World Wetlands Day 2022


 World Wetlands Day celebrated at Sultanpur National Park .

  • Two new Ramsar sites, Khijadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat and Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary in U.P were announced on the occasion of World Wetlands day 2022.
  • On the occasion, “National Wetland Decadal Change Atlas” prepared by the Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad was also released highlighting the changes which have happened in Wetlands across the country in the past decade.

GS-III: Environment and Ecology (Conservation of Environment, Conventions regarding conservation of ecology)

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. What are wetlands?
  2. Importance of Wetlands
  3. Wetland disturbances
  4. World Wetlands Day
  5. What is a Ramsar Site?
  6. Ramsar Convention
  7. Sultanpur National Park

What are wetlands?

  • A wetland is a distinct ecosystem that is flooded by water, either permanently or seasonally, where oxygen-free processes prevail.
  • The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from other land forms or water bodies is the characteristic vegetation of aquatic plants, adapted to the unique hydric soil.
  • The main wetland types are swamp, marsh, bog, and fen; sub-types include mangrove forest, carr, pocosin, floodplains, mire, vernal pool, sink, and many others.
  • The largest wetlands include the Amazon River basin, the West Siberian Plain, the Pantanal in South America, and the Sundarbans in the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta.

Importance of Wetlands

Wetlands play a number of functions such as:

  • Water storage (flood control)
  • Groundwater replenishment
  • Shoreline stabilisation and storm protection
  • Water purification
  • Reservoirs of biodiversity
  • Pollination
  • Wetland products
  • Cultural values
  • Recreation and tourism
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation

Wetlands are also considered the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal life.

Wetland disturbances

Wetlands, the functions and services they provide as well as their flora and fauna, can be affected by several types of disturbances – the predominant ones include the following:

  • Enrichment/eutrophication
  • Organic loading and reduced dissolved oxygen
  • Contaminant toxicity
  • Acidification
  • Salinization
  • Sedimentation
  • Altered solar input (turbidity/shade)
  • Vegetation removal
  • Thermal alteration
  • Dehydration/aridification
  • Inundation/flooding
  • Habitat fragmentation
  • Other human presence
Human Activities that affect Wetlands:
  • Drainage
  • Development
  • Over-grazing
  • Mining
  • Unsustainable water use

Wetlands have historically been the victim of large draining efforts for real estate development, or flooding for use as recreational lakes or hydropower generation.

World Wetlands Day

  • World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on the 2nd of February as it marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar (Popularly known as Ramsar Convention).
  • The theme for World Wetlands Day  2022 “Wetlands Action for People and Nature”, which highlights the importance of actions to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands for humans and planetary health.
  • This day serves to recognize the influence and positive production that Wetlands have had on the world and in terms brings communities together for the benefit of Mother Nature.

What is a Ramsar Site?

  • A Ramsar site is a wetland site designated to be of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
  • India now has a network of 49 Ramsar sites covering an area of 10,93,636 hectares, the highest in South Asia. 
  • Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary in UP provides a safe wintering and staging ground for a large number of species of the Central Asian Flyway
  • Khijadia Wildlife Sanctuary is a coastal wetland with rich avifaunal diversity providing a safe habitat to endangered and vulnerable species.
  • Ramsar sites are recorded on the List of Ramsar wetlands of international importance.
  • The Ramsar Classification System for Wetland Type is a wetland classification developed within the Ramsar Convention intended as a means for fast identification of the main types of wetlands for the purposes of the Convention.
  • The countries with most sites are the United Kingdom with 175 and Mexico with 142.
  • The country with the greatest area of listed wetlands is Bolivia.

Ramsar Convention

  • The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands.
  • It is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where the Convention was signed in 1971.
  • The 2nd of February each year is World Wetlands Day, marking the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands.
  • The Convention’s mission is “the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world”.
  • Every three years, representatives of the Contracting Parties meet as the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP), the policy-making organ of the Convention which adopts decisions (Resolutions and Recommendations) to administer the work of the Convention and improve the way in which the Parties are able to implement its objectives.
Sultanpur National Park
  • It is from Haryana supports more than 220 species of resident, winter migratory and local migratory water birds at critical stages of their life cycles.
  • More than ten of these are globally threatened, including the critically endangered sociable lapwing, and the endangered Egyptian Vulture, Saker Falcon, Pallas’s Fish Eagle and Black-bellied Tern.
  • It is a bird paradise for bird watchers. It is famous for its migratory as well as resident birds.
  • The status of the park was upgraded to National Park under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 in July 1991.

-Source: Indian Express, PIB, The Hindu

Dilution of Lokayukta Powers in Kerala


Recently, the Kerala government has proposed to amend the Kerala Lokayukta Act, 1999 with an ordinance, a move that has drawn criticism from the opposition.

  • The proposed ordinance envisages to limit the powers of the anti-corruption watchdog.

GS-II: Polity and Governance (Constitutional and Non-Constitutional Bodies, Policies and Interventions on Transparency and Accountability in governance)

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. What are the Proposed Changes?
  2. About Lokayukta
  3. About Lokpal
  4. Other Important Points regarding the Lokpal
  5. Exception for Prime Minister

What are the Proposed Changes?

  • The Kerala cabinet has recommended to the Governor that he promulgates the ordinance.
  • The proposal sought to give the government powers to “either accept or reject the verdict of the Lokayukta, after giving an opportunity of being heard”.
  • By this ordinance, the quasi-judicial institution will turn into a toothless advisory body, whose orders will no longer be binding on the government.


  • The Lokayukta (also Lok Ayukta) (lokāyukta, “civil commissioner”) is an anti-corruption ombudsman organization in the Indian states.
  • Once appointed, Lokayukta cannot be dismissed nor transferred by the government, and can only be removed by passing an impeachment motion by the state assembly.
  • The Lokayukta, along with the Income Tax Department and the Anti-Corruption Bureau, mainly helps people publicise corruption among the Politicians and Government Officials.
  • Many acts of the Lokayukta have resulted in criminal or other consequences for those charged.
  • Maharashtra was the first state to introduce the institution of Lokayukta (considered the weakest Lokayukta due to lack of powers, staff, funds and an independent investigating agency).
  • On the other hand, the Karnataka Lokayukta is considered the most powerful Lokayukta in the country.
  • Karnataka Lokayukta is considered the most powerful Lokayukta in the country.

About Lokpal

  • The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013 establishes Lokpal for the Union and Lokayukta for States (Statutory Bodies) to inquire into allegations of corruption against certain public functionaries.
  • Composition: Lokpal will consist of a chairperson and a maximum of eight members, of which 50% shall be judicial members and 50% shall be from SC/ST/OBCs, minorities and women.
  • Appointment process: It is a two-stage process.
    • A search committee which recommends a panel of names to the high-power selection committee.
    • The selection committee comprises the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, the Leader of the Opposition, the Chief Justice of India (or his nominee) and an eminent jurist (nominated by President based on the recommendation of other members of the panel).
  • President will appoint the recommended names.
  • The jurisdiction of Lokpal extends to:
    • Anyone who is or has been Prime Minister, or a Minister in the Union government, or a Member of Parliament, as well as officials of the Union government under Groups A, B, C and D.
    • The chairpersons, members, officers and directors of any board, corporation, society, trust or autonomous body either established by an Act of Parliament or wholly or partly funded by the Centre.
    • Any society or trust or body that receives foreign contribution above Rs. 10 lakhs.

Other Important Points regarding the Lokpal

  • Salaries, allowances and service conditions: Salaries, allowances and other perks of the Lokpal chairperson will be the same as those for the Chief Justice of India; those for other members will be the same as those for a judge of the Supreme Court.
  • Inquiry wing and prosecution wing: Inquiry Wing for conducting preliminary inquiry and Prosecution Wing for the purpose of prosecution of public servants in relation to any complaint by the Lokpal under this Act.
  • Power with respect to CBI: Power of superintendence and direction over any investigation agency including CBI for cases referred to them by Lokpal. Transfer of officers of CBI investigating cases referred by Lokpal would need approval of Lokpal.
  • Timelines for enquiry, investigation: Act specifies a time limit of 60 days for completion of inquiry and 6 months for completion of investigation by the CBI. This period of 6 months can be extended by the Lokpal on a written request from CBI.
  • Suspension, removal of Chairperson and member of Lokpal: The Chairperson or any Member shall be removed from his office by order of the President on grounds of misbehaviour after the Supreme Court report. For that a petition has to be signed by at least one hundred Members of Parliament. Special Court shall be setup to hear and decide the cases referred by the Lokpal.

Exception for Prime Minister

  • The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013 does not allow a Lokpal inquiry if the allegation against the PM relates to international relations, external and internal security, public order, atomic energy and space.
  • Complaints against the PM are not to be probed unless the full Lokpal bench considers the initiation of inquiry and at least 2/3rds of the members approve it.
  • Such an inquiry against the PM (if conducted) is to be held in camera and if the Lokpal comes to the conclusion that the complaint deserves to be dismissed, the records of the inquiry are not to be published or made available to anyone.

About the Lokpal missing a director of inquiry

  • According to the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, there shall be a director of inquiry, not below the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of India, who shall be appointed by the Central government for conducting preliminary inquiries referred to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) by the Lokpal.
  • According to provisions contained under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, complaints in respect of public servants belonging to groups A, B, C or D are referred by the Lokpal to the CVC for a preliminary inquiry.

-Source: Indian Express

Assam-Arunachal Pradesh Border Dispute


Arunachal Pradesh, which was earlier a part of Assam, shares a boundary of roughly 800 km with the state—with frequent flare-ups reported along the border since the 1990s..

  • While the flashpoint this time was the ongoing construction of the Likabali-Durpai road being built under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), the boundary dispute between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh dates back to colonial times.

GS-II: Polity and Governance (Inter-State Relations)

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. Bone of contention: 1951
  2. Efforts at demarcation
  3. Flashpoints
  4. Likabali- Durbai road
  5. Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)

Bone of contention: 1951

  • Arunachal Pradesh, which was earlier a part of Assam, shares a boundary of roughly 800 km with the state—with frequent flare-ups reported along the border since the 1990s.
  • The dispute dates back to colonial times, when the British in 1873 announced the “inner line” regulation, demarcating an imaginary boundary between plains and the frontier hills, which were later designated as the North East Frontier Tracts in 1915.
  • The latter corresponds to the area that makes up present-day Arunachal Pradesh.
  • After Independence, the Assam government assumed administrative jurisdiction over the North East Frontier Tracts, which later became the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA) in 1954, and finally, the Union Territory (UT) of Arunachal Pradesh in 1972. It gained statehood in 1987.
  • However, before it was carved out of Assam, a sub-committee headed by then Assam chief minister Gopinath Bordoloi made some recommendations in relation to the administration of NEFA (under Assam) and submitted a report in 1951.
  • Based on the Bordoloi committee report, around 3,648 sq km of the “plain” area of Balipara and Sadiya foothills was transferred from Arunachal Pradesh (then NEFA) to Assam’s then Darrang and Lakhimpur districts.
  • Arunachal Pradesh has long held that the transfer was done without the consultation of its people.
  • They said, It was arbitrary, defective, and no tribal leader from Arunachal Pradesh was consulted before the land was transferred. They just decided to draw a line between the hills and plains
  • Arunachal had customary rights over these lands, considering the tribes living there would pay taxes to Ahom rulers.
  • Assam, on the other hand, feels that this demarcation as per 1951 notification is constitutional and legal.

Efforts at demarcation

  • The border issues came to the fore after Arunachal Pradesh became a UT in 1972.
  • Between 1971 and 1974, there were multiple efforts to demarcate the boundary but it did not work out.
  • In April 1979, a high-powered tripartite committee was constituted to delineate the boundary on the basis of Survey of India maps, as well as discussions with both sides.
  • By 1983-84, out of the 800 km, 489 km, mostly in the north bank of the Brahmaputra, were demarcated. However, further demarcation could not commence because Arunachal Pradesh did not accept the recommendations, and claimed several kilometres out of the 3,648 sq km that was transferred as per the 1951 notification.
  • Assam objected and filed a case in the Supreme Court in 1989, highlighting an “encroachment” made by Arunachal Pradesh.
  • To resolve the dispute between the two states, the apex court-appointed a local boundary commission in 2006, headed by a retired SC judge.
  • In September 2014, the local commission submitted its report. Several recommendations were made (some of which suggested Arunachal Pradesh get back some of the territory which was transferred in 1951), and it was suggested that both states should arrive at a consensus through discussions. .


  • According to a 2008 research paper from the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, clashes were first reported in 1992 when the Arunachal Pradesh state government alleged that people from Assam were “building houses, markets and even police stations on its territory”.
  • Since then intermittent clashes have been taking place, making the border tense.
  • Another paper by the same institute in 2020 said that Assam had raised the issue of Arunachal Pradesh encroaching on its forest land, and had periodically launched eviction drives, leading to tensions on the ground.
  • One was in 2005 in Bhalukpong in Arunachal Pradesh’s West Kameng district and the other in 2014 in the Behali Reserve Forest area, in the foothills between Assam’s Sonitpur and Arunachal’s Papumpare districts.

Likabali- Durbai road:

  • The recent flashpoint is the ongoing Likabali-Durpai  PMGSY road project in Arunachal Pradesh’s Lower Siang district—Assam claims that some parts of the road, under construction since 2019, falls under its Dhemaji district.
  • The road, about 65 km to 70 km, is meant to connect at least 24 villages between Arunachal Pradesh’s Durpai and Likabali and has been granted after years of petitioning by local residents.
  • Likabali is one of the oldest towns in the foothills and has long been a site of dispute.
  • Recently, a culvert under construction close to Hime, one of the villages through which the road runs, was burnt by “unidentified miscreants from the Assam side.
  • Following that, there were unconfirmed reports of “firing in the air” by local residents from the Arunachal Pradesh side as touching disputed territory.

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)

  • The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) is a nationwide plan in India to provide good all-weather road connectivity to unconnected villages.
  • This Centrally Sponsored Scheme was introduced in 2000.
  • The PMGSY is under the authority of the Ministry of Rural Development.

PMGSY – Phase I

PMGSY – Phase I was launched in 2000 as a 100 % centrally sponsored scheme with an objective to provide single all-weather road connectivity to eligible unconnected habitation of designated population size for overall socio-economic development of the areas.

PMGSY – Phase II

  • The Phase II of PMGSY was approved in 2013, and while the ongoing PMGSY – I continued – under PMGSY phase II, the roads already built for village connectivity was to be upgraded to enhance rural infrastructure.
  • For the 12th Five Year Plan period a target of 50,000 Km length under PMGSY-II. 75 per cent of the cost of the upgradation was by the Centre and 25 per cent by the state.
  • For hill states, desert areas, Schedule V areas and Naxal-affected districts, 90 per cent of cost was borne by the Centre.


  • The Phase III was approved by the Cabinet in 2019.
  • It involves consolidation of Through Routes and Major Rural Links connecting habitations to Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs), Higher Secondary Schools and Hospitals.
  • Under the PMGSY-III Scheme, it is proposed to consolidate 1,25,000 Km road length in the States, and the duration of the scheme is 2019-20 to 2024-25.
  • The funds would be shared in the ratio of 60:40 between the Centre and State for all States except for 8 North Eastern and 3 Himalayan States (Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh & Uttarakhand) for which it is 90:10.

-Source: Indian Express

Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY)

The Development & Monitoring Evaluation Office of NITI Aayog has evaluated the centrally sponsored schemes of Ministry of Women & Child Development including PMMVY and its recommendations have been considered.

  • Accordingly, it is envisaged that the written consent and the aadhaar of husband not to be a mandatory criteria in the modified guidelines of PMMVY component under Mission Shakti in order to facilitate inclusion of single mother and abandoned mother.

GS-II: Social Justice and Governance (Issues related to Women and Health, Government Initiatives and Policies, Welfare Schemes)

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY)
  2. Concerns with PMMVY
  3. Way Forward

Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY)

  • Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) is a maternity benefit programme being implemented in all districts of the country with effect from 2017.
  • It is a centrally sponsored scheme being executed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • Under PMMVY Cash benefits are provided to pregnant women in their bank account directly to meet enhanced nutritional needs and partially compensate for wage loss.
  • All Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM), (excluding those who are in regular employment with the Central Government or the State Governments or PSUs or those who are in receipt of similar benefits) who have their pregnancy on or after 1st January 2017 for the first child in the family – are the beneficiaries targeted by the scheme.
  • Beneficiaries receive a cash benefit of Rs. 5,000 in three installments on fulfilling the following conditions:
    • Early registration of pregnancy
    • Ante-natal check-up
    • Registration of the birth of the child and completion of first cycle of vaccination for the first living child of the family.
  • Implementation of the scheme is closely monitored by the central and state governments through the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana – Common Application Software (PMMVY-CAS).

Concerns with PMMVY

  • Poor Performance: The scheme’s performance has been poor, forcing an immediate need for improvement.
  • Exclusion of beneficiaries: The Government of India’s yearly estimate of the intended recipients has remained consistent throughout time. Because the objective has stayed constant throughout time, it barely covers 40% of the eligible population.
  • Expenditure Deficit: According to data published by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, enrolment and payouts under the plan have decreased in the previous two years.
  • Improper Implementation: More than half of registered beneficiaries did not receive all three installments in 2020-21, resulting in a 9% decline in participation in the plan.

Way Forward

  • PMMVY maternity benefits ca be extended to the second live birth and all live births can be included in the maternity benefit coverage – to increase the benefit coverage – especially for women in the unorganized sector who are more vulnerable to economic shocks and nutrition loss.
  • Since the PMMVY’s principal goal is to give partial salary compensation – the amount of the maternity benefits can be examined for a consideration of an increase.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should get 12 weeks of pay compensation totaling to Rs. 15,000 in accordance with the Maternity Benefit Act of 1961, which stipulates 12 weeks of maternity leave for women with two or more children.

-Source: The Hindu, PIB

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) Scheme


Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) workers are still waiting for almost ₹3,360 crore in pending wage payments, with the largest pending payments in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

  • This comes as the Centre reduced its Budget allocation for the rural jobs scheme by 25% in comparison to revised estimates for the current year.

GS-II: Social Justice and Governance (Health and Poverty related issues, Government Interventions and Policies, Issues arising out of the design and implementation of Government Policies)

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)
  2. How MGNREGA came to be?
  3. Features of MGNREGA
  4. Objectives of MGNREGA

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)

  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, MGNREGA, is an Indian labour law and social security measure that aims to guarantee the ‘right to work’. This act was passed in September 2005.
  • It aims to enhance livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
  • It covers all districts of India except the ones with 100% urban population.
  • MGNREGA is to be implemented mainly by gram panchayats (GPs). The involvement of contractors is banned.
  • Apart from providing economic security and creating rural assets, NREGA can help in protecting the environment, empowering rural women, reducing rural-urban migration and fostering social equity, among others.

How MGNREGA came to be?

  • In 1991, the P.V Narashima Rao government proposed a pilot scheme for generating employment in rural areas with the following goals:
    • Employment Generation for agricultural labour during the lean season.
    • Infrastructure Development
    • Enhanced Food Security
  • This scheme was called the Employment Assurance Scheme which later evolved into the MGNREGA after the merger with the Food for Work Programme in the early 2000s.
Features of MGNREGA
  • It gives a significant amount of control to the Gram Panchayats for managing public works, strengthening Panchayati Raj Institutions.
  • Gram Sabhas are free to accept or reject recommendations from Intermediate and District Panchayats.
  • It incorporates accountability in its operational guidelines and ensures compliance and transparency at all levels.
Objectives of MGNREGA
  • Provide 100 days of guaranteed wage employment to rural unskilled labour
  • Increase economic security
  • Decrease migration of labour from rural to urban areas.

-Source: The Hindu

Electoral bonds


Electoral bonds worth ₹1,213 crore were sold by the State Bank of India (SBI) in January, with most of them (₹784.84 crore) being encashed in the New Delhi branch, pointing towards national parties, while the Mumbai branch sold the most (₹489.6 crore worth), according to a Right to Information.


GS-II: Polity and Governance (Governance and Government Policies)

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. What are Electoral Bonds?
  2. Points in the Plea against the Electoral Bonds scheme
  3. Government’s response defending the Electoral Bonds scheme

What are Electoral Bonds?

  • An electoral bond is like a promissory note that can be bought by any Indian citizen or company incorporated in India from select branches of State Bank of India.
  • The citizen or corporate can then donate the same to any eligible political party of his/her choice.
  • The bonds are similar to bank notes that are payable to the bearer on demand and are free of interest.
  • An individual or party will be allowed to purchase these bonds digitally or through cheque.
Points in the Plea against the Electoral Bonds scheme
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Election Commission had both said the sale of electoral bonds had become an avenue for shell corporations and entities to park illicit money and even proceeds of bribes with political parties.
  • Data obtained through RTI has shown that illegal sale windows have been opened in the past to benefit certain political parties. There is a serious apprehension that any further sale of electoral bonds before the upcoming State elections in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Assam would further increase illegal and illicit funding of political parties through shell companies.
  • The plea said that the Electoral Bonds scheme “opened doors to unlimited political donations, even from foreign companies, thereby legitimising electoral corruption at a huge scale, while at the same time ensuring complete non-transparency in political funding”.
Government’s response defending the Electoral Bonds scheme
  • The Government said that the Electoral Bond Scheme allowed anonymity to political donors to protect them from “political victimisation”. The earlier system of cash donations had raised a “concern among the donors that, with their identity revealed, there would be competitive pressure from different political parties receiving donation”.
  • The Ministry of Finance’s affidavit in the top court had dismissed the Election Commission’s version that the invisibility afforded to benefactors was a “retrogade step” and would wreck transparency in political funding.

J&K Delimitation Commission Likely to Get Another Extension


The J&K Delimitation Commission is likely to get a second extension of its term this month.


GS II- Governance, Representation Of People’s Act

Dimensions of the article:
  1. Details
  2. Delimitation in J&K
  3. Delimitation Commission Act, 2002
  4. Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019


  • The unique provision for J&K was enabled through an amendment introduced in the J&K Reorganisation Act, 2019.
  • The Act passed by Parliament bifurcated the State of J&K into the Union Territories of J&K (with a legislature) and Ladakh (without legislature).
  • The J&K Assembly was dissolved in November 2018 and the region has been under Central rule since June 2018.
  • Section 63 was introduced in the J&K Reorganisation Act so that the delimitation exercise can be conducted smoothly without overlapping with other provisions of the Delimitation Commission Act, 2002.
  • The provision did not require any separate legislation as it was incorporated in the primary Act.
  • The full Delimitation Commission is yet to be appointed.
  • The delimitation will be done for 90 seats as 24 seats fall in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
  • The exercise will take at least a year to complete. Till then, no  Elections can be held

Delimitation in J&K

  • Assembly seats in J&K were delimited in 1963, 1973 and 1995.
  • Prior to August 5, 2019, carving out of J&K’s Assembly seats was carried out under the J&K Constitution and Jammu and Kashmir Representation of the People Act, 1957.
  • Until then, the delimitation of Lok Sabha seats in J&K was governed by the Constitution of India.
  • However, the delimitation of the state’s Assembly was governed by the J&K Constitution and J&K Representation of the People Act, 1957.
  • There was no census in the state in 1991 and hence no Delimitation Commission was set up by the state until 2001 census.
Concerns raised over Delimitation in J&K
  • Concerns had been expressed over how the delimitation process may end up favoring the Jammu region over Kashmir in terms of the seats.
  • Arguments have been made on how Ladakh has been underrepresented, with demands for statehood/sixth schedule.
  • It is argued that seats for STs should’ve been divided in both Jammu province & Kashmir province, as the ST population is almost equal.

Delimitation Commission Act, 2002

An Act to provide for the readjustment of:
  • The allocation of seats in the House of the People to the States
  • The total number of seats in the Legislative Assembly of each State
  • The division of each State and each Union territory having a Legislative Assembly into territorial constituencies for elections to the House of the People and Legislative Assemblies of the States and Union territories
  • and for matters connected therewith.
  • Delimitation literally means the act or process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a country to represent changes in population.
Delimitation is done in order to:
  • Provide equal representation to equal segments of a population.
  • Fair division of geographical areas so that one political party doesn’t have an advantage over others in an election.
  • Follow the principle of “One Vote One Value”.
The problems with delimitation are:
  • States that take little interest in population control could end up with a greater number of seats in Parliament. The southern states that promoted family planning faced the possibility of having their seats reduced.
  • In 2008, Delimitation was done based on the 2001 census, but the total number of seats in the Assemblies and Parliament decided as per the 1971 Census was not changed.
  • The constitution has also capped the number of Lok Shaba & Rajya Sabha seats to a maximum of 550 & 250 respectively and increasing populations are being represented by a single representative.

Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019

  • The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019 was introduced in Rajya Sabha on August 5, 2019 by the Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Amit Shah.
  • The Bill provides for reorganisation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh.
  • The Bill reorganises the state of Jammu and Kashmir into: (i) the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir with a legislature, and (ii) the Union Territory of Ladakh without a legislature.
  • The Union Territory of Ladakh will comprise Kargil and Leh districts, and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will comprise the remaining territories of the existing state of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will be administered by the President, through an administrator appointed by him known as the Lieutenant Governor.
  • The Union Territory of Ladakh will be administered by the President, through a Lieutenant Governor appointed by him.
  • The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir will be the common High Court for the Union Territories of Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir.  Further, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will have an Advocate General to provide legal advice to the government of the Union Territory.  
  • The Legislative Council of the state of Jammu and Kashmir will be abolished.  Upon dissolution, all Bills pending in the Council will lapse. 



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