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Union Territory UPSC NOTE

 Why does the Union Territory want an extended territorial control?

  • In January this year, Ladakh’s two key socio-political conglomerates, the Leh Apex Body (LAB), representing several Buddhist religious and political parties, and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA).

  • These represents Muslim religious groups and local parties, submitted a memorandum to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) as part of an ongoing dialogue between the Centre.

  • The newly-carved Union Territory over a series of fresh demands from the region

  • These demands include extending the territorial control of Ladakh up to Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.

  • Ladakh, spread over 59,146 square kilometres, was a part of the Kashmir division of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir

  • It was carved out as one of the Union Territories, the other being J&K, out of the State on August 5, 2019.

  • As the Centre ended the special constitutional position of the region provided to it under Article 370. 

  • However, unlike the UT of J&K, Ladakh does not have a legislature. 

  • But it has two elected hill councils, the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council-Kargil (LAHDC) and LAHDC-Leh. 

  • They run micro governance issues of the region with a population of 2.74 lakh (2011 census).

  • Ladakh is a Muslim-majority UT, with the Leh district dominated by Buddhists and Kargil by Shia Muslims. 

  • The region witnessed a divided reaction to the Centre’s moves to abrogate Article 370 and 35A, provisions that granted exclusive rights to locals over land, jobs and natural resources

  • Leh for many decades, supported the demand for UT status

  • However, Kargil, after the events of 2019, has been insisting on reunification with Kashmir.

What are the demands of the two key bodies?

  • In the past two years, both the socio-political bodies of Leh and Kargil launched street agitations, protesting against the UT status without a legislature. 

  • Both districts joined hands to launch a major campaign for the restoration of Statehood with a legislature. 

  • Earlier, Ladakh would send four members to the J&K Assembly and two members to the State’s legislative council. 

  • There is also a unanimous cry for special status under the Sixth Schedule and Article 371 of the Constitution of India.

  • On the lines of Mizoram, Tripura, Sikkim and other northeastern States

  • People of Ladakh argue that opening up the region to outsiders and outside investment will impact “the most ecologically fragile and sensitive areas.”

  • Ladakh also demands exclusive rights over recruitment

  • It has put forth a proposal to the Centre to have the Ladakh Public Service Commission for the recruitment of gazetted jobs. 

  • It also demands that the twin hill councils should have the power to recruit lower rung staff for the region. 

  • The Ladakh resident certificate should be the only basis for applying for these jobs in the region, said the key bodies of Ladakh in the memorandum.


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Union Territory UPSC NOTE
Union Territory UPSC NOTE
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