What is the difference between CAB and NRC ?

Posted in Current Affairs on May 12, 2020

CAB and NRC Difference: The newly amended citizenship act (CAA) has aroused fear among Indian citizens that it will deny citizenship to the existing Muslim minority communities in India. The CAB bill aims to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslim minorities who faced religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

The passing of the CAB bill raised a lot of questions like- what is CAA, how is it different from NRC, will it be discriminatory against the Muslim Community and will it lead to deportation of the minority communities from India.  The Union Home Ministry released a set of answers to the frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the CAB bill on December 17, 2019 to clear the doubts surrounding the CAA law. The Ministry stated that the amended citizenship act will not affect any Indian citizen, including Muslims.

Full list of Frequently Asked Questions on CAA

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on CAA

Will the CAB bill affect Muslims?

The Home Ministry clarified that the Citizenship amendment act (CAA) will not affect any Indian citizenincluding Muslims. The Ministry seeking to counter false claims and misinformation on the issue stated that all Indian citizens including Muslims enjoy the fundamental rights conferred by the Indian Constitution.

Why does CAA only include non-Muslim minorities?

The CAA is applicable only to the Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain, Christian and Parsi minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who faced persecution on the basis of their religion. Only those minorities will gain benefit from the law who entered India on or before December 31, 2014. The law does not apply to any other foreigners including Muslims, migrating to India from any other country.

Will illegal Muslim immigrants from the three countries be deported back under CAA?

The Home Ministry clarified that the CAA does not have anything to do with the deportation of any foreigner from India, irrespective of religion. The deportation process of a foreigner is implemented in India under the Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920. The Ministry reiterated that only these two laws govern the entry, stay and exit of all foreigners in India irrespective of their origin country or religion. Hence, the usual deportation process would continue to apply to any illegal foreigner staying in India.

What is the process of deportation of a foreigner?

The Ministry clarified that the deportation of any foreigner is done through a proper judicial process which includes a proper enquiry by the local police and concerned administrative authorities. The illegal foreigners are issued proper travel documents by the Embassy of their origin country so that they can be received by the officials thereafter deportation.

Clarifying on the deportation of illegal immigrants from Assam, the Home Ministry stated that the deportation from Assam will only happen after a person is determined as a foreigner under the Foreigners Act, 1946. The process will not be automatic, mechanical or discriminatory. The Ministry stated that all state governments have the power to detect, detain and deport any illegal foreigner under section 3 of the Foreigners Act and section 5 of Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920.

Will Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan never get Indian citizenship?

The Home Ministry clarified saying that the present legal process of acquiring Indian citizenship by any foreigner of any category through naturalisation or through registration will stay operational. The CAA does not amend or alter the process in any manner. The Ministry further stated that hundreds of Muslims migrating from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan have been granted Indian citizenship previously in the last few years. Similarly, all future migrants will be given Indian citizenship irrespective of their religion if found eligible.

Can Hindus facing persecution in other countries besides these three nations apply for Indian citizenship under CAA?

The Home Ministry clarified that the Hindus facing religious persecution in any other country other than Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan will not be eligible to apply for Indian citizenship under the CAA. They will be required to apply through the usual legal process of acquiring Indian citizenship just like any other foreigner. Such people will not be getting any preference under the citizenship act.

Will existing Indian citizens also need to apply for citizenship under CAA?

The Ministry clarified that the CAA does not apply to any Indian citizen at all. The Home Ministry stated that all the citizens of India enjoy the fundamental rights and the CAA is not meant to deprive any Indian citizen of his citizenship. The Ministry stated that it is a special law that will enable certain foreigners facing religious persecution in three neighbouring countries to get Indian citizenship.

Is there a link between the CAA and NRC?

The Home Ministry clarified that the CAA has nothing to do with the NRC. The Ministry stated that the legal provisions of NRC have been a part of the Citizenship Act, 1955 since December 2004. There ate also specific statutory rules of 2003 to operationalise the legal provisions. The provisions govern the process of registration of Indian citizens and the issuance of national identity cards to them. The Ministry said that the CAA has not altered the legal provisions in any way and added saying that the appropriate rules under the CAA are being framed.

CAA protests 

The citizenship amendment act’s (CAA) formal acceptance triggered violent protests across the country, including the north-east, West Bengal and New Delhi. The national capital came to a standstill on December 15, when a student protest turned violent, leading to clashes with the police and torching of public buses. The protest march was organized by the students of Jamia Millia Islamia.

Following the violent clashes, the Delhi police detained over 100 Jamia students alleged to be involved in the violence. Thousands of people including students from other universities such as JNU and DU gathered outside the Delhi Police Headquarters late in the evening on December 15 to protest against the police crackdown on Jamia students and demand for the release of those detained.

There have also been protests against the nation-wide implementation of NRC. So, let us understand what is CAA and what is the key difference between CAB and NRC?

CAB-NRC: Everything you need to know!

CAB full form: Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019

NRC full form: National Register of Citizens 

What is CAB?

CAB is the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019, which proposes to grant Indian citizenship to the religious minorities who have fled from three of India’s neighbouring nations- Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan- due to religious persecution or the fear of being persecuted.

Which religions are included in the cab bill?

The cab bill covers religious minorities belonging to six non-Muslim communities – Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Jain, Buddhist and Parsi. These religious minorities will be eligible for Indian citizenship if they entered India on or before December 31, 2014.

What were the previous citizenship criteria?

Till recently, it was compulsory to live in India for 11 years to be eligible for Indian citizenship. The new bill reduces the limit to six years.

What is NRC?

NRC is the National Register of Citizens, a process aimed at removing illegal immigrants from India. The NRC process was recently completed in Assam. However, Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced in the Parliament in November that the NRC will be implemented across India.

What is the eligibility criteria under NRC?

Under NRC, a person is eligible to be a citizen of India if they prove that either they or their ancestors were in India on or before March 24, 1971. The Assam NRC process was initiated to weed out illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, who came into India during the India-Pakistan war in 1971, which led to the creation of Bangladesh.

What is the difference between CAB and NRC?

Difference between CAB and NRC
CAB will provide Indian citizenship based on religion. NRC has nothing to do with religion.
CAB likely to benefit non-Muslim immigrants. NRC is aimed at deportation of all illegal immigrants irrespective of their religions.
CAB to grant citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. NRC Assam was aimed at identifying ‘illegal immigrants’, mostly from Bangladesh.
CAB will grant citizenship to the religious minorities who entered India on or before December 31, 2014. NRC will include those who can prove that either they or their ancestors lived in India on or before March 24, 1971.

Why is Assam protesting against CAB?

The implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 is expected to help those excluded by the Assam NRC. However, some groups in the state feel that it would nullify the Assam Accord of 1985. The Assam Accord of 1985 had set March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date for the deportation of illegal refugees. While the whole purpose of the NRC was to weed out illegal immigrants irrespective of their religion, Assamese protestors feel that the cab bill will benefit the non-Muslim migrants in the state.


The Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 (CAB) was passed by the Indian Parliament on December 11, 2019 with 125 votes in favor and 105 votes against. The bill received formal approval from President Ram Nath Kovind on December 12, 2019.