Jammu & Kashmir

3.7 lakh people granted domicile in more than a month, 78% in Jammu alone: Report

Representational Image

Earlier, a report by The Tribune had put the number much higher at 4 lakh. 

Srinagar: A month after the launch of the online portal for applying for domicile certificates in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, 3.7 lakh people have been granted the official document, sources from India’s MHA told The Indian Express.

According to a report published by Indian Express, while the majority of the 3.7 lakh-odd granted domicile certificates are already permanent residents of the Union Territory (UT), a significant proportion have been given out to those who despite living or serving in the state for years were not considered residents of the state due to provisions of Artice 35A, which now stands repealed.

Earlier, a report by The Tribune had put the number much higher at 4 lakh, quoting Pawan Kotwal, Principal Secretary, Revenue Department J&K.

However, quoting Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Indian Express report read that between June 22, 2020, when the online facility was launched, and last week, over 2.9 lakh people were granted domicile certificates in Jammu against 79,300 in the Valley.

Amid the online process of documentation, the report said that there are apprehensions expressed by some quarters that the change in domicile rules for J&K, is meant to force a demographic change in the erstwhile state by allowing entry to outsiders.

The report said that domicile certificates issued are proportionate to the applications received.

“There is no region-specific delay. More applications have been received from Jammu so more certificates have been issued there,” The Indian Express quoted a J&K administration official as saying.

According to the report, Officials are of the opinion that majority of applicants applying for the document aim for jobs and admission into educational institutions in the UT.

The report said that those among the receivers are West Pakistan refugees, numbering over 20,000, nearly all of whom are reportedly covered now, and 2,000-odd sanitation workers brought and settled in the state but never accorded basic rights like voting.

“They were denied citizenship and hence access to education and jobs,” the news report quoted an official from MHA as saying, adding that 700 Gurkhas too have been provided domicile certificates.

In March 2020, as the Government of India applied new rules in JK, one of the new law about domicile documentation says that people who have been living in the erstwhile state for 15 years, those who have studied in the UT for 7 years or appeared in Class 10 or 12 examinations from an educational institution in the region, as well as their children, are eligible for domicile.

The new law also allows the children of officials of the Central government, all India services, banks and PSUs, statutory bodies and Central universities, who have served in J&K for 10 years to be eligible for the domicile.

Besides, all Permanent Resident Certificate (PRC) holders are automatically eligible.

“The most significant change has been the amendment extending the benefits of reservation to many deserving categories. Paharis had been demanding it for decades, and are now eligible for 4% reservation. Economically Weaker Sections will get 10%, the income ceiling for backward classes has been increased from Rs 4.5 lakh per annum to Rs 8 lakh, and benefits have been extended to residents along the International Border,” the MHA official told The Indian Express, adding that reservation in the Assembly has been extended to Schedule Tribes.

The official added that government had also begun disbursing Rs 5 lakh financial assistance to West Pakistan refugees.

Another official told the newspaper that there had been a 262 % increase in minority scholarships, with over 4.76 lakh beneficiaries since August last year, a 100 % jump in SC/ST pre-matric scholarships, and 20% increase in OBC post-matric scholarships with over 7.42 lakh beneficiaries overall (including minorities).

Post August 5, when the Article 370 was abrogated and the erstwhile state was bifurcated into two union territories- Ladakh and J&K, the administration had announced that 50,000 posts would be filled up soon. But, with over 84,000 vacancies, the government has begun recruitment for the first phase, for 10,000 posts, so far.

Earlier on July 25, officials said that with over 6,600 applicants, a majority of retired soldiers and officers from the Gorkha community have been granted the domicile certificates in past one week since the J&K administration started issuing the documents.

The document now allows them to buy the property and apply for jobs in the UT, which priorly pertaining to Article 370 and 35 (A) was not possible.

“More than 5,900 certificates have already been issued,” said Vijay Kumar Sharma, Additional Deputy Commissioner (revenue), Jammu.

In Kashmir, on this date, about 700 certificates were issued and many of them were former Gorkha armed forces personnel and officers.


Free Press Kashmir is now on Telegram. Click here to Join.  

Click to comment
To Top