Cabinet approves the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Amendment Order, 2019

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the proposal of Jammu & Kashmir Government regarding an amendment to the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) 0rder, 1954 by way of the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Amendment Order, 2019. It will serve the purpose of application of relevant provisions of the Constitution of India, as amended through the Constitution (Seventy-Seventh Amendment) Act, 1995 and Constitution (One Hundred arid third Amendment) Act, 2019 for Jammu and Kashmir, by issuing the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Amendment Order, 2019 by the President under clause (1) of Article 370.

Impact:

Once notified, this will pave the way for giving the benefit of promotion in service to the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and also extend the reservation of up to 10% for “economically weaker sections” in educational institutions and public employment in addition to the existing reservation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Background : Equity & Inclusiveness

  • 10% reservation for economically weaker sections made applicable in J&K also. This would pave the way for reserving State Government jobs to the youth of J&K who are from economically weaker sections belonging to any religion or caste. It may be recalled that 10% reservation to economically weaker sections was introduced in rest of the country through the 103rd Constitution Amendment in January 2019. This will be in addition to such reservation available in Govt. of India jobs 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.
  • People living near the International Border have been brought at par with those living near the Line of Control for reservation in State Government jobs by amending the Jammu and Kashmir 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.

Constitution (Seventy-Seventh Amendment) Act, 1995 was enacted thereby inserting clause (4A) after clause 4 of Article 16 of the Constitution of India.  Clause (4A) provides for giving benefit of promotion in service to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.  The Constitution (One Hundred and Third Amendment) Act, 2019 has been applied in the country except for Jammu and Kashmir and with extension of Act to Jammu and Kashmir economically weaker sections of State would also avail the benefit of reservation.

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