[op-ed snap] Do not touch

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Mains Paper 2: Polity | Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

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“Move to re-open debate on Article 35A is unwise — loose talk on J&K’s special status will only deepen distrust.” Critically analyse?

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Article 370, Article 35A

Mains level: India’s policy on Kashmir.



  • The government’s reply last month to the Supreme Court, saying that the questions raised in a petition challenging Article 35A require a larger debate

What is Article 35A?

  1. It was added by a 1954 presidential order issued under Article 370, the constitutional provision that mediates the relationship between the Union of India and Kashmir
  2. Article 35A empowers the state legislative assembly to specify permanent residents.

Who is permanent resident?

  • The 1956 J&K Constitution defines a Permanent Resident as one who, apart from being an Indian citizen, was a state subject on May 14, 1954, or a resident of the state for 10 years, and owns immovable property in the state. 


  1. Government’s new legal pro-activism against Articles 35A or 370 will lead to more alienation in the Valley.
  2. In the Valley, the government’s reply on 35A is being seen as paving the way for moves to do away with Article 370 that excludes J&K from most laws enacted by Parliament, except through presidential orders that have the concurrence of the J&K Legislative Assembly
  3. Court has also asked the Centre to respond to a petition challenging Article 370.
  4. All this has served to strengthen suspicions that the Centre is using the legal route to bring about the changes that it wants


Article 370

  1. Under the Part XXI of the Constitutionof India, which deals with “Temporary, Transitional and Special provisions”, Article 370 is a temporary provision granting special autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir
  2. Article 370 specifies that except for Defence, Foreign Affairs, Finance and Communications the Indian Parliament needs the State Government’s concurrence for applying all other laws
  3. The Jurisdiction of the Parliament of India in relation to Jammu and Kashmir is confined to the matters enumerated in the Union List, and also the concurrent listThere is no State list for the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
  4. At the same time, while in relation to the other States, the residuary powerof legislation belongs to Parliament, in the case of Jammu and Kashmir, the residuary powers belong to the Legislature of the State,except certain matters to which Parliament has exclusive powers such as preventing the activities relating to cession or secession, or disrupting the sovereignty or integrity of India.
  5. No preventive detention law made in India extends to Jammu & Kashmir.

J&K violence dents economy, over 5% dip in credit growth in 9 Valley districts

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Mains Paper 3: Internal Security | Linkages between development and spread of extremism.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims Level: Particulars of Credit growth and its related concept

Mains Level: Article is important because it shows the effects of extremism and terrorism on the state of Jammu and Kashmir Economy.


Dented economic activity in Kashmir

  1. The unrest going on in Kashmir from last year, severely effected economic activity and credit growth across nine districts in the Valley
  2. According to data available with Reserve Bank of India, the credit growth across these districts fell below 5 per cent for the quarter ended March 2017
  3. Bankers say that biggest decline in economic activity on account of the unrest has been in districts such as Srinagar, Shopian, Anantnag, Pulwama and Kulgam

Increased NPA in the economy of Jammu and Kashmir

  1. On account of weak sentiment and lack of confidence among customers and banks, state has also witnessed a rise in bank NPAs over the last three years

Why is Credit growth important?

  1. High credit growth shows that individuals have a higher propensity to borrow and spend, and reflects the tendency of businesses to borrow and invest

Life in Kashmir limping back to normalcy

  1. Normal activities are resuming with the Class 10 and 12 annual board exams starting
  2. The separatists have been issuing weekly programme of protests and strike. Schools had been shut due to violence
  3. The increased movement of transport and people gave a semblance of normalcy in the Valley
  4. People hurt: As many as 85 people, including two police men, have been killed and several thousand others injured in the ongoing unrest in the Valley
  5. Around 5,000 security forces personnel have also been injured in the clashes

[op-ed snap] School life disrupted in Kashmir Valley

  1. Context: It is almost four months since unrest began in the Valley owing to the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen ‘commander’ Burhan Wani
  2. Amidst the violence and curfew, 27 schools, mostly government run, have supposedly been set on fire
  3. Further discourse: Government plans to conduct State Board examinations in November
  4. Why disrupting schools: Disrupting the school calendar is one of the oldest tricks in the insurgents’ playbook. It sends out the signal that the administration is not in full control
  5. It heightens anxiety among the local population that their children’s life chances are doubtful, thereby reinforcing popular disaffection and alienation
  6. The occasional occupation of school buildings by the security forces makes them a symbol of the state, and a soft target for militants
  7. Steps to be taken: Government assurance of adequate security
  8. Abandoning the practice of using schools to solve logistical problems
  9. Isn’t it high time that an urgent plan is chalked out to return normalcy to the State?

Court asks J&K govt. to protect schools

  1. Who: J&K HC came down heavily on the authorities for “failing to safeguard school infrastructure” in Kashmir
  2. Why: Taking suo motu cognisance of the mysterious burning of 27 schools
  3. Normal life has been affected in Kashmir for 115 days now

Delhi team touches base with separatists

  1. Who: A five-member group led by former Union Minister and BJP leader Yashwant Sinha
  2. Purpose: The group held meetings with seperatists Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq
  3. Previously: The seperatists had refused an audience to the visiting all-party parliamentarian delegation in September

National security best left to Govt, Army: SC

  1. What? Supreme Court refused to entertain a petition to direct the government to stop funding separatist groups in Jammu and Kashmir
  2. Why? Centre and the Army are the best judges to decide on matters of national security and threat perceptions
  3. A stern message to courts: Such PIL petitions should neither be entertained nor encouraged
  4. The grant of funds to Jammu and Kashmir for purposes of security or otherwise is within the exclusive domain of the Central government

Kashmir violence: Army begins operation ‘Calm Down’

  1. Context: The continuing turbulence in the Valley
  2. What? The Army has quietly moved an entire brigade into South Kashmir as part of operation ‘Calm Down’ to clear it of militants and protesters
  3. Nearly 4,000 additional troops have been pressed into service to restore normalcy, but with clear instructions to use minimum force
  4. Why? Intelligence reports of a virtual ‘Jungle Raj’ prevailing in the area
  5. Militants and their sympathisers are calling the shots, holding protests and blocking arterial roads
  6. The troops, mobilised from reserves have fanned out in all the four districts of South Kashmir — Pulwama, Shopian, Anantnag and Kulgam
  7. These districts have borne the brunt of the current spiral of violence in the Valley triggered by the encounter killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani

Govt. to regulate pellet gun usage

  1. News: Govt is not in favour of completely withdrawing the use of pellet guns in the Kashmir valley, their use will be regulated instead
  2. Context: Expert committee headed by T.V.S.N Prasad, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), constituted to look into the alternatives to pellet guns, has been submitted report
  3. Background: More than 400 people have been injured due to pellet guns to control the violence which erupted after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter on July 8
  4. CRPF has been deployed in the valley to assist the state police for crowd-control
  5. CRPF informed the Jammu and Kashmir High Court recently that it had fired 1.3 million pellets from pump action guns from July 8-August 11
  6. Govt is facing severe criticism for using the pellet guns and several political parties have asked for its complete withdrawal

SC pitches for a political solution in Kashmir

  1. SC: The judiciary has its limits & a political solution across party lines might probably bring peace to Kashmir
  2. Context: street clashes between security forces and mobs and curfew continuing to choke normality in Kashmir
  3. Right direction: Opposition parties’ talks with the Centre offer more chances of reaching a well-rounded solution than court hearings did

J&K Resettlement Act: a brief background- II

  1. Validity challenged: In 1982, the Act was first challenged before SC and then Governor B.K. Nehru had refused to sign the Bill and sent it back to the Assembly
  2. Later Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the then President of newly constituted BJP, had also filed a petition before the apex court seeking intervention
  3. The matter was considered by the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in 2001 on a presidential reference
  4. The apex court returned the reference back to President with a three-word pronouncement- ‘Returned, respectfully, unanswered’

J&K Resettlement Act: a brief background- I

  1. It envisages grant of permit for resettlement of Pakistani nationals who had migrated to Pakistan from Jammu and Kashmir between 1947 and 1954 after India’s partition
  2. Criticisms: People of Jammu and Kashmir who migrated to Pakistan from 1947 could be considered for their return but their descendants could not be.
  3. The law is considered as draconian, unconstitutional and improper which threatened the security of the State

J&K resettlement law: SC hints referring it to larger Bench

  1. News: SC may refer to a Constitution Bench a plea challenging the validity of the Jammu and Kashmir Resettlement Act if it finds that some issues needed interpretation of the Constitution
  2. Earlier: In 2008, a Bench hearing the matter had referred it to a five-judge Constitution Bench
  3. But the Chief Justice in the same year had over-ruled the decision and ordered the matter to be listed before a three-judge Bench

SC on dissent in Kashmir

  1. SC: A distinguishing feature of any democracy is the space offered for legitimate dissent
  2. One cherished and valuable aspect of political life in India is a tradition to express grievances through direct action or peaceful protest
  3. Organised, non-violent protest marches were a key weapon in the struggle for Independence
  4. Background: The judgment was based on a petition filed by several activists, alleging that they were brutalised by the State Police when their protest espousing the case of Jammu migrants led to a clash with the police in 2007

:( We are working on most probable questions. Do check back this section.

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