J&K Reservation Bill: Now Equal Educational And Job Opportunities To Those Living Along International Border
The Rajya Sabha Passed Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) bill on Monday (July 1, 2019). The bill was introduced by Home Minister Amit Shah in the lower house of the parliament on June 24 and was passed by Lok Sabha on June 28.
The bill provides three per cent reservation in educational institutions and government jobs to people living within 10 km of the international border (IB). It will benefit people living in three districts; Jammu, Samba and Kathua.
Further, the provision of compulsory seven-year service for those appointed on the basis of residence near the Line of Actual Control will also be applicable to people living in the ambit of 10 km of the IB.
The bill replaces the Jammu and Kashmir (Reservation) Amendment Ordinance 2019, which was promulgated by the President on March 1, this year. It introduces amendments to the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004, provides reservation in certain state government jobs to SCs, STs and EWS people living in areas adjoining the Actual Line of Control.
Equal Opportunity To People Living Along IB
The bill, by providing reservation, seeks to bring people residing in the areas adjoining IB at par with people living in areas adjoining Actual Line of Control. Earlier the provision of 3 per cent reservation was only available for youth living within 6 km of LoC in the state.
Shah speaking in the lower house of the parliament said that the government wanted reservation for those who live along the International Border, as people living along the IB stay in bunkers for days during firing and shelling.
“People who are living along the Line of Control and Line of Actual Control are included in the 3% reservation. But the people living along the IB face equal difficulties. Pakistan conducts shelling and firing and disrupts the peace and these children too should have equal opportunities,” told Shah in the parliament.
“Passage of Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill ensures justice for those living in the border areas of Kathua, Samba & Jammu districts. The aspirations of the bright and talented youth of these areas will be fulfilled, which is wonderful for the state and our nation,” PM Narendra Modi tweeted.
Passage of Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill ensures justice for those living in the border areas of Kathua, Samba & Jammu districts.
The aspirations of the bright and talented youth of these areas will be fulfilled, which is wonderful for the state and our nation.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 1, 2019
Opposition Against The Bill
Earlier, while introducing the Jammu and Kashmir (Reservation) Amendment Ordinance 2019, the central government said that the amendments were recommended by the State Administrative Council (SAC) headed by J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik.
In order to bring an amendment to the state’s Reservation Act, the government introduced an amendment to the Presidential Order of 1954. The Presidential order states that any provision of an act of parliament can be extended to Jammu and Kashmir, only with the concurrence of the state government.
In the absence of a state government and with ongoing President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir, the bill was opposed on the grounds that the government has “breached” Article 370 while issuing the amendment to the 1954 Presidential Order.
Many have questioned whether the governor has the authority to give consent to extend a law of the Parliament to J&K and change the constitutional arrangement between the state and the centre.