Jammu & Kashmir Current Affairs - 2019

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Govt releases new political maps of J&K and Ladakh

The Union goverment released the political maps of newly formed Union Territories (UTs) of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh as well as the map of India depicting these new UTs.  This development comes as the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was reorganized as the new UT of Jammu and Kashmir and the new UT of Ladakh on 31 October 2019, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and supervision of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Key Highlights

The new maps depicting the new UTs of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, as created on 31 October 2019, along with the map of India, are prepared by Survey General of India.

The newly created UT of Ladakh consists of two districts of Kargil and Leh while the rest of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir is in UT of J&K. The Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) is the part of UT of J&K, while Gilgit-Baltistan is in UT of Ladakh.

The Union Territories (UTs) of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh were created after on recommendation of Parliament, the President effectively dismantled Article 370 of Indian Constitution and gave assent to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.

In the history of India, this is for the first time that a state was converted into two UTs. The total number of states in country has now risen to 28, while the total UTs have gone up to 9. The UT of J&K will now have a legislature such as Puducherry while Ladakh will stay a UT without legislature such as Chandigarh.

Jammu and Kashmir Map

In 1947, the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir had 14 districts namely- Udhampur, Anantnag, Poonch, Jammu, Gilgit, Baramulla, Leh and Ladakh, Kathua, Reasi, Mirpur, Muzaffarabad, Gilgit Wazarat, Chilhas and the Tribal Territory.

However by 2019, the government of erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir had reorganised the areas of these 14 districts into 28 districts. The names of new districts were – Srinagar, Pulwama, Kargil, Ramban, Kupwara, Bandipur, Ganderbal, Budgam, Kulgam, Shupian, Doda, Kishtivar, Samba and Rajouri. Out of these, the Kargil district was carved out from the area of ​​Leh and Ladakh district. The newly created map now depicts UT of J&K as comprising 22 districts.

Ladakh Map                          

The Leh district of newly formed Union Territory of Ladakh has been defined in Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Removal of Difficulties) Second Order, 2019 (issued by President), to include areas of districts of Gilgit, Chilhas, Gilgit Wazarat and Tribal Territory of 1947, in addition to the remaining areas of Leh and Ladakh districts of 1947 (after carving out the Kargil District).


Radha Krishna Mathur sworn in as first Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh UT

Radha Krishna Mathur (65) was formally sworn in as first ever Lieutenant Governor of newly carved Union Territory of Ladakh on 31 October 2019. He was nominated to be the first Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh by President of India on 25 October 2019. He was administered Oath of Office and Secrecy by Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Gita Mittal.

On 31 October 2019 the reorganization of erstwhile State of Jammu & Kashmir into two Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh came into existence. The day also marks the birth anniversary of Iron man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who is credited with merger of over 560 states into Union of India.

Key Highlights

Centre has also appointed Umang Narula, a 1989-batch IAS officer, as the advisor to newly-appointed Lt Governor of Ladakh.  At present, Umang is posted as principal secretary to Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malilk.

SS Khandare, a 1995-batch IPS officer, has been appointed Head of Police of Union Territory of Ladakh.

About Radha Krishna Mathur

He is a retired 1977 batch IAS officer of Tripura cadre. In November 2018, he retired as Chief Information Commissioner(CIC) of India. He has also held position as- Union Defence Secretary, Union Defence Production Secretary, Union Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Secretary and Chief Secretary of Tripura.

New Provision for Ladakh as a UT

The creation of two new Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh follows a landmark decision by the centre to abrogate Article 370 and 35A of the constitution on 5 August 2019.

Under the new provision, Ladakh will be a Union Territory on the lines of Andaman and Nicobar, directly governed by Lieutenant Governor. Ladakh will have two Hill councils directly under Lieutenant Governor. Also, the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir will be common for both Ladakh and J&K.

Moreover, the Scheduled Lists of 106 central laws will be applicable to two newly carved UT’s, which includes the Aadhaar Act, 2016, Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, and Right to Education Act (RTE), 2009. Moreover, the bodies such as SC commission, ST commission and Minority commission will be setup in both UTs.

NOTE: Ladakh has a population of nearly 3 lakh and is strategically located as it shares borders with Pakistan as well as China.