J&K Gets New Identity, Ladakh Becomes A UT. What All Has Changed?
Jammu & Kashmir has been officially bifurcated into two Union Territories i.e J&K and Ladakh. RK Mather is the first Lt. Governor of Union Territory of Ladakh and IAS officer Girish Chandra Murmu is the Lt. Governor of J&K. In this article we will see what all has changed after the bifurcation.
The two new federal entities are the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, and the Union Territory of Ladakh. It is the first instance, a full-fledged state becoming a Union Territory. The reverse has happened before (Goa). For Ladakh, it is a long-standing wish fulfilled.
According to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019, the districts of Kargil and Leh form Ladakh and the rest make up the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The Governor of Jammu and Kashmir is now the Lieutenant Governor, who is now the principal administrator on the lines of Puducherry.
Jammu and Kashmir will have its own Legislative Assembly with an increased number of seats. The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act lists 83 constituencies. Earlier, the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly had 87 members excluding the seats reserved for Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.Best Book For CDS Exam
The Election Commission will now carry out a delimitation process in Jammu and Kashmir. The Act states that Jammu and Kashmir Assembly will have 107 seats (including 24 vacant ones for PoK) which will be increased to 114 after delimitation.
The delimitation process is also expected to balance out the number of seats distributed over Jammu and Kashmir regions. In the previous assembly, Kashmir had an upper hand with 46 seats with Jammu having 37. Four seats belonged to Ladakh.
The tenure of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly will be five years compared to six years earlier. In the Lok Sabha, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will have five MPs while the Ladakh will have two. Four sitting Rajya Sabha MPs will continue to be members of the upper house from the state.
The Legislative Council of Jammu and Kashmir stands abolished. Jammu and Kashmir was one of the seven states to have a legislative council. Now, only six states have upper house in their legislatures.
The bureaucracy of Jammu And Kashmir State would be divided between the two successor Union Territories. The officers posted in Jammu and Kashmir – after allocation of respective Union Territory – will continue to be part of their existing cadre. However, future posting will be made from the officers of AGMUT (Arunchal Goa Mizoram Union Territory) cadre.
Laws passed by Parliament are now applicable to Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. Earlier, Article 370 prevented the automatic application of such laws in Jammu and Kashmir.
Other key laws and institutions that now have jurisdiction over Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh are:
- Right to Information
- Right to Education
- Panchayati Raj Institutions
- Rights of Hindus and Sikhs as minority communities
- Reservation of seats for SCs and STs in legislature, jobs and education
- Scrutiny of government expenditure by the Comptroller and Auditor General
- Right of Indians from other states to own property and settle in Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladak
Under the new constitutional arrangement in Jammu and Kashmir, women now get freedom from being subjected to Sharia. A Kashmiri woman will not be denied the right to inheritance if she marries a person from other parts of the country.
Pakistani nationals will now not be eligible for Indian citizenship by marrying Indian women from Kashmir.
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