Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act Amendment 2023 For UPSC

In a recent development, the Lok Sabha has approved the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Amendment Bill and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Amendment) Bill, 2023.


Before the abrogation of Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir had specific rules governing the allocation of Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha seats. Following the removal of Article 370 and the reorganization of the region into a Union Territory in March 2020, a Delimitation Commission was established. This commission not only reevaluated the seats in Jammu and Kashmir but also assessed constituencies in Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, and Nagaland. The commission was given a one-year deadline to complete this task.

Recently, the Delimitation Commission concluded its process, resulting in an increase in the number of seats in the Jammu and Kashmir Vidhan Sabha from 107 to 114.

Understanding the Bills:

  1. Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Amendment Bill, 2023:
  • This amendment targets Section 2 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004.
  • The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004, provides reservations in jobs and educational institutions for Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), and other socially and educationally backward classes.
  • As per the amendment, individuals formerly categorized as “Weaker and Disadvantaged Classes (Social Caste)” may now be referred to as “Other Backward Class.”
  1. Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Amendment) Bill, 2023:
  • This bill attempts to amend the 2019 Act and ensure representation in the Vidhan Sabha for Kashmiri migrants and individuals displaced from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
  • It proposes the nomination of two members from the Kashmiri community, including one woman, and grants the Lieutenant Governor the power to nominate a representative for those displaced from PoK.
  • The bill suggests increasing the total number of seats in the Vidhan Sabha from 107 to 114, with reservations for 7 seats for Scheduled Castes and 9 seats for Scheduled Tribe legislators.
  • Notably, 24 seats in the Vidhan Sabha are reserved for representatives from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Zero-Terror Plan and Its Connection to Article 370 Abrogation:

The Zero-Terror Plan, initiated by the Indian government to eradicate terrorism from Jammu and Kashmir, aligns with the consequences of the abrogation of Article 370. This comprehensive strategy, in effect since the last three years and planned until 2026, aims to restore peace in the region.

Understanding Delimitation:

Delimitation, according to the Election Commission, involves determining or redetermining the boundaries of constituencies for elections. It is carried out by an independent high-powered panel known as the Delimitation Commission. Established under the Acts of 1952, 1962, 1972, and 2002, Delimitation Commissions have been formed four times in 1952, 1963, 1973, and 2002.

The reevaluation of electoral constituencies is based on the population size, and this process can lead to changes not only in the boundaries but also in the number of seats in a state legislative assembly.

In conclusion, the recent legislative changes signify a crucial step in reshaping Jammu and Kashmir’s political landscape. The amendments in reservation policies and the increase in Vidhan Sabha seats are pivotal aspects of this transformation, aiming to foster inclusivity and representation in the region.

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