Citizenship – Indian Constitution [GK Notes PDF]

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“Citizenship” in Indian is the status of a person recognized under the Indian Citizenship Act of 1955. The idea of citizenship is enacted in articles 5 to 9.

Citizenship of Indian Constitution GK + Notes PDF: The system of citizenship in any country is a special historical situation that is shaped by the socio-political situation. The unfortunate incident of the partition of India is inextricably linked with the concept of Indian citizenship. As a result, the decision-making process for citizenship became problematic for the framers of the Constitution.

This article is about the Citizenship of Indian Constitution. Here comprehensive GK notes from citizenship are included for your competitive govt job exams like IAS, UPSC, SSC, Railway, etc.

Key Points of Citizenship in the Indian Constitution

  • Modes of Acquiring Citizenship: By Birth, By Decent , Registration , Naturalization
  • Dual Citizenship: Dual citizenship is not allowed in India.
  • Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI): OCI holders do not have the power to vote, hold specific public office, or be the owner of agricultural land.
  • Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) Card: Prior to now, PIO cards were given to foreign citizens of Indian origin. However, this card and the OCI card have been put together, and current PIO cardholders now have access to OCI’s privileges.

The Constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949 and with it, the concept of citizenship came into force in Articles 5-9 of the Constitution. Subsequently, the draft committee of the Constituent Assembly implemented the concept of citizenship in the second chapter and through articles 5-11. However, it is important to remember that, in our country, the concept of citizenship was derived from Britain.

Citizenship Act of 1955:

To establish rules and procedures for acquiring and laying citizenship after the enactment of the constitution, parliament passed the Citizenship Act in 1955. So the subjects of Indian citizenship are divided into two parts.

  1. First Parts – relevant articles of the Indian Constitution (Articles 5-11), and
  2. The second one is the Indian Citizenship Act of 1955.

#1 [Articles 5 to 11]: Constitutional provisions on citizenship:

The Constitution of Independent India was introduced on 26 January 1950. Articles 5-11 of the Constitution discuss in detail who will be and under what conditions a person should be considered an Indian citizen:

(1) Article 5: Acquisition of citizenship by birth or residency :

  • Those who were born in India;
  • whose parents were born there;
  • or those who had been a regular resident of India for at least five years before the Constitution’s adoption.

(2) Article 6: Acquisition of citizenship of persons coming from Pakistan:

  • Those who left Pakistan and settled in India before July 19, 1948.
  • But those who came to India after July 19, 1948, will also become citizens of India if they apply to the government authority before January 26, 1950.

(3) Article 7: Provides selected immigrants to Pakistan with citizenship rights.

  • People who had gone to Pakistan after March 1, 1947, but later came back to India.

(4) Article 8: Provides citizenship rights to some Indians who reside in other countries.

  • This article addresses the rights of Indian citizens living abroad for purpose of work, marriage, and education.

(5) Article 9: One will no longer be a citizen of India if he/she freely acquires citizenship in another country.

(6) Article 10: Right to life

(11) Article 11: Parliament should enact laws governing citizenship rights.

#2 Indian Citizenship Act of 1955:

The Indian Parliament passed the Indian Citizenship Act in 1955 as per the powers vested in Article 11. This law specifically addresses the conditions for acquiring citizenship –

(1) Citizenship by Birth on Jus Soli

All persons residing in India on or after January 26, 1950, will be Indian citizens. However, after birth, their parents must be Indian citizens and will not be able to enjoy immunity like a foreign ambassador.

(2) Citizenship by descent on Jus Sanguinis:

Those born outside India on or after January 26, 1950, if their parents are Indian citizens, will be Indian citizens by blood relationship.

(3) Citizenship by Registration:

When applying for citizenship in India, particular authorities can register certain categories of persons as Indian citizens. Those who can become Indian citizens in this way are

  1. A foreign woman who is married to an Indian citizen.
  2. Non-adult children of Indian nationals.
  3. Healthy-minded citizens of Commonwealth countries like Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Sri Lanka, etc.

(4) Citizenship by Naturalization:

According to Section 6 of the Act, foreigners can obtain Indian citizenship through naturalization (by applying to fulfill certain conditions) if they can satisfy certain conditions laid down by the Government of India.

(5) Acquiring Citizenship through enrollment:

Citizens of Commonwealth countries share the status of Commonwealth citizens in India. Citizens of Commonwealth countries like Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Sri Lanka, etc. enjoy special privileges in this country. Commonwealth countries are not considered foreign countries to India.

Termination of Indian Citizenship:

Under the Act of 1955, the reasons for the abolition of Indian citizenship are discussed below –

  1. Voluntarily relinquishing Indian citizenship.
  2. If an Indian citizen acquires citizenship of another country through naturalization or approval.
  3. The Government of India may terminate the citizenship of those who have become citizens of India through registration by directing the following reasons:
    (a) acquiring citizenship in a dishonest manner
    (b) disrespecting the Indian Constitution
    (c) serving two years imprisonment in a country at war with India
    (d) If you have lived outside India for 7 years.

Citizenship Amendment Act of 2003

  1. Revision increases strict criteria for infiltration from Bangladesh.
  2. Born on or after December 4, 2004, individuals must have Indian nationals as both parents or one Indian citizen and the other not an illegal migrant.
  3. Illegal migrants cannot claim citizenship through naturalization or registration after seven years in India.

Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019

The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) was introduced in 2019 and later became the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). It amended the 1955 Citizenship Act to grant Indian citizenship to religious minority groups from neighboring countries. Key Features are –

  1. Even without proper documents, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians are legitimate immigrants to India.
  2. includes a special citizenship application column for those who are applying from six communities across three countries.
  3. They would not be expelled as undocumented immigrants in accordance with the Foreigners Act of 1946 and the Passport (Entry into India) Act of 1920.
  4. According to the 1955 Citizenship Act, naturalization decreases the 12-year residency requirement for permanent citizenship to just 7 years.

What type of citizenship is recognized in India?

One citizenship policy has been adopted for the unity and solidarity of India. Article 3 of the Indian Constitution states that citizenship means complete/integral citizenship. The Indian Constitution does not recognize dual citizenship or dual allegiance. There is no separate citizenship system for the country. At present, the existence of dual citizenship can be observed in a few places like America, Switzerland, etc. Article 11 of the Constitution allows Parliament to regulate matters relating to the right to citizenship in accordance with the law.

5Matters relating to citizenship when the Indian Constitution is enacted or came into force.
6Granting ‘citizenship rights’ to people who have come to India from Pakistan.
7Granting citizenship rights to all Indians living in Pakistan.
8Granting special citizenship rights to persons of Indian living outside the country.
9Individuals who have acquired citizenship of a foreign state will not be considered Indian citizens.
10Those who have acquired Indian citizenship through nationalization, registration, etc. the government of India may terminate their Indian citizenship for a number of reasons.
11Parliament will regulate the legislation on citizenship
Articles describe the citizenship of India

Objective Type Questions with Answers from Citizenship of India:

Sl. No.QuestionsAnswers
1What is the minimum age required to reside in India by applying for Indian citizenship?2003
2Which articles of the Indian Constitution deal with citizenship?5 Years
3In which year was the Indian Citizenship Act passed?1955
4Who is the appropriate authority to determine the issues of acquiring Indian citizenship?Parliament
5How many expatriate Indians have been told by the Indian government to grant dual citizenship in the initial phase?16
6In which year was India’s citizenship law first amended?1985
7Which part of the Indian Constitution deals with citizenship?Part 2
8What is the minimum age for acquiring full citizenship in India?18
9The citizenship enshrined in the Indian Constitution is-Articles 5 to 11
`10The citizenship enshrined in the Indian Constitution are-Single Citizenship
11How many methods of acquiring citizenship are mentioned in the Indian Citizenship Act of 1955?6
12The Citizenship Act was amended in 2003 on the recommendation of which committee?L.M. Singhvi Committee
13There is a detailed discussion on the acceptance and rejection of Indian citizenship inIndian Citizenship Act of 1955

FAQs From Citizenship of India:

What is the primary law governing Indian citizenship?

  1. Indian Constitution
  2. Citizenship Amendment Act
  3. Citizenship Act, 1955
  4. Immigration and Nationality Act

[C] Citizenship Act, 1955

Who is automatically considered a citizen of India by birth?

  1. Anyone born in India
  2. Anyone born in India to Indian parents
  3. Anyone born in India after 1987
  4. Anyone born in India after 1971

[A] Anyone born in India

Which of the following is NOT a mode of acquiring Indian citizenship?

  1. Birth
  2. Adoption
  3. Descent
  4. Naturalization

[B] Adoption

When did India implement the Citizenship Act?

  1. 1947
  2. 1950
  3. 1971
  4. 1992

[B] 1950

Citizenship – Indian Constitution

Citizenship of COI Notes PDF Download

Notes: Making of Indian Constitution (Background)
Notes: Borrowed Features of the Indian Constitution