WHAT IS ARTICLE 35A?
Article 35A of the constitution empowers J&K legislature to define state’s “permanent residents” and their special rights and privileges. It was added to the constitution through a presidential order of 1954 with the then J&K government’s concurrence
WHAT IS ITS SIGNIFICANCE TO J&K?
* Through 1927 and 1932 notifications, Dogra ruler of the princely state of J&K, Maharaja Hari Singh imposed a law that defined state subjects and their rights. The law also regulated migrants to the state. J&K joined India through instrument of accession signed by its ruler Hari Singh in October 1947.
* After J&K’s accession, popular leader Sheikh Abdullah took over reins from Dogra ruler. In 1949, he negotiated J&K’s political relationship with New Delhi, which led to the inclusion of Article 370 in the Constitution.
* Article 370 guarantees special status to J&K,restricting Union’s legislative powers over three areas: defence, foreign affairs and communications.
* However, under the 1952 Delhi Agreement between Abdullah and Nehru, several provisions of the Constitution were extended to J&K via presidential order in 1954. Article 35A was inserted then.
* J&K’s Constitution was framed in 1956. It retained Maharaja’s definition of permanent residents: All persons born or settled within the state before 1911 or after having lawfully acquired immovable property resident in the state for not less than ten years prior to that date. All emigrants from Jammu and Kashmir, including those who migrated to Pakistan, are considered state subjects. The descendants of emigrants are considered state subjects for two generations.
* Permanent residents law prohibits non-permanent residents from permanent settlement in the state, acquiring immovable property, govt jobs, scholarships and aid.
* It was also interpreted as discriminatory against J&K women. It disqualified them from their state subject rights if they married non-permanent residents. But, in a landmark judgment in October 2002, J&K high court held that women married to non-permanent residents will not lose their rights. The children of such women don’t have succession rights.
WHY IS ARTICLE 35A BEING DEBATED?
* An NGO, We the Citizens, challenged 35A in SC in 2014 on grounds that it was not added to the Constitution through amendment under Article 368. It was never presented before Parliament, and came into effect immediately, the group argued.
* In another case in SC last month, two Kashmiri women argued that the state’s laws, flowing from 35A, had disenfranchised their children.
WHY ARE POLITICAL PARTIES & SEPARATISTS OPPOSED TO TINKERING WITH 35A?
Fear that it would lead to further erosion of J&K’s autonomy and trigger demographic change in Muslim majority valley. Political parties say Kashmir resolution lies in greater autonomy; separatists fan paranoia against possibility of Hindus ‘flooding’ the valley. However, in the last 70 years, demography of Kashmir Valley has remained unchanged even as Hindu majority in Jammu and Buddhists in Ladakh have rights to buy property and settle in the Valley.
The just-concluded 12th India-Japan annual summit was Narendra Modi and Shinzo Abe’s fourth consecutive meet.
The two leading Asian powers whose bilateral interplay is among the most happening engagements on the world stage has a direct impact on the Asian giant and a near-superpower: China.
Here are five major takeaways from the summit:
While the much-awaited deal on the purchase of ShinMaywa US-2 amphibious aircraft couldn’t be signed during this visit — it’s still a matter of when not if.
This breakthrough defence deal is a sign of the importance that Japan attaches to India considering the track record that the east-Asian country has not exported any sensitive defence-related equipment to any foreign country in the last 70 years.
The joint statement released after the Modi-Abe summit in Gandhinagar gave an indication of the upcoming breakthrough over the aircraft deal. “Japan’s readiness to provide its state-of-the-art US-2 amphibian aircraft was appreciated as symbolising the high degree of trust between the two countries. The two governments decided to continue their discussions in this regard.”
Joint exercises and growing strategic ties between India and Japan, with other powers like the United States and Australia, form the bedrock of fast expanding strategic relations between the two Asian powers.
Modi and Abe decided to take these strategic ties to an even higher level. Consider the following clause from the joint statement: “The two Prime Ministers welcomed the recently held annual Defence Ministerial Dialogue and the first Defence Industry Forum in Tokyo on 5 September, which was addressed by the two Defence Ministers as well as the discussions covering other promising initiatives in defence industry cooperation. They recognised the importance of enhancing interactions between governments and defence industries of the two countries in order to encourage equipment collaboration including defence and dual-use technologies.”
3. INDIA’S NORTHEAST:
Japan holds the unique distinction of being the only foreign power which is welcomed with open arms by India for the development of India’s north-eastern states and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
It’s not without reason that the Indo-Japan joint statement underlines the need for developing “smart islands” and improving the connectivity in all aspects. This has an undisclosed reference to Andaman and Nicobar Islands and what India, Japan may be planning together, with an eye on China, in these strategically located landmasses. As for the Indo-Japan joint plans with regard to the India’s northeast, consider the following clause of the joint statement: “The two Prime Ministers welcomed the India-Japan cooperation on development of India’s North Eastern Region (NER) as a concrete symbol of developing synergies between India’s Act East policy and Japan’s Free and Open Indo Pacific Strategy. In this context, they noted with satisfaction the setting up of the India-Japan Act East Forum. They appreciated the cooperation between Japan and North Eastern Region of India, ranging from key infrastructure such as road connectivity, electricity, water supply and sewage, to social and environmental sustainability such as afforestation and community empowerment, as well as people-to-people exchanges including the ‘IRIS Program’ inviting youth from the NER to Japan.”
4. BULLET TRAIN:
The Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR) project was indubitably the biggest optic of the Modi-Abe summit. The two sides exchanged notes for 100 billion yen (900 million US dollars) as the first Official Development Assistance or ODA loan for the project.
The Japanese have extended a soft loan for 50 years at an unbelievable interest rate of 0.1% for the $16 billion project. The terms of the loan also carry a grace period of 10 years for repayment, demonstrating how intrinsically close the Japanese have become in uplifting India’s infrastructure.
In a major brownie point to PM Modi, Shinzo Abe stood solidly with India on the issue of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. The Japanese side, for the first time, referred to Pakistan-Based terror outfits in the joint statement. This should go a long way in aiding India’s attempts to isolate Pakistan in the international community. “PM Narendra Modi and PM (Shinzo) Abe look forward to convening (the) 5th Japan-India consultation on terrorism and to strengthen cooperation against terrorist threats from groups including Al-Qaida, ISIS, JeM, LeT and their affiliates,” said the joint statement.
This is the second in September when Pakistan has come under fire at an international summit for its sins of omission and commission on the terror issue. For the first time, the BRICS Summit held earlier this month agreed to a strongly worded BRICS Declaration slamming Pakistan without naming it, as it “deplored” terror attacks in member countries and the “violence caused” by Pakistan-based terror outfits. The part that should further aggravate Pakistan’s heartache is that it was hosted by its all-weather friend – China.
Source : News18
What is the need for the survey?
- Last year, after the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking placed India at a lowly 130 out of 150 countries.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked bureaucrats to explain the reasons for the country’s poor performance and directed them to work on improving the ranking.
Who has taken the survey?
- The survey is taken by the Niti Aayog and the Mumbai-based think tank, IDFC Institute, for about 10 months.
- It reveals that the efforts of the Centre and state governments to ease the system of permits and clearances notwithstanding, most entrepreneurs still feel hobbled (shuffled) by the country’s regulatory environment.
How much is the sample size and what industry is chosen to take data?
- The survey of more than 3,000 manufacturing enterprises across the country shows that most firms do not use the single-window systems for business and regulatory clearances.
Which state has topped the ease of doing business survey?
- The survey shows that even in the best performing state, Tamil Nadu, the process takes more than 60 days — on average it takes nearly four months to set up a business in India.
- But the Centre repeatedly claiming that a firm can be incorporated in less than a week.
Does the reality and claims match about starting of a business?
- The gap between claims and ground realities suggests that the government’s outreach system requires sprucing up.
- But the gap is also a sign of a persistent problem with governance in India: The difficulty of cutting the red tape of the lower bureaucracy. This explains why on an average, entrepreneurs need more than 100 days to get a construction permit.
What are the remarks by World Bank?
- The World Bank’s report, last year, had also highlighted that delays in issuing construction permits affected the ease of doing business in India.
- The Bank’s report came in for criticism — some of it justified — by Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of Law and Justice and Electronics and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad, who released the Niti Aayog-IDFC report.
- But the government cannot ignore the similarities in the two reports when the economy is slowing down and generating new jobs looks even more of a challenge.
What are the major sectors surveyed?
- The textiles, food processing and non-metallic minerals sectors account for almost two-thirds of the firms surveyed by the Niti Aayog and IDFC.
- Entrepreneurs in these employment-intensive sectors are more likely to face problems and securing construction and other permits, compared to the capital-intensive ones.
How the survey should impact the governance?
- The survey should serve as a wake-up call to government and a reminder that over two decades after economic reforms the Indian state is still flailing when it comes to easing the path for entrepreneurs.
Source : The New Indian Express