Carved out into two separate Union Territories (UT) of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) and Ladakh on August 5, 2019, the decision of the J&K administrative council, headed by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to allow its employees to opt for deputation posting in the Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh, has provided a fresh link between the two separated regions.
In its latest order issued on Thursday by Piyush Singla, secretary to the J&K government, J&K has formulated guidelines and incentivised deputation posting of the employees from the UT of J&K to Ladakh.
“All proposals relating to deputation of employees to UT of Ladakh and any repatriation from said UT, shall be submitted to General Administration Department, J&K, for seeking approval of the Competent Authority in terms of the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019,” the order reads.
According to the guidelines, the employees shall be deputed for a period of two years to Ladakh. “No physically challenged employee shall be deputed to UT of Ladakh,” it adds.
The employees of J&K deputed to Ladakh “shall be eligible for incentives”. To make the offer lucrative, employees, on completion of their prescribed term in Ladakh, “will be posted to their home districts or as per their convenience”, the order said.
All the administrative departments have been directed “to maintain a complete database of employees relating to their period of deputation and service in the Ladakh region”.
For centuries, J&K and Ladakh have maintained strong ties through trade and deputation of manpower. Most schools in Kargil, in the past, would have teaching staff from the Kashmir valley. Trade related to poultry and meat continue to remain in the hands of Kashmiri traders in Leh district, even at present.
Sajjad Kargili, a politician who contested the Lok Sabha polls prior to August 5, 2019, termed the latest move as “an official admission of the interdependence between J&K and Ladakh.”
“J&K and Ladakh are naturally dependent on each other. The education scene of Kargil was always dominated by employees from Kashmir. In fact, the foundation of school education was laid by teachers from the Valley in Kargil. Still there are private schools where teachers from the Valley teach,” Mr. Kargilli said.
Recently, hundreds of candidates appearing for the Staff Selection Commission examination were driven in buses to Kashmir and Jammu, as the region had no such centres.
“We always demanded that till Ladakh has a recruitment agency, the J&K Public Service Commission should be allowed to hold selection for the Ladakh region,” Mr. Kargilli said.
Post August 5, 2019, when the Centre ended J&K’s special constitutional position and split it into two UTs, only the high court remained a common link between the separate regions. The Centre had allowed the High Court of J&K and Ladakh to function from Srinagar and Jammu.