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Jubilant J&K: Post abrogation of Article 370, PoJK, Chhamb, West Pakistani refugees get justice  

May 7, 2022
west pak refugees

SRINAGAR, MAY 07:  Post abrogation of Article 370, more than 890 Central laws have been extended to Jammu and Kashmir.

More than 205 state laws have been repealed and 129 others modified to ensure justice to all sections of people.

The rights of weaker sections like Scheduled Tribes, other traditional forest dwellers, Scheduled Castes, and Safai Karamcharis are now ensured by the application of relevant Acts. The rights of children and senior citizens are now being ensured.

To create a just and equitable society, reservation rules have been amended to extend the benefits of reservation to left out categories like Pahari-speaking people and economically weaker sections.

Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman while tabling the 2021-22 budget for J&K said, “OBC reservation benefits have been increased from 2 percent to 4 percent and income ceiling has been raised from Rs 4.50 lakh to Rs 8 lakh”.

“Sections of society which have been discriminated since ages such as displaced persons of PoJK and Chhamb, West Pakistani refugees, and residents of border areas have benefited under various schemes,” she said. Special attention is being paid to Kashmiri migrants, she added.

For the first time, the spouse of a J&K domicile shall also be deemed as a domicile. Earlier, spouses of Permanent Resident Cardholders were considered at par but were not considered domiciles. Children of central government officials posted for over ten years in Jammu and Kashmir will also continue to be considered domiciles.

The implementation of several path-breaking central legislations after the revocation of Article 370, like the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forests Rights) Act, 2007, the Scheduled Caste and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1954, among others, is bringing a new era of progress and development in J&K.

 The Forest Rights Act 2006 was implemented in J&K after 14 years of its existence in other states of India. With the special attention of the UT Government, Community claims’ and ‘individual claims are being settled by the administration of respective districts.

Education for Tribals

“After a wait of more than 14 years, due rights have been conferred upon the tribal community by implementing the Forest Rights Act, 2006, keeping in mind the basic spirit of social equality and harmony as guided by the Constitution of our country and Parliament,” J&K Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha said.

The Lieutenant Governor, who is taking a personal interest in tribal development recently launched the ‘Smart Schools’ Project in Jammu

and Kashmir for tribal communities. Under this maiden project, the modernization of 200 schools in Tribal areas will be completed in 2022.

He also said that the poor and weaker sections of society were neglected for many years in J&K but on the historic day of 5 August 2019, Article 370 and Article 31A were abolished and the citizens of Jammu & Kashmir were given all the Constitutional rights.

“In J&K we have charted a new development path after August 2019. For decades, infrastructure was in tatters despite a huge amount of money sent by the center. The non-development agenda of seven decades in J&K mired the UT in a low growth syndrome. Under the guidance of the Prime Minister, J&K is witnessing a new dawn. Tribals are getting land rights, 11,000 government jobs have been provided within record time with complete transparency and major steps have been taken to ensure the empowerment of women, marginalized and weaker groups,” Lt Governor said.

Following rationalization of the percentage of reservation of different categories of indirect recruitment, the residents of backward areas will now have 10 percent reservation, Pahari speaking people (4 percent), and Economically weaker sections (10 percent).

The Jammu and Kashmir government, in a big relief to the socially and educationally backward classes, has also enhanced the income ceiling from Rs 4.50 lakh to Rs 8 lakh for them to avail of benefits of reservation as per provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004.

As per provisions of the Act, reservation in employment and admissions in professional institutions, among others is provided to the persons belonging to Socially and Educationally Backward Classes categorized as Weak and Underprivileged Classes (Social Castes), Residents of Areas adjoining Actual Line of Control and Residents of Backward Areas. However, there is an income bar/ceiling for availing of this reservation.

 The objective of prescribing the income ceiling in the Act is to prevent such persons, as have crossed or shall cross the threshold level of backwardness commonly known as ‘Creamy Layer’ from availing benefits of reservation under the categories of Socially and Educationally Backward Classes.

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