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The Hindu 6 August 2019

UPSC - Daily Current Affair
The Hindu August 2019

SL. NO.

TOPICS

THE HINDU

PAGE NO.

1

J&K loses its special status, divided into two UTs

01

2

A wrong way to end

10

3

Piecing together Kashmir’s audacious road map

10

4

An integration without integrity

10

5

How J&K status is being changed?

13

 

Title

1. J&K loses its special status, divided into two UTs (The Hindu Page 01)

Syllabus

Prelims: Polity & Governance

Mains: GS Paper II in Polity

Theme

Article 370 & new J&K status

Highlights

Recent context:

  • Union Minister for Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah, introduced two bills and two resolutions regarding Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) today. These are as follows:

  • Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 2019 {Ref. Article 370(1) of Constitution of India} – issued by President of India to supersede the 1954 order related to Article 370.

  • Resolution for Repeal of Article 370 of the Constitution of India {Ref. Article 370 (3)}

  • Jammu & Kashmir (Reorganisation) Bill, 2019 {Ref. Article 3 of Constitution of India}

  • Jammu & Kashmir Reservation (2nd Amendment) Bill, 2019

 

About Article 370:

  • Included in the Constitution on October 17, 1949, Article 370 exempts J&K from the Indian Constitution (except Article 1 and Article 370 itself) and permits the state to draft its own Constitution. It restricts Parliament’s legislative powers in respect of J&K. By the 1954 order, almost the entire Constitution was extended to J&K including most Constitutional amendments.

  • Article 370 is a “Temporary provisions with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir.” Clause 3 states that “the President may, by public notification, declare that this article shall cease to be operative or shall be operative only with such exceptions and modifications and from such date as he may specify: Provided that the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of the State referred to in clause ( 2 ) shall be necessary before the President issues such a notification”.

 

Changes to J&K status

  • The Government is moving a resolution which would repeal the provisions under Article 370 of the Constitution of India,which granted a special status to the state of J&K. The provisions of Article 370 would cease to exist from the date President of India issues a notification in this regard, after the recommendation of the Parliament. Consequently, the Constitution of India would get applicable to J&K, on par with other states/UTs of the country.

  • Under article 370(3), there is a provision that President, on recommendation of the Parliament, has the power to amend or cease the implementation of article 370,through a public notification. This has already happened on a number of occasions in the past. 

  • The Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganisation) Bill, 2019 making Jammu & Kashmir a Union territory with a Legislative Assembly,along with Union Territory status to Ladakh without a Legislative Assembly. 

  • Further, the Jammu & Kashmir Reservation (2nd Amendment) Bill, 2019 to amend the Jammu & Kashmir Reservation Act 2004 was also introduced. This bill seeks to extend the 10% quota to economically weaker sections of society in J&K in jobs and educational institutions. Both the bills were passed by Rajya Sabha unanimously.

  • There will be an amendment to the first schedule to the Indian Constitution. Entry 15 of the “I. THE STATES”, that lists J&K will be deleted and under the heading —“II. UNION TERRITORIES”: entry 8 would be  Jammu and Kashmir & entry 9 would be Ladakh. Fourth Schedule would be amended with entry 21 shall be deleted & entry 31 to be added as J&K.



 

 

 

 

Title

2. A wrong way to end (The Hindu – Page 10)

Syllabus 

Prelims: Polity & Governance

Mains: Polity & Governance

Theme

J&K status

Highlights

  • Political integration of the Jammu and Kashmir through Presidential Order of 2019 has been marked by executive excess as this was done when there is no legislative assembly in the state of Jammu and Kashmir because of imposition of Article 356 of the Indian Constitution.

  • Thus, the concurrence was taken from an unelected Governor who again acted on centre’s behest as he holds office during the pleasure of the President. 

  • In sum, the process to change the constitutional status of a sensitive border State has been achieved without any legislative input or representative contribution from its people.   

  • Can the appointed governor not only replace but also supersede a legislative assembly and can his concurrence can be construed as a concurrence of the people of the state. 

  • The move of the centre has taken right to vote of those people residing in the territory of Ladakh as it now is a UT without a legislative assembly.

 

Title

3. Piecing together Kashmir’s audacious road map (The Hindu, Page 10)

Syllabus 

Prelims: Polity & Governance

Mains: G.S. II in Polity & Governance

Theme

J&K Status

Highlights

  • Even the founding fathers recognised that Article 370 was a transitional or temporary provision, there was a clear subtext that its revocation would only happen once the acquiescence of the people of the State was obtained.

  • The move will be legally challenged on grounds of procedural infirmities and, more substantively, that it undermines the basic feature of the compact between Delhi and Srinagar that was agreed upon in 1947.

  • The real test will be how the people of the state particularly the valley respond to the situation once situation is normalized and security cordon is lifted from the State. 

  • Kashmir can become more vulnerable considering the larger geo-politics at play in the region including Central Asia. With the United States seeking a quick exit from, and willing to let the Inter-Services Intelligence-sponsored Taliban to control Afghanistan (and China deeply embedded in the power play), the heartland of central Asia has rarely been as adverse to Indian interests since 1989, when the Soviet Union withdrew from Afghanistan.  

 

Devolution of power to local bodies

  • Since the imposition of Governor’s (and now President’s) Rule, the State Administrative Council has acted with remarkable alacrity to devolve powers to Panchayati raj institutions in the State. Implementation of important schemes such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, the Mid-Day Meal scheme, Integrated Child Development Services and social forestry projects has been devolved to the panchayats.

  • The monitoring and supervision of schools and health institutions has also been passed on to the panchayati raj institutions. In addition, panchayats shall also be conducting a quarterly social audit of works and programmes in their area.

 

Development and not corruption

  • Almost every popular survey in Jammu and Kashmir reveals that one of the leading causes of youth angst and alienation was nepotism and corruption among the ruling elite.

  • This anti-corruption drive is accompanied by attempts to fast track development to create institutions of academic and extra-curricular excellence and to generate skilled employment in a manner that the youth are gainfully employed and weaned away from radical thought. 

  • Thus, the new doctrine will have to persuade the majority of the people of Jammu and Kashmir that greater integration with India will provide them with more opportunities, provide more freedom and space, and strengthen their rights much more than the alternatives proposed by other mainstream parties or separatists. 

 

Title

4. An integration without integrity (The Hindu, Page 10)

Syllabus 

Prelims: Polity & Governance

Mains: G.S. II in Polity & Governance

Theme

J&K Status

Highlights

No equivalence between Constituent Assembly and Legislative Assembly

  • The article highlights that Home Minister read down the words “Constituent Assembly” to mean “Legislative Assembly of the State”; having cleverly dissolved the Assembly and usurped its power, in effect it is the government that is giving concurrence to itself. 

  • Constituent Assembly as per the author is a body of representatives who are the embodiment of the ‘constituent power’ that is needed to co-constitute a nation-state into existence. So, at the core of constituent power is democratic consent. India derives its legitimacy from its Constitution, and the Indian Constitution in turn is legitimate because it is supported by a constituent power in the form of democratic consent. Thus, in government’s interpretation of the words ‘Constituent Assembly, there is no acknowledgment of constituent power.

  • Article 370(2) clearly mentions that the concurrence of the State Government needed to be taken only before the Constituent Assembly was convened. There is no mention that the State Legislative Assembly will have these powers after the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly. Thus, there seems to be a legislative vacuum. 

  • The Constituent Assembly as the embodiment of constituent power is what creates and authorises, gives birth and grants the power to the legislative assembly. Thus, as per the author, there is no equivalence between a Constituent Assembly and Legislative Assembly.     

 

Title

5. How J&K status is being changed (The Hindu, Page 13)

Syllabus 

Prelims: Polity & Governance

Mains: G.S. II in Polity & Governace

Theme

J&K Status 

Highlights

Context: The President of India has promulgated the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019 in concurrence with the state government of Jammu and Kashmir with immediate effect. The 2019 order supersedes the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 and states that all provisions of Constitution of India shall apply at once. 

Replacing Presidential Order of 1954 by 2019

  • The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954, lists the Articles and provisions that apply to J&K. 

  • These special measures can be altered only on the recommendation of the Sadar-i-Riyasat of Jammu and Kashmir, acting on the advice of the Council of Ministers or by the “Constituent Assembly” of that State. As of now, there is no “Constituent Assembly”.

  • So, a Presidential Order was issued under Article 370(1) of the Constitution titled Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 2019. This clause enables the President to specify the matters which are applicable to Jammu and Kashmir. 

  • However, a Presidential Order under Article 370(1) can be issued only with the Jammu and Kashmir government’s concurrence. 

  • The notification uses the words “with the concurrence of the Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir”. This presumably means the Governor, who is now administering the State under President’s Rule, has given his concurrence on behalf of the State government.    

  • The Order supersedes the 1954 Order. This effectively means that all the provisions that formed the basis of a separate “Constitution” of Jammu and Kashmir stand abrogated. The Order declares that all the provisions of the Constitution of India, shall apply to Jammu and Kashmir too.   

Article 367

  • However, some special measures were still needed for the scrapping of Article 370 altogether. Therefore, a few clauses were added to Article 367 of the Constitution, which contains “Interpretations”. They contain guidance on how to read or interpret some provisions.   

  • The new clauses say, when applicable to Jammu and Kashmir, all references to the ‘Sadar-i-Riyasat’, acting on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers, will be construed as references to the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.  

  • All references to the State government shall mean “the Governor”. And most importantly, the reference to the “Constituent Assembly” in a proviso to Article 370 (3) has been amended to read “Legislative Assembly of the State”.  

  • Since, the constituent assembly of Jammu and Kashmir no longer exists, hence its role has to be played by the legislative assembly of the state.    

 

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