From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Article 370
Mains level : Paper 2- J and K issue
The article deal with the impact of the passage of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act of 2019 on Ladakh’s autonomy or participatory democracy.
What has changed?
- Hill Councils: The Autonomous Hill Development Councils of Leh and Kargil read along with the framework of J&K’s special status and its bicameral legislative system gave Ladakh autonomy and participatory democracy.
- The Hill Councils had the powers over land in Ladakh while the majority of the bigger concerns regarding land remained protected under Article 370 and J&K’s robust land protection laws.
- Power to recruit the officers: Gazetted officers were recruited through the State Public Service Commission.
- The District Service Selection Board made recruitments at the district level.
- But today, there is no Public Service Commission in Ladakh and the Hill Councils’ power to make recruitments at the district level has also been affected by the Lieutenant Governor (LG)’s presence.
- No law to protect the jobs: Technically, there also exists no law in Ladakh now that protects the land or even the jobs.
- Loss of representation: the Reorganisation Act has taken away the six seats of the Members of Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council and wakened the functioning of the Hill Councils.
- The only elected representation from Ladakh outside of Ladakh is a lone MP.
Steps need to be taken to address the issues related to the lack of representation in Ladakh in the wake of the passage of the Reorganisation Act of 2019.