J&K – The issues around the state

J&K – The issues around the state

What is Durbar Move?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Durbar Move

Mains level : Need for multiple administrative capitals

A tradition of a century and a half is set to be broken in Jammu and Kashmir, with only “sensitive records” being taken from Jammu to Srinagar this summer during the “Durbar Move”.

Discuss the feasibility, benefits and constraints caused by multiple administrative capitals in Indian states with special context to Jammu and Kashmir and the state of Andhra Pradesh. (250W)

Durbar Move

  • Durbar Move is a bi-annual shifting of the Civil Secretariat and other offices of the state government from Jammu to Srinagar in summer, and vice versa in winter.
  • This is done as Jammu & Kashmir has two capitals: Kashmir during summer and Jammu during winter.
  • In Jammu, offices shut on the last Friday and Saturday of April and reopen in Srinagar on the first Monday after a gap of a week.
  • In Kashmir, offices shut on the last Friday and Saturday of October, to reopen in Jammu on the first Monday after a week’s gap, in November.

The reasons why

  • Durbar Move is a tradition started 149 years ago started by the erstwhile Dogra rulers who hailed from Jammu but had expanded their boundaries to Kashmir including what is now Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and Ladakh.
  • Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh are very different from one another geographically, linguistically and culturally, and in those days were poorly connected by road.
  • It is generally understood that the Durbar Move was started to take the administration to the doorstep of the people of Kashmir which is closer to Ladakh.
  • During summer, ruling from Kashmir also helped in ensuring adequate supplies to Ladakh, which is closer to Kashmir than Jammu, before the winter snowfall would cut off Ladakh.
  • The practice also enabled greater interaction and bonding among the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.

The effort

  • Until 2019, the administration used to engage hundreds of trucks and buses for carrying office records and officials from one capital city to another.
  • For safe transportation, the Jammu & Kashmir police and paramilitary forces would dominate the entire Jammu-Srinagar national highway.
  • Apart from the expenses incurred on hiring trucks and buses, the moving staff also used to be paid TA and DA, besides arrangements for their accommodation.

The criticism

  • Voices of protest started during the late 1980s, over the amount of money and time spent on the exercise.
  • However, the practice also enjoyed public support.
  • In recent years, many criticised the government for spending nearly Rs 200 crore on this exercise every year when it did not have enough funds even to pay salary to its employees.
  • Last year, the Jammu & Kashmir High Court observed that there was no legal justification or constitutional basis for the Darbar Move tradition.
  • The court recommended that in case the practice was rationalized, the resources and time saved could be utilized towards the welfare and development of the UT.
  • The money saved could also be used to address Covid-related issues like food shortage, unemployment and healthcare.

What next?

  • The UT government has decided to switch to e-governance, will all office records converted into digital format.
  • As a result, while the Secretariat employees and some offices will move from Jammu to Srinagar, as usual, this year, only sensitive records will be shifted from one place to another.

J&K – The issues around the state

Places in news: Chenab Arch Bridge


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Chenab Arch Bridge

Mains level : Not Much

A half-a-kilometre long arch, the defining feature of the world’s highest railway bridge over river Chenab, is set to be completed today.

Chenab Arch Bridge

  • The bridge is part of an ambitious 272-km rail link project and is being constructed by the Northern Railway at an estimated cost of ₹28,000 crores.
  • The bridge will be able to withstand earthquakes with a magnitude of up to eight and high-intensity blasts.
  • The bridge, which will include a 14-metre dual carriageway and a 1.2-metre-wide central verge, will have a design speed of around 100 kilometres per hour with a lifespan of 120 years.

Its inception

  • The preparations of the rail link began in 2002 and the initial plan was to connect Kashmir’s northernmost city Baramulla to New Delhi.
  • Work on the bridge started again in July 2017 with the aim of completing the construction by the end of 2019 but due to contractual issues in 2018, it was delayed.
  • Steel was specifically chosen for the construction of the bridge as it will make the project more economical.
  • The metal will also be able to resist temperatures of minus 20 degree Celsius and wind speeds of above 200 kilometres per hour.


  • A railway bridge like this, with this kind of geography, has not been made anywhere in the world, according to the Railways.
  • It will symbolise the Kashmir rail link, to be ready for at least a century.
  • In other words, a train from Kanyakumari can reach all the way to Kashmir uninterrupted.
  • The cable crane that will do the job of completing the arch itself measures around 900 meters and is said to be the longest in the world, made especially for this project.

J&K – The issues around the state

[pib] New Industrial Development Scheme for Jammu & Kashmir (J&K IDS, 2021)


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : JK IDS, 2021

Mains level : Development of JK region

The Union Govt. has formulated the New Industrial Development Scheme for Jammu & Kashmir (J&K IDS, 2021).

Tap to read more about: Reorganization of J&K

J&K IDS, 2021

  • It is a new Central Sector Scheme for the development of Industries in the UT of Jammu & Kashmir.
  • The main purpose of the scheme is to generate employment which directly leads to the socio-economic development of the area.

Incentives available

  • Capital Investment Incentive at the rate of 30% in Zone A and 50% in Zone B on the investment made in Plant & Machinery (in manufacturing) or construction of the building is available.
  • Capital Interest subvention: At the annual rate of 6% for a maximum of 7 years on loan amount up to Rs. 500 crore for investment in plant and machinery (in manufacturing) or construction of the building.
  • GST Linked Incentive: 300% of the eligible value of actual investment made in plant and machinery (in manufacturing) or construction in building for 10 years.
  • Working Capital Interest Incentive: All existing units at an annual rate of 5% for a maximum of 5 years. Maximum limit of incentive is Rs 1 crore.

Key features:

  • The scheme is made attractive for both smaller and larger units.
  • Smaller units with an investment in plant & machinery upto Rs. 50 crore will get a capital incentive upto Rs. 7.5 crore and get capital interest subvention at the rate of  6% for a maximum of 7 years
  • The scheme aims to take industrial development to the block level in UT of J&K, which is the first time in any Industrial Incentive Scheme of the GoI.
  • The scheme has been simplified on the lines of ease of doing business by bringing one major incentive- GST Linked Incentive- that will ensure less compliance burden without compromising on transparency.
  • It is not a reimbursement or refund of GST but gross GST is used to measure eligibility for industrial incentive to offset the disadvantages that the UT of J&K face

Major Impact and employment generation potential:

  • The scheme is to bring about a radical transformation in the existing industrial ecosystem of J&K with emphasis on job creation, skill development and sustainable development.
  • It is anticipated that the proposed scheme is likely to attract unprecedented investment and give direct and indirect employment to about 4.5 lakh persons.
  • Additionally, because of the working capital interest subvention, the scheme is likely to give indirect support to about 35,000 persons.

J&K – The issues around the state

[pib] PM Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS)


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : PMSSS

Mains level : Special schemes for JK and Ladakh

The Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS) instalment has been released to support J&K and Ladakh students.

Tap to read more about: Reorganization of J&K


  • The PMSSS aims to build the capacities of the youths of J&K and Ladakh by educating, enabling and empowering them to compete in the normal course.
  • Under the Scheme, the youths of J&K and Ladakh are supported by way of scholarship in two parts namely the academic fee & maintenance allowance.
  • The academic fee is paid to the institution where the student is provided admission after on-line counselling process conducted by the AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education).
  • The academic fee covers tuition fee and other components as per the ceiling fixed for various professional, medical and other under-graduate courses.
  • In order to meet the expenditure towards hostel accommodation, mess expenses, books & stationery etc., a fixed amount of Rs.1.00 Lakh is provided to the beneficiary and is paid in instalments of Rs. 10,000/- pm directly into students account.

J&K – The issues around the state

India and the OIC


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : OIC

Mains level : Internationalization of Kashmir Issue

India has hit out at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for making factually incorrect and unwarranted references to Jammu and Kashmir.

What is OIC?

  • The OIC — formerly Organisation of the Islamic Conference — is the world’s second-largest inter-governmental organisation after the UN, with a membership of 57 states.
  • The OIC’s stated objective is “to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among various people of the world”.
  • OIC has reserved membership for Muslim-majority countries. Russia, Thailand, and a couple of other small countries have Observer status.

India’s relationship with OIC

  • At the 45th session of the Foreign Ministers’ Summit in 2018, Bangladesh suggested that India, where more than 10% of the world’s Muslims live, should be given Observer status.
  • In 1969, India was dis-invited from the Conference of Islamic Countries in Rabat, Morocco at Pakistan’s behest.
  • Then Agriculture Minister Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed was dis-invited upon arrival in Morocco after Pakistan President Yahya Khan lobbied against Indian participation.

Recent developments

  • In 2019, India made its maiden appearance at the OIC Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Abu Dhabi, as a “guest of honour”.
  • Then External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj addressed the Inaugural Plenary.
  • This first-time invitation was seen as a diplomatic victory for New Delhi, especially at a time of heightened tensions with Pakistan following the Pulwama attack.
  • Pakistan had opposed the invitation to Swaraj and it boycotted the plenary after the UAE turned down his demand to rescind the invitation.

What is the OIC’s stand on Kashmir?

  • It has been generally supportive of Pakistan’s stand on Kashmir and has issued statements criticizing India.
  • These statements over the last three decades became an annual ritual, of little significance to India.
  • Last year, after India revoked Article 370 in Kashmir, Pakistan lobbied with the OIC for their condemnation of the move.
  • To Pakistan’s surprise, Saudi Arabia and the UAE — both top leaders among the Muslim countries — issued nuanced statements, and were not as harshly critical of New Delhi as Islamabad had hoped.
  • Since then, Islamabad has tried to rouse sentiments among the Islamic countries, but only a handful of them — Turkey and Malaysia — publicly criticised India.

How has India been responding?

  • India has consistently underlined that J&K is an integral part of India and is a matter strictly internal to India.
  • The strength with which India has made this assertion has varied slightly at times, but never the core message.
  • It has maintained its “consistent and well known” stand that the OIC had no locus standi,
  • This time, India went a step ahead and said the grouping continues to allow itself to be used by a certain country “which has a record on religious tolerance, radicalism and persecution of minorities”.

OIC members and India

  • Individually, India has good relations with almost all member nations. Ties with the UAE and Saudi Arabia, especially, have looked up significantly in recent years.
  • The OIC includes two of India’s close neighbours, Bangladesh and Maldives.
  • Indian diplomats say both countries privately admit they do not want to complicate their bilateral ties with India on Kashmir but play along with OIC.

What lies ahead with OIC?

  • India now sees the duality of the OIC untenable, since many of these countries have good bilateral ties and convey to India to ignore OIC statements.
  • But these countries sign off on the joint statements which are largely drafted by Pakistan.
  • South Block feels it is important to challenge the double-speak since Pakistan’s campaign and currency on the Kashmir issue has hardly any takers in the international community.

J&K – The issues around the state

What is J&K Roshni Act?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Roshni Act, Art. 370

Mains level : Corruption in mainstream politics in Jammu and Kashmir

The J&K High Court has declared Roshni Act “illegal, unconstitutional and unsustainable” and a CBI probe has been ordered into the allotment of land under this law.

Must read:

[Burning Issue] One Year since the Repeal of Art. 370

What is the Roshni Act?

  • The J&K State Lands (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001 is popularly known as the Roshni Act.
  • It envisaged the transfer of ownership rights of state land to its occupants, subject to the payment of a cost, as determined by the government.
  • It set 1990 as the cutoff for encroachment on state land.
  • The government’s target was to earn Rs 25,000 crore by transferring 20 lakh kanals (one-eighth of an acre) of state land to existing occupants against payment at market rates.
  • The government said the revenue generated would be spent on commissioning hydroelectric power projects, hence the name “Roshni”.

What is the recent controversy?

  • In October this year, the High Court held the Roshni Act as ‘unconstitutional’.
  • The court also directed the UT government to make public names of those who grabbed the land under the scheme.
  • Last week, the UT government began publishing the names of beneficiaries on its websites.
  • The first set of names included prominent politicians and their relatives, hotels, and a trust connected each to the dominant parties of the Gupkar declaration.

A scam being busted

  • Investigations into the land transfers subsequently found that land in Gulmarg had been given over to ineligible beneficiaries.
  • However several government officials illegally possessed and vested ownership of state land to occupants who did not satisfy criteria under the Roshni Act.
  • A report by the CAG estimated that against the targeted Rs 25,000 crore, only Rs 76 crore had been realized from the transfer of land between 2007 and 2013, thus defeating the purpose.
  • The report blamed irregularities including arbitrary reduction in prices fixed by a standing committee, and said this was done to benefit politicians and affluent people.

J&K – The issues around the state

Importance of Gilgit-Baltistan


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Gilgit-Baltistan Region, CPEC

Mains level : China's vested interests in the Kashmir Valley

Pakistan government has recently announced that it would give the Gilgit-Baltistan region “provisional provincial status”. When that happens, G-B will become the sixth official province of Pakistan.

Tap to read more about: Reorganization of J&K


  • Gilgit-Baltistan is the northernmost territory administered by Pakistan, providing the country’s only territorial frontier, and thus a land route, with China, where it meets the Xinjiang Autonomous Region.
  • The region is an illegally occupied Indian territory as it was the part of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu & Kashmir as it existed in 1947 at its accession to India.
  • To G-B’s west is Afghanistan, to its south is Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and to the east J&K.

Its current status

  • Though Pakistan, like India, links G-B’s fate to that of Kashmir, its administrative arrangements are different from those in PoK.
  • While PoK has its own Constitution that sets out its powers and their limits vis-à-vis Pakistan, G-B has been ruled mostly by executive fiat.
  • Until 2009, the region was simply called Northern Areas.
  • It had a Northern Areas Legislative Council with the Legislative Assembly. The NALC was an elected body, but had no more than an advisory role to the Islamabad.

Why the separate status?

  • Pakistan’s separate arrangement with G-B goes back to the circumstances under which it came to administer it. On November 1 1947, after J&K ruler Hari Singh had signed the Instrument of Accession with India.
  • Gilgit had been leased to the British by Hari Singh in 1935. The British returned it in August 1947.
  • Pakistan did not accept G-B’s accession although it took administrative control of the territory.
  • India went to the UN and a series of resolutions were passed in the Security Council on the situation in Kashmir.
  • Pakistan believed that neither G-B nor PoK should be annexed to Pakistan, as this could undermine the international case for a plebiscite in Kashmir.
  • It also reckons that in the event a plebiscite ever takes place in Kashmir, votes in G-B will be important too. This is why it is only being called “provisional” provincial status.

Move for a status-quo?

  • The plan to grant G-B provincial status is linked to CPEC and Chinese interest as well as a response to India’s abrogation of Art. 370.
  • While India has objected to the plan to make G-B a province of Pakistan and in the recent past asserted that it will take control of G-B, there is a realization that it is impossible to change the map now.
  • In this sense, it can be argued that the merger of G-B with Pakistan is a move that could help both countries put the past behind and move forward on the Kashmir issue, sometime in the future.

What do the people in G-B want?

  • The people of G-B have been demanding for years that it be made a part of Pakistan since there is virtual no connect with India.
  • Some have in the past demanded a merger with PoK, but the people of G-B have no real connect with Kashmir either.
  • They belong to several non-Kashmiri ethnicities and speak various languages, none of these Kashmiri.
  • A majority of the estimated 1.5 million G-B residents are Shias. There is anger against Pakistan for unleashing extremist sectarian militant groups that target Shias.
  • There is a movement for independence, but it has very little traction.

J&K – The issues around the state

Outsiders can now buy land in Jammu and Kashmir


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : Abrogation of Art. 370

People, as well as investors outside Jammu and Kashmir, can now purchase land in the Union Territory (UT) as the Centre has notified new land laws for the region.

What is the new criterion?

  • Under the newly introduced J&K Development Act, the term “permanent resident of the State” as a criterion has been “omitted”, paving the way for investors outside J&K to invest in the UT.
  • Under the ‘transfer of land for the purpose of promotion of healthcare or education’, the government may now allow the transfer of land.
  • According to amendments made to “The Jammu & Kashmir Land Revenue Act, Samvat, 1996”, only agriculturists of J&K can purchase agricultural land.
  • No sale, gift, exchange, or mortgage of the land shall be valid in favour of a person who is not an agriculturist.
  • No land used for agriculture purposes shall be used for any non-agricultural purposes except with the permission of the district collector.
  • Under a new provision, an Army officer not below the rank of Corps Commander can declare an area as “Strategic Area” within a local area, only for direct operational and training requirements.

Note: These laws do not apply to the UT of Ladakh. The Centre is likely to notify separate land laws for the UT of Ladakh soon.

Criticisms of the move

  • Political parties have opposed the move citing the sale of the state.
  • With these new laws in place, tokenism of the domicile certificate has been done away with, as purchasing non-agricultural land has been made easier.

J&K – The issues around the state

New Official Languages in J&K


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Official languages

Mains level : Not Much

The Union Cabinet has approved a Bill to introduce Hindi, Kashmiri and Dogri as official languages in Jammu and Kashmir, in addition to Urdu and English. As of now, the official language is Urdu and Kashmiri is recognised as a regional language.

Try this PYQ:

Q.Consider the following languages:

  1. Gujarati
  2. Kannada
  3. Telugu

Which of the above has/have been declared as ‘Classical Language/ Languages’ by the Government?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Languages in J&K

  • In the undivided Jammu and Kashmir state, various ethnicities spoke Kashmiri, Pahari, Gojri, Ladakhi, Dogri, Balti and Punjabi as their mother tongues.
  • Urdu and Hindi had become a means for inter-community communication.
  • In 1889, Maharaja Pratap Singh, the third ruler of the Hindu Dogra dynasty, replaced Persian with Urdu as the court language.
  • It was an anomaly that the three languages — Dogri, Hindi and Kashmiri — which are spoken by nearly 70 per cent of the population of Jammu and Kashmir were not approved for use in official business.

Official languages in India

  • Article 343 of the Indian constitution stated that the official language of the Union is Hindi in Devanagari script instead of the extant English.
  • Later, a constitutional amendment, The Official Languages Act, 1963, allowed for the continuation of English alongside Hindi in the Indian government indefinitely until legislation decides to change it.
  • The form of numerals to be used for the official purposes of the Union is “the international form of Indian numerals”, which are referred to as Arabic numerals in most English-speaking countries.
  • Despite the misconceptions, Hindi is not the national language of India; the Constitution of India does not give any language the status of the national language.
  • The Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution lists 22 languages, which have been referred to as scheduled languages and given recognition, status and official encouragement.

Other classical languages

  • In addition, the Government of India has awarded the distinction of classical language to Kannada, Malayalam, Odia, Sanskrit, Tamil and Telugu.
  • Classical language status is given to languages which have a rich heritage and independent nature.

J&K – The issues around the state

New rules for Transaction of Business of the Govt. of UT of J&K Rules, 2019


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Art. 370

Mains level : Administrative changes in J and K

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has notified new rules for administration in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir that specify the functions of the Lieutenant Governor (LG) and the Council of Ministers.

Tap to read more about: Reorganization of J&K

New Rules for J&K

  • The new rules have been defined under Section 55 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019.

What are they?

(1)Executive functions of the L-G

  • According to the rules the “police, public order, All India Services and anti-corruption” will fall under the executive functions of the L-G.
  • Chief Minister or the Council of Ministers will have no say in their functioning.

(2)Minority Community interests

  • The proposals or matters which affect or are likely to affect peace and tranquillity or the interest of any minority community, the SCs, the STs and the Backward Classes shall essentially be submitted to the LG through the Chief Secretary, under intimation to the CM, before issuing any orders.

(3)Service Matters

  • The Council of Ministers, led by the CM, will decide service matters of non-All India Services officers, proposal to impose a new tax, land revenue, sale grant or lease of government property, reconstituting departments or offices and draft legislation.

(4)Difference of Opinion

  • In case of difference of opinion between the L-G and a Minister when no agreement could be reached even after a month, the “decision of the Lieutenant Governor shall be deemed to have been accepted by the Council of Ministers”.

(5)Relation with the Centre

  • According to the rules, “any matter which is likely to bring the Government of the UT into controversy with the Central Government or with any State Government” shall be brought to the notice of the L-G and the CM by the Secretary concerned through the Chief Secretary.
  • All communications received from the Centre, including those from the PM and other Ministers, shall be submitted by the Secretary to the Chief Secretary, the Minister in charge, the CM and the L-G for information after their receipt.

(6)Various departments

  • Under the rules, there will be 39 departments in the UT, such as school education, agriculture, higher education, horticulture, election, general administration, home, mining, power, Public Works Department, tribal affairs and transport.

J&K – The issues around the state

Appointment of new Lt. Governor of the UT of J&K


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Lt. Governor and its appointment

Mains level : Administrative differences in governance of UTs

A veteran politician has been appointed as Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Try this PYQ:

Q.Which one of the following suggested that the Governor should be an eminent person from outside the State and should be a detached figure without intense political links or should not have taken part in politics in the recent past? (CSP 2019)

(a) First Administrative Reforms Commission (1966)

(b) Rajamannar Committee (1969)

(c) Sarkaria Commission (1983)

(d) National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (2000)

Office of the Lt. Governor

  • A Lt. Governor is the constitutional head of the union territories in India.
  • She/he is appointed by the President of India for a term of five years and holds office at the President’s pleasure.
  • Since the union territories of Delhi, J&K and Puducherry have a measure of self-government with an elected legislature and council of ministers, the role of the lieutenant governor there is mostly a ceremonial one, akin to that of a state’s governor.
  • In Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Ladakh however, the lieutenant governor holds more power, being both the head of state and head of government.
  • The other three UTs—Chandigarh; Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu; and Lakshadweep—are governed by an administrator.

Some related facts

  • Unlike the lieutenant governors of other territories, they are usually drawn from the IAS or IPS.
  • Lieutenant governors do not hold the same rank as a governor of a state in the list of precedence.
  • Since 1985 the Governor of Punjab has also been the ex-officio Administrator of Chandigarh.

J&K – The issues around the state

Mythmaking and Article 370


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much

Mains level : Issues around JK; Federalism in India

The articles talk about various myths that have been building around the issues of Jammu and Kashmir. Not only does these myths affect the political outlook towards the state but is also responsible for people’s perspective on this whole story. Go on and read to understand further..

The myths

Kashmir has been a favourite site of our national mythmaking; myths that have over the years assumed larger-than-life manifestations in our collective psyche.


  • Article 370 is considered as the root cause of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • But there is a little material basis to it — neither Article 370 can be considered as responsible for terrorism in the Valley nor has its removal ensured a reduction in terrorism.


  • Article 370 is also held responsible for ruining J&K, stalling its development, preventing proper health care and blocking industries. Once again, these arguments also lack merit and evidence.
  • J&K, as a matter of fact, has been doing much better than most other Indian States and one of the reasons for this was the land reforms carried out in the State in the early 1950s which was possible precisely because of the presence of Article 370.
  • Also, private investors do not set up shop in Kashmir due to militancy which is a product of an existing conflict; not because of Articles 370 or 35A.


  • If J&K is doing better than the other Indian States, it is because of the massive amounts of funds provided by New Delhi.
  • The real argument here is not whether Kashmir received funding from New Delhi but massive funding as it is often made out to be.
  • Funds from the center can be divided as:
  • Funds to take care of J&K government’s revenue deficit: J&K, for historical reasons, has had a bloated bureaucracy in comparison to other States and their salaries and pensions have been financed by the central government. But these funds do little for the State’s economy or the general population.
  • Then there are routine transfers of funds from the Centre to J&K just as transfers take place from New Delhi to other States.
  • Finally, J&K also received funds due to its special category State status which again is a case with several other Indian States.
  • Put differently, J&K’s better performance in comparison to most other Indian States is at least partly because of Article 370, and its well-being is not necessarily a result of New Delhi’s economic packages.


  • Development can defeat militancy and insurgency.
  • The reality is that development may not lead to the pacification of the conflict in Kashmir.
  • The Kashmir conflict is a function of complex historical grievances, politico-ethnic demands, increasing religious radicalisation, and Pakistan’s unrelenting interference in the Kashmir Valley.
  • It would be simplistic to imagine that such a multi-layered and complex conflict can be resolved by development alone.
The deep impact of mythmaking
  • Changed the way how common people understand and treat Kashmir and Kashmiris.
  • Ideas like “Kashmir needs to be reunited with the rest of India” have become a powerful claim made by such representations and political articulations.
  • Yet another popular perception about ‘Kashmiris as troublemakers and sympathisers of terror’ has led to a noticeable increase in the mistreatment of Kashmiri Muslims in the rest of the country.

The way forward here is not in celebrating the scrapping of Article 370. It lies in critically examining various outcomes of this process. It is essential that New Delhi work the local people and leaders to reduce the trust and legitimacy deficit that we see today.

J&K – The issues around the state

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : UNCAT, ICCPR

Mains level : UN intervention in Kashmir

United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteurs have made public their third communication forwarded to India expressing concern over alleged excessive use of force, ill-treatment during arrests and detentions.

Practice question for mains:

Q.There is an urgent need for reforming the criminal justice system in India in light of rising cases of custodial torture and killings. Comment.

What is the issue?

The UN urged the Indian government to conduct a prompt and impartial investigation into the allegations of arbitrary killings, torture and ill-treatment and to prosecute suspected perpetrators under articles 6 and of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and articles 7 and 12 of the Committee Against Torture (CAT).

What are the conventions cited by the UN?

1) International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

  • The ICCPR is a multilateral treaty adopted by UN General Assembly Resolution on 16 December 1966, and in force from 23 March 1976.
  • The covenant commits its parties to respect the civil and political rights of individuals, including the right to life, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, electoral rights and rights to due process and a fair trial.
  • As of September 2019, the Covenant has 173 parties and six more signatories without ratification.
  • It is part of the International Bill of Human Rights, along with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
  • It is monitored by the UN Human Rights Committee (a separate body to the UN Human Rights Council).

2) United Nations Convention Against Torture (UNCAT)

  • The UNCAT is an international human rights treaty, under the review of the UN and was adopted in 1984.
  • It aims to prevent torture and other acts of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment around the world.
  • The convention requires states to take effective measures to prevent torture in any territory under their jurisdiction and forbids states to transport people to any country where there is reason to believe they will be tortured.
  • Since the convention’s entry into force, the absolute prohibition against torture and other acts of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment has become accepted as a principle of customary international law.

3) The Committee against Torture (CAT)

  • It is a body of human rights experts that monitors implementation of the Convention by State parties.
  • The Committee is one of eight UN-linked human rights treaty bodies.
  • All state parties are obliged under the Convention to submit regular reports to the CAT on how rights are being implemented.
  • Upon ratifying the Convention, states must submit a report within one year, after which they are obliged to report every four years.
  • The Committee examines each report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of “concluding observations.”
  • Under certain circumstances, the CAT may consider complaints or communications from individuals claiming that their rights under the Convention have been violated.

J&K – The issues around the state

Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) bench for the UT of J&K and Ladakh


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : CAT

Mains level : Paper 2- Functioning and independence of CAT

The union govt. has inaugurated the 18th Bench of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) for the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Try this question from our AWE initiative:

“The Central Administration Tribunal which was established for redressal of grievances and complaints by or against central government employees nowadays is exercising its powers as an independent judicial authority.” Explain. (10 Marks)

What is Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT)?

  • The Central Administrative Tribunal had been established under Article 323 – A of the Constitution for adjudication of disputes and complaints with respect to recruitment and conditions of service.
  • It aims to provide speedy and inexpensive justice to the aggrieved public servants.
  • It adjudicates for the persons appointed to public services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or other authorities under the control of the Government.
  • In pursuance of Article 323-A, the Parliament has passed the Administrative Tribunals Act in 1985.
  • The act authorizes the Central government to establish one Central Administrative Tribunal and the state administrative tribunals.

Composition of the CAT

  • The CAT is a specialist body consisting of Administrative Members and Judicial Members who by virtue of their specialized knowledge are better equipped to dispense speedy and effective justice.
  • A Chairman who has been a sitting or retired Judge of a High Court heads the Central Administrative Tribunal.
  • There are now 18 Benches and 21 Circuit Benches in the CAT all over India.

Its functioning

  • It exercises jurisdiction only in relation to the service matters of the parties covered by the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985.
  • The Tribunal is guided by the principles of natural justice in deciding cases and is not bound by the procedure, prescribed by the Civil Procedure Code.
  • Under Section 17 of the Administrative Tribunal Act, 1985, the Tribunal has been conferred with the power to exercise the same jurisdiction and authority in respect of contempt of itself as a High Court.

Independence of working

  • The conditions of service of the Chairman and Members are the same as applicable to a Judge of High Court as per the Administrative Tribunals (Amendment) Act, 2006.
  • The orders of CAT are challenged by way of Writ Petition under Article 226/227 of the Constitution before respective High Court in whose territorial jurisdiction the Bench of the Tribunal is situated.

J&K – The issues around the state

Jammu and Kashmir notifies amended domicile certificate rules


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : New domicile rules for Jammu and Kashmir.

The J&K administration has notified the J&K grant of domicile certificate procedure rules 2020 and set a fast track process in motion to issue the certificates within a stipulated time of 15 days.

Practice mains question:

Discuss how the new domicile rules for the UT of Jammu and Kashmir would enable its full integration with the mainstream India.

New domicile rules

  • Domicile certificates have now been made a basic eligibility condition for appointment to any post under the Union Territory of J&K following the amendments in the previous Act.
  • These rules provide a simple time-bound and transparent procedure for issuance of domicile certificates in such a manner that no category of person is put to any inconvenience.
  • There is a timeline of 15 days for issuance of certificates. Under the amended rules, eligible non-locals can also apply for the certificate.
  • To make the process transparent and time-bound, any officer not able to issue the certificate would be penalized ₹50,000. The amount would be recovered from his salary.
  • The new process will allow West Pakistan refugees, safai karamcharis and children of women who married non-locals to apply for jobs here.

Who can avail the domicile certificates?

  • All Permanent Resident Certificate holders and their children living outside J&K can apply for the certificates.
  • Kashmiri migrants living in or outside J&K can get domicile certificates by simply producing their Permanent Residence Certificate (PRC), ration card copy, voter card or any other valid document.
  • A special window is also provided to migrants who have not registered with the Relief and Rehabilitation department.
  • Bonafide migrants can apply with the Relief and Rehabilitation department by providing documents like electoral rolls of 1988, proof of registration as a migrant in any State in the country or any other valid document.

Earlier Criteria for Domiciles

Satisfying any of the criteria mentioned below, a person would be deemed as a domicile of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir:

  • A person who has resided for a period of 15 years in the UT of J&K or
  • A person who has studied for a period of seven years and appeared in Class 10th/12th examination in an educational institution located in the UT of J&K
  • Someone who is registered as a migrant by the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner (Migrants)
  • Children of Central government officials, All India Services, PSUs, autonomous body of Centre, Public Sector Banks, officials of statutory bodies, Central Universities, recognised research institutes of Centre who have served in J&K for a total period of 10 years
  • Children of such residents of J&K who reside outside J&K in connection with their employment or business or other professional or vocational reasons but their parents fulfil any of the conditions provided

Job criteria for new domiciles

  • The domiciles will be eligible for the purposes of appointment to any post carrying a pay scale of not more than Level 4.
  • The Level 4 post comprises positions such as gardeners, barbers, office peons and waterman and the highest rank in the category is that of a junior assistant.
  • The reservation for domiciles would not apply to Group A and Group B posts, and like other UTs, recruitment would be done by the UPSC.

Must read:

[Burning Issues] J&K New Domicile Rules

J&K – The issues around the state

What is Darbar Move?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Darbar Move

Mains level : Cases of two working capitals in Indian states and issues with them

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court asked the Centre and the Union Territory (UT) administration to take a final call on the continuation of the 148-year-old practice Darbar Move i.e. shifting of capitals between Jammu and Srinagar.

Possible mains question:

Discuss the feasibility, benefits and constraints caused by multiple administrative capitals in Indian states with special context to Jammu and Kashmir and the state of Andhra Pradesh. (250W)

Darbar Move

  • Darbar Move is the name given to the bi-annual shift of the secretariat and all other government offices of Jammu and Kashmir from one capital city to another.
  • From May to October, governmental offices are housed in the state’s summer capital, Srinagar, and the other six months in its winter capital, Jammu.
  • The tradition was started during Dogra rule in 1872 by Maharaja Ranbir Singh.
  • It involved shifting of the Maharaja’s government to Jammu to escape the harsh winters of the Kashmir Valley, which, in the 19th century, used to result in the Valley being cut off from outside the world.
  • It is advocated that the continuation of the practice helped in the emotional integration between two diverse linguistic and cultural regions of Jammu and Kashmir.

A costly practice

  • Ahead of the Darbar Move, Srinagar usually receives a facelift every year. Over 10,000 employees shift capital annually.
  • Roads around and leading to the Civil Secretariat, the seat of the government, are being renovated now.
  • Besides, the government offices and quarters have been renovated and the streetlights restored.
  • Hundreds of trucks are usually plied to carry furniture, office files, computers, and other records to the capital.
  • Over the years, there have been voices raised against the century-old practice which involves heavy funding towards ensuring the smooth conduct of the move.

Why scrap Darbar Move?

  • If this practice is rationalized, the amount of money, resources and time which could be saved, could be utilized towards the welfare and development of the Union Territory.
  • It could be utilized for the protection and propagation of culture and heritage of the communities.
  • No reason or justification at all is available for requiring the judiciary to shift with the ‘Darbar Move’. The same negatively impact justice dispensation and impedes judicial administration.

J&K – The issues around the state

ECI vague on whether J&K is part of Electoral College of President’s election


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Electoral College of President

Mains level : President’s election and impeachment process

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has replied ambiguously to an RTI query if the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will be part of the Electoral College for the election of the President of India.

This newscard invokes our basic GYAN acquired from the holy ‘Indian Polity’ by M. Laxmikanth. After reading this, ask yourself questions about the following :

1) What comprises the electoral college of the President of India?

2) Cases where the Constitutional Amendment Acts are required and wherever not

What did ECI say?

  • The RTI request sought a list of the State and UTs Legislative Assemblies which were part of the Electoral College for the election of the President.
  • The query also asked the EC to clarify whether the newly-formed UT of Jammu and Kashmir was part of the Electoral College.
  • The EC sent a single-line response, merely saying- for the information, the applicant may be informed to refer Article 54 of the Constitution of India.

What is Article 54 of the Constitution?

  • Under Article 54, the President is elected by an Electoral College, which consists of the elected members of both Houses of Parliament and the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of all the States and also of NCT of Delhi and the UT of Puducherry.
  • The art. 54, thus, only specifically mentions NCT of Delhi and Puducherry as eligible to be part of the Electoral College.
  • There is no word about the newly-formed UTs of J&K and Ladakh.

Ambiguity over J&K

  • The J&K Reorganization Act, which came into existence from August 2019, does not specify anything about whether the legislature of J&K would be able to vote in the election for a President.
  • A passing mention is made in Section 13 of the 2019 Act, which claims that J&K Legislature would have the same powers as its Puducherry counterpart.
  • The astonishing thing to note is that not a single MP in the parliamentary debate has pointed out this fact yet.

A constitutional amendment is required

  • Inclusion of new members in the Electoral College in Article 54 would require a Constitutional Amendment to be carried out through two-thirds majority in Parliament and ratification by over 50% of the States.
  • This matter involves principles of federalism, hence constitutional amendment is a must.
  • Delhi and Puducherry were included as Electoral College members under Article 54 through the Constitution (Seventieth) Amendment Act of 1992.
  • Before that, Article 54 consisted of only the elected Members of Parliament as well as the Legislative Assemblies of the States.

Back2Basics: Presidential Election in India

  • The President is elected by an Electoral College, which consists of the elected members of both Houses of Parliament and the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of all the States and also of NCT of Delhi and the UT of Puducherry.
  • The authority to conduct elections to the Office of President is vested in the Election Commission of India.
  • The election of the President is held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote and the voting at such election shall be by secret ballot.

  • The notification calling the election to the office of the President can be issued by the Election Commission on any day within the period of sixty days before the expiry of the term of office.
  • The election schedule shall be so fixed, that the President-elect is able to enter upon his office on the day following the expiry of the term of the outgoing President.

With inputs from: TOI

J&K – The issues around the state

J&K Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order, 2020


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : Administrative changes in the state

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs has promulgated the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order, 2020, which comes into force with immediate effect.
  • Earlier this month order for an adaptation of Central Laws was also promulgated. It ordered application of 37 central laws envisaged in the Concurrent List to the newly formed UT.

About the Order

  • Issued by the Department of J&K and Ladakh Affairs, the Order stems from Section 96 of the J&K Reorganization Act, 2019.
  • The Act was a consequence of the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India and it reorganized the State into two UTs.
  • The Order notifies changes in the J&K Civil Services (Decentralization and Recruitment) Act (hereafter, “Civil Services Act”), which defines “domicile” for employment in the region
  • Domicile Criteria
    Under the newly inserted Section 3A of the Civil Services Act which is regarding domicile for purposes of appointment to any service in UT of J&K.A person will have to fulfill the following conditions to be deemed to be a domicile of the UT of J&K:
  • She/he has to have resided for period of 15 years in the UT of J&K or has studied for a period of 7 years and appeared in Class 10th/12th examination in an educational institution located in the UT of J&K; or
    She/he is registered as a migrant by the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner (Migrants) in the UT of J&K.
  • Scope of Section 3A
  • Children of those fulfilling the aforementioned conditions are also deemed to be included.
  • Section 3A also goes on to include children of those Central Government Officials, All India Services Officers, Officials of PSUs and Autonomous body of Central Government, PSBs, etc. who have served in J&K for a total period of ten years.
  • Additionally, it includes those children of such residents of UT of J&K who reside outside the UT of J&K in connection with their employment or business or other professional and vocational reasons, but the parents fulfill the conditions provided under Section 3A(1).

Job reservations

  • Section 5A provides for the domicile reservation for the purpose of appointment of any post carrying a pay scale of not more than Level-04 under the UT of J&K or under local or any other (other than cantonment board) within the UT of J&K.
  • Therefore, lowest level of non-gazetted rank jobs would be reserved exclusively for the Jammu and Kashmir domiciles.

J&K – The issues around the state

Delimitation in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Delimitation

Mains level : Read the attached story

The newly created UT of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) will be the only one in the country to undergo a delimitation exercise based on the population figures recorded in the 2011 census.

Delimitation in J&K

  • The latest readjustment of boundaries of constituencies in other States and UTs has been done on the basis of 2001 census and in future it will be carried out according to the 2031 census.
  • As per 2011 Census, the population in Kashmir region is 68,88,475, Jammu has a population of 53,78,538 and Ladakh has 2,74,289.
  • Delimitation was last done in J&K in the year 1995.

The legal basis for delimitation

  • Section 63 was introduced in the J&K Reorganisation Act so that delimitation exercise can be conducted smoothly without overlapping with other provisions of Delimitation Commission Act, 2002.
  • It is a saving clause and since J&K is a UT, it now has constitutional safeguards.
  • The provision did not require any separate legislation as it was incorporated in the primary Act.
  • It says that “until the relevant figures for the first census taken after the year 2026 have been published,” it shall not be necessary to readjust the constituencies.
  • And any reference to the “latest census figures” in shall be construed as a reference to the 2011 census figures.
  • The delimitation will be done for 90 seats as 24 seats fall in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).


Explained: Delimitation of Constituencies

J&K – The issues around the state

Explained: The Kashmir Pandit tragedy


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : NA

Mains level : Kashmiri Pandits and the hurdles in their rehabiliation


It is 30 years since the “exodus” from the Valley of its minority Hindu Kashmiri Pandit community.

The run-up: 1980s to 1990

  • Sheikh Abdullah had died in 1982, and the leadership of the National Conference passed on to his son Farooq Abdullah, who won the 1983 election.
  • But within two years, the Centre broke up the NC, and installed dissident Ghulam Mohammed Shah as Chief Minister. This led to huge disaffection and political instability.
  • The Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) stepped up its activities, and the hanging of the militant leader Maqbool Bhat in 1984 added to the sense of foreboding.
  • In 1986, after the Rajiv Gandhi government opened the Babri Masjid locks to enable Hindus to offer prayers there, ripples were felt in Kashmir too.
  • In Anantnag, the constituency of then Congress leader Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, there was a series of attacks on Hindu temples, and shops and properties of Kashmiri Pandits, blamed on separatist and secessionists.
  • Pandits had begun to be targeted. Eminent persons of the community were being shot dead.

The night of January 19, 1990

  • Matters came to a head on January 19. By then, the Farooq Abdullah government had been dismissed and Governor’s Rule imposed.
  • According to accounts published by many eminent Kashmiri Pandits, there were threatening slogans over loudspeakers from mosques, and on the streets.
  • Speeches were made extolling Pakistan and the supremacy of Islam, and against Hinduism. Finally, the Kashmiri Pandit community decided to leave.

The Gawkadal Massacre

  • On January 20, the first stream began leaving the Valley with hastily packed belongings in whatever transport they could find. A second, larger wave left in March and April, after more Pandits were killed.
  • On January 21, the CRPF gunned down 160 Kashmiri Muslim protesters at the Gawkadal Bridge, which has come to be known as the worst massacre in the long history of the conflict in Kashmir.
  • The two events — the flight of the Pandits and the Gawkadal massacre — took place within 48 hours.

How many Pandits left?

  • According to some estimates, notably by the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS), of 75,343 Kashmiri Pandit families in January 1990, more than 70,000 fled between 1990 and 1992 and continued until 2000.
  • The KPSS has placed the number of Kashmiri Pandits killed by militants from 1990 to 2011 at 399, the majority during 1989-90.
  • Some 800 families have remained in the Valley through these three decades.

Role of the administration

  • The other contentious question about the exodus is the role played by the administration, and more specifically that of the J&K Governor, Jagmohan.
  • Newly appointed, he had arrived in Srinagar on January 19.
  • The Kashmiri Muslim view of the exodus is that he encouraged the Pandits to leave the Valley and thus gave a communal colour to what was until then a non-religious Kashmiri cause.
  • The Kashmiri Hindu view is that this is a disingenuous interpretation.
  • They believe that Kashmiri Muslims, with whom they had lived amicably for centuries, drove them out with a vengeance in a frenzy of Islamism that they could not have imagined even months earlier.
  • The truth, many commentators have concluded, may have been somewhere in the middle.

The question of return

  • Those who had means rebuilt their lives elsewhere in the country — Delhi, Pune, Mumbai and Ahmedabad have Pandit populations, also Jaipur and Lucknow — or went abroad.
  • The fleeing Pandits did not think they would never return to the Valley. But as the situation in Kashmir spiraled into a full-blown militancy, return began to look remote if not impossible.
  • The longing to return to the Valley did not diminish over the years, though it may have become more an idea than a real ambition.
  • Successive governments have promised that they will help this process, but the situation on the ground in Kashmir has meant this remains only an intention.
  • There is an acute realization in the community that the Valley is no longer the same that they left behind in 1990.
  • In many cases, their properties were either immediately vandalised or sold quickly by the owners to Kashmiri Muslims. Many fell into disrepair.

J&K – The issues around the state

[op-ed snap] Eloquently reticent: On validity of J&K curbs


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much

Mains level : Paper 2- Restrictions on the fundamental rights, Constitutional protection to the use of internet.


The SC verdict on the restrictions has some important takeaways.

What the SC verdict means

  • Infinite ban on internet impermissible:  It states categorically that an indefinite ban on the internet is impermissible, but fails to direct the restoration of services. 
  • Section 144 and legitimate expression of opinion: The SC said that Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure “cannot be used as a tool to prevent the legitimate expression of opinion or grievance or exercise of any democratic rights”.
  • No ruling on the Govt. actions: The disappointing aspect of the verdict is the court’s failure to give a ruling on the validity of the government’s actions.
    • The ruling fails to hold the government to account for the manner in which it exercised its powers.
    • It states categorically that an indefinite ban on the internet is impermissible, but fails to direct the restoration of services.
    • The SC does not go beyond directing the authorities to review all their orders and restrictions forthwith.

The key takeaways from the verdict

  • Internet use constitutionally protected: The use of the Internet as a medium for free speech as well as for trade and commerce is constitutionally protected.
  • Test of proportionality: It also lays down that any reasonable restriction on fundamental rights, be it an Internet ban or a Section 144 order, will have to survive the test of proportionality.
    • The proportionality test means that is, the restriction should be proportionate to the necessity for such a measure.
    • At the same time, it cautions against the “excessive utility” of the proportionality doctrine in matters of national security.
  • No secret orders: The government is bound to publish all orders it passes regarding such restrictions so that they can be challenged in a court of law.
    • While the government’s stand that it could not produce all the orders on the restrictions imposed the SC did not strike them down on that ground.


The SC judgment, while laying down some important principles in a fundamental rights case, appears to have the character of an advisory opinion.



J&K – The issues around the state

SC order on Internet Shutdowns


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Sec. 144 of CRPC

Mains level : Internet shutdown as an infringement of FR

Directing the government to mandatorily publish all orders permitting Internet shutdowns, the Supreme Court has for the first time set the stage for challenging suspension orders before courts.

What triggered the SC?

  • India tops the list of Internet shutdowns globally. According to Software Freedom Law Center’s tracker, there have been 381 shutdowns since 2012, 106 of which were in 2019.
  • The ongoing shutdown in Kashmir is the longest ever in any democratic country.

The prime mover for Supreme Court

  • The Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Service) Rules, 2017 issued under the Telegraph Act deals with restricting Internet access.
  • It does not provide for publication or notification of the order suspending Internet, the apex court mandated that such orders must be made available to the public.
  • The court declared that it is a “settled principle of law, and of natural justice” that requires publication of such orders, “particularly one that affects lives, liberty and property of people”.
  • This allows individuals to now challenge the orders before courts in J&K and rest of India.

Internet suspension orders are subjected to Judicial Review

  • In the wake of protests against the new citizenship law, Internet services were suspended temporarily in parts of Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Karnataka.
  • There should not be excessive burden on free speech even if complete prohibition is imposed, and the government has to justify imposition of such prohibition and explain why lesser alternatives were inadequate, the bench stated.
  • It ruled that Restrictions are to be imposed in an emergency. Hence they must be proportionate to the concern. Their objective must be legitimate rather than cavalier.
  • Authorities must necessarily consider an alternative and least restrictive mechanism before opting to restrict rights. Every decision to impose restriction should be backed by sufficient material and amenable to judicial review.

Pacing up with technology

  • The bench also noted that the law needs to keep pace with technological development:
  • We need to note that the law should imbibe the technological development and accordingly mould its rules so as to cater to the needs of society.
  • Non-recognition of technology within the sphere of law is only a disservice to the inevitable.

Justifying the Kashmir shutdown

  • Lastly, the court mandated that all orders regarding the Kashmir case be made public, and to provide essential services such as e-banking and hospitals immediately.
  • What the centre was arguing in this case was that this is a matter of national security given that it pertains to Kashmir with a history of militancy.

J&K – The issues around the state

[op-ed snap] Eloquently reticent: On validity of J&K curbs


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much.

Mains level : Paper 2- Restriction on fundamental rights, use of internet protected by the constitution


The SC verdict on the restrictions has some important takeaways.

What the SC verdict means

  • Infinite ban on internet impermissible:  It states categorically that an indefinite ban on the internet is impermissible, but fails to direct the restoration of services. 
  • Section 144 and legitimate expression of opinion: The SC said that Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure “cannot be used as a tool to prevent the legitimate expression of opinion or grievance or exercise of any democratic rights”.
  • No ruling on the Govt. actions: The SC stops short of ruling on the validity of the government’s actions.
    • The ruling fails to hold the government to account for the manner in which it exercised its powers.
    • It states categorically that an indefinite ban on the internet is impermissible, but fails to direct the restoration of services.
    • The SC does not go beyond directing the authorities to review all their orders and restrictions forthwith.

The key takeaways from the verdict

  • Internet use constitutionally protected: The use of the Internet as a medium for free speech as well as for trade and commerce is constitutionally protected.
  • Test of proportionality: It also lays down that any reasonable restriction on fundamental rights, be it an Internet ban or a Section 144 order, will have to survive the test of proportionality.
    • The proportionality test means that is, the restriction should be proportionate to the necessity for such a measure.
    • At the same time, it cautions against the “excessive utility” of the proportionality doctrine in matters of national security.
  • No secret orders: The government is bound to publish all orders it passes regarding such restrictions so that they can be challenged in a court of law.
    • While the government’s stand that it could not produce all the orders on the restrictions imposed the SC did not strike them down on that ground.


The SC judgment, while laying down some important principles in a fundamental rights case, appears to have the character of an advisory opinion.

J&K – The issues around the state

Explained: The two holidays scrapped in Jammu and Kashmir


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Read the attached story

Mains level : Abrogation of Art. 370 and its aftermath

The Govt. in J&K has cancelled two existing public holidays and introduced a new one. This is seen by some as a move against their own assertion of their religious identity.

The three holidays

  • The government order has cancelled public holidays on December 5 and July 13.
  • December 5 is commemorated as the birth anniversary of Sheikh Mohd Abdullah, National Conference founder, former J&K Prime Minister, and former Chief Minister.
  • July 13 is observed as Martyrs’ Day in Jammu and Kashmir. On that date in 1931, 22 Kashmiris were killed outside the Srinagar Central Jail, where they had assembled to protest against autocratic Dogra rulers.
  • The new holiday is on October 26, the date in 1947 when the former state of Jammu and Kashmir acceded to the Dominion of India.
  • A day later, Indian troops reached Srinagar to drive out tribal raiders. October 27 is observed as a Black Day in Kashmir, marked with a shutdown.

History & significance

  • In 1846, under the Treaty of Amritsar, the British sold J&K state to the Dogra king Maharaja Gulab Singh.
  • The Dogras hailed from Jammu and their rule lasted for over a century.
  • In 1931, Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir rose against the autocracy of Dogra rule.
  • The uprising, which led to the killing of 22 Muslims, is seen as the first assertion of Muslim identity in Jammu and Kashmir.

Implications of the move

  • The move is seen as a departure from the politics of Jammu and Kashmir since 1939.
  • Many people see this as an effort to erase the role of Sheikh Abdullah, and J&K’s Muslim assertion.
  • They see it also as a refusal to recognise Kashmir’s popular Muslim leaders who sided with India in 1947, and leaders who continue to identify with India.
  • It also raises a question mark over the revival of a political process in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The move comes when normalcy is yet to return even five months after the abrogation.

J&K – The issues around the state

[pib] Himayat Mission


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Himayat Mission

Mains level : Ensuring effective governance in J&K

The Jammu and Kashmir administration is working on effective implementation of Himayat Mission.

Himayat Mission

  • It is an initiative of Union Ministry of Rural Development.
  • It is implemented by Jammu & Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) with Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDI) Ahmedabad, as coordinating /monitoring agency.
  • The project aims to generate sustainable livelihood opportunities through self employment for the youth of Jammu and Kashmir by the crosscutting approaches of holistic entrepreneurship development programs.
  • It aims at providing entrepreneurial skills for sustainable livelihood to 10,000 youth of J&K and facilitate access to finance and support services to at least 50% of them over a period of 3.5 Years.
  • Under this, 42 projects have been sanctioned for training and placement target of 68,134 youths.

J&K – The issues around the state

National Mission ‘NISHTHA’ launched in J&K


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : NISHTA Mission

Mains level : School education in India

National Initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA) has been launched in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.


  • NISHTHA is a capacity building programme for “Improving Quality of School Education through Integrated Teacher Training”.
  • The Department of School Education and Literacy has launched a National Mission to improve learning outcomes at the elementary level through an Integrated Teacher Training Programme called NISHTHA under the CSS of Samagra Shiksha in 2109-20.
  • It aims to build competencies among all the teachers and school principals at the elementary stage. NISHTHA is the world’s largest teachers’ training programme of its kind.
  • The basic objective of this massive training programme is to motivate and equip teachers to encourage and foster critical thinking in students.
  • The initiative is first of its kind wherein standardized training modules are developed at national level for all States and UTs.

J&K – The issues around the state

[op-ed snap] Task in the Valley


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing much

Mains level : The road ahead for JnK


After the decision to divide Jammu & Kashmir into two Union Territories, much remains to be done. 

Abrogation of 370

  • Government and its functionaries have described and defended the decisions as necessitated by the need to “develop” a state that had lagged behind the rest of the country on economic and social fronts due to its special status. 

Jobs pending

  • Dividing the manpower and material resources of the state is not over.
  • The government is yet to allow the people of the Valley to speak out, and be heard on decisions that affect them the most. 
  • The government’s plans to bring J&K up to speed are not yet known.

Recent Elections

  • The Block Development Council election has shown that creating a new leadership is difficult in situations as fraught as in the Valley. 
  • The BDC is elected indirectly; elected panchs and sarpanchs of a particular block of villages vote to elect one among them as the head of that block council. 
  • Almost a year after the last round of J&K panchayat polls, many of these representatives of the people at the bottom-most tier of electoral democracy continue to seek refuge, away from their villages. 
  • The persistence of fear underlines the questions of legitimacy about an electoral exercise at the end of which many seats lay vacant and most of those elected were elected unopposed.

What lies ahead

  • How the conversion of a state into two UTs resolves the 70-year-long troubled relationship between Kashmir and the rest of India, and between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. 
  • The recent killing of five migrant workers in Kulgam, on the heels of other deadly attacks on non-residents, shows that peace may remain elusive. 
  • Any efforts in the direction of development would need the participation of the people for whom this development is meant. 
  • The government needs to free the political leaders and workers who have been detained and allow people to freely express their views in the Valley.


The first step towards resolving a problem is to acknowledge it. Political alienation that has spread and deepened over generations is a large part of the crisis in Kashmir. Unless it is addressed politically, it will persist and continue to impose a heavy toll in the Valley, and the country.

J&K – The issues around the state

Bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Minutes of the bifurcation

Mains level : Administrative changes in J&K


  • The state of Jammu and Kashmir will be officially bifurcated into the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh from today.
  • Beyond the symbolic importance October 31 is the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel — the day will mark the beginning of the functioning of the two UTs at a bureaucratic level.
  • The period between August 5 and October 31 has been used by the state administration and the Home Ministry to put a basic bureaucratic structure in place to implement the J&K Reorganization Act.

Changes after Bifurcation

What happens on October 31?

  • In terms of events, the Lt. Governors of the two UTs will take oath of office along with the Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
  • Last week, the Union government appointed serving IAS officer of Gujarat cadre G.C. Murmu as the LG of Jammu and Kashmir, and retired bureaucrat of Tripura cadre Radha Krishna Mathur as LG of Ladakh.
  • On the ground, the two UTs will get their own Chief Secretaries and other top bureaucrats, their own police chiefs and key supervisory officers.
  • While Dilbagh Singh will continue to be DG of J&K police, an IG-level officer will head the police in Ladakh. Both forces will remain part of the J&K cadre which will eventually merge with the UT cadre.
  • For full-fledged bifurcation, the Reorganization Act gives a period of one year.
  • Reorganization of states is a slow process that at times can take years; issues relating to reorganization of erstwhile Andhra which was bifurcated into Andhra and Telangana in 2013, are still being brought to the Union Home Ministry for resolution.

What will happen to other officers already posted in the undivided state?

  • An apportionment of posts in both UTs has been done. While the bureaucratic structures are in place, the staffs of the state administration are yet to be divided.
  • The government had asked all staff to send in applications for their preferred posting between the two UTs. This process is still on.
  • The basic idea is to have minimum shifting between the two UTs, sources in the state administration said, with preference being given to regional affinities.
  • Those from Ladakh prefer being posted in the region and those from Kashmir and Jammu want to stay put.
  • The only issue is there aren’t enough Ladakhi staff to fill in all posts there. So some people from Jammu and Kashmir may have to go there.

What happens to the laws that governed the state of J&K?

  • Legislative restructuring is a work in progress, with a lot remaining to be done. While 153 state laws are to be repealed, 166 have been retained.
  • Then there is the cosmetic exercise of repealing Acts that mention “applicable to all of India but not the state of Jammu and Kashmir”.
  • As of now, the state administration has implemented all that is mentioned in the Reorganization Act as it is.
  • But it is also saddled with the massive legislative exercise of arriving at and making state-specific insertions into the 108 central laws that would now be applicable to the two UTs.

New laws

  • For example, the state used to have its own Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) which would now be replaced by the central CrPC.
  • Unlike the Ranbir Penal Code, which is practically a replica of the Indian Penal Code, Kashmir’s CrPC has many provisions different from the Central CrPC.
  • It will have to be seen if any modification needs to be done to suit the state. But a final decision in all these aspects would be taken by Delhi.
  • Similarly, there are state-specific insertions that may be done in laws relating to the protection of women and children that have been replaced by the POCSO Act of the Centre.
  • While the quota for economically weaker sections has already been added through an amendment, the Centre may want to make some insertions drawing from central Acts.

Which are the laws that may require state-specific insertions?

  • A major bone of contention with regard to the Juvenile Justice Acts of the Centre and the state is the age limit.
  • While the central Act takes those above the age of 16 as adults, the state Act’s age limit is 18.
  • The argument has been that given the special situation in Kashmir where teenagers are often found to be part of violent protests, the central Act could jeopardize the future of many.
  • As far as the state’s reservation laws are concerned, they do not recognise reservation according to caste.
  • The state has provided for region-wise reservation such as quota for those living near the LoC and the International Border and a quota for backward regions.
  • While the state population includes 8% SCs and 10% STs, there are regional differences such as Ladakh having no SC population but a high tribal population.

How will assets be shared?

  • A far more complicated task than sharing of assets is financial restructuring.
  • Because of the decision coming in August, the administration is saddled with a middle-of-the-year financial restructuring which is proving to be a massive bureaucratic exercise.
  • The government constituted a three-member advisory committee under the chairmanship of former Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra to divide the assets and liabilities of the state between the two UTs. The committee is yet to submit its report.
  • Three more committees — on personnel, finance and administrative matters — were constituted at the state level for the purpose of reorganization.
  • The three committees are learnt to have completed their work but their recommendations have not been made public yet.
  • Notably, while the total budget for Union Territories is Rs 7,500 crore, the budget for Jammu and Kashmir is in excess of Rs 90,000 crore.
  • This could also necessitate continuance of the Kashmir division in the Home Ministry.

J&K – The issues around the state

Explained: VP Menon’s role in accession of J&K and other states


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Instrument of accession

Mains level : Read the attached story


  • Today marks the 126th birth anniversary of V P Menon.
  • The nation remembers Sardar Patel’s herculean efforts in ensuring that over 500 princely states seamlessly joined the Union of India.
  • However it was Menon working in the background, travelling across the country and persuading different Maharajas and Nawabs to accede.

V.P. Menon

  • Born on September 30, 1893, Menon was the Secretary in the Ministry of States which was established by the Government of India in 1947 to deal with the accession of princely states.

His contributions

  • Menon’s greatest contribution was coming up with the original policy on accession that required the princely states to accede only in the three matters of defence, external affairs and communications.
  • Since these matters were fairly non-controversial, Menon believed they would be readily accepted by the rulers.
  • With these the basic unity of India would be achieved and, when the new constitution was framed, we could thrash out the necessary details.
  • It was Menon’s policy piloted by Sardar Patel that was finally reflected in the Instrument of Accession (IoA) executed by the states becoming a part of the Union of India in 1947 and their seamless integration thereafter.

Role in J&K’s accession

  • One of the states to which Menon travelled to secure its accession was Jammu and Kashmir.
  • By October 25, 1947, an attack by Afridi tribesmen had reached the outskirts of Srinagar, forcing the Maharaja of J&K to escape the city and relocate to Jammu.
  • On October 26, the Defence Committee of the Indian Government held a meeting to discuss the viability of a military intervention in J&K.
  • Lord Mountbatten, who was part of this meeting observed that since J&K had not acceded to either India or Pakistan, it was an independent country.
  • According to Mountbatten, if the Maharaja acceded to India, troops could be sent to rescue the state.
  • Subsequently, it was Menon who immediately flew to Jammu and secured the Maharaja’s signature on the IoA.

The integration

  • With accession secured, the next challenge for Menon and his team in the Ministry of States was to ensure complete integration.
  • This was a legally complex but politically straightforward matter in respect of most princely states.
  • The negotiations between representatives of the Government of India and Sheikh Abdullah, then PM of J&K, in relation to J&K’s status in India failed to produce a mutually acceptable result.
  • It was thus decided that the Constitution of India would reflect the position under the 1947 IoA.

Birth of Article 370

  • The final text of Article 370 introduced in the Constitution of India is based on this understanding.
  • Sheikh Abdullah proposed an alternative formulation which simply stated that the Indian Parliament would be entitled to legislate only on defence, external affairs and communications.
  • Seemingly making light of Abdullah’s objection, Menon asked that the following be conveyed to Patel:
  1. Parts II (citizenship), III (fundamental rights) and IV (directive principles) of the Constitution would apply automatically to Kashmir unless the position is expressly saved
  2. What worried Sheikh Abdullah and the National Conference was that if these general provisions become applicable to Kashmir also, their legislation against other citizens of India in respect of acquisition etc. of property will become invalid.

The final move

  • Thus overriding the Sheikh’s objections, but in deference to his principled disagreement, the Ministry of States sent a draft proclamation to the Yuvraj of Kashmir, Karan Singh, for signing.
  • This was the final step towards complete integration in the Union of India by which all princely states that had acceded to India were required to accept the Constitution of India as their own through a public proclamation.

Conclusion that spark debates

  • It is significant to note that J&K’s proclamation was worded differently from the others.
  • This proclamation, issued on November 25, 1949, did not accept the Constitution of India as J&K’s own.
  • Instead, it stated that the Constitution of India, “in so far as it is applicable to [J&K]” would “govern the constitutional relationship between [J&K and the] Union of India”.
  • This was a reference to Article 370 of the Constitution of India.

J&K – The issues around the state

[op-ed snap] Not their business: On OIC remarks on Article 370


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : OIC

Mains level : OIC - Kashmir


The OIC’s Kashmir Contact Group issued a statement calling on India to “rescind its actions revoking Article 370”. 

Impact of the statement

  • It allows the Pakistan Prime Minister to sell the theory back at home that his trip to New York has met with some success. 
  • From the mid-1990s, when this Contact Group was formed, it has issued several statements on behalf of Pakistan. 


  • Pakistan is a member along with Turkey, Niger, Azerbaijan, and Saudi Arabia. It boasts of a membership of 57 countries
  • It is headquartered in Jeddah and receives its financial raison d’etre from its chief benefactor, Saudi Arabia.
  • Its influence on world affairs has always been marginal

Differences within OIC

  • It is doubtful if the statement issued by the Contact Group reflects the national positions of the individual member states. 
  • UAE conferred the Order of Zayed, its highest civilian award on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, more than a week after New Delhi’s moves on Article 370, and declared that Kashmir was India’s internal matter.
  • The OIC’s record of conflict resolution on issues between OIC member states is poor
  • Its attempts to meddle in Kashmir by appointing a so-called special envoy on Jammu and Kashmir, have amounted to nothing

Need for reforms in OIC

  • The organisation is constituted on religious lines but seeking to fulfill geopolitical interests, needs reforms from within.
  • It should ask Pakistan to change its state policy on terrorism.
  • Pakistan should abjure support to Kashmir-centric groups such as the Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Lashkar-e-Taiba.
  • India, though not a part of the OIC, has the second-largest number of Muslims in the world.
  • It can mediate between warring Saudi Arabia and Yemen.


India must demonstrate to the world that its new Kashmir policy is in the larger interest of all Kashmiris.


The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) (formerly Organization of the Islamic Conference) is the second-largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations which has a membership of 57 states spread over four continents.

J&K – The issues around the state

Explained: Kashmir Issue at UN and Line of Control


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Art 35 and 51 of UN charter

Mains level : Kashmir issue and its international prospects


  • Union Home Minister recently held India’s first PM Nehru responsible for the existence of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir as he had declared an untimely ceasefire to the hostilities after Pakistan had invaded Kashmir in October 1947.
  • He said that had Nehru taken the matter to the United Nations under Article 51 of the UN Charter, instead of Article 35, the outcome would have been different.

The ceasefire

  • The ceasefire was brokered by a UN Mission.
  • According to UN records, on January 1, 1948, the GoI reported to the UNSC details of a situation existing between India and Pakistan owing to the aid which invaders, consisting of Pak nationals and tribesmen.
  • Pointing out that J&K had acceded to India, the GoI considered the giving of this assistance by Pakistan to be an act of aggression against India.
  • The Government of India, being anxious to proceed according to the principles and aims of the Charter, brought the situation to the attention of the Security Council under Article 35 of the Charter.

Pak denial

  • Pakistan denied this on January 15, 1948, and said India’s complaint under Article 35 contained a threat of direct attack against it.
  • Under the same article, Pakistan brought to the UNSC’s attention “a situation existing between India and Pak which had already given rise to disputes tending to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security.
  • It falsely accused India of a “genocide of Muslims”, “failure to implement agreements between the two countries”, “unlawful occupation of Junagadh” and “India’s actions in J&K”.

Article 35

  • Articles 33-38 occur in Chapter 6 titled “Pacific Settlement of Disputes”.
  • These six Articles lay out that if the parties to a dispute that has the potential for endangering international peace and security are not able to resolve the matter through negotiations between them, or by any other peaceful means, or with the help of a “regional agency”.
  • The Security Council may step in, with or without the invitation of one or another of the involved parties, and recommend “appropriate procedures or methods of recommendation”.
  • Specifically, Article 35 only says that any member of the UN may take a dispute to the Security Council or General Assembly.

Article 51

  • This Article occurs in Chapter 7 titled “Action With Respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression”.
  • The chapter assumes that the Security Council is already seized of the situation.
  • Article 51 essentially says that a UN member has the “inherent right of individual or collective self-defence” if attacked, “till such time that the UNSC has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security”.
  • It says that exercise of this right must be immediately reported to the UNSC by the member, and “shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the UNSC.

The outcome: Line of Control

  • The decision to set up a UN Mission was taken on January 20 same year.
  • The UN invoked Article 34 to mandate the mission to investigate facts of the situation, and to exercise any “mediatory influence…likely to smooth away difficulties”.
  • The title of the agenda before the Security Council was also changed from the “Jammu & Kashmir question” to the India-Pakistan question.
  • The five-member Mission, which had members nominated by India and Pakistan, and three others, eventually brokered the cessation of hostilities from January 1, 1949, and the establishment of a ceasefire line on July 27, 1949.
  • Thus Pakistan left the areas of Jammu & Kashmir that were under its control on that day.
  • It was this ceasefire line that came to be termed the Line of Control in the Simla Agreement of 1972.

J&K – The issues around the state

Explained: PoK and Gilgit Baltistan, parts of J&K under Pak occupation


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : PoK

Mains level : India's territorial integrity


  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said this week that “we expect one day we will have physical jurisdiction” over Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Supporting regulation

  • A resolution unanimously adopted by Parliament on February 22, 1994 affirmed that “the State of Jammu & Kashmir has been, is and shall be an integral part of India.
  • It demanded that Pakistan must vacate the areas of the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir, which they have occupied through aggression.
  • PoK and GB are both part of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral part of India by virtue of its accession to India in 1947.

The PoK

  • Pakistan Occupied Kashmir is an area of 13,297 sq km, which was under the control of the Pakistani forces when the ceasefire line came into effect on January 1, 1949.
  • That was after a 14-month period of hostilities between India and Pakistan, which began with an invasion of Kashmir by Pashtun tribesmen, and later its Army, to seize Kashmir.
  • In 1963, through an agreement, Pakistan ceded to China over 5,000 sq km of J&K land under its control, in the Shaksgam area, in northern Kashmir, beyond the Karakoram.


  • PoK has a population of over 40 lakh, according to a census carried out in 2017.
  • It is divided into 10 districts: Neelum, Muzaffarabad, Hattian Bala, Bagh, and Haveli bordering areas in Kashmir, and Rawlakot, Kotli, Mirpur, and Bhimber bordering areas in Jammu.
  • The capital of PoK is Muzaffarabad, a town located in the valley of the Jhelum river and its tributary Neelum (which Indians call Kishanganga) to the west and slightly north of Srinagar.

And what is Gilgit Baltistan?

  • This is a picturesque, hilly region to the north of PoK and east of the Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
  • The British sold it, along with the rest of Jammu and Kashmir, to the Dogra ruler of Jammu, Gulab Singh, after defeating the Sikh army in 1846.
  • However they retained controlled over the area through a lease extracted from the Maharaja.This lease was last renewed in 1935.
  • In 1947, a British army officer of the rank of Colonel imprisoned Maharaja Hari Singh’s governor in the region, and handed over the area for accession to Pakistan.
  • Gilgit Baltistan (GB) is spread over 72,871 sq km, and is five-and-a-half times the size of PoK. But it is sparsely populated, with just under 20 lakh people.
  • GB is divided into three administrative divisions and 10 districts.

What is the administrative status in GB?

  • Though both PoK and GB are ruled directly from Islamabad, neither is officially listed as the territory of Pakistan.
  • Pak has just four provinces: Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (which now includes the Federally Administered Tribal areas or FATA), Balochistan, and Sindh.
  • PoK and GB are both “autonomous territories”.
  • Pakistan has kept this fiction going, as incorporating these areas into its map would damage its international position in the UN and elsewhere that the entire Jammu and Kashmir is “disputed”.

J&K – The issues around the state

[op-ed snap] The reality check


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing much

Mains level : Art 370 and its impact


The satisfaction about the abrogation of Art 370 in the rest of India stems from years of frustration at the failure of our efforts to establish durable peace in Kashmir and the perception that its special status was a mistake. 

What the future holds

  • Three principal arguments have figured in our national discourse: 
    • It has altered the terms of our engagement with Pakistan
    • better central control over a sensitive region 
    • ushering in an era of peace and development in J&K, whose progress was hampered by its special status

Lessons from the past

  • Pakistan’s questioning of J&K’s accession to India will not stop as the issue didn’t start with Art 370.
  • We took the issue of Pakistan aggression in J&K to the UN, but the power politics of the day turned it into one of the futures of the territory. 
  • In the Simla Agreement, we agreed to hold bilateral negotiations for “a final settlement of Jammu and Kashmir”. We have not renounced this agreement. 
  • Since the late Eighties, when widespread terror and violence broke out in Kashmir, we have talked to Pakistan on this issue for various reasons:
    • International pressure
    • To manage the relationship and reduce violence 
    • The expectation that Pakistan could be moved in a positive direction through dialogue
  • The role of international pressure has diminished considerably. J&K’s special status figured nowhere in these considerations.


  • On the return of PoK, we reiterated in every round of dialogue with Pakistan the finality of J&K’s accession. 
  • The remaining issue for discussion is the vacation of its parts under Pakistan’s illegal occupation.
  • It is thought that our government’s move was aimed at forcing Pakistan’s hand to settle for the existing territorial status quo.
  • But it is negated by the chorus for the recovery of PoK being our next step. 
  • Its recovery militarily will pit us against China, besides Pakistan, because of its deep interest in the so-called Gilgit-Baltistan, with its entry to the CPEC.


  • The central government will have direct control over law and order in the Union Territory of J&K. 
  • J&K’s statehood and special status were never serious impediments to operations by security forces against internal turmoil or their deployment for the defence of our external boundaries. 
  • The instrumentality of the Governor’s/President’s rule was available, when necessary. 

Problems with the move on 370

  • A key asset in a sensitive region is the loyalty of the local populace. The scrapping of the special status will not make much difference to the life of people in the Valley. 
  • The abrupt move, break-up, and downgrading of the state will feed into the already prevailing sense of alienation and religious radicalisation, which Pakistan has been exploiting.
  • Peace as a prerequisite for the settlement of citizens from the rest of India in J&K and investment by them, faces serious challenges in the Valley and any turmoil there will not leave the Jammu region untouched. 
  • Influencing public opinion requires a massive effort to engage with the people, which has been missing in the last few years. 
  • Mainstream parties are marginalised and actively discredited by the government.
  • Pakistan’s security establishment finds Kashmir as a means to for its institutional interest of keeping a stranglehold on the country’s polity and has using terrorism to keep the Valley on the boil. These considerations had nothing to do with J&K’s special status and will not disappear with its withdrawal. 
  • Pakistan has opportunistically sought to exploit the Indian move to bring international focus on Kashmir. 

Way ahead

  • Addressing it requires a different set of measures.
  • Devote our energies to building not only immediate but durable peace in the Valley. 
  • This requires engagement with the people.

J&K – The issues around the state

J&K Public Safety Act


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : About the Act

Mains level : Issues with the act

  • A former IAS officer was recently detained under the J&K Public Safety Act (PSA).

J&K Public Safety Act (PSA)

  • The Jammu and Kashmir PSA) which received the assent of the J&K Governor on April 8, 1978.
  • The Act was introduced by the government of Sheikh Abdullah as a tough law to prevent the smuggling of timber and keep the smugglers “out of circulation”.
  • The law allowed the government to detain any person above the age of 16 without trial for a period of two years.
  • It allows for administrative detention for up to two years in the case of persons acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the State, and for administrative detention up to one year where any person is acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order.
  • Detention orders under PSA can be issued by Divisional Commissioners or District Magistrates.
  • Section 22 of the Act provides protection for any action taken “in good faith” under the Act.
  • No suit, prosecution or any other legal proceeding shall lie against any person for anything done or intended to be done in good faith in pursuance of the provisions of this Act.

Issues with the act

  • It is often referred to as a “draconian” law.
  • However, right from the beginning, the law was misused widely, and was repeatedly employed against political opponents by consecutive governments until 1990.
  • After the emergence of militancy, the J&K government frequently invoked the PSA to crack down on separatists.
  • In the aftermath of the killing of a sympathized terrorist in July 2016, hundreds of youths in the Valley were detained under PSA, with extendable detention periods.
  • In August 2018, the Act was amended to allow individuals to be detained under the PSA outside the state as well.

J&K – The issues around the state

Explained: India’s Asymmetric Federalism


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Assymetric Federalism

Mains level : Features of Indian Federalism


  • The Union government has withdrawn the special status conferred on Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) under Article 370 of the Constitution.
  • It has also divided the State into two regions and declared them as Union Territories.
  • Thus, the government has made a significant alteration in the unique form of federalism that it has been practicing in respect of the sensitive border State.
  • Instead, it has put in place an alternative form of federalism in which the two new units will be administered by the Centre.

How is this debate concerned with federalism?

  • Nations are described as ‘federal’ or ‘unitary’, depending on the way in which governance is organised.
  • In a unitary set-up, the Centre has plenary powers of administration and legislation, with its constituent units having little autonomy.
  • In a federal arrangement, the constituent units are identified on the basis of region or ethnicity, and conferred varying forms of autonomy or some level of administrative and legislative powers.
  • As the current political status of J&K — as two UTs — is a form of demotion from the sort of autonomy it enjoyed, it becomes an issue concerning federalism.

Why is India called ‘quasi-federal’?

  • The Supreme Court has commented on the nature of the Indian Union in several judgments.
  • It has noted that the essence of a ‘federation’ is the existence of the Union of the States, and the distribution of powers between them.
  • In S.R. Bommai vs. Union of India, it notes the commonly invoked model of federalism is the United States, by which it is clear that it is a federation of States.
  • In India, Parliament has the power to admit new States, create new States, alter their boundaries and their names, and unite or divide the States.
  • Even though the States are sovereign in their prescribed legislative field, and their executive power is co-extensive with their legislative powers, it is clear that “the powers of the States are not coordinate with the Union”.
  • This is why the Constitution is often described as ‘quasi-federal’.

Demotion into a UT

  • In the latest exercise, the unprecedented act of converting a State into a UT has also been performed.
  • The concurrence of States is not needed for the formation and unmaking of States and UTs.
  • Further, the Supreme Court noted the existence of several provisions of the Constitution that allow the Centre to override the powers of the States.

Exercise of residuary powers

  • In legislation, there is a Concurrent List, unlike in the U.S., which outlines the powers of the federal government, and leaves any matter not mentioned in it as the legislative field for the States.
  • In India, the residuary powers of legislation, that is the power to make law in a field not specified in the Constitution, is vested in Parliament, whereas in the U.S., residuary powers are with the States.
  • Further, in fiscal matters, the power of the States to raise their own resources is limited, and there is a good deal of dependency on the Centre for financial assistance.

Why is it said that India has asymmetric federalism?

  • The main forms of administrative units in India are the Centre and the States.
  • But there are other forms, too, all set up to address specific local, historical and geographical contexts.
  • Besides the Centre and the States, the country has Union Territories with a legislature, and Union Territories without a legislature.
  • Just as the Centre and the States do not have matching powers in all matters, there are some differences in the way some States and other constituent units of the Indian Union relate to the Centre.
  • This creates a notable asymmetry in the way Indian federalism works.

All federal units are not equal

  • When the Constitution came into force, the various States and other administrative units were divided into Parts A, B, C and D.
  • Part A States were the erstwhile provinces, while Part B consisted of erstwhile princely states and principalities. Part C areas were the erstwhile ‘Chief Commissioner’s Provinces’.
  • They became Union Territories, and some of them initially got legislatures and were later upgraded into States.
  • Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Goa belong to this category.

Even equals are distinct

  • Puducherry and Delhi have legislatures, while the other territories under the Centre do not have legislatures or a ministerial council to advise the administrator.
  • Even between Puducherry and Delhi, there is a notable difference. Puducherry has legislative powers on any matter mentioned in the State List or the Concurrent List, insofar as it applies to the Union Territory.
  • Delhi, which has the same field, has three further exceptions: police, land and public order are outside its purview.
  • However, Parliament has overriding powers over any law made by the Assembly in the Union Territories.
  • Puducherry has one more unique feature. Despite being a single administrative unit, the Union Territory is ‘non-contiguous’. That is, its territory is not limited to one extent of land.
  • Besides Puducherry and its adjoining areas, it has enclaves located within other States: Karaikal (within Tamil Nadu) Yanam (within Andhra Pradesh) and Mahe (within Kerala).

What is special status? How did it work in J&K?

  • The foremost example of asymmetry among Centre-State ties was in the way J&K related to India until August 6, 2019, the day the President declared that its special status ceased to be operative.
  • Under Article 370, the State was allowed to have its own Constitution, its own definition of ‘permanent residents’, the right to bar outsiders from holding property, and the privilege of not having any Indian law automatically applicable to its territory.
  • Indian laws had to be specifically permitted by its Assembly before it could operate there. It was allowed to have its own Penal and Criminal Procedure Codes.
  • The President was empowered to notify, from time to time, the provisions of the Constitution that could be extended to the State, with or without modifications.

Are there any other examples of decentralisation of power?

  • There is another significant tier of administration under the larger framework of asymmetric federalism.
  • The Sixth Schedule to the Constitution contains provisions for the administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. These create autonomous districts and autonomous regions.
  • Any autonomous district with different Scheduled Tribes will be divided into autonomous regions. These will be administered by District Councils and Regional Councils.
  • These Councils can make laws with respect to allotment, occupation and use of land, management of forests other than reserve forests and water courses.
  • Besides they can regulate social customs, marriage and divorce and property issues.
  • In Assam, the Karbi-Anglong Autonomous Council, Dima Hasao Autonomous District Council and the Bodoland Territorial Council have been set up under the Sixth Schedule. Another six autonomous councils have been formed by Acts of the legislature.
  • Ladakh has two autonomous hill development councils (Leh and Kargil). The Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council is in West Bengal.

J&K – The issues around the state

Delimitation of Constituencies in J&K


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Delimitation commission

Mains level : Mandate of the Delimitation commission

  • The Election Commission held internal discussions on the delimitation of constituencies ahead of elections to the new Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Resizing new constituencies

  • According to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019, the number of seats in the Legislative Assembly of the UT of J&K would be increased from 107 to 114.
  • The total population would be divided over the 114 seats to get an average number of electors per constituency.
  • The Act also specifies that delimitation will be based on the 2011 census till 2026.


Delimitation Commission of India

  • The Delimitation commission or Boundary commission of India is a commission established by the Government of India under the provisions of the Delimitation Commission Act.
  • The main task of the commission is redrawing the boundaries of the various assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies based on a recent census.
  • The representation from each State is not changed during this exercise. However, the numbers of SC and ST seats in a state are changed in accordance with the census.
  • The present delimitation of constituencies has been done on the basis of 2001 census under the provisions of Delimitation Act, 2002.
  • The Commission is a independent body whose orders cannot be challenged in any court of law.
  • The orders are laid before the Lok Sabha and the respective State Legislative Assemblies. However, modifications are not permitted.
  • Delimitation commissions have been set up four times in the past — 1952, 1963, 1973 and 2002 — under Delimitation Commission Acts of 1952, 1962, 1972 and 2002.
  • The most recent delimitation commission was set up on 12 July 2002 after the 2001 census with Justice Kuldip Singh, a retired Judge of the Supreme Court as its Chairperson.

J&K – The issues around the state

Explained: Why President Trump possibly offered to mediate on Kashmir issue


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : Kashmir issue and its international prospects

  • US President Donald Trump threw a bombshell at India during a meeting with visiting Pakistan PM Imran Khan.
  • He bluffed by saying that PM Modi had asked him to mediate on Kashmir.

An offer unwanted

  • How this will impact the present uneven relations between US-India remains to be seen. It will be for diplomats to manage the fallout if any.
  • The most likely assessment on both sides may be that the episode should be buried quietly, and both countries should move ahead.

India stands for Bilateralism

  • India’s insistence on bilateralism has historically stemmed from the distrust of outsiders meddling in its internal affairs.
  • The framework for bilateral resolution of problems between India and Pakistan was written into the 1972 Shimla Agreement, reiterated 27 years later in the Lahore Declaration.
  • The world was out to demonstrate that India’s secular nationhood project was doomed, and that outside mediators viewed the Kashmir view through Pakistani eyes.
  • India has sought outside help from the world, not for mediation, but to rein in Pakistan’s meddling of terror in Kashmir.

Why no international mediation?

  • Soon after Nehru took Pakistan’s invasion in 1947 to the UN, he had had second thoughts about it.
  • Subsequent UN missions, including the Dixon Mission led to the Dixon Plan of 1950 for partition of some areas of J&K between India and Pakistan.
  • Plus they proposed for a plebiscite in the Valley.
  • This strengthened India’s determination to shut the door to international mediation.
  • Since then, India has resisted attempts at internationalizing the Kashmir problem and mostly succeeded in making it clear to the world that there is no place for a third party in the room.

US was always consulted

I. During Kargil War

  • In 1999, one year after India and Pakistan went nuclear, it was US intervention that brought the Kargil crisis to an end.
  • The Vajpayee government had been in touch with the Clinton administration to get the Sharif government to call off the intrusion in Kargil even as it fought Pakistani forces.
  • Pakistan then took Clinton’s help for a face-saving ceasefire with India that would include a settlement on Kashmir.
  • It had to agree to an unconditional withdrawal of Pakistani forces from Kargil back to the Line of Control.
  • Clinton denied a face-saver of mediation over Kashmir, and reaffirmed US commitment to the bilateral Lahore Declaration signed earlier.

II. UNSC issues

  • After 9/11, which ushered in a UNSC-backed international architecture against terrorism, India has looked increasingly to the global community for help against Pakistan terror flourishment.
  • India always insisted global community to put pressure on the Pakistan Army and political leadership to desist from permitting anti-India terrorist activity on its territory.
  • Asking international players for help on Pakistan on one issue and expecting them to respect India’s red lines on other kinds of involvement has worked more or less.

Why did Trump comment so?

1) US credit mongering as usual:

  • The US president claimed to have defused the India-Pakistan stand off that arose from the Pulwama attack. The US is said to have played a part in release of Abhinandan.
  • The US also played a role in forcing China to agree to the designation of Jaish chief Masood Azhar.
  • And most recently, Trump took credit for the arrest of Hafiz Saeed. Perhaps, the President of the US thinks he has already resolved much of the problem.

2) Failure in the Middle-East:  He may think there is a better chance of resolving a knotty international issue – all US presidents like this on their CVs and an isolationist Trump may not be above this.

3) Afghan Talks:  He may also believe that if his administration has succeeded in dragging the Taliban to the table in Afghanistan, so can it do the same with India and Pakistan.

J&K – The issues around the state

J&K Reservation Bill


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Art. 370

Mains level : Row over Art. 370

  • Recently Rajya Sabha has passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Bill.
  • Passed by Lok Sabha last week, the Bill partially amends a Presidential Order of 1954 in order to amend the state’s Reservation Act.

About the Bill

  • The Bill amends the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004 and replaces an Ordinance promulgated on March 1, 2019.
  • The earlier Act provided for reservation in appointment and promotions in state government posts, and admission to professional institutions for certain reserved categories.
  • The Act provides for reservation in appointment and promotions in certain state government posts to persons belonging to socially and educationally backward classes.
  • It defines socially and educationally backward classes to include persons living in areas adjoining the Actual Line of Control.

Amendments to the Bill

  • With the constitutional amendments, the benefits of reservation available to the residents along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) have been extended to residents living along the International Border (IB).
  • This benefits residents in Jammu, Samba and Kathua.
  • Through the Presidential Order, the Cabinet applied the 77th Constitutional Amendment of 1995 to J&K, giving benefits of reservation in promotion to SCs and STs in government service.
  • The Cabinet also applied the 103rd Constitutional Amendment of 2019 to J&K, which gave 10% reservation to Economically Weaker Sections among people in the general category.

What is the 1954 executive order?

  • The 1954 order is an executive order issued by the President under Article 370 to extend provisions of an Act of Parliament to J&K State, which can be done only with the concurrence of the state government.
  • The Constitution of India applies to Jammu & Kashmir by virtue of Article 370, which provides a mechanism for the way it applies.
  • Article 370 defines state government as ‘the Maharaja’ and/or the ‘Sadar-i-Riyasat’ aided by a council of ministers.

Then what is the controversy?

  • At the centre of the controversy is the question whether the Governor, in the absence of an elected government, has the authority to give consent to extend a law of Parliament and change the constitutional arrangement between J&K and the Union.
  • While bringing the ordinance, the Union govt. said the amendments were recommended by the State Administrative Council (SAC) headed by J&K Governor.
  • While no one in J&K has opposed the decision to provide benefits to SCs, STs and EWS, there has been opposition to the route taken by the Centre and its nominee the J&K Governor.
  • It is accused that Union Govt. “breached” Article 370 while issuing the amendment to the 1954 Presidential Order.

Issue with Governor’s authority

  • The issue of the Governor’s powers was defined by the Supreme Court in Mohammad Maqbool Damnoo versus State of J&K (1972).
  • While dealing with the replacement of an elected Sadr-i-Riyasat with the Centre-appointed Governor, the court observed that a Governor is “head of government aided by a council of ministers”.
  • It is not as if the state government, by such a change (replacing elected Sadr-i-Riyasat with Centre-appointed Governor) is made irresponsible to the state legislature.

Arguments by regional parties

  • One of the main regional parties has challenged the amendment to the Presidential Order of 1954.
  • The regional parties contend that “concurrence” means the concurrence of an elected government, and not that of a nominated government.
  • Elected govt. is a must for any amendment to the Presidential Order of 1954, and that this is thus in contravention of Article 370.
  • They contend that the government means an elected government and that the President cannot seek concurrence of the Governor because “the Governor is a representative of the President”.

J&K – The issues around the state

‘Back to the village’ Outreach Programme


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : About the programme

Mains level : Ensuring effective governance in J&K

  • The Jammu and Kashmir state government has launched its ambitious outreach programme, ‘Back to the Village’.

 Back to the Village

  • As part of the program, bureaucrats will spend the next 36 hours in different panchayats, gathering feedback from people on development of their areas.
  • The eight-day programme is being organised across all Panchayats of the state.
  • Under the ‘Back to the Village’ programme, government officers will be spending two days and one night in different panchayats.
  • During their stay, they will hold meetings with elected ‘panches’ and ‘sarpanches’, hold ‘gram’ (village) and ‘mahila sabhas’ (women assemblies) in addition to other grassroots level interactions.
  • The programme will involve the people of the state and government officials in a joint effort to deliver the mission of equitable development across all our rural areas.
  • The feedback obtained during the exercise will help the government in assessing and subsequently tailoring the various central and state government schemes to improve delivery of village-specific services.

Objectives of the programme

  • The outreach initiative is primarily aimed at energizing the 4,483 panchayats and directing development efforts in rural areas through community participation and to create in the rural masses an earnest desire for a decent standard of living.
  • The basic objective of this programme is to move governance from its seat of operation to the doorsteps of the people in villages.
  • It will focus on four main goals viz. energising panchayats, collecting feedback on delivery of government schemes and programmes, capturing specific economic potential and undertaking assessment of needs of villages, besides affording an opportunity to gazetted officers to visit the villages.

J&K – The issues around the state

[pib] President’s (not Governor’s) Rule in J&K


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : President's rule in J&K

Mains level : Read the attached story

  • Based on the prevailing situation in the state as stated in the report of Governor of J&K, the Union Cabinet has approved the extension of President’s Rule in J&K for a further period of six months under article 356(4) of the Constitution of India.

Why not Governor’s Rule?

  • Under Section 92 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, there is no provision for further continuation of Gov. Rule after six months.
  • Hence, on the recommendation of Governor, the President issues a proclamation promulgating President’s Rule in J&K under article 356 of the Constitution of India.

What is Governor’s rule in J&K?

  • In all states of India, the state government’s failure results in President’s rule.
  • The process is slightly more nuanced in Jammu and Kashmir where not the President’s but Governor’s rule is imposed.
  • The Constitution of India grants special status to J&K among Indian states, and it is the only state in India to have a separate Constitution and regulations specific to it.
  • Under the provision of Section 92 of the J&K Constitution, Governor’s rule is imposed for six months, but only after the consent of the President of India.
  • The President’s rule in other states of India is imposed under Article 356 of the Constitution of India.
  • Under the Governor’s rule, the State Assembly is either kept in suspended animation or dissolved.

History of Governor’s Rule

  • The Governor’s rule was imposed on the state for the first time in March 1977, when the Congress withdrew support to a government led by the late Sheikh Abdullah.
  • Among notable differences with other states, till 1965, the head of state in J&K was called Sadr-e-Riyasat, whereas in other state, the title was Governor, and head of government was called Prime Minister in place of Chief Minister in other states.


President’s Rule

J&K – The issues around the state

Explained: OIC’s reference to J&K, and India’s response to it


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : OIC

Mains level : OIC and Kashmir Issue


  • India has rejected the reference to J&K by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at its meeting last week.
  • OIC has no locus standi in matters relating to J&K being an integral part of India.
  • India reiterated that OIC should refrain from making such unwarranted references.

OIC stance on Kashmir

  • The OIC met in Mecca affirmed its support for the people of J&K for the realization of their legitimate right to self-determination, in accordance with relevant UN resolutions.
  • It condemned the recent outbreaks of violence in the region and invited India to implement the relevant Security Council resolutions to settle its protracted conflict with its neighbour.
  • It also called for the expedited establishment of a UN commission of inquiry to investigate into the alleged HR violations in Kashmir.
  • It called on India to allow this proposed commission and international human rights organizations to access Indian-occupied Kashmir.
  • The Conference approved the appointment of Saudi Arabia’s Yousef Aldobeay as its Special Envoy for Jammu and Kashmir.

About OIC

  • OIC — formerly Organisation of the Islamic Conference — is the second largest inter-governmental organisation in the world after the UN.
  • It describes itself as the collective voice of the Muslim world, and its stated objective is to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world.
  • It has reserved its membership for Muslim-majority countries.

India: Still not even an Observer

  • Russia, Thailand, and a couple of other small countries have Observer status.
  • Last year, Bangladesh had suggested that India, where more than 10% of the world’s Muslims live, should be given Observer status, but Pakistan had opposed the proposal.
  • However, EAM Sushma Swaraj had addressed the Inaugural Plenary of the 46th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC in Abu Dhabi on March 1 this year.
  • Indian counterpart was after invited by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Foreign Minister of the UAE as the Guest of Honour.

OIC on Kashmir

  • The communique issued in Mecca is not new or unusual.
  • The OIC has been generally supportive of Pakistan’s stand on Kashmir, and has repeatedly issued statements criticizing the alleged Indian “atrocities”.
  • At the 2018 meeting in Dhaka, however J&K figured in only one of the 39 resolutions adopted, that too, along with 12 other states or regions worldwide.
  • Pakistan had complained about the Dhaka Declaration and accused Bangladesh of circulating the text very late.

India’s response

  • India has consistently and emphatically underlined that Jammu and Kashmir is an “integral part of India and is a matter strictly internal to India.
  • The strength with which India has made this assertion has varied slightly at times, but never the core message.
  • OIC having no locus standi on J&K itself is stronger statement.

Championing relations with OIC giants

  • Individually, India has excellent relations with almost all member nations of the OIC.
  • Ties with the UAE and Saudi Arabia, especially, have looked up significantly in recent years.
  • The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh MBZ Al Nahyan, was a very special Chief Guest at the 68th Republic Day celebrations in 2017.
  • This was the first time that India laid out the Republic Day red carpet for a leader who was neither a Head of State nor Head of Government.

J&K – The issues around the state

Green issues in J&K


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Dal and Wular Lake, Indus Water Treaty

Mains level : Green issues in J&K

  • Even as Articles 370 and 35A generate considerable heat in Jammu & Kashmir, crucial issues of ecology and environment remain conspicuously ignored by all.

Geopolitical fallouts impacting environment

  • Shrinking glaciers tops this list. Through summer these glaciers charge the Valley’s water bodies, like streams and canals used in irrigation and rivers that flow into Pakistan.
  • The state also witnesses two of its major lakes — Dal and Wular — become smaller.

I. Shrinking waterbodies

  • Dal, the mascot of Kashmir’s famed natural beauty and a major tourist puller, has shrunk around 36 per cent in almost four decades.
  • According to a study by Srinagar’s Directorate of Environment, Ecology and Remote Sensing, it has shrunk to 1,620 hectares in 2008 from 2,547 hectares in 1971.
  • Wular, which is the largest fresh water lake in Asia and was designated a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention in 1990, is worse than Dal.
  • Since 1911, the overall water spread and marsh areas have shrunk by more than 50 per cent.
  • The water-holding capacity of the lake that helps prevents floods and drought is fast diminishing.

II. Conversion of farmlands

  • Over the past three decades, Kashmir has also witnessed a steady conversion of farmland into ones used for non-agricultural purposes.
  • As a result, food grain deficit, which in 1950-51 was 32 per cent, has now shot up to 81.5 per cent.

III. Issue over Indus Water

  • Recently, India threatened to stop J&K rivers from entering Pakistan after the Pulwama attack.
  • According to the Indus Water Treaty (IWT), Pakistan gets water from three J&K rivers — Jhelum, Sindh and Chenab — and India gets the right to completely divert water from Punjab rivers — Satluj, Ravi and Beas.
  • Shrinking glaciers threaten to reduce the discharge in J&K rivers, which will reduce the distribution of waters between neighbours.
  • If there is less water available to meet J&K needs, even lesser will flow to Pakistan. This may impact the country’s agriculture and its economy.

IV. Issue over Hydropower

  • Another related issue is hydro-power generation, again a politically touchy issue.
  • Under IWT, the Valley can only generate electricity from run-of-the-river power projects.
  • So, the depleting discharge in rivers will mean a progressive decline in generation capacity.
  • But, as of now, J&K faces severe shortage of electricity, an irony for a state that exports power to the rest of the country.
  • According to an estimate, around 84 per cent of the 3593 megawatt of energy generated in J&K goes to  the northern grid and the state buys a chunk of  it back  for a hefty cost.

Kashmir is  in Despair

  • The state doesn’t even have an agency to address its water problems as IWT already takes care of the larger issue — the rivers.
  • About receding of glaciers, the state can hardly do anything. One of the factors that may be accentuating the shrinkage, apart from climate change, is Amarnath Yatra.
  • But regulating pilgrimage to protect the fragile environment is too politically sensitive an issue to be addressed.

Lack of awareness

  • J&K faces mass unemployment, an underperforming economy (as the state imports 96 per cent of goods) and dwindling tourism.
  • In popular perception, the accent in public discourse on development and environment issues is perceived as a motivated digression from the ongoing secessionist campaign.
  • People see these development and environment related issues as secondary to the political issues of existential nature confronting the state.
  • Issues like water, power and development are seen as a consequence of the political conflict in and over the state and are hence not considered addressable unless the conflict itself is resolved.

Way Forward

  • J&K is important for environmental stability of the subcontinent.
  • So the issues of the state’s disappearing water bodies, receding glaciers needs to be openly discussed on their merit unencumbered by the political and religious sensitivities and the interests.
  • Neglecting green issues in public discourse and the consequent lack of effective administrative redressal can cost not only J&K but the entire region heavily.

J&K – The issues around the state

Explained: When J&K had its own PM and Sadr-e-Riyasat

  • Recent statements some politicians have brought the spotlight on two erstwhile positions in Jammu and Kashmir — J&K Prime Minister and Sadr-e-Riyasat (President of the state).

J&K Prime Minister

  • J&K had its own Prime Minister and Sadr-e-Riyasat until 1965, when the J&K Constitution was amended (Sixth Constitution of J&K Amendment Act, 1965) by the then Congress government.
  • It replaced the two positions with Chief Minister and Governor respectively.
  • The first PM of J&K, appointed by Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh, was Sir Albion Banerjee (1927-29).

GoT in J&K

  • The state had nine more PMs before Independence. The first after Independence was Mehr Chand Mahajan (October 1947-March 1948).
  • He was replaced with Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, who until then had been Head of the Administration.
  • The next two J&K Prime Ministers were Khwaja Shamsuddin (1963-64) and Congress leader Ghulam Mohammad Sadiq (until March 30, 1965).
  • It was during Sadiq’s tenure that the Centre replaced the two posts. In fact, Sadiq became the first Chief Minister of J&K, serving until December 1971.


  • The J&K Constitution was adopted on November 17, 1956 but came into effect only on January 26, 1957.
  • On June 10, 1952, the “Basic Principles Committee” appointed by the J&K Constituent Assembly recommended that “the institution of hereditary rulership shall be terminated” and “the office of the head of the State shall be elective”.
  • The Constituent Assembly resolved that the head of state, named Sadr-e-Riyasat, would be elected by the Legislative Assembly for a term of five years and recognised by the President of India.
  • The Centre did not agree initially because it “impinged upon the provisions of Article 370” where the Maharaja, acting on the advice of the council of ministers, was recognised as the head of state.
  • After negotiations, the matter was resolved on July 24, 1952, when New Delhi agreed to allow J&K to recognise an elected Sadr-e-Riyasat instead of an appointed Governor.
  • Only a permanent resident of J&K could become Sadr-e-Riyasat. Once elected by the Legislative Assembly, the Sadr-e-Riyasat had to be recognised and then appointed by the President of India.

The amendment

  • The Sixth Amendment to the J&K Constitution, carried out in 1965, made a fundamental change to its basic structure.
  • Under Section 147, an amendment is to be assented by the Sadr-e-Riyasat after a Bill is passed by a two-thirds majority of the House, while Section 147 itself cannot be amended by the state legislature, and neither can an amendment that changes the provisions of Constitution of India as applicable in relation to J&K.
  • Sadr-e-Riyasat, however, was replaced with Governor across the J&K Constitution, except in Section 147 which could not be amended.
  • This has led to the existence of two kinds of heads of state in the Constitution — Sadr-e-Riyasat as well as Governor.
  • In 1975, a Presidential Order issued under Article 370 barred the J&K Legislature from making any change to the J&K Constitution regarding appointment and powers of the Governor.

J&K – The issues around the state

Explained: J&K govt blocking of a highway


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : Security challenges in J&K

A move for safer transition

  • The J&K govt. issued an order banning the movement of civilian traffic on a 270-km stretch (Udhampur-Baramulla) of the Jammu-Srinagar-Uri national highway for two days every week.
  • On Sundays and Wednesdays, the highway would be exclusively used for movement of military convoys.
  • The decision has been taken considering the security concerns that led to temporarily blocking part of the highway.
  • However this has an implication on civilian population.

Why is the highway important?

  • The Jammu-Srinagar-Uri national highway (NH-1A) runs 370 km.
  • The national highway is not just the only road link that connects Kashmir to the outside world but also the key highway that connects Srinagar with the southern and northern districts of the Valley.
  • The highway passes through five of the 10 districts of the Valley, and highways to at least two more districts branch out from it.
  • The highway, directly and indirectly, impacts a population of over 69 lakh.

The road-block to terror

  • The government has cited the recent suicide bombing of a security forces convoy in Pulwama — which killed 40 CRPF personnel — as the reason for restricting traffic.
  • This stretch would be closed for all forms of civilian traffic from dawn to dusk (4 am to 5 pm) on these two days, leaving it open exclusively for convoys of security forces.
  • While the highway would be closed on these two days, civilian traffic already faces restrictions through the week.

Implications of the road-block

  • It means a virtual lockdown of the Valley for two days every week.
  • According to official figures, over 10,000 vehicles move on the highway from both sides every hour, including around 5,000 light motor vehicles.
  • These include vehicles carrying students, patients, government officials and businessmen.
  • Closing the highway during daytime would mean that most government and private offices, banks, schools and colleges would remain shut on Wednesdays and the movement of people to hospitals would be severely restricted on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Another viable option

  • Almost all colleges, higher secondary institutions and schools in five districts of the Valley are accessible only through this highway.
  • Besides, there are hundreds of villages and towns spread on both sides of the highway from Udhampur to Baramulla. The ban would effectively cut them off from other places on two days every week.
  • Whenever security forces’ vehicles are using the highway, civilian traffic is often halted for various lengths of time.
  • Had the government decided to move security convoys at night, the impact on civilian traffic movement could have been much less.

J&K – The issues around the state

[op-ed snap] A blow against Article 370


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

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Article 370

Mains level: Issues related to special status given to J&K under the Constitution and 2019 order diluting special status of state.



On March 1, 2019, the 77th and 103rd constitutional amendments were extended to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) by a presidential order, with the concurrence of the J&K Governor.These relate to reservations in promotions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the State services and special provisions for the advancement of economically weaker sections, respectively.

Background of 370

  • The constitutional relationship between J&K and the Indian Union has been the subject of numerous discussions in recent times.
  • This has rekindled the long-standing debate on the continued relevance of Article 370.

1.What is article 370?

  • As in Article 370, the provisions of the Indian Constitution do not automatically apply to J&K.
  • To extend constitutional provisions and amendments to the State, a presidential order to that effect has to be passed.
  • This order requires the concurrence of the State government, where the subject matter does not relate to the subjects specified in the Instrument of Accession (defence, external affairs, and communications).
  • For other cases, only consultation is required.

2.Erosion of Article 370

  • Accordingly, a 1954 presidential order extended various provisions of the Indian Constitution to J&K.
  • This order was made with the concurrence of the State government and also ratified by the State Constituent Assembly.
  • After the J&K Constitution came into effect in 1957, the State Constituent Assembly was dissolved.
  • Since then, more than 40 such orders have been made, through which most constitutional provisions have been extended to the State.
  • The sheer number of such orders, as well as the circumstances under which they were made, have considerably eroded J&K’s special status under Article 370.

History of diluton of 370

  • From the 1950s there has been a gradual dilution of the procedural norms followed by these presidential orders.

1.1954 Order

  • In passing the 1954 order, procedural propriety was followed in the fullest possible sense as the requisite concurrence was obtained not only from an elected State government but also the State Constituent Assembly.
  • The presidential orders made after the dissolution of the State Constituent Assembly — except a 1986 order extending Article 249, and the present 2019 order — can be seen as the first level of dilution.
  • This is so because for all these orders, while the concurrence of an elected State government was obtained, the State Constituent Assembly did not exist and, therefore, could not give its ratification.
  • Although the Supreme Court upheld this practice in the Sampat Prakash case (1968), it has been criticised as being beyond the scope of Article 370.

2.1986 Order

  • The 1986 order represents a second level of dilution.
  • This is because it was made when J&K was under Governor’s rule as per Section 92 of the J&K Constitution.
  • In the absence of an elected council of ministers, the Governor could not have validly given the requisite concurrence to the presidential order.
  • Even if the Governor acting without a popularly elected government can be considered as a “state government” for the purposes of concurrence, the Governor must at least have had some nexus with the State and some independence from the Centre.
  • However, this is not the case in practice, since the Governor is not only an unelected nominee of the Central Government but also holds office during the latter’s pleasure.

3.2019 Order

  • the third level of dilution brought about by the 2019 order is almost the final blow.
  • In December 2018, the President assumed all the functions of the State government and the Governor through a proclamation under Article 356.
  • In an order passed on the same day, the President directed that all powers assumed by him would be exercisable by the Governor as well, “subject to the superintendence, direction, and control of the President”.

Problems with 2019 order

  • During Governor’s rule, as was the case in 1986, the Governor is at least on paper expected to act independently.
  • However, in the present case involving President’s rule, the Governor is reduced to a mere delegate of the Centre and is expected to act as per the aid and advice of the Central Government.
  • A presidential order made through obtaining such a Governor’s concurrence is tantamount to the Centre talking into a mirror and makes a mockery of Article 370.

A.Federalism is being compromised

  • The manner in which the 2019 order was made also goes against the spirit of federalism, which is a salient constitutional principle.
  • President’s rule is an exception to the general constitutional scheme that envisages representative government at the State level to accommodate regional aspirations.
  • Extending constitutional provisions to the State during this exceptional state of affairs is suspicious.
  • In the absence of popular will backing it, the 2019 order clearly falls foul of the principles of constitutional and political morality.


Commenting on the 1986 order, the Sarkaria Commission had observed that “every action which is legally permissible may not be necessarily prudent or proper from the political stand-point”. Not only is the recent presidential order against federalism generally and the spirit of Article 370 in particular but it also violates the letter of the Constitution.


J&K – The issues around the state

[pib] Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019


Mains Paper 2: Governance| Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the ordinance

Mains level: Impact of reservations in J&K


Reservations to J&K people

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal of Jammu & Kashmir Government to issue “The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019′ by the President of India.
  • It provides for amendments in the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004 to bringing persons residing in the areas adjoining International Border within the ambit of reservation.
  • It will pave the way to extend reservation in jobs, promotions and education to people living 10 km from the International Border (IB) in Jammu.
  • Earlier the benefits were only reserved for people living 10 km beyond the Line of Control (LoC) and affected by shelling and firing from across the border.


  • People living near the International Border have been brought at par with those living near the LoC for reservation in State Government jobs by amending the J&K Reservation Act, 2004 through an Ordinance.
  • Earlier, the provision of 3% reservation was available only for youth living within 6 kms of LoC in J&K.
  • Now, this provision will be applicable for people living near the international border also.
  • This has been a long-pending demand of the population living near the international border, as they have been facing the brunt of cross border firing in J&K.


  • 10% reservation for economically weaker sections made applicable in J&K also.
  • Benefit of promotion to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, which include Gujjars and Bakarwals amongst others, has also been made applicable to the State of J&K.
  • After a long wait of 24 years, the 77th Constitution Amendment of 1995 has now been applied to the State of J&K.

Why such move?

  • The reservation benefits under the 2004 act are not extended to the persons residing in the areas adjoining International Border.
  • Due to continuous cross border tensions, persons living alongside International Border suffer from socio-economic and educational backwardness.
  • Shelling from across the border often compels these residents to move to safer places and is adversely impacting their education as Educational Institutions remain closed for long periods.
  • Hence, it was felt justifiable to extend the reservation benefits to persons residing in the areas adjoining International Border on the similar lines of the persons living in areas adjoining Actual Line of Control (ALoC).

J&K – The issues around the state

Govt. grants divisional status to Ladakh


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Development processes

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Ladakh Admin Division

Mains level: Decentralization of administrative control


  • Jammu and Kashmir Governor has granted Ladakh a divisional status, thus creating three administrative units of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh in the State.

The Ladakh Division

  1. The J&K government has approved the creation of a separate administrative and revenue division for Ladakh.
  2. It will comprise Leh and Kargil districts, with headquarters at Leh.
  3. Earlier, Ladakh was a part of the Kashmir division.
  4. Ladakh will now get its own Divisional Commissioner and Inspector General of Police.
  5. Ladakh’s Kargil and Leh districts already have separate hill development councils for local administrative powers.
  6. The move leaves the Kashmir valley geographically the smallest division at 15,948 sq. km, Jammu division at 26,293 sq. km and Ladakh, the biggest division, at 86,909 sq. km.

Why such move?

  1. The remoteness and inaccessibility of the area makes it eligible for establishing a separate division.
  2. During the winter months, the entire Ladakh region remains cut-off from the rest of the country for almost six months.
  3. A section in Leh also has been demanding Union Territory status.

J&K – The issues around the state

[pib] Ladakh now connected to National Grid


Mains Paper 3: Economy | Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways, etc.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: About the transmission line

Mains level: Electrification in the remotest areas


  • The PM has dedicated the 220 kV Srinagar- Alusteng – Drass- Kargil – Leh Transmission System to the Nation.

Srinagar- Alusteng – Drass- Kargil – Leh Transmission Line

  1. Built at a height of around 3000-4000 meters, this approx. 335 km long transmission line has been constructed by POWERGRID.
  2. In this project has Gas Insulated Sub-stations built at Drass, Kargil, Khaltsi and Leh will help to ensure 24×7 quality power in all weather conditions.
  3. Funding provisions have been in the ratio of 95:05 (95% Govt. of India share and 5% J&K state share).

Benefits to the region

  1. The implementation of this project was aimed to supply power to the people of Ladakh in harsh winters and evacuation of surplus power of Kargil & Leh Hydel stations of NHPC in summers.
  2. This will not only help evacuate power in summers, but will also supply power to the region in winters when temperatures dip and hydro electricity generation do not match up.
  3. With quality electricity available at reasonable rates, hospitality industry in Ladakh will get a boost, as their reliance on diesel sets will reduce.
  4. This will also attract tourists looking for affordable stay in all weathers.

J&K – The issues around the state

SC to take ‘in-chamber’ decision on pleas against Article 35A


Mains Paper 2: Polity | Issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level:  Article 35A

Mains level: Governance challenges in J&K


  • The Supreme Court has said that it will be taking an “in-chamber” decision on the listing of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35-A, which provides special rights and privileges to permanent residents of J&K.

When dialogues fail

  1. In August last year, the court indicated that it would consider the question of whether Article 35A was violative of the Basic Structure of the Constitution.
  2. However, at that time, the Centre and J&K government had sought an adjournment on the ground that an interlocutor was carrying on dialogues with the State’s stakeholders.


  1. The special status was bestowed on J&K by incorporating Article 35A in the Constitution.
  2. Article 35A was incorporated by an order of President Rajendra Prasad in 1954 on the advice of the Nehru Cabinet.
  3. Parliament was not consulted when the President incorporated Article 35A into the Constitution through a Presidential Order issued under Article 370.
  4. Article 368 (i) of the Constitution mandates that only the Parliament can amend the Constitution by introducing a new article.

Art. 35A

  1. Article 35A gives the J&K State Legislature a carte blanche to decide the ‘permanent residents’ of the State and grant them special rights and privileges in State public sector jobs, acquisition of property within the State, scholarships and other public aid and welfare programmes.
  2. The provision mandates that no act of the State legislature coming under the ambit of Article 35A can be challenged for violating the Indian Constitution or any other law of the land.

What’s so problematic with it?

  1. It is argued that four representatives from Kashmir were part of the Constituent Assembly involved in the drafting of the Constitution and the State of J&K was never accorded any special status in the Constitution.
  2. Article 370 was only a ‘temporary provision’ to help bring normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir and strengthen democracy in that State.
  3. The Constitution makers did not intend Article 370 to be a tool to bring permanent amendments, like Article 35A, in the Constitution.
  4. The petition said Article 35A was against the “very spirit of oneness of India” as it created a “class within a class of Indian citizens”.
  5. It said restricting citizens from other States from getting employment or buying property within Jammu and Kashmir is a violation of fundamental rights under Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Indian Constitution.

J&K – The issues around the state

[op-ed snap] In 2019, a new Outreach


Mains Paper 3: Security| Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Basic aspects of Polity, Developmental Schemes for J&K.

Mains level: The newscard discusses issues, related to the J&K, in a brief manner.


  • Given the developing regional geopolitical environment at the end of 2018, the feasibility of any movement towards “meaningful” engagement with Pakistan in 2019 appears remote. This will have the maximum impact on the situation in J&K.
  • The governor’s administration gamely attempts transformational governance without the baggage of politics, what it could be missing out on are the much-needed and oft-demanded initiatives of public outreach.


  • J & K Valley’s prolonged anti-India protest; rising insurgency in Kashmir, intense counter- insurgency operation has caused acute distress in the region. Demand for the political outreach emerged to prevent radicalisation of local youth which is the topmost concern for the Indian security establishment.
  • The political community is largely marginalised in the Valley heartland due to personal security issues and the local administration, despite having some experienced officials, cannot initiate social outreach measures.
  • Operations by security forces have resulted in neutralising a large number of terrorists, mostly local. But, they have created an almost similar number of terrorists through recruitment and infiltration, leaving us in sheer quantified terms, where we began in 2018.
  • There can be little doubt that the stabilisation of the security situation is necessary for the emergence of initiatives in political, social and economic spheres.
  • Prime Minister mentioned in his Independence Day declaration that ‘Neither by bullet nor by abuses but only by an embrace we can solve the problem of Kashmir’.
  • While the army’s Operation Sadbhavna (a military civic action initiative of 20 years) has helped in extending marginal outreach, the lack of mass engagement has prevented the development of any perception change and the creation of alternative narratives to counter the propaganda from Pakistan and the separatists.
  • The army’s initiatives are personality and formation based; the J&K Police is far too embroiled in policing issues. The CRPF, deployed in strength in the urban areas, has been insufficiently used.

What escalated the unrest in J&K?

  1. Radicalisation played a major role, though its impact was felt in other parts of the country as well, as several men were arrested for being inspired by the Islamic State.
  2. Brainwashing via the Internet played a key role.
  3. Poor and Unemployed youth can easily be targeted by radicalists.
  4. It was a concerted effort by some to radicalise the youth to spread violence.
  5. It’s been closely watched and took several steps to ensure that the youth don’t fall for such propaganda.


  1. Isolated efforts by different organisations prevent the emergence of a cogent strategy.
  2. There are four areas in this “outreach strategy” that need refinement and coordination by all stakeholder organisations. The intelligence agencies need to provide their support.

The first involves direct outreach-

  • A model for that exists from 2010-12 when the army successfully undertook the conduct of public meetings or “awami sunwais” in the field in areas where the reach of the administration had become marginal.
  • Local problems that were languishing over time were corrected by officials through direct contact with the people. It gave an opportunity to the leaders and the administrators to listen to the people.
  • A deliberate effort was made to engage with the youth through meetings at universities and schools, something that is difficult to imagine today.
  • The recruiting rallies for different central and state institutions must be exploited for such windows of engagement, as the youth is usually in a different frame of mind while seeking employment opportunities.

The second element is to engage the clergy and, through that route, seek its cooperation in messaging the youth and others on the uniqueness of the Indian system.

  • The clergy has a powerful hold over the public in any Islamic society — to the less informed, this need not necessarily give the perception that it is an unnecessary boost to the position of the clergy that might prove counterproductive later.

The third aspect of the strategy is the exploitation of social media, as much as the countering of online propaganda.

  • Surprisingly, intelligence agencies, the MHA itself and the army’s public information directorate, have all understood the concept but are hesitant to join forces due to lack of trust and the potential loss of individual space.
  • The army’s focused information warfare at the Corps and Command level is simply outstanding, but exists in isolation.
  • The need for 5,000 young civilian “information warriors” under the aegis of a joint organisation under the Unified Command in J&K. It will give the requisite continuity, technology and content support to the campaign.

The fourth, and final domain, is the setting aside of the mutual fears of the people of J&K and bringing the people of Ladakh into this ambit as well.

  • If the people of these regions have to live together as an entity of one state, they need to stop suspecting each other.
  • Through the ambit of the central and other universities in the state, we need to create a platform for the “meeting of minds” from all three regions and from different professions and callings.

Way Forward

  1. Operation All Out will no doubt continue successfully through 2019, but it should become a supporting campaign to the four initiatives outlined above instead of the other way around.
  2. J&K needs a coordinated effort from all stakeholder organizations.
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