Union Territory Current Affairs - 2020

NITI Aayog and Ladakh UT sign MoU to develop Infrastructure projects

On January 17, 2020, NITI Aayog and Ladakh Union Territory signed a Memorandum of Understanding. According to the agreement, NITI Aayog will support the administration of the Ladakh through its initiative “Development Support Services to States for Infrastructure Projects” (DSSS)

Highlights

NITI Aayog will identify high-impact projects. It will expedite project implementations, create unique models of development and will identify high-impact priority projects. A team of experts associated with NITI Aayog are to be stationed in Ladakh to identify and develop the territory. The team will predominantly focus on solar energy, tourism and basic infrastructure.

What are DSSS projects of NITI Aayog?

The main objective of DSSS projects is creating PPP (Public Private Partnership) projects. In 2018, phase I of the project was completed. In phase I, 10 projects were selected from 400 projects that were submitted by the states. In phase II, that was completed in the year 2018-19, the selected projects entered transaction stage. Preparation activities were carried out. The think tank also created techno-economic feasibility report.

The following were other steps taken

  • The think tank organized investor consultations for the state governments
  • Integrated post-harvest supply chain management and integrated community based micro-irrigation infrastructure were generated.

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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.

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