Citizenship

Introduction

  • Indian citizenship is the legal membership that grants individuals the rights and privileges of being a citizen of India.
  • The Constitution of India, in Part II (Articles 5-11), lays down the provisions related to Indian citizenship.

Modes of Acquiring Indian Citizenship

1. Birth

  • A person born in India on or after January 26, 1950, is a citizen of India.

2. Descent

  • A person born outside India on or after January 26, 1950, is a citizen by descent if either of the parents is a citizen of India at the time of the person's birth.

3. Registration

  • A person of Indian origin can acquire Indian citizenship through registration if they have been residing in India for the last 12 months and for 11 of the 14 years preceding the 12 months.

4. Naturalization

  • A foreigner can acquire Indian citizenship by naturalization if they have resided in India for 12 years, including 11 years in the 14 years preceding the application.

Categories of Citizenship

1. Citizen by Birth

  • Individuals born in India or to Indian parents abroad after January 26, 1950.

2. Citizen by Descent

  • Individuals born outside India to Indian parents after January 26, 1950.

3. Citizen by Registration

  • Individuals of Indian origin who have been residing in India for a specified period and fulfill certain conditions.

4. Citizen by Naturalization

  • Foreigners who acquire Indian citizenship through naturalization.

5. Overseas Citizen of India (OCI)

  • A special category allowing foreign nationals of Indian origin to live and work in India indefinitely.

6. Person of Indian Origin (PIO)

  • A category that was merged with OCI to simplify the process for foreign nationals of Indian origin.

Loss of Indian Citizenship

1. Renunciation

  • A person of full age and capacity can renounce Indian citizenship.

2. Termination

  • Indian citizenship of a person can be terminated if acquired through fraudulent means.

Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens

1. Fundamental Rights

  • Indian citizens are entitled to fundamental rights, such as the right to equality, freedom of speech, right to education, and more.

2. Fundamental Duties

  • Citizens are expected to abide by fundamental duties like upholding the Constitution, promoting harmony, and protecting public property.

3. Right to Vote

  • Indian citizens, above 18 years of age, have the right to vote in elections.