Jammu and Kashmir (union territory)

Jammu and Kashmir
Region administered by India as a union territory
Pahalgam Valley.jpg
Akhnoor Fort - Jammu - Jammu and Kashmir - DSC 0001.jpg
Jammu and Kashmir
A map of the disputed Kashmir region showing the Indian-administered union territory of Jammu and Kashmir
A map of the disputed Kashmir region showing the Indian-administered union territory of Jammu and Kashmir
Country India
Union territory 31 October 2019
Capital Srinagar (May–October)
Jammu (Nov-April)[1]
Districts 20
Government
 • Body Government of Jammu and Kashmir
 • Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha
 • Chief Minister Vacant
 • Legislature Unicameral (114 seats)[2]
 • Parliamentary constituency Rajya Sabha (4)
Lok Sabha (5)
 • High Court Jammu and Kashmir High Court
Area
[a]
 • Total 42,241 km2 (16,309 sq mi)
Highest elevation 7,135 m (23,409 ft)
Lowest elevation 247 m (810 ft)
Population
 (2011)
 • Total 12,267,013[4]
Languages
 • Official Kashmiri, Dogri, Urdu, Hindi, English.[5][6]
 • Spoken Punjabi, Pahari, Gojri, Dadri[7][8] Bhadarwahi,[9] Bateri,[10] Shina,[11] Burushaski[12] and Khowar[13]
Time zone UTC+05:30 (IST)
ISO 3166 code IN-JK
Vehicle registration JK
Website https://www.jk.gov.in

Jammu and Kashmir[b] is a region administered by India as a union territory, and constituting the southern portion of the larger Kashmir region, which has been the subject of a dispute between India and Pakistan since 1947, and between India and China since 1962.[15][16] The region of Jammu and Kashmir is separated by the Line of Control from the Pakistani-administered territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan in the west and north respectively. It lies to the north of the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab and to the west of Ladakh, which is also subject to the dispute as a part of Kashmir, and administered by India as a union territory.

Provisions for the formation of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir were contained within the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which was passed by both houses of the Parliament of India in August 2019. The act re-constituted the former state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories, 'Jammu and Kashmir' and 'Ladakh', with effect from 31 October 2019.[17]

Terminology

Jammu and Kashmir is named after the two regions it encompasses – the Jammu region and the Kashmir Valley.

The Government of Pakistan and Pakistani sources refer to Jammu and Kashmir as a part of "Indian-occupied Kashmir" ("IOK") or "Indian-held Kashmir" (IHK);[18][19] The Government of India and Indian sources in turn, call the territory under Pakistan control "Pakistan-occupied Kashmir" ("POK") or "Pakistan-held Kashmir" ("PHK").[20][21] "Indian-administered Kashmir" and "Indian-controlled Kashmir" are often used by neutral sources.[22]

History

The state of Jammu and Kashmir was accorded special status by Article 370 of the Constitution of India. In contrast to other states of India, Jammu and Kashmir had its own constitution, flag and administrative autonomy.[23] Indian citizens from other states were not allowed to purchase land or property in Jammu and Kashmir.[24]

Jammu and Kashmir had three distinct areas: Hindu-majority Jammu region, Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley and Buddhist-dominated Ladakh.[25] Unrest and violence persisted in the Kashmiri Valley and, following a disputed state election in 1987, an insurgency persisted in protest over autonomy and rights.[25][26]

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in the 2014 Indian general election and five years later included in their 2019 election manifesto the revocation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India, in order to bring Jammu and Kashmir to equal status with other states.[25]

A resolution to repeal Article 370 was passed by both the houses of the Parliament of India in August 2019. At the same time, a reorganisation act was also passed, which would reconstitute the state into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.[27] The reorganisation took effect from 31 October 2019.[17]

Geography

Topography

Topographic map of Jammu and Kashmir, with visible altitude for the Kashmir valley and Jammu region.

Jammu and Kashmir is home to several valleys such as the Kashmir Valley, Tawi Valley, Chenab Valley, Poonch Valley, Sind Valley and Lidder Valley.[28] The Kashmir valley is 100 km (62 mi) wide and 15,520.3 km2 (5,992.4 sq mi) in area.[29] The Himalayas divide the Kashmir valley from the Tibetan plateau while the Pir Panjal range, which encloses the valley from the west and the south, separates it from the Great Plains of northern India.[30] Along the northeastern flank of the Valley runs the main range of the Himalayas.[31] This valley has an average height of 1,850 metres (6,070 ft) above sea-level,[29] but the surrounding Pir Panjal range has an average elevation of 10,000 feet (3,000 m).[32] The Jhelum River is the major Himalayan river which flows through the Kashmir valley.[33] The Tawi, Ravi and Chenab are the other important rivers flowing through the region.[34]

Administrative divisions

Jammu and Kashmir union territory (J and K) is bordered in carmine colour. Ladakh union territory (L) is bordered in blue colour.

The union territory of Jammu and Kashmir consists of two divisions: Jammu Division and Kashmir Division, and is further divided into 20 districts.[35]

Government and politics

The union territory of Jammu and Kashmir is administered under the provisions of Article 239 of the Constitution of India. The Article 239A, originally formulated for the union territory of Puduchery, will also be applicable to Jammu and Kashmir.[36]

Executive branch

The President of India appoints a Lieutenant Governor for the union territory.[36]

A Council of Ministers led by a Chief Minister is appointed by the Lieutenant Governor from the membership of the legislative assembly. Their role is to advise the Lieutenant Governor in the exercise of functions in matters under the jurisdiction of the legislative assembly. In other matters, the Lieutenant Governor is empowered to act in his own capacity.[36]

Legislative branch

The legislative branch is of government is a unicameral legislative assembly, whose tenure is five years. The legislative assembly may make laws for any of the matters in the State List of the Constitution of India except "public order" and "police", which will remain the preserve of the central Government of India. The Lieutenant Governor also has the power to promulgate ordinances which have the same force as the acts of the legislative assembly.[36]

Elections for the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly are to be held following the implementation of new constituency boundaries which is expected to be completed in 2021.[37]

Judicial branch

The union territory is under the jurisdiction of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, which also serve as high court for Ladakh.[36] Police services are provided by the Jammu and Kashmir Police.[38]

Parties

The main political parties active in the region are the Bharatiya Janata Party (State President: Ravinder Raina), the Indian National Congress (State President: Ghulam Ahmad Mir), the Jammu & Kashmir National Conference (President: Farooq Abdullah) and the Jammu and Kashmir People's Democratic Party (President: Mehbooba Mufti). Other parties with a presence in the region parties include the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party, the Jammu and Kashmir People's Conference, the Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (President: Altaf Bukhari) and the Jammu and Kashmir Workers Party (President: Mir Junaid).

Jammu and Kashmir in the Parliament of India

Jammu and Kashmir sends five members (MPs) to the lower house of the Indian parliament (the Lok Sabha) and four members to the upper house (the Rajya Sabha).

Lok Sabha constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir
Constituency
No.
Constituency Reserved for
(SC/ST/None)
1 Baramulla None
2 Srinagar None
3 Anantnag None
4 Udhampur None
5 Jammu None

Education

Primary and secondary education is affiliated to Jammu and Kashmir State Board of School Education, Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). Prestigious technology institutions like Indian Institute of Technology, Jammu and National Institute of Technology, Srinagar are also situated. Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Government Medical College, Anantnag, Government Medical College, Jammu and Government Medical College, Srinagar are major medical education institutes. Indian Institute of Management Jammu is a prominent management and business education institute.

Tourism

Jammu and Kashmir is home to several valleys such as the Kashmir Valley, Chenab Valley, Sindh Valley and Lidder Valley. Some major tourist attractions in Jammu and Kashmir are Srinagar, the Mughal Gardens, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Patnitop and Jammu. Every year, thousands of Hindu pilgrims visit holy shrines of Vaishno Devi and Amarnath which has had significant impact on the state's economy.[39]

The Kashmir valley is one of the top tourist destinations of India.[40] Gulmarg, one of the most popular ski resort destinations in India, is also home to the world's highest green golf course.[41] The decrease in violence in the state has boosted the state's economy, specifically tourism.[42]

Jammu and Kashmir is also famous for its scenic beauty, flower gardens, apple farms and more. It attracts tourists for its unique handicrafts and the world-famous Kashmiri Shawls.

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