Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (2nd amendment) bill-2019

On August 5, 2019 the Ministry of Home Affairs introduced the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 in Rajya Sabha. Rajya sabha approved the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation bill and earlier the bill was passed by Lok Sabha. This bill partially amends a Presidential Order of 1954 to amend the Reservation act of the state. The bill amends the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004.

Key Features of the bill

  • The amendment bill provides for reservation in appointment in state government posts and admission to professional institutions, for specific reserved categories. Professional institutions involve government dental colleges, polytechnics and medical colleges.
  • The Act provides for reservation in appointment in state government posts for socially and educationally backward classes (EWS), Scheduled Castes(SC), and Scheduled Tribes(ST). Also, it provides for reservation in admission in professional institutions for specific reserved categories.
  • The reservations of upto 10% for EWS in admission and appointment to professional institutions will be in addition to the existing reservation under the Act.

Advantages of the Bill

  • It intends to extend the reservation benefits to socially and educationally backward classes. So, this helps in social justice to SC/ST and other reserved categories.
  • The bill covers the people living close to the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir to get the advantages of reservation in promotion, educational institutions and jobs, on par with those surviving along the Line of Actual Control (LoAC).
  • At present, seven-year service is compulsory , so after this amendment people close to the International border will also applicable to get advanatge on the basis of residence along the LoAC.
  • Advantages of Reservation will be available to people with annual income below three lakhs. But this restriction not apply to people living near the international border and LoAC

Criticism of the Bill

  • There is opposition of the bill that reservation to certain reserved categories (SCs/STs/EWS) provision, will breach article 370
  • If there is alteration in the Presidential order-1954, then Government of India should discuss with State government. But there is no discussion because of Jammu and Kashmir under Governor rule. This means, the act is against democratic process and fully tyrannical.
  • In the absent of elected government in the state, Governor can allow to prolong the law of Parliament. This also creates war od words while changing the constitutional arrangement between Jammu and Kashmir and Union.