- According to the constitution of India, Article 370 provides certain provision to the state of Jammu and Kashmir granting it special autonomy.
- The article says that the provision of Article 238, which was omitted from the Constitution in 1956 when Indian States were reorganized, shall not apply to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
- B.R. Ambedkar, the principal drafter of the Indian Constitution, had refused to draft Article 370.
- In 1949, the then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had directed Kashmiri leader Sheikh Abdullah to consult Ambedkar (Then law minister) to prepare the draft of a suitable article to be included in the constitution.
- Except for defence, foreign affairs and communication, all other law passed by Indian parliament need to be passed by Indian Parliament need to be passed by the state government before they are made applicable. This was specified in the Instrument of Accession signed by Maharaja Hari Singh when the agreed to join the Union of India in 1947, instead of going with Pakistan.
- As a result of this, the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir are governed by state-specific laws which come under the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, instead of those for the rest of India.
- This article, along with Article 5 that defines of contours of jurisdiction of Indian Parliament regarding lawmaking for the state, cannot be amended.
- The 1952 Delhi Agreement also specified that the state should have its own flag in addition to the Union flag and they should have the same status.
- This arrangement was further ratified by the 1974 agreement between the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the then Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Sheikh Abdulla (appointed by Hari Singh).
- It was agreed that head of state called Sadar-i-Riyasat (or the Prime Minister) was to be elected by the state legislature.
- The agreement apposed imposition of Article 352, empowering the president to proclaim general emergency in the state.
- Article 370 of the Indian constitution deals with the special status given to the states of Jammu and Kashmir.
- It provides a fairly high degree of autonomy to the state, enables the state to have its own constitution (unique in an Indian context) which permits the state to give some special privileges to its “Permanent residents”.
- One such special privilege is that only a permanent resident is that only a permanent resident can land in the state and citizens from other Indian state face some restrictions.
What is Article – 370
- Jammu and Kashmir’s citizens have dual citizenship.
- Jammu and Kashmir’s national flag is different.
- Jammu and Kashmir’s legislative assembly’s term is 6 years whereas its 5 years for the States of India.
- The orders of the Supreme Court of India are not valid in Jammu – Kashmir.
- Parliament of India may make laws in extremely limited areas in terms of Jammu and Kashmir.
- In Jammu – Kashmir, if a woman marries a person of any other States of India, citizenship to the female ends.
- If a woman marries a man in other Indian States, She loses her citizenship, whereas if any woman marries a Pakistani, She will be entitled to have a citizenship of Jammu and Kashmir.
- Because of Section 370, RTI does not apply in Kashmir, RTE is not implemented and CBI-CAG does not apply. Indian laws are not applicable.
- Shariat law is applicable to women in Kashmir.
- There are no rights to panchayats in Kashmir minorities in Kashmir (Hindu-Sikh) does not get 16% reservation.
- Due of section 370, Outsiders cannot own land in Kashmir.
- Indian parliament doesn’t have any major rights over Kashmir it can only control issues of defence international relations and communication.
History of Article – 370
- At the time of independence it was argued that Kashmir was not ripe enough for integration and felt a need to keep it exempted from the basic fundamental right. This was the main reason for the insertion of Article 370.
- The provision was drafted in 1947 by Sheikh Abdullah, who had by then been appointed Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir by Maharaja Hari Singh and Jawahar Lal Nehru.
- Sheikh Abdullah had argued that Article 370 should not be placed under temporary provisions of the constitution. He wanted, ‘Iron clad Autonomy’ for the state, which centre didn’t comply with.
Provision of Article – 370
- Under Article 370, the centre has no power to declare financial emergency under Article 360 in the state. It can declare emergency in the state only in case of war or external aggression.
- The Union government can therefore not declare emergency on grounds of internal disturbance or imminent danger unless it is made at the request or with the concurrence of the state government.
Temporary Provision – The article come with a tag that said it was temporary giving hope that the state would also be integrated with time, however the day sadly has not yet come. The main clause for repealing this article was when there would be real peace and also when the people of the state approved of this arrangement.
Special Provision – Along with Article 35A of the Indian constitution, it allows the state to prefer the Jammu and Kashmir “Citizens” for.
- Employment under the state government.
- Acquisition of immovable property in the state.
- Settlement in the state.
- Right to scholarships and such other form of aid as states government may provide.
Pros & Cons
- The major advantages which residents of Jammu and Kashmir enjoys, is that no outsider is allowed to purchase land in Jammu and Kashmir. This is a big advantage as is protects lands of peoples from outsiders like rich businessman.
- It’s not easy for outsider to operate their business here. This helps local residents in making more profit. It also reduces competition.
- It has contained population blast in Jammu and Kashmir. Except the city of Jammu. There is very less population in other area.
- It has contained prices of real estate. If article 370 is removed then the prices of property will go very high.
- Lack of Medical facilities. No Single private hospital is there in Jammu which includes adjoining districts.
- Terrorism in state is because of 370 and because of Pakistan’s claim over Kashmir.
- Lack of basic modern facilities like high speed internet, 24 hours electricity, 24 hours water supply.
- Less competition makes the progress of students slow and dull.
- No opportunity for state student’s to appear in other state exams.
- No industrial sector available.
- Jammu is always ignored in comparison to Kashmir just because it’s an international issue.
- It has hindered the progress of our state to a large extent.
- Corruption is much more in Jammu and Kashmir then from others because of special status and laws.
- Only Muslim can become chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, no Hindu can become CM of Jammu and Kashmir.
- It has reduced the participation of non Muslim community in politics and other spheres.
- Education has suffered a lot due to this.
- Less GDP as well as revenue.
- Less jobs and unemployment are the major problems due to this article.
- Lacks of control of Government of India and their policies on our state.
The Repealing of the Article – 370
- The Article states under the clause 3 that the president may declare this article shall cease to be operative by public notification after recommendation of the constituent assembly of Jammu and Kashmir and is willing to recommend its revocation.
- Many claim to have a negative through about the Article 370 as it disqualifies women from the state of property rights.
- However it is less known that the article itself was gender neutral but the definition of permanent residents in the State constitution-based on the notifications issued in April 1927 and June 1932 during the Maharajah’s rule was thought to be discriminatory.
Some Kay Points
- Article 370 was eventually written by Gopalaswami Ayyangar. This article gives special status and autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir.
- Because of Article 370, the Indian Parliament cannot increase or reduce the borders of the state in any way and the state is exempted from the complete applicability of the Constitution of India. The state is permitted to have its own constitution.
- Central legislative powers over the state are reduced to just three subjects of defence, foreign affairs and communications.
- Other constitution provision of the central Government is applicable in the only if the State Government gives nod to it.
- The Article 370 could be abrogated or amended only if the State’s constituent Assembly makes recommendation for its.
- a) Visa dispute
- In March 2016, India dragged the US to WTO’s dispute settlement body against the latter’s measures imposing increased fees on certain applicants for L-1 and H-1B visa categories.
- India has stated that the move would impact Indian IT professionals.
- India has alleged that the US is violating its obligations under General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) as well as the GATS Annex on Movement of Natural Persons Supplying Services, to not discriminate against or between non-US service providers.
Congressional Research Service (CRS) report
- A Congressional report has warned American lawmakers that if visa dispute between India and US moves to formal settlement phase, it could possibly result in WTO-authorised trade retaliation against the U.S.
- Report said India contends, among other things, that the 2010 and 2015 fee increases do not comply with “most-favoured-nation (MFN) treatment” under the GATS.
- In its analysis, CRS noted that the petition fees increases mandated by the 2010 and 2015 acts are “arguably protectionist” because they “may exceed” the government’s cost in processing a visa applicant.
- It also could be a punitive measure targeting certain employers perceived by some Members of Congress as abusers of the foreign worker visas.
- b) Defence cooperation
- The U.S Congress is planning to pass the National Defence Authorisation Act 2017 The draft in this regard was recently released.
- NDAA seeks executive action to “recognise India’s status as a major defence partner of the United States.”
- The U.S has already recognised India as a “major defence partner” in June, during Prime Minister Modi’s visit, but the implications of it remains undefined.
NDAA 2017 on India-US defence ties
- It mandates to “designate an individual within the executive branch who has experience in defense acquisition and technology” to ensure the success of bilateral defence ties and “to help resolve remaining issues impeding” them.
- It also calls for “strengthening the effectiveness of the U.S.-India Defence Trade and Technology Initiative and the durability of the Department of Defence’s “India Rapid Reaction Cell,” a special unit that reviews ties with India.
- “Major Defence Partner” is based on the concept of the US treating India as its closest ally and partner for the purpose of technology transfer.
- Both sides reviewed the progress in defence ties in recent years, and welcomed the progress achieved under the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) intended to promote opportunities for co-production and co-development of weapon systems and platforms.
- In the past two years, some major agreements were signed:
- a) The Defence Framework Agreement in 2015, which laid a blueprint for collaboration between the defence establishments
- b) The logistics support agreement Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA).
1.2 HEART OF ASIA (HOA) CONFERENCE
Why in News?
- Recently, India hosted the 6th Ministerial Conference of Heart of Asia (HoA) in Amritsar.
Amritsar Declaration: Key Highlights
- It called for immediate elimination of terrorism to help the war-ravaged country in its political and economic transition.
- State-sponsored terrorism was identified as a key challenge and members agreed upon a concerted effort to dismantle all kinds of terrorism.
- Members reiterated their belief in principles of sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, sovereign equality of nations as enshrined in the United Nations Charter.
- Members expressed their commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Right.
- Members called up for leveraging the cultural heritage of the region to drive economic and social development.
- Members consented on eliminating non-tariff barriers to trade.
- Members concerned about the increase in production and cultivation of opium in Afghanistan, the volume of drug trafficking and demand in the HoA Region and beyond.