India has two kinds of people-citizens and aliens. Citizens are full members of the Indian State and owe allegiance to it. They enjoy all civil and political rights. Aliens, on the other hand, are the citizens of some other state and hence, do not enjoy all the civil and political rights. According to the Constitution, the following four categories of persons became the citizens of India at its commencement i.e., on 26 January, 1950:
A person who had his domicile in India and also fulfilled any one of the three conditions, viz., if he was born in India; or if either of his parents was born in India; or if he has been ordinarily resident in India for five years immediately before the commencement of the Constitution.
A person who migrated to Pakistan from India after March 1, 1947, but later returned to India for resettlement could become an Indian citizen. For this, he had to be resident in India for six months preceding the date of his application for registration.
A person who, or any of whose parents or grandparents, was born in undivided India but who is ordinarily residing outside India shall become an Indian citizen if he has been registered as a citizen of India by the diplomatic or consular representative of India in the country of his residence,
No person shall be a citizen of India or be deemed to be a citizen of India, if he has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of any foreign state.
Every person who is or is deemed to be a citizen of India shall continue to be such citizen, subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament.
Parliament shall have the power to make any provision with respect to the acquisition and termination of citizenship and all other matters relating to citizenship.
ACQUISITION OF CITIZENSHIP
The Citizenship Act of 1955 prescribes five ways of acquiring citizenship, viz, birth, descent, registration, naturalisation and incorporation of territory:
A person born in India on or after 26th January 1950 but before 1st July 1987 is a citizen of India by birth irrespective of the nationality of his parents. A person born in India on or after 1st July 1987 is considered as a citizen of India only if either of his parents is a citizen of India at the time of his birth.
A person born outside India on or after 26th January 1950 but before 10th December 1992 is a citizen of India by descent, if his father was a citizen of India at the time of his birth. A person born 3rd December 2004 onwards, a person born outside India shall not be a citizen of India by descent, unless his birth is registered at an Indian consulate within one year of the date of birth or with the permission of the Central Government,.
The Central Government may, on an application, grant a certificate of naturalisation to any person (not being an illegal migrant) if he possesses the following qualifications:
If any foreign territory becomes a part of India, the Government of India specifies the persons who among the people of the territory shall be the citizens of India. Such persons become the citizens of India from the notified date.
Special Provisions as to Citizenship of Persons Covered by the Assam Accord
Loss of Citizenship: The Citizenship Act, 1955, prescribes three ways of losing citizenship
1. By Renunciation
Any citizen of India of full age and capacity can make a declaration renouncing his Indian citizenship. Upon the registration of that declaration, that person ceases to be a citizen of India.
2. By Termination
When an Indian citizen voluntarily (consciously, knowingly and without duress, undue influence or compulsion) acquires the citizenship of another country, his Indian citizenship automatically terminates.
3. By Deprivation
It is a compulsory termination of Indian citizenship by the Central government, if: by fraud, the citizen has unlawfully traded or communicated with the enemy during a war, the citizen has been ordinarily resident out of India for seven years continuously.