J&K Domicile Law: A Cruel Joke With JK’s Jobless

Sohail Khan
From the time, the Prime Minister announced the national lock down over Covod-19 pandemic that has created havoc, claimed thousands of lives & infected millions across the globe, the people of J&k are also battling for their survival & have confined themselves into homes to stem the spread of this deadly virus. But amidst all the chaos, a new law from GOI has came into display that notifies a new set of domicile rules for the union territory of J&K .This ill timed order has unfolded a new debate in the valley & overshadowed the concern for rising positive cases of Covid 19, as the people, particularly the educated unemployed youth, who were being promised for the protection of their jobs feel betrayed & concerned for their future In the erstwhile state of J&K, permanent citizen were given protection in the matter of govt jobs & property ownership under Article 35A of Indian constitution. All sorts of govt jobs in J&K were reserved for them & non residents were prohibited for buying any property or applying for a job as it was special privilege only for a permanent resident. But with the revocation of Article 370 & 35A, J&K lost its special status & thereby domicile rights of permanent residents had to be withdrawn & replaced with the new set of domicile rules. As per new notification, the definition of domicile is defined on the basis of three conditions:
1) A person who has resided in J&K for 15 years
2) A person who has studied in any educational institute in J&K for 7 years & has taken his class 10th & class 12th examination
3) A migrant who is registered with the Relief & Rehabilitation commissioner for Migrants would be considered as domicile of J&K .And also children of central government officials, All India services, Public sector units, central universities etc would also be considerably domicile if their parents have served in J&K for a total period of 10 years. With the above development, a huge chunk of population would qualify for domicile certificates but only low level govt jobs (Group D) have been reserved for domiciles where as recruitment of Group A & Group B would be thrown out for a Pan Indian competition. This is the major downgrade as compared to the early domicile rights because earlier the permanent residents of J&K would enjoy reservation in Group A & Group B govt jobs as well & non residents were not eligible.

“This ill timed order has unfolded a new debate in the valley & overshadowed the concern for rising positive cases of Covid 19, as the people, particularly the educated unemployed youth, who were being promised for the protection of their jobs feel betrayed & concerned for their future ”
Discussion: The provision of Pan India competition for Gazetted & non Gazetted posts is unfair. The youth of J&K are very much aggrieved with this order. They fear that their future is at stake. It is not that our youth are incompetent & incapable to compete at national level but it is about the equal opportunities .Here due to political turmoil, shutdowns, curfews & internet gags is a norm, under such conditions how can we expect someone from J&K to compete someone from Delhi & Mumbai? For that we need to create a feasible atmosphere where a student can realise his optimum potential. Our PM has on record said that Article 370 was a hindrance to development & quality education in J&K .So he has accepted that standard of education here not so good & then asking the youth to compete at national level for gazetted & non gazetted post seems illogical.
Conclusion: There are lacks of educated unemployed youth in J&K. The economy survey report of J&K mentions that unemployment rate in J&K is higher than the average national unemployment rate. One study has revealed that unemployment is one the major reason for the rising rate of drug addiction in Kashmir. So at a time, when the focus should be of reconciliation & to create more job opportunities for youth, such developments that has the potential to encroach the job space add insult to the injuries
( The author is a content writer. Views are his own, khansohail9730@gmail.com)

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