Wahid Bhat | Srinagar
Amid fears among locals in the newly Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, Central government is considering a 15-year residency requirement for obtaining government jobs, seats for professional courses in public colleges and ownership of land for outsiders in Jammu and Kashmir.
Dfferent states have different residency norms, the general view among various ministries on the two new UTs Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh is to fix a 15-year minimum residency norm sources said.
Officials in different central ministries are also working on “four-five” categories of people from outside who would be exempt from this norm while availing other benefits, including admission in government higher education institutions, sources said.
These categories could cover central officials and their children, and students from other states and UTs who may have cleared their Class 10 or Class 12 board exams in J&K or Ladakh.
In the case of students, sources said, there may be some who come along with their parents during job postings, including in the private sector, and pass the board exams at any of the two UTs. The “general viewpoint” is to consider them eligible for admission in government higher education institutions in the two UTs, they said.
Incidentally, a similar residency norm was fixed by the last Dogra ruler, Maharaja Hari Singh, who issued a notification on June 27, 1932, fixing ten years of continuous residence as a mandatory requirement before “foreign nationals” can purchase immovable property and be considered as Class III state subjects.
It read: “The foreign nationals residing in the State of Jammu and Kashmir shall not acquire the nationality of the Jammu and Kashmir State until after the age of 18 on purchasing immovable property under permission of an ijazatnama and on obtaining a rayatnama after ten years continuous residence in the Jammu and Kashmir State as laid down in Notification No.-I-L. of 1984, dated 20th April, 1927.”