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Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Govt eyeing 15-year residency norm in J&K and Ladakh

While different states have different residency norms, the general view among various ministries on the two new UTs is to fix a 15-year minimum residency norm for an outsider to attain domicile status, sources said.

Written by Arun Sharma | Jammu |
Updated: December 20, 2019 7:01:19 am
Jammu and Kashmir, jammu kashmir residency, minimum residency kashmir, jammu kashmir news, jobs in jammu kashmir, jobs in ladakh Officials in different central ministries are also working on “four-five” categories of people from outside who would be exempt from this norm while availing other benefits, including admission in government higher education institutions, sources said.

TO ALLAY fears among locals in the newly created Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, the Centre is considering a 15-year residency requirement for obtaining government jobs, seats for professional courses in public colleges and ownership of land, top government sources told The Indian Express.

While different states have different residency norms, the general view among various ministries on the two new UTs is to fix a 15-year minimum residency norm for an outsider to attain domicile status, sources said.

However, sources said, there would be no such condition for industrial houses to buy land for setting up business ventures and construct quarters for their employees.

Officials in different central ministries are also working on “four-five” categories of people from outside who would be exempt from this norm while availing other benefits, including admission in government higher education institutions, sources said.

These categories could cover central officials and their children, and students from other states and UTs who may have cleared their Class 10 or Class 12 board exams in J&K or Ladakh.

Officers from all-India services and their children are considered domicile of their respective cadre states usually, sources said, but “a considered view” needs to be taken before extending this status to AGMUT-cadre officers in Ladakh and J&K.

In the case of students, sources said, there may be some who come along with their parents during job postings, including in the private sector, and pass the board exams at any of the two UTs. The “general viewpoint” is to consider them eligible for admission in government higher education institutions in the two UTs, they said.

According to sources, the government move is also aimed at “bringing uniformity for Indian citizens across the country” and “preventing Opposition politicians from spreading false propaganda” that there will be fewer jobs and land for locals after the special status of J&K was removed and the state was bifurcated into two UTs.

Incidentally, a similar residency norm was fixed by the last Dogra ruler of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state, Maharaja Hari Singh, who issued a notification on June 27, 1932, fixing ten years of continuous residence as a mandatory requirement before “foreign nationals” can purchase immovable property and be considered as Class III state subjects.

It read: “The foreign nationals residing in the State of Jammu and Kashmir shall not acquire the nationality of the Jammu and Kashmir State until after the age of 18 on purchasing immovable property under permission of an ijazatnama and on obtaining a rayatnama after ten years continuous residence in the Jammu and Kashmir State as laid down in Notification No.-I-L. of 1984, dated 20th April, 1927.”

However, this provision was altered by the Constituent Assembly in 1954 when it amended the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution Act, 1939, defining permanent residents of the state as any person who, before May 14, 1954, “lawfully acquired immovable property in the State” and “has been ordinarily resident in the State for not less than ten years prior to the date’’.

The amendment deprived thousands of refugees from erstwhile West Pakistan, who had settled in Jammu province following the 1947 Partition, from becoming permanent residents of the state.

Sources said these refugees will get domicile status and be eligible to buy land, get jobs and obtain admission in professional colleges in these UTs once the government decides on a new residency norm.

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