The Administrative Council (AC), chaired by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, recently approved crucial changes to the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989. The amendments focus on incorporating a definition of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) within the Act to facilitate their reservation in grassroots democratic institutions.
Draft Submission and Examination
The draft J&K Panchayati Raj Act (Amendment) Bill 2023 was initially submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India. Following this, observations raised by the MHA were carefully examined, leading to necessary amendments being incorporated into the revised draft.
Key Amendments Proposed
Incorporation of OBC Definition: The Amendment bill proposes defining OBCs to ensure their reservation in Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs).
- Disqualification and Removal Process: The bill outlines the method of disqualification from membership of Halqa Panchayat, as well as the suspension and removal procedures for Sarpanch, Naib-Sarpanch, and Panch by the Government.
Role of State Election Commissioner (SEC): The amendments detail the process for removal and conditions of service of the State Election Commissioner (SEC).
Objectives of Amendments
The proposed changes aim to enhance the effectiveness of the J&K Panchayati Raj Act, 1989. The focus is on ensuring transparency in the functioning of PRIs, aligning the Act constitutionally, and maintaining consistency with practices in other states where OBC reservation is provided alongside Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
Questions Related to Exams
What specific amendments have been approved in the J&K Panchayati Raj Act, 1989, regarding the reservation of Other Backward Classes (OBCs)?
What observations were raised by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on the draft J&K Panchayati Raj Act (Amendment) Bill 2023, and how were they addressed in the revised draft?
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