Prelims level : Governance- Policies Mains level : GS-II Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and Issues Arising out of their design and Implementation
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Why in News?

  • The demand by Tribal organisations of Meghalaya for ILP system to restrict the entry of outsiders into the State has turned into violent protests across the state in the past few days.

What is an ILP?

  • It is a document required by non- natives to visit or stay in a state that is protected under the ILP system.
  • At present, four North Eastern states are covered under ILP namely, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland.
  • Both the duration of stay and the areas allowed to be accessed for any non-native are determined by the ILP.
  • The ILP is issued by the concerned state government and can be availed both by applying online and in person.

Evolution of ILP:

  • The Inner Line Permit is an extension of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act 1873. The Britishers framed regulations restricting entry in certain designated areas.
  • This was done to protect the Crown’s interest in certain states by preventing “British subjects” (Indians) from trading within these regions.
  • In 1950, the term ‘British subjects’was replaced with the ‘Citizens of India’. Today, all non-natives require the permit. This was done to protect the indigenous tribal communities of these states from exploitation.

Is the rule applicable for Foreigners?

  • An ILP is only valid for domestic tourists. For foreign tourists in:
    • Manipur:No permit is required. But, have to register themselves.
    • Mizoram:No permit is required. But, need to register.
    • Nagaland:No permit is required. However, they need to register.
    • Arunachal Pradesh:Tourists need a Protected Area Permit (PAP) or Restricted Area Permit (RAP) from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

What is the significance of ILP?

  • Preservation of indigenous culture and tradition.
  • Prevents illegal migrants and encroachment by outsiders.

Should Meghalaya be brought under ILP?

  • The ILP is considered the only mechanism to contain influx in the state. Influx is perceived as dangerous because it could upset the fragile demographic balance of the tribals of Meghalaya.
  • Influx definitely is a matter of concern but it requires better solutions than the ILP, not instant solutions demanded by pressure groups.
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