Brain Booster for UPSC & State PCS Examination (Topic: Delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir)

Brain Booster for UPSC & State PCS Examination

Current Affairs Brain Booster for UPSC & State PCS Examination

Topic: Delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir

Delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir

Why in News?

  • Recently, Prime Minister of India held a meeting with 14 key political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to chalk out the future course of action in the union territory.


  • On 2020 Independence Day, Prime Minister had said elections would be held in J&K after the delimitation process in the Union Territory was over.
  • Delimitation is crucial for kick-starting the political process in J&K.

What is Delimitation?

  • Delimitation is the act of redrawing boundaries of an Assembly or Lok Sabha seat to represent changes in population over time.
  • Given the political sensitivity of the exercise, no government — central or state —can carry it out, and after every census, Parliament enacts a Delimitation Act under Article 82 of the Indian Constitution.
  • This exercise is carried out by a Delimitation Commission, whose orders have the force of law and cannot be questioned before any court.
  • The objective is to redraw boundaries (based on the data of the last Census) in a way so that the population of all seats, as far as practicable, be the same throughout the State.
  • Aside from changing the limits of a constituency, the process may result in change in the number of seats in a state.

Delimitation in J&K

  • A delimitation commission was first constituted for J&K in 1952. Subsequently, they were constituted in 1963, 1973 and 2002.
  • Delimitation in J&K has followed a slightly different trajectory than in the rest of the country, due to the special status it was accorded under Article 370.
  • In August 2019, the government of India has scrapped the Article 370.
  • Until then, delimitation of Lok Sabha seats in J&K was governed by the Constitution of India, but the delimitation of the state’s Assembly seats was governed by the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution and Jammu and Kashmir Representation of the People Act, 1957.
  • According to the last delimitation process, J&K Assembly had 87 seats — 46 in Kashmir, 37 in Jammu and 4 in Ladakh — 24 were reserved for Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Latest Delimitation Commission

  • On March 6, 2020, the government set up the Delimitation Commission, headed by retired Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai.
  • After the abrogation of J&K’s special status in 2019, delimitation of Lok Sabha and Assembly seats in the newly-created Union Territory would be as per the provisions of the Indian Constitution.

Related Controversy

  • As per the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, the seats for Jammu and Kashmir Assembly will be increased by seven seats, in effect they will go up from 83 to 90 postdelimitation.
  • The concern for several mainstream political parties in the Valley has been that representation may be increased for Jammu after the delimitation exercise, and not Kashmir, thereby weakening their electoral fortunes.