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31 Oct, 2019

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Bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into 2 UT's



The state of Jammu and Kashmir has been officially bifurcated into the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh with effect from October 31, 2019.


  • October 31,the same day of birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel — the day will mark the beginning of the functioning of the two UTs at a bureaucratic level.
  • Basic bureaucratic structure has been put in place to implement the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act.
  • The Reorganisation Act gives a period of one year for full-fledged bifurcation,.
  • The two new UTs will get their respective Lieutenant Governors.
  • The UT of Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature like Delhi while Ladakh will be a UT without legislature like Chandigarh and both the UTs will be headed by two separate lieutenant governors (LG), as per the Act.
  • The Centre will be in direct control of the police.
  • The law and order in Jammu and Kashmir when it becomes a UT, while the land will be under the elected government there.
  • The UT of Ladakh will be under the direct control of the central government which will administer the high-altitude region through the LG.

What is Article 370 and Article 35A ?

Article 370 grants an autonomous status to J&K, while Article 35A, incorporated into the Constitution in 1954, provides special rights and privileges to the citizens of the state.

Historical Background:

In October 1947, the then-Maharaja Hari Singh of Kashmir signed the ‘Instrument of Accession’, which specified three subjects on which Jammu and Kashmir would transfer its powers to the government of India:

1. Foreign affairs,

2. Defence and

3. Communications.

In March 1948, the Maharaja appointed an interim government in the state, with Sheikh Abdullah as the prime minister.

In July 1949, Sheikh Abdullah and three other colleagues joined the Indian Constituent Assembly and negotiated the special status of J&K, leading to the adoption of Article 370. The controversial provision was drafted by Sheikh Abdullah.

What is Article 370?

  • Parliament needs the Jammu & Kashmir government's nod for applying laws in the state — except defence, foreign affairs, finance, and communications.
  • The law of citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights of the residents of Jammu & Kashmir is different from the residents living in rest of India.
  • Under Article 370, citizens from other states cannot buy property in Jammu & Kashmir. Under Article 370, the Centre has no power to declare financial emergency.
  • It is important to note Article 370(1)(c) explicitly mentions that Article 1 of the Indian Constitution applies to Kashmir through Article 370.
  • Article 1 lists the states of the Union. This means that it is Article 370 that binds the state of J&K to the Indian Union. Removing Article 370, which can be done by a Presidential Order, would therefore make the state independent of India.

Article 35A:

  • Article 35A gives the Jammu & Kashmir Legislature full discretionary power to decide who the 'permanent residents' of the state are.
  • It gives them special rights and privileges regarding employment with the state government, acquisition of property in the state, settling in the state, and the right to scholarships and other forms of aid that the state government provides.
  • It also allows the state legislature to impose any restrictions upon persons other than the permanent residents regarding the above.
  • To guarantee these special rights and privileges, the Article says no act of the state legislature that comes under it can be challenged for violating the Constitution or any other laws.

Possibility of issues after repealment of Article 35A:

  • Repealment of Article 35A by the Supreme Court of India or by the government will have some far-reaching implications. Before Article 35A was introduced to the Constitution of India, the Governor and the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir were addressed as the Sadr-e-Riyasat (President) and Wazir-e-Azam (Prime Minister).
  • There's a possibility that if Article 35A is repealed, it would lead J&K back to the same arrangement.
  • The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the Election Commission of India would also be curtailed.
  • The legal control of the Centre over Jammu and Kashmir would be limited only to the matters of Defence, External Affairs and Communication.

Source: The Hindu

Air Independent Propulsion System (AIP)



The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) programme to build a fuel cell-based Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system for Indian Naval Submarines.

What is AIP?

  • Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) has a force multiplier effect on the lethality of a diesel-electric submarine as it enhances the submerged endurance of the boat, several folds.
  • Fuel cell-based AIP has merits in performance compared to other technologies.
  • Operation of the land-based prototype engineered to the form-and-fit of a submarine
  • In a fuel cell AIP, an electrolytic fuel cell releases energy by combining hydrogen and oxygen, with only water as the waste product.
  • The cells are highly efficient, and do not have moving parts, thus ensuring that the submarine has a low acoustic signature

Importance of AIP:

  • Submarines are essentially of two types: conventional and nuclear. Conventional submarines use a diesel-electric engine, and must surface daily for oxygen for fuel combustion. If fitted with an Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system, the sub needs to take in oxygen only once a week.
  • While many naval powers, including India, have acquired nuclear-powered submarines for deep-sea operations, conventional diesel-electric variants are considered useful for coastal defence. The latter are optimised for stealth, and their weapons and sensors provide for effective operations close to the shore.
  • Because diesel-electric submarines require to come to the surface frequently to charge their batteries, their underwater endurance time is less. ‘Air-independent’ propulsion technology helps to make the diesel generator less dependent on surface air.
  • Older submarines can be adapted to the AIP system by retrofitting.

Source: PIB


GS-III : Economic Issues Industry



The Ministry of Commerce and Industry through ECGC, has introduced a new Export Credit Insurance Scheme (ECIS) called NIRVIK to enhance loan availability and ease the lending process.

About the Scheme:

  • The main aim of introducing the scheme is to enhance the accessibility and affordability of credit for exporters.
  • The decision is tipped to make the Indian exports competitive and make ECGC procedures exporter friendly, reduce insurance costs and ease of doing business.
  • The insurance cover is expected to bring down the cost of credit due to capital relief, less provision requirement and liquidity due to quick settlements of claims and will ensure timely and adequate working capital to the export sector.
  • The Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGC) provides a credit guarantee of up to 60 per cent loss.
  • Under the new ‘NIRVIK’ scheme, the insurance cover guaranteed will cover up to 90 per cent of the principal and interest. The insurance cover will include both pre and post-shipment credit.

Details of the Scheme

  • The Finance Ministry has decided to increase the insurance cover for banks up to 90 per cent for working capital loans and moderation in premium incidence for the MSME sector to provide additional support to the banks in the wake of a global slowdown and rising NPAs.
  • It will catalyze the banks to enhance the volume of export credit lending, especially to the MSME Sector with optimal pricing due to capital and risk optimization.
  • The insurance cover will include not only the principal outstanding but also the unpaid interest for a maximum of two quarters or the NPA date, whichever is earlier. The coverage has been increased to 90 per cent from the present average of 60 per cent for both principal and interest.
  • It will also cover both pre-shipment and post-shipment advances unlike the present system, where two different documents are issued by the ECGC.

The Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGC) is a fully government-owned company that was established in 1957 to promote exports by providing credit insurance services.

The ECGC provides Export Credit Insurance to Banks (ECIB) to protect the banks from losses on account of export credit at the Pre and Post-Shipment stage given to exporters due to the risks of insolvency or protracted default of the exporter borrower.

Source: PIB

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