MHA Calls High-Level Meet On Ladakh Ahead Of Strike Call

SRINAGAR: Union Home Secretary, Ajay Kumar Bhalla has called a high-level meeting on December 8, ahead of the strike call jointly given by the Leh Apex Body and Kargil Democratic Alliance, Daily Excelsior reported. The two Ladakh based bodies had called for a strike on December 13 to press for their demands pertaining to the region.

The report said that a meeting has been called to discuss matters amid reports of a roadmap being drawn to fulfil around 10,000 job vacancies in the UT across government departments.

“The meeting has been called at 3 PM on December 8, just five days ahead of the bandh call for Ladakh,” Excelsior quoted official sources as saying.

The meeting would be attended by Chief Secretary Jammu and Kashmir, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Advisor to Advisor to Lieutenant Governor Union Territory of Ladakh Umang Narula, Joint Secretary Union Territory Division, Ministry of Home Affairs and Chairman Staff Selection Commission (SSC) through video conferencing, the report said.

The report said that the recruitment for government posts in the UT of Ladakh will be the prime agenda of the meeting. The fulfillment of the job vacancies has been one of the five major demands raised by the bodies after the Ladakh was carved out from the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir as a separate union territory on August 5, 2019.

“The Union Home Ministry is likely to draw a roadmap for filling vacancies in the Government departments in the Union Territory of Ladakh during the meeting,” the sources were quoted as having said in the report. The officials had also said, this will fulfil the aspirations of thousands of educated unemployed youth in the region who are waiting for the posts to be advertised.

The report further said that Home Ministry could not advertise posts initially because it had to first announce the guidelines for the Residentship Certificate after the abolition of the Permanent Residence Certificate (PRC) of the erstwhile state for youths to be eligible to apply for the posts.

Issue of the Residentship Certificate has now been settled. Only holders of State Subjects were declared eligible to get the Residentship Certificate.

“As a number of Jammu and Kashmir employees in different ranks have also been posted in the Union Territory of Ladakh, the Chief Secretary of J&K has also been invited to the meeting,” the report said quoting the source while adding the J&K employees have been demanding their return to the home UT.

Many officers of the All India Services and Jammu and Kashmir Administration and Police Services (JKAS/JKPS) are also serving in Ladakh due to a shortage of officers there, the report further said.

The report added that MHA is all set to start the recruitment process in Ladakh. While the vacancies might not be filled at once, but the process will be initiated immediately and a proper roadmap will be likely drawn at the high-level meeting. Educated unemployed youth have been going restless in the Union Territory of Ladakh as more than two years have passed without any recruitment in the absence of Residentship Certificate and Recruitment Rules. However, no pre-requisites for appointments are in place and the Government is likely to go ahead with the advertisement of vacancies gradually.

The Apex Body and Kargil Democratic Alliance have been demanding statehood to Ladakh, constitutional safeguards under sixth schedule, two seats in Lok Sabha and one in Rajya Sabha for Ladakh besides filling 10,000 job vacancies.

In this regard, the bodies had decided to launch an agitation to pressurize the central government to meet their demands. The strike call was earlier given for December 6 but was postponed to December 13.

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