Fear and apprehensions of the permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of special status have escalated due to the recent domicile amendments. These amendments allow Indians from across the country to apply for local government jobs based on said criteria. These new domicile rules opened avenues of employment for non-permanent residents within the union territory. The Centre is currently faced with numerous criticisms as the new domicile rules can reduce the employment opportunities for the local youth.
On February 7th, 2020, with regards to Mukesh Kumar Vs the State of Uttarakhand case, the Supreme Court ruled that states are not legally bound to provide reservations to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in government jobs. The apex court had stated that individuals do not have the fundamental rights to claim reservations in the promotions. This is based on the provisions of the Indian constitution. This recent judgement is not new. The top court had pointed out the fact that reservations are not fundamental rights in several judgements in the past.
Recently, the Haryana government announced its policy of reserving 75 per cent of the State’s jobs in the private sector for candidates who are domiciled in the State. This is not a new case as the Andhra Pradesh government had passed similar legislation in 2019 and many States in India are in the line to enact such legislation to ensure employment to its unemployed population. The recent trend of ‘the locals first’ policy in job is more about fulfilling poll promises than ensuring job to the unemployed and it has several implications for the State, and the country as a whole. It not only acts as a hurdle to the hopes of the inter-state migratory population but also brings into question some of the constitutional dimensions which grant certain rights to all the citizens of India.
First Published – August 2018
On 5th of August 2019, the President of India promulgated the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019. It revokes the special status given to Jammu & Kashmir under Article 370 and Article 35A.
A separate Bill – the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019 – was introduced to bifurcate the State into two separate union territories of Jammu and Kashmir (with legislature), and Ladakh (without legislature).
Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 was also introduced to extend the reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in educational institutions and government jobs in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Corona pandemic since it hit the world has been successful not only in exposing the sorry state of health systems around the world but also able to put some hard questions to policymakers about issues of polity, society, and economy. India’s case has been no different than the others. In India, the pandemic and its impact has been most starkly visible in the long march of migrants to their native states for the lack of livelihood opportunities in the migrated cities and states. As this is the response of migrants, the host states are grappling with economic issues of slowdown and unemployment. And once again, many states have sought to answer those questions with old strategies, one of which is nativism