J&K freezes govt appointments over domicile status

J&K freezes govt appointments over domicile status

A vendor pushes his cart during light snowfall in Srinagar, Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. (PTI Photo/S. Irfan)

Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to freeze all government appointments till a decision on granting domicile status to outsiders is taken.

Sources told DH that the decision to freeze government appointments, for the time being, was taken after Jammu and Kashmir High Court withdrew a controversial invitation to job applicants from outside the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state, now carved into two UTs after its special status was scrapped on August 5.

Jammu and Kashmir's unit of the BJP and other opposition parties had protested vociferously when the High Court recently threw open applications for 33 vacant, non-gazetted posts in district courts in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to candidates from across India following the nullification of Articles 370 and 35A.

"Not only from the opposition parties, but the Jammu and Kashmir BJP is also building pressure on the Central government to protect employment and land ownership rights of Jammu and Kashmir residents like Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, besides other northeastern states. Under the new arrangement every job advertised in Jammu and Kashmir will not be open to all across India," sources said.

They said keeping in view the huge unemployment among youth, the union territory administration is likely to keep a rider for outsiders that only locals can apply for government jobs in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Domicile certificates will be issued to non-locals, who have lived in Jammu and Kashmir for at least 12 years after formal bifurcation of J&K into two UTs on October 31.  However, it will not be on the pattern of Article 371,” sources added.

Immediately after the revocation of Article 370, then governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Satya Pal Malik on August 28 had announced one of the largest single recruitment drives to fill at least 50,000 vacant posts in the government departments within a span of two-three months. However, the process is yet to start.

“There are more than 50,000 vacancies in various government departments. But the process to fill these can’t be started till the decision of domicile status is not taken. At least till the next few months, the recruitment process will remain frozen,” a senior government official told DH.

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