Amid longstanding demands, Ladakh UT reserves jobs for locals

Express News Service
SRINAGAR: Nearly 22 months after the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A and subsequent split of Ladakh from the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state, the administration of the UT has announced that all employment opportunities will be reserved for the local residents. 

“No person shall be qualified for appointment to the service unless the person is a resident of Union Territory of Ladakh,” reads Clause 11 of the Union Territory of Ladakh Employment (Subordinate) Service Recruitment Rules, 2021 issued by Lt Governor of Ladakh R K Mathur in exercise of the powers conferred by S.O 282(E) dated 21.01.2020. 

The order further states that this rule shall not apply to persons allotted service in the Union Territory under the provisions of Section 89(2) of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, or such rules as may be prescribed by the administration.

“Persons who have already been appointed substantively to a post in the cadre of J&K Employment (Subordinate) Service and finally allotted for service in Ladakh in accordance with the provisions of Section 89(2) of the J&K Reorganisation Act, 2019, shall be deemed to have been appointed to the Service at the initial constitution,” it adds.

After the creation of a separate Ladakh UT, the political, religious and social groups of Leh and Kargil have been demanding land and job protection for the local residents.

The announcement of reserving jobs for locals has been welcomed by Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA), a forum of political, social and religious parties and traders.

KDA co-convenor Qamar Ali Akhoon said they welcome reservation of jobs for the locals. He, however, said it would have no impact on KDA’s demand for restoration of August 5 2019 position or full statehood to Ladakh.

On August 5, 2019 Centre scrapped Articles 370 and 35A, which granted special status and special privileges to J&K residents, and bifurcated J&K state into two UTs – Jammu and Kashmir (with legislature) and Ladakh (without legislature). Ladakh comprises two districts – Leh and Kargil.