The State Administrative Council (SAC), which met on Thursday, has approved reservation benefits to people living along the international border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir.
The development comes after the Union cabinet gave its nod to 10 per cent quota for poor among the general categories in Jammu and Kashmir and also approved the provision for SC/ST reservation in promotion in government jobs in the state. Since the state is under President's Rule, the Cabinet at its meeting on Tuesday took these decisions, said Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh.
An official statement issued by the SAC said, "The SAC under the chairmanship of Governor Satya Pal Malik has approved the draft amendments in the 'Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act-2014' for extending the benefits of reservation to persons residing in the areas along the international border."
The IB covers a population of around 3 lakh people spread over 350 villages in the Jammu Division.
"The amendments shall meet the longstanding demand of the people residing in the areas adjoining the international border for their overall socio-economic and educational development," the statement said.
"The said demand was examined in consultation with the J&K State Commission for Backward Classes and it was felt that persons residing in the areas adjoining the international border are similarly situated as the persons residing in the areas adjoining the Actual Line of Control (ALC) so far as their socio-economic backwardness is concerned and thereby qualify for inclusion within the ambit of reservation at par with persons living in areas adjoining the ALC," it added.
"However, as per the recommendations of the J&K State Commission for Backward Classes, the areas falling within 6 km from the international border shall be covered within the meaning of reservation. List of such villages shall be notified while framing rules once the ordinance is promulgated," the statement said.
As per the existing reservation rules, 3 per cent reservation is admissible to people residing at LoC in direct recruitment. A reservation of 3 per cent is also available to the people residing on ALC in professional institutions.
"With this amendment, ALC and international border will be considered as one category for purposes of seeking reservation in direct recruitment and in promotions. This will benefit a large number of people residing in the areas adjoining the IB to reap the benefits of reservation like other categories.
"Following the approval of the proposal by the SAC today, the Social Welfare Department will process the draft amendment for further consideration of the government of India and the Ministry of Home Affairs for promulgation of the Ordinance by the competent authority," the statement said.