Government is preparing the National Population Register incorporating all genuine Indian citizens and will give them national identity cards in a time bound manner.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh announced this in Lok Sabha while replying questions on reports of illegal infiltrations into the country.
"We have to identify who is Indian citizen and who is not. We have to take steps to identify genuine Indian citizen," he said amidst applause from members of the ruling coalition.
Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently convened a meeting of various stake holders to discuss how the NPR and Unique Identification Authority of India work in mutual cooperation to prepared a comprehensive NPR data base.
"The NPR will be prepared in a time bound manner. NPR will identify who is Indian citizen and who is not. All genuine Indian citizens will get a national identity card," he said.
The Home Minister said government has taken a number of steps to stop the illegal infiltration from across the border, including fencing the international border.
He said out of the 4,096 km long Indo-Bangladesh border, fencing has been completed in 3,300 km while work in another 500 km is on.
Singh said government is facing difficulty in constructing fencing in riverine, hilly and desert areas.
Meanwhile, replying to a written question, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said the Citizenship Act, 1955 was amended in 2003 by inserting Section 14-A, which states that the Central government may compulsorily register every citizen of India and issue national identity card to him and may maintain a National Register of Indian Citizens and for that purpose establish a National Registration Authority.
Therefore, it is a legal obligation, he said.
Rijiju said the scheme of NPR has been reviewed and it has been decided that it should be completed and taken to its logical conclusion, which is creation of NRIC by verification of citizenship status of every usual residents in the NPR.
Relevant proposal will be prepared based on the decision of the government, he said.
Photographs: Vinay Joshi/Reuters