In a major relief to thousands of migrant Kashmiri Pandits, the Jammu and Kashmir government on Tuesday announced an amendment in the rules governing the issuance of reservation certificates to various categories of the state's residents.
The amendment to the reservation rules was made through a notification issued by the state social welfare department.
As per the existing rules governing benefits to the residents of backward areas and border dwellers, any person claiming reservation must have lived in the area designated as backward for the last 15 years.
This had debarred thousands of migrant Kashmiri Pandits from the benefits of reservation as they had left their native places due to the threats by militants in the 1990s.
The amendment to the reservation rules announced by the government says persons who have moved out of backward areas and from areas on the Line of 'Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB) for security reasons will not be disentitled from the reservation benefits.
Thousands of migrant Pandits belonging originally to areas declared backward by the government had been deprived of reservation benefits because of their inability to fulfil the necessary condition of having lived continuously in backward areas for the last 15 years before claiming benefits.
There are a host of benefits for the residents of backward areas and those living near the LoC and the IB including reservation in government jobs, promotions and subsidies etc.
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