35,000 vacancies being filled in J&K post abrogation of Article 370 provisions: Officials
Srinagar: A whopping 10,000 vacancies for doctors, veterinarians and panchayat assistants in Jammu and Kashmir are being filled while plans are afoot to recruit 25,000 people in various departments in the coming months, officials said on Tuesday.
Since the abrogation of Article 370 provisions and the implementation of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, a total of 20,000 West Pakistan Refugees were given domicile status of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, besides a financial assistance of Rs 5.50 lakh per family.
Nearly 10,000 ‘safai karamchari’ obtained their legitimate domiciles with access to all rights and privileges like education and jobs, they said.
The Jammu and Kashmir government has initiated a massive and accelerated recruitment drive and in the first phase, 10,000 vacancies are being filled while 25,000 more are in the pipeline, a senior government official told PTI.
The initiative has been launched by the Union Territory administration since the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile state into union territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh — on August 5, 2019.
The vacancies which are being filled are for doctors, veterinarians, panchayat accounts assistants as well as Class-IV posts.
The interview process has been eliminated for most posts which will now be filled based on the results of a written examination, the official said.
As a progressive and affirmative action measure, Special Class-IV Recruitment Rules have been notified to give weightage to widows, candidates without any family member in government employment and a five-year age relaxation to casual workers.
Thousands of other employment opportunities are being created through power projects, infrastructure projects under the Prime Minister’s Development Programme (PMDP) and other centrally sponsored infrastructure works.
After August 5, 2019, the rules formulated for the issuance of domicile certificates are simple and progressive and they stipulate issuance of domicile certificate in a time bound manner failing which the issuing authority will be liable for penal action.
Issue of domicile certificate is an online service now, the official said.
Jammu and Kashmir began its journey as a State in the Union of India upon its accession on October 26, 1947.
The Constitution of India which came into force on January 26, 1950 laid down special provisions for the State of Jammu and Kashmir in the shape of Article 370, a temporary and transitory provision along with Article 35-A, inserted subsequently, through a Presidential order in 1954, they said.
While Article 370 detailed the relationship of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country, Article 35-A granted permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir some special rights and privileges and at the same time had the effect of depriving and discriminating against various underprivileged and marginalised sections such as Valmikies, Gorkhas and Dalits, they said.
In short, the two Articles had enabled a “constitutionally approved apartheid” system to exist in Jammu and Kashmir, giving special political, administrative and legal powers to the miniscule elite but at the same time, discriminating against women and other weaker sections of the society, another official said.
The removal of these Articles was inevitable to ensure holistic development of Jammu and Kashmir in every sector and “righting a historical wrong” against the people of the region, the official said.
Following major constitutional changes on August 5, 2019, the legal architecture and systems prevailing in the rest of the country were made applicable to Jammu and Kashmir.
The people of Jammu and Kashmir now “stand on the same pedestal” as those in the rest of the country, with the same rights, benefits and prospects, the official said.
The Indian Constitution with all its amendments is now applicable to Jammu and Kashmir.
While all central laws are now applicable to Jammu and Kashmir just as they are to the rest of the country, state laws were either repealed or modified to ensure that they were no longer unfair or discriminatory.
As a result of the application of 170 more central laws, a number of people friendly and progressive pieces of legislations such as the Right to Education, Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act-2001, National Commission for Minority Act and the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, besides 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments, have now become fully applicable to Jammu and Kashmir.
The application of these laws guarantees equity and fairness to the underprivileged such as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, women, children and senior citizens.
The end of Articles 370 and 35A has heralded “a new dawn of equity, fairness and empowerment”, the official said.
The rights of women marrying outside the Union Territory now stand fully protected and gender discrimination has ended.
Insofar as state laws of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir are concerned, 164 laws were repealed while 138 laws were applied with modifications.
With a view to curtail expenditure and as part of austerity measures, the Jammu and Kashmir Ministers and Ministers of State Salaries Act 1956 has been amended to do away with the legal provisions relating to grant of privileges and perks to the former chief ministers. Similarly, the State Legislature Members Pension Act 1984 has been repealed.