Citizenship


Citizenship : : Citizenship by Naturalization

  • A citizen is a person who enjoys full membership of the community in which he lives.
  • Single Citizenship : No State Citizenships.
  • Citizens are different from aliens who do not enjoy the following Fundamental Rights :
    • The right not to be discriminated against on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth ( Article 15 ).
    • The right to equality of opportunity in the matter of public employment ( Article 16 ).
    • The right to six freedoms in Article 19, i.e. freedom of speech and expression, assembly, association, movement, residence and profession.
    • Cultural and educational rights conferred by Articles 29 and 30.
  • Again, citizens alone have the right to hold certain high offices such as those of the President, Vice-President, Governor of a State, Judge of Supreme Court and High Courts, Attorney General, etc. the right to vote to elect a member of the Lok Sabha and a Vidhan Sabha and the right to become a Member of the Parliament and a State Legislature are reserved for citizens only.

Citizenship at the Commencement of the Constitution

  • Every person who has domicile in the territory of India and :
    • Who was born in the territory of India ( or )
    • Either of whose parents was born in the territory of India ( or )
    • Who has been ordinarily residing in the territory of India for not less than five years immediately preceding such commencement; shall be a citizen of India.
  • Persons who migrated to India from Pakistan before 19th July, 1948 and since then have been ordinarily residing in India.
  • Persons who migrated to India from Pakistan on or after 19th July, 1948 but got themselves, duly registered as citizens with a competent officer appointed for that purpose.
  • Persons who migrated to Pakistan after 1st March but returned to India under a permit for resettlement.
  • Any person who or either of whose parents or any of whose grandparents was born in India.
  • However, no person will be deemed to be a citizen, if he voluntarily acquires the citizenship of a foreign State.

Citizenship Act, 1955 as Amended by Citizenship ( Amendment ) Act, 1986

  • The Act provides for the acquisition of Indian Citizenship after the commencement of the Constitution in five ways, i.e. Birth, Descent, Registration, Naturalization and Incorporation of territory.

1.Citizenship by Birth :

  • Every person born in India on or after 26th January, 1950 shall be a citizen of India by birth provided either or both of his parents are citizens of India at the time of his birth.
  • However, such a person shall not be a citizen of India, if at the time of his birth :
    • His father is a foreign diplomat ( or )
    • His father is an enemy alien.

2.Citizenship by Descent :

  • A person born outside India on or after 26th January, 1950 shall be a citizen of India by descent, if his father is a citizen of India at the time of that person’s birth.

3.Citizenship by Registration :

  • Any person who is not a citizen and belongs to any of the following categories, can apply for registration as a citizen.
  • However, he must have resided in India for at least five years immediately before making an application for registration as a citizen.

These are :

  • Persons of Indian origin who are ordinarily resident in India for five years immediately before making an application for registration
  • Persons of Indian origin who are ordinarily resident in any country or place outside India
  • Women who are married to citizens of India
  • Minor children of persons who are citizens of India ( and )
  • Persons of full age and capacity who are citizens of a country mentioned in the first schedule of the Act.

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