Jammu and Kashmir Current Affairs - 2019

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Government to transform 115 backward districts by 2022

The Union Government has selected 115 backward districts for rapid transformation by 2022 in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to create a “New India” over the next five years.

These 115 backward districts include 35 districts affected by Left Wing Extremists (LWE) violence, 55 districts just affected by LWE and another 15 including districts in Jammu and Kashmir and northeast affected by terrorism.

Prabhari Officers

For each of these backward districts, government has nominated senior official in rank of Additional secretary and Joint secretary as Prabhari officer. The First meeting of the Prabhari Officers was recently held in New Delhi under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary. It was attended by Secretaries of the important central Ministries.

Role of Prabhari officers

Prabhari officers will form team with state representatives and bring convergence in their effort. They will take it up as challenge and succeed in their mission by making difference in the lives of millions of citizens in these backward districts.

Prabhari officers will assist District administration in sharing GOI’s vision for 2022 by ensuring convergence of efforts of central and state government and set up robust mechanism to monitor improvements in key outcomes in these backward districts.

Significance

If these districts are successfully transformed, it will bring tremendous improvement in internal security environment of country. It will also help to bring convergence in development efforts of different Ministries and state Governments and schemes specially launched by Home Ministry in these districts. It serve as great opportunity to ensure rapid development all regions of the country.

Third party validation

The third party validation of key performance indicators in field of health and nutrition, education, basic infrastructure including roads, household toilets, electricity, agriculture and irrigation will be undertaken to make this program successful.

Month: Categories: Government Schemes & Projects

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Article 35-A: SC adjourns hearing by 3 months

The Supreme Court has adjourned the hearing of plea challenging Article 35A of the Constitution by three months. The apex court’s order came after it was told by Centre that government has appointed a representative (interlocutor) to hold talks with all stakeholders to resolve Kashmir issue.

The court was hearing on batch of four petitions demanding scrapping of Article 35A on various grounds. The main petition was filed by Delhi-based NGO in 2014. Three more petitions were also filed but were later clubbed with main one.

What is Article 35-A?

Article 35A of the Constitution empowers J&K legislature to define permanent residents (PR) of state. It was added through Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 issued under Article 370 of Constitution by the President of India and not by amending constitution under Article 368.

The PR law enacted by J&K legislature in pursuance of Article 35A replicates state subject law promulgated by Dogra king Maharaja Hari Singh in 1927 following a strong campaign by Kashmiri Pandits, who had opposed to hiring of civil servants from Punjab because it affected their representation in administration.

Permanent Residents

The J&K Constitution adopted on November 17, 1956 defines Permanent Resident as person who was state subject on May 14, 1954, or who has been resident of state for 10 years and has lawfully acquired immovable property in state. It only empowers J&K legislature to alter definition of PR only through law passed by two-thirds majority.

The provision of Permanent Resident bars Indian citizens, other than permanent resident of J&K, from settling in state, acquiring immovable properties, seeking employment or undertaking any trade or business if state makes any law to that effect and it cannot be challenged before any court.  It also denies property rights to woman who marries a non-permanent resident and her children.

Petitions demanding scrapping of Article 35A

The petitioners have challenged Article 35A on ground that it can only have been introduced through Constitutional amendment under Article 368 and not through a Presidential Order under Article 370.

They say that Article 35A is against very spirit of oneness of India as it creates a class within a class of Indian citizens. It restricts citizens from other States from getting employment or buying property within J&K, thus is a violation of fundamental rights under Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution.

One  petition also held that Article 35A is gender-biased and also against Article 14 of the Constitution as it denies property rights to J&K permanent resident woman who marries a non-resident while a man who marries outside state will continue to enjoy his rights.

Month: Categories: Governance & Politics

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