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Migrant Quota Cleared for J&K Assembly

Context:

The Lok Sabha passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023.

Relevance:

GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir
  2. Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023
  3. Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023

Delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir:

Pre-Abrogation Scenario
  • In the former state of Jammu and Kashmir, Lok Sabha seat delimitation followed the Indian Constitution.
  • However, the delimitation of Assembly seats was governed separately by the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution.
Abrogation of Article 370
  • The special status of Jammu and Kashmir was revoked on August 5, 2019.
  • The region transitioned into a Union Territory, altering its constitutional framework.
Setting up the Delimitation Commission
  • In March 2020, the Union government established a Delimitation Commission.
  • The commission was assigned the task of delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir and four northeastern states: Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, and Nagaland.
  • Originally intended to be completed within a year.
Impact of Covid-19
  • Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Delimitation Commission received a one-year extension to complete its mandate.
  • Delimitation Process Completion
  • After concluding the delimitation process, the commission issued orders related to the assembly and parliamentary constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir.
Legislative Assembly Expansion
  • The delimitation orders led to an increase in the number of seats in the Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly.
  • The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, facilitated the expansion from 107 to 114 seats.

Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023

Legislative Introduction

  • Introduced in the Lok Sabha in July 2023.
  • Aims to amend the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.

Background of the 2019 Act

  • The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, facilitated the reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir into the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir (with legislature) and Ladakh (without legislature).

Key Features of the Amendment Bill

Expansion of Legislative Assembly Seats
  • The 2019 Act initially set the total number of seats in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly at 83.
  • The Amendment Bill increases the total number of seats to 90 based on the recommendations of the Delimitation Commission.
  • Reserves 7 seats for Scheduled Castes and 9 seats for Scheduled Tribes.
Nomination of Kashmiri Migrants
  • The Lieutenant Governor is empowered to nominate up to 2 members from the Kashmiri migrant community to the Legislative Assembly.
  • One of the nominated members must be a woman.
  • Defines migrants as those who moved from the Kashmir Valley or any part of Jammu and Kashmir after November 1, 1989, and are registered with the Relief Commissioner.
  • Includes individuals unable to register due to specific circumstances like government service, work-related relocation, or possessing immovable property but unable to reside there due to disturbed conditions.
Nomination of Displaced Persons
  • The Lieutenant Governor can nominate 1 member representing displaced persons from Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir to the Legislative Assembly.
  • Displaced persons are those who left or were displaced from their residence in Pakistani-occupied Jammu and Kashmir in 1947-48, 1965, or 1971 due to civil disturbances or fear of such disturbances.
  • Successors-in-interest of such persons are also included.
Conclusion
  • The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, addresses key aspects of legislative representation, focusing on seat expansion and inclusive nominations.

Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023

Legislative Introduction

  • Presented in the Lok Sabha in July 2023.
  • Seeks to amend the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004.

Background of the 2004 Act

  • The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004, addresses reservation in employment and admission to professional institutions for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and other socially and educationally backward classes.

Key Features of the Amendment Bill

Definition Change: Socially and Educationally Backward Classes
  • Originally, socially and educationally backward classes included individuals in villages declared as such by the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Also encompassed those residing in areas adjacent to the Actual Line of Control and International Border.
  • Weak and underprivileged classes (social castes), as notified, were part of this category.
  • The government had the authority to modify this category based on the recommendations of a Commission.
Substitution of Terminology
  • The Amendment Bill substitutes “weak and underprivileged classes” with “other backward classes” as declared by the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Simultaneously, the definition of weak and underprivileged classes is removed from the Act.
Conclusion
  • The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, brings about significant changes by replacing terminology and redefining the socially and educationally backward classes underlining the commitment to inclusivity and equitable representation.

-Source: The Hindu


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