The NRC is a list of all Indian citizens whose formation is required by the 1955 Citizenship Act as amended in 2003. It was introduced in 2013–2014 for the state of Assam. The government plans to implement it in 2021 for the rest of India.As a border state with unique problems of illegal immigration, Assam established an NRC for the state in 1951 based on census data from 1951. But it was not sustained later. In 1983, Parliament passed the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) Act establishing a separate court procedure to classify illegal migrants in Assam.The final updated Assam NRC, published on 31 August 2019, contained 31 million names out of 33 million inhabitants, leaving 1.9 million applicants out. The 1.9 million residents who were not on the list and were at risk of losing their citizenship. Many of those affected were Bengali Hindus, who constituted a major BJP electoral base.The registry was established because in Assam "illegal migration from Bangladesh has been a long-standing issue." The 1955 Citizenship Act amendment, in part, helps to protect non-Muslims who are not on the register and face arrest or deportation.

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