What is the full form of CAA ?


Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA) was passed by the Indian parliament on 11 December 2019 and received the assent of the President on 12 December 2019. This act changed coms of the citizenship rules in India.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill was introduced during the winter session of the Lok Sabha. Later, the bill was enacted, with a majority of 125 MPs voting in favour of it. The bill was highly debated shortly after it was passed, which ultimately sparked nationwide protests. These rallies were highly supported by many activists and international human rights organisations, who have also sharply criticised the Indian government's response.

Overview of CAA

Citizenship Amendment Act has generated massive debates across India and the world where some sections of people consider it controversial. The Bill received the assent of the President on 12th December 2019. This Act amended certain sections of the Citizenship Act of 1955. This bill for this Act was introduced in the Legislature in 2016, but due to the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha, the Bill lapsed.

What is citizenship?

Citizenship can be understood as membership in a political community. Citizenship provides certain rights and privileges to a citizen. Every county has their own conditions and rules for granting citizenship. It demands both active and passive involvement of citizens in a country. In the case of active involvement, they are expected to take part in the political life and societal aspects of their country. Whereas, citizens enjoying their rights and performing their legal obligations can be considered passively involved.

Who is an illegal migrant in India?

According to the Citizenship Act, of 1955, any foreigner who has travelled or settled in India without any proper documentation like a passport or visa or has settled in India beyond the permitted time will be considered an illegal migrant.

Features of CAA 2019

  • The Act changed the definition of ‘illegal migrant’ in India through which people belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jains, Parsi or Christianity from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, who have entered India before 31st December, 2014 will not be treated as illegal migrants.

  • The Act reduced the period of naturalization from 11 years to 5 years which means that people belonging to the above religious communities from these countries can obtain citizenship of India if they are living in India for the last 5 years.

  • Section 7D of the Act outlines that foreigners can apply for Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) if their spouse is Indian or they themselves are Indian. Through OCI, they will have the right to work and study in India.

  • This Act does not apply to tribal areas of Meghalaya (Garo Hills), Assam (Karbi and Anglong), Mizoram (Chakma District) and Tripura Tribal Areas District.

  • This is because they are included in the 6th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.

  • This Act will also not apply to areas that come under the “Inner Line” under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.


Opponents claim that CAA is exclusive and breaches Article 14 of the Indian Constitution. All religions are not included in the Citizenship Amendment Act, particularly Muslims. Anti-CAB Fear that the law may alter the demographics of the states has sparked protests in the Northeast. The Central Government claims that the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 does not exclude any communities; it simply grants additional benefits to others; in any other case, other communities, such as Jews and Muslims, are free to apply for citizenship using the previous, more conventional naturalisation procedures.


Q1. Briefly discuss the 6th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.

Ans. The 6th Schedule of the Indian Constitution provides rules related to the administration of tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura. Accordingly, these regions or regions can be administered by states as Autonomous Districts or Autonomous Regions.

Q2. What do you understand by “Inner Line Permit”?

Ans. This is an official travel document of the Indian Government which allows Indian citizens to travel to a protected area for a prescribed period of time. The states which require this permit are Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.

Q3. What is ‘Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873’?

Ans. In 1873, the Britishers introduced the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation for regulated movement in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur and Mizoram. This is also called Inner Line Regulation and contains provisions for an ‘Inner Line Permit’. Currently, this regulation is only applied to the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram.

Updated on: 16-May-2023


Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started