Gazette

Edukemy Gazette

Statehood for Ladakh

Statehood for Ladakh

In News

A complete shutdown is being observed in Ladakh to press for the demand of statehood for the region.

About the news

  • Ladakh was carved out as a separate union territory in August 2019 after Article 370 was read down by Parliament.
  • Recently, the UT has observed complete shutdown demanding for restoration of statehood and implementation of the sixth schedule of the Constitution to safeguard their identity, culture, land and jobs.

 

Ladakh’s Demand

  • Four major demands: The UT has four major demands that include:
  • Statehood for Ladakh
  • Protection under Sixth Schedule of the Constitution
  • Filling of 12,000 vacancies and
  • Allocation of two Lok Sabha seats and one Rajya Sabha seat. 
  • Why Constitutional Safeguards? The Constitutional safeguards which can be done by amending the Ladakh Autonomous Hill District Council (LAHDC) Act would clarify the role and responsibilities of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Lieutenant Governor, urban and rural panchayats vis a vis the two councils of Leh and Kargil.
  • Other Demands: A demand is being made for protection of employment and cultural identity of Ladakh under the Sixth Schedule.
  • The sixth schedule in the Constitution protects tribal populations, providing autonomy to the communities through creation of autonomous development councils.
  • These councils can frame laws on land, public health, agriculture etc. Currently, 10 autonomous councils exist in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.

 

What are the Stated Grievances of the UT?

  • Vulnerability due to reading down of Art 35A: The protection provided to the UT through Article 35A has suffered a major setback due to the fact that it was read down along with Article 370.
  • No Government Recruitment: Since 2019, there has been no government recruitment even though several persons have retired and the administration had claimed there were more than 20,000 vacancies.
  • Large scale acquisition of Land due to misconceptions: Thousands of acres of land are being acquired for solar power projects considering them unused. But these lands are found to sustains wildlife, medicinal herbs and there are migration of nomads in the region.
  • This is because there is no constitutional provision (6th schedule of the Constitution) that authorizes the Councils to make laws on the judicious utilization of State land.
  • Environmental concerns over Pangong Lake: The area around the Pangong Lake that so far allowed only tented accommodations, now permits the outside to exploit the area for infrastructural development which will not only destroy the environment but will also lead to haphazard development.
  • Holding of Resident Certificate: The Resident Certificate is issued only to the Permanent Resident Certificate holders of the Ladakh region, unlike J&K where new domicile laws allowed outsiders too to apply for jobs and purchase land.
  • Strategic Concerns: As Ladakh shares its border with China, it has great strategic importance. Empowering the region with District Autonomous Councils that is elected by the people could provide grass root decision making in matters relating to land. 
  • Absence of Democratically elected Government: Absence of a democratically elected government in Ladakh seem to make people disempowered.

 

Source:

 

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