areas during this period, covering 44,598 households and 1,69,459 individuals.
PYQ: Most of the unemployment in India is structural in nature. Examine the methodology adopted to compute unemployment in the country and suggest improvements. (250 words/15m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2023)
Practice Question:  Discuss the recent trends in urban unemployment rates, labour force participation, and worker population ratios as highlighted by the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) data. Analyse their implications for India’s urban economy. (250 Words /15 marks)

 

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