Manipur’s NRC Exercise


Recently, the 60-member Manipur Assembly resolved to implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and establish a State Population Commission (SPC).


GS II- Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is National Register of Citizens (NRC)?
  2. Why is Manipur pushing for NRC?
  3. Has Manipur had protective mechanisms?
  4. Are Myanmar nationals the only bugbears?
  5. What is the status of the NRC elsewhere in the northeast?

What is National Register of Citizens (NRC)?

  • National Register of Citizens, 1951 is a register prepared after the conduct of the Census of 1951 in respect of each village, showing the houses or holdings in a serial order and indicating against each house or holding the number and names of persons staying therein.
  • The NRC was published only once in 1951.

Why is Manipur pushing for NRC?

  • The Northeastern States have been paranoid about “outsiders”, “foreigners” or “alien cultures” swamping out their numerically weaker indigenous communities.
  • Manipur, home to three major ethnic groups, is no different.
    • These ethnic groups are the non-tribal Meitei people concentrated in the Imphal Valley, the central part of Manipur, and the tribal Naga and Kuki-Zomi groups mostly inhabiting the hills around.
  • There has been a history of conflict among these three groups, but the NRC issue has seemingly put the Meiteis and the Nagas on the same page.
    • They claim that an NRC is necessary because the political crisis in neighbouring Myanmar, triggered by the military coup in February 2021, has forced hundreds of people into the State from across its 398-km international border.
  • A majority of those who fled or are fleeing belong to the Kuki-Chin communities, ethnically related to the Kuki-Zomi people in Manipur as well as the Mizos of Mizoram.
  • In July, seven Manipur students’ organisations and 19 tribal and mixed groups — none of them representing the Kuki-Zomi people — submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister and Home Minister demanding the implementation of NRC and the establishment of an SPC to “check and balance the population growth”.
  • The State Assembly bowed to these demands and decided to go for NRC and SPC.

Has Manipur had protective mechanisms?

  • In December 2019, Manipur became the fourth northeastern State to be brought under the inner-line permit (ILP) system after Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.
    • A temporary official travel document to allow inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected area, the ILP is implemented under the British-era Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation.
  • But less than two years later, an umbrella organisation that spearheaded the ILP movement said the system was flawed and that Manipur needed a stronger and more effective mechanism for protecting indigenous populations.
  • The pro-NRC organisations said Manipur did have a robust pass or permit system that regulated the entry and settlement of outsiders.
  • But it was abolished by the then chief commissioner Himmat Singh in November 1950, a tad more than a year after Manipur’s merger with the Union of India.
  • This, they said, led to the increase “beyond imagination” in the population of non-indigenous people.
  • They also recalled a movement in the 1980s for the detection and deportation of foreigners from Manipur, following which the State government had signed two agreements for using 1951 as the base year for identifying the non-residents and evicting them.

Are Myanmar nationals the only bugbears?

  • According to data presented in the Manipur Assembly, the population growth rates in the hill districts of the State were 153.3% between 1971 and 2001 and 250.9% between 2001 and 2011 compared to the corresponding national growth rate of 87.67% and 120% respectively.
  • In the case of the valley (Imphal and Jiribam, a small patch adjoining southern Assam’s Barak Valley) districts, the growth rate was 94.8% and 125.4% during these periods.
  • The abnormal population growth rates of the hill districts point to a strong possibility of a huge influx of non-Indians.
  • The situation is such that smaller indigenous communities may face extinction, necessitating a study and action, the House was told. This indicated the government had Myanmar nationals, primarily the Kukis, on its radar.
  • They are not the only communities to be viewed as demographic invaders.
    • The pro-NRC groups have identified “Bangladeshis” and Muslims from Myanmar who have “occupied the constituency of Jiribam and scattered in the valley areas”, as well as Nepalis (Gurkhas) who have “risen in tremendous number”.

What is the status of the NRC elsewhere in the northeast?


  • Assam is the only State in the region that undertook an exercise to update the NRC of 1951 with March 24, 1971, as the cut-off date for citizenship of a person.
  • This date, incorporated in the Assam Accord of 1985 that ended a six-year anti-foreigners movement, was chosen because a large number of people were believed to have crossed over from erstwhile East Pakistan from March 25, 1971, onwards after Pakistan launched an operation to effectively start the Bangladesh liberation war.
  • The complete draft of the Assam NRC was published in August 2019, excluding 19.06 lakh out of 3.3 crore applicants, which the BJP-led government in the State and some indigenous groups have refused to accept.
  • Their petitions for re-verification of the NRC to weed out “Bangladeshis”, allegedly included erroneously or fraudulently, are pending before the Supreme Court, which had monitored the exercise.


  • Nagaland attempted a similar exercise called RIIN (Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland) in June 2019 to primarily sift the indigenous Nagas from the non-indigenous Nagas.
  • The move, seen as directed particularly against the Nagas of adjoining Manipur, was shelved following opposition from several groups, including the extremist National Socialist Council of Nagalim or NSCN (I-M), the bulk of whose members are ironically from Manipur.

Recalling ‘Quit India’


On August 8, 1942 — the people of India launched the decisive final phase of the struggle for independence. It was a mass upsurge against colonial rule on a scale not seen earlier, and it sent out the unmistakable message that the sun was about to set on the British Empire in India.


GS I- Modern History

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Build-up to August 1942
  2. Extent of Mass Participation
  3. Brutal suppression of protests

Build-up to August 1942

  • While factors leading to such a movement had been building up, matters came to a head with the failure of the Cripps Mission.
  • With World War II raging, the beleaguered British government needed the cooperation of its colonial subjects.
  • With this in mind, in March 1942, a mission led by Sir Stafford Cripps arrived in India to meet leaders of the Congress and the Muslim League.
  • The idea was to secure India’s whole-hearted support in the war, and the return offer to Indians was the promise of self-governance.
  • But things did not go that way. Despite the promise of “the earliest possible realisation of self-government in India”, Cripps only offered dominion status, not freedom. Also, there was a provision for the partition of India, which was not acceptable to the Congress.
  • The failure of the Cripps Mission made Gandhi realise that freedom would come only if Indians fought tooth and nail for it.
  • The Congress was initially reluctant to launch a movement that could hamper Britain’s efforts to defeat the fascist forces.
  • But it eventually decided on mass civil disobedience. At the Working Committee meeting in Wardha in July 1942, it was decided the time had come for the movement to move into an active phase.
  • Gandhi made a call to Do or Die in his Quit India speech, followed by the launch of a mass protest demanding what Gandhi called “An Orderly British Withdrawal” from India.
  • Almost the entire leadership of the Indian National Congress was imprisoned without trial within hours of Gandhi’s speech.
The slogan ‘Quit India’
  • While Gandhi gave the clarion call of Quit India, the slogan was coined by Yusuf Meherally, a socialist and trade unionist who also served as Mayor of Bombay.
  • A few years ago, in 1928, it was Meherally who had coined the slogan “Simon Go Back”.

Extent of Mass Participation

  • The participation was on many levels.
  • Youth, especially the students of schools and colleges, remained in the forefront.
  • Women, especially school and college girls, actively participated, and included Aruna Asaf Ali, Sucheta Kripalani and Usha Mehta.
  • Workers went on strikes and faced repression.
  • Peasants of all strata were at the heart of the movement. Even some zamindars participated. These peasants concentrated their offensive on symbols of authority and there was complete absence of anti-zamindar violence.
  • Government officials, especially those belonging to lower levels in police and administration, participated resulting in erosion of government loyalty.
  • Muslims helped by giving shelter to underground activists. There were no communal clashes during the movement.
  • The Communists did not join the movement; in the wake of Russia (where the communists were in power) being attacked by Nazi Germany, the communists began to support the British war against Germany and the ‘Imperialist War’ became the ‘People’s War’
  • The Muslim League opposed the movement, fearing that if the British left India at that time, the minorities would be oppressed by the Hindus.
  • The Hindu Mahasabha boycotted the movement.
  • The Princely states showed a low-key response.
Lack of Unity
  • The British had the support of the Viceroy’s Council (which had a majority of Indians), of the All India Muslim League, the princely states, the Indian Imperial Police, the British Indian Army, the Hindu Mahasabha and the Indian Civil Service.
  • Many Indian businessmen profiting from heavy wartime spending did NOT support the Quit India Movement.

Brutal suppression of protests

  • The Quit India movement was violently suppressed by the British — people were shot and lathicharged, villages were burnt, and backbreaking fines were imposed.
  • In the five months up to December 1942, an estimated 60,000 people had been thrown into jail.
  • However, though the movement was quelled, it changed the character of the Indian freedom struggle, with the masses rising up to demand with a passion and intensity like never before: that the British masters would have to Quit India.

Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act


Recently, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader declared a six-point “guarantee” for tribals in Gujarat’s Chhota Udepur district, including the “strict implementation” of The Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA Act).


GS II- Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About PESA Act:
  2. Objectives of the Act
  3. Why are rules under PESA important?

About PESA Act:

  • The provisions of Part IX of the constitution relating to the Panchayats are not applicable to the Fifth Schedule areas.
  • The Parliament may extend these provisions to such areas, subject to such exceptions and modifications as it may specify.
  • Under this provision, the Parliament has enacted the “Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act”, 1996, popularly known as the PESA Act or the Extension Act.
  •  At present, ten states have Fifth Schedule Areas. These are: Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Rajasthan. All the ten states have enacted requisite compliance legislations by amending the respective Panchayati Raj Acts.

Objectives of the Act

  • To extend the provisions of Part IX of the Constitution relating to the panchayats to the scheduled areas with certain modifications
  • To provide self-rule for the bulk of the tribal population
  • To have village governance with participatory democracy and to make the gram sabha a nucleus of all activities
  • To evolve a suitable administrative framework consistent with traditional practices
  • To safeguard and to preserve the traditions and customs of tribal communities
  • To empower panchayats at the appropriate levels with specific powers conducive to tribal requirements
  • To prevent panchayats at the higher level from assuming the powers and authority of panchayats at the lower level of the gram sabha

Why are rules under PESA important?

  • PESA rules enable the residents of scheduled areas to strengthen their village-level bodies by transferring power from the government to the gram sabha, a body of all the registered voters of the village.
  • The powers of gram sabhas include maintenance of cultural identity and tradition, control over schemes affecting the tribals, and control over natural resources within the area of a village.
  • The PESA Act thus enables gram sabhas to maintain a safety net over their rights and surroundings against external or internal conflicts. Without proper rules, its implementation is not possible as it is an exercise in decentralising the power from institutionalised structures, back to the village residents.
  • The laws, once formed, will give gram sabhas the power to take decisions not only over their customs and traditionally managed resources, but also on the minerals being excavated from their areas.
  • The rules state that the gram sabha will have to be kept informed by any and all agencies working in their village, and that the gram sabha has the power to approve or stop the work being done within the village limits.
  • The rules also give power to the gram sabhas over:
    • Management of resources over jal, jangal, zameen (water, forest and land), the three major demands of tribals;
    • Management of minor forest produce;
    • Management of mines and minerals;
    • Management of markets;
    • Management of markets human resources;
    • Monitoring and prohibition of the manufacturing, transport, sale and consumption of intoxicants within their village limits;
    • Maintenance of peace and resolving conflicts arising in the village;
    • Protecting tribal customs and traditions;
    • Encouraging customs like ghotul.

What is the issue in Gujarat?

  • Gujarat notified the State PESA Rules in January 2017, and made them applicable in 4,503 gram sabhas under 2,584 village panchayats in 50 tribal talukas in eight districts of the state.
  • The provisions of the law deem the Gram Sabhas as “most competent”.
  • However, the Act has not been enforced in letter and spirit.
  • The Act lays down that the state must conduct elections in such a way that the tribal representation is to be dominant in the Gram Sabha Committees.
  • Yet again, there has been no attempt to proportionally increase the representation.

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research


Senior electrochemical scientist Nallathamby Kalaiselvi has become the first woman director general of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.


GS II- Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About  CSIR
  2. Structure of the Organisation
  3. Objectives

About CSIR

  • The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), known for its cutting edge R&D knowledge base in diverse S&T areas, is a contemporary R&D organization.
  • CSIR has a dynamic network of 37 national laboratories, 39 outreach centres, 3 Innovation Complexes, and five units with a pan-India presence. 
  • CSIR is funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology and it operates as an autonomous body through the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
  • CSIR covers a wide spectrum of science and technology – from oceanography, geophysics, chemicals, drugs, genomics, biotechnology and nanotechnology to mining, aeronautics, instrumentation, environmental engineering and information technology. It provides significant technological intervention in many areas concerning societal efforts, which include environment, health, drinking water, food, housing, energy, farm and non-farm sectors. Further, CSIR’s role in S&T human resource development is noteworthy.
  • It provides significant technological intervention in many areas with regard to societal efforts which include the environment, health, drinking water, food, housing, energy, farm and non-farm sectors.
  • Established: September 1942
  • Headquarters: New Delhi

Structure of the Organisation

  • President: Prime Minister of India (Ex-officio)
  • Vice President: Union Minister of Science and Technology (Ex-officio)
  • Governing Body: The Director-General is the head of the governing body.
  • The other ex-officio member is the finance secretary (expenditures).
  • Other members’ terms are of three years.


  • Promotion, guidance and coordination of scientific and industrial research in India including the institution and the financing of specific researchers.
  • Establishment and assistance to special institutions or departments of existing institutions for the scientific study of problems affecting particular industries and trade.
  • Establishment and award of research studentships and fellowships.
  • Utilization of the results of the research conducted under the auspices of the Council towards the development of industries in the country.
  • Payment of a share of royalties arising out of the development of the results of research to those who are considered as having contributed towards the pursuit of such research.
  • Establishment, maintenance and management of laboratories, workshops, institutes and organisations to further scientific and industrial research.
  • Collection and dissemination of information in regard not only to research but to industrial matters generally.
  • Publication of scientific papers and a journal of industrial research and development.


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