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New land rules bring J&K on par with the rest of India

GS Paper 3


Source: The Hindu

Context: The abrogation of special status under articles 35A and 370 for Jammu and Kashmir was followed by various initiatives to initiate land reforms and modernization in the erstwhile state.

Toughening the stand on newly introduced land rules that have ended leaseholders’ rights for extension in the Union Territory (UT) has brought Jammu and Kashmir to par with India.


Initiatives taken for land reforms:

  • In 2020, the Centre notified ‘The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Adaptation of Central Laws) Order which resulted in the repeal of 11 land laws in J&K, including the Big Landed Estates Abolition Act of 1950.
  • Domicile requirements to purchase non-agricultural land have been removed, equalising J&K with other states.
  • Wife and children of an agriculturist would also fall in the Agriculturist category for the purposes of the Jammu & Kashmir Land Revenue Act, 1996.
  • Implementation of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 or RERA to regulate the real estate sector.
  • Aapki Zameen Aapki Nigrani’ under the Digital India Land Records Modernization Programme (DILRMP) for modernizing the management of land records has been launched in the UT.
  • These measures benefit economic development, ease of service delivery to the citizens, and reduction in litigation due to poor record-keeping.

Shortcomings of these measures:

  • Special-status of J&K still stands as articles that have been abrogated and not completely abolished. This indicates such reforms violate special rights given to domiciles.
  • Lack of consultation with local leadership – The elected government has been disbanded and such initiatives are almost completely a top-down affair.
  • Popular dissent people have protested against the measures as they see the removal of domicile needs as an attempt to drastically shift the demography of the region.
  • Undoing reforms: legislations like the Big Landed Estates Abolition Act of 1950 actually implemented the intended post-independence land reforms, such repeals are undoing the past progress.


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