Amarnath Yatra Current Affairs - 2020

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What is ‘Machail Mata Yatra’?  

After the suspension of annual Amarnath Yatra, ‘Machail Mata Yatra’ in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) was suspended due to security reasons. Concerned authorities have asked people not to start yatra and those on way to leave and go back. Yatra started on 25 July and was scheduled to end on 5 September.

Machail Mata Yatra

Machail Mata is a Goddess Durga (also known by name Kaali or Chandi) shrine which is popularly known as Machail Mata. It is located in Machail village, from where it derives its name, in Kishtwar District of Jammu region.

Machail Mata Sthan as shrine is popularly known for its landscape of unblemished beauty with hills, glaciers and tributaries of Chenab River (also called Chadrabhaga).

Paddar valley, is famous for its world-famous sapphire mines.

43-day-long Pilgrimage happens in month of August only every year. During yatra thousands of devotees from across India pay obeisance at holy shrine of goddess Durga which includes a trek of 30-km arduous route.

Terrorism: Kishtwar was declared terrorism-free over a decade ago but it was rattled by killing of state secretary of BJP Anil Parihar and his brother on 1 November 2018, followed by assassination of senior RSS leader Chanderkant Sharma and his security guard inside a health centre on 9 April 2019.

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Cabinet approves Governor’s Rule in J&K for another 6 months

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the extension of President’s rule under article 356(4) of Indian Constitution, in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) for a period of 6 more months, beginning from 3 July 2019. The decision was based on prevailing situation in state as stated in report of Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Satya Pal Malik.

The present term of President’s Rule is expiring on 2 July 2019 but as recommended by J&K Governor, the President Rule in State may be extended for a further period of six months with effect from 3 July 2019 if it gets parliamentary approval.

Implementation: A resolution seeking approval of parliament for extending President’s Rule in J&K will be moved in both houses of parliament during the upcoming session.


J&K was placed under Governor’s Rule after Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) pulled out of coalition government with J&K’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in June 2018. This Governor’s Rule was proclaimed under Section 92 of Constitution of J&K with concurrence of President of India.

It had resulted in Governor assuming to himself functions of Government as well as Legislature of J&K. During this time, State Assembly was initially suspended due to breaking of coalition government and was later dissolved by Governor in November 2018.

The President’s Rule under Article 356 of Indian Constitution was imposed in J&K after Governor’s rule imposed in June 2018 had ceased after six months period in December 2018.  It was imposed because under Section 92 of J&K Constitution, there is no provision for further continuation of such Proclamation after six months period. Later, resolution imposing President rules in J&K was approved by Parliament, (separately by Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha).

Way Forward

The Election Commission of India (ECI) stated that under Article 324 of Indian Constitution and other extant laws/rules etc. it took unanimous decision of holding of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections later in this year. The EC now confirmed that election schedule for state will be announced after the conclusion of Amarnath Yatra in August 2019. The Commission will also keep regular and real-time monitoring of situation in J&K as well as taking inputs from all necessary quarters for successful conduction of election.

About President’s Rule

Article 356 of constitution of India empowers President to issue a proclamation of Present’s Rule (or State Emergency), if he is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which government of a state cannot be carried on in accordance with provisions of Constitution. Thus, President’s rule is also called Constitutional Emergency as it deals with failure of constitutional machinery in State. The President can act in accordance with or without the report of Governor of state.

President’s Rule in a state can continue for a period of 6 months at a time and after this period it can be extended for another term with approval of both houses of Parliament (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) but for a maximum period of 3 years.

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