NEW DELHI: The Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (I/C), Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Jitendra Singh, has said the historic step of creating the two Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh has opened the floodgates of development and progress in the region. Addressing a delegation of teachers from Jammu and Kashmir UT in New Delhi yesterday, he said the Articles 370 and 35A were archaic and only served as impediments to the development of the erstwhile state of J&K.
“The abrogation of these Articles also unleashed a war on corruption with the setting up of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in the UT Police,” he added.
Singh said since the UTs came into being the teachers have ceased to be state government employees and now are at par with Central Government employees.
“Their salaries have been doubled and they can now draw several pecuniary benefits like CGHS healthcare cover, Education Allowance and Hostel reimbursement for Children’s Education, and LTC,” he said.
The Minister gave heard also the teachers’ demands for creation of autonomous independent Education Commission for the newly created UTs, transparent transfer policy and DPC of all cadres in the School Education Department, besides regular payment of salary.
Singh added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised a new dawn for the UT of J&K. “As many as eight Medical Colleges have been sanctioned for the UT at Kathua, Udhampur, Doda and two AIIMS in Jammu and Srinagar,” he said.
“Union Territory regimes of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh will make up for the lapses of the past and give due priority to vital sectors which had somehow suffered from low priority or negligence under the previous regimes,” Singh tweeted.
“Panchayats have been granted Rs 1 crore each to undertake development works,” Singh said to the teachers. “Besides, Home Minister Amit Shah has assured the UT status is temporary and State status will be restored in Jammu & Kashmir at an appropriate moment,” he added.
In FEATURE | Kashmir – The Way Forward