Why is it in the news?
- The Lok Sabha has approved the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, signalling changes in the Union Territory’s legislative assembly structure and reservation policies.
Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023
- The primary objective of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 is to amend the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019. This act was instrumental in the abrogation of Article 370 and the bifurcation of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into two separate Union Territories – Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
- The bill proposes a significant change in the composition of the Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly. It suggests an increase in the total number of seats from 107 to
- Out of the newly proposed seats, seven are earmarked for members belonging to the Scheduled Castes (SC), while nine seats are reserved for legislators from the Scheduled Tribes (ST). This move is aimed at ensuring better representation and participation of these marginalized communities in the legislative process.
- The Bill empowers the Lieutenant Governor to nominate up to two members from the Kashmiri migrant community to the Legislative Assembly. Importantly, one of the nominated members must be a woman. The term “Kashmiri Migrants” is specifically defined as individuals who migrated from the Kashmir Valley or any other part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir after November 1, 1989, and are registered with the Relief Commissioner.
- Another significant provision of the Bill allows the Lieutenant Governor to nominate one member to the Legislative Assembly who would represent displaced persons from Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The term “displaced persons” refers to individuals from Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir (PoK) who sought refuge in India following the wars with Pakistan in 1947, 1965, and 1971.
Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023
- The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 aims to amend the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004. The 2004 act provided for reservation in jobs and admission in professional institutions to members of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and other socially and educationally backward classes.
- One of the key changes proposed by the Bill is the substitution of the term “weak and underprivileged classes” with “other backward classes” as declared by the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. This change expands the scope of the categories eligible for reservation, potentially bringing in a broader section of the population.