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People share sweets after the publication of final draft of National Register of Citizens (NRC) list in Guwahati. Image Credit: PTI

1951: First-ever National Register of Citizens (NRC) of India published.

1979: Anti-foreigners’ movement started in Assam.

January 1980: All Assam Students Union (AASU) submitted the first memorandum demanding updating of NRC.

August 14, 1985: Historic Assam Accord was signed.

1990: AASU submitted modalities to update NRC to Centre as well state government.

1999: Centre took the first formal decision to update the NRC as per the Assam Accord.

May 2005: The then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chaired a tripartite meeting between the Centre, Assam government and the AASU where an understanding was reached that steps must be taken towards updating the NRC to fulfil the promises made in the Assam Accord. The modalities for this were approved by the Centre in consultation with the Assam government.

July 2009: An NGO called Assam Public Works moved the Supreme Court pleading that the names of those migrants who have not been documented should be removed from the voters’ list. The NGO requested the court that the process to update the NRC should be started. This is the first instance how the NRC matter reached the Supreme Court.

August 2013: The petition filed by Assam Public Works came up for hearing.

December 2013: The Supreme Court directed that the exercise to update NRC should start.

February 2015: Though the Supreme Court had ordered updating the NRC in 2013 to identify bona fide citizens and weed out illegal immigrants, the actual exercise began in February 2015.

December 31, 2015: Deadline set by the Supreme Court to publish the NRC was missed and since then the apex court has been constantly monitoring the update

December 31, 2017: The government published the first draft of the NRC.

July 30, 2018: Assam government releases second NRC draft. Of the 32.9 million who applied, 28.9 million were declared genuine citizens. The draft NRC excluded over 4 million people.

August 1, 2018: The Supreme Court ruled that the Assam NRC was only a draft, and hence it cannot be the basis of any action by any authority against anyone. The Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat clarified that the electoral roll is governed by a separate law and exclusion from the final NRC would not mean “automatic removal” from Assam’s voters’ list.

August 17, 2018: The Supreme Court asked the Assam NRC coordinator to submit the data of district-wise percentage of the population excluded from the NRC draft in the state.

September 5, 2018: The Supreme court had ordered that any one of the 10 of a total 15 documents provided in List-A of the NRC claim form can be used by the claimants to prove legacy.

December 31, 2018: This was the deadline for the government to release the final version of NRC. However, the deadline could not be met.

June 26, 2019: An additional draft on exclusion list was published. This list had 1,02,462 names, taking the total number of those left out to 41,10,169.

July 31, 2019: The government was supposed to release the final version of the NRC. It could not and the deadline was extended by a month.

August 31, 2019: The government released the final version of the NRC, with over 1.9 million people in Assam left out from the list.