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Rajya Sabha takes up three bills on Jammu and Kashmir

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New Delhi, Feb 9 (PTI) The Rajya Sabha on Friday took up for consideration and passage three bills on Jammu and Kashmir that seek to provide reservation to Other Backward Classes in local bodies and modify the lists of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Union territory.

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The Jammu and Kashmir Local Bodies Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2024; the Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Castes Order (Amendment) Bill, 2024; and the Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Tribes Order (Amendment) Bill, 2024 were passed by the Lok Sabha earlier this week.

The Jammu and Kashmir Local Bodies Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2024, moved by Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai, seeks to provide reservation to OBCs in local bodies in the Union territory.

Currently, there is no provision for reservation of seats for OBCs in panchayats and municipalities in Jammu and Kashmir.

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The Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Castes Order (Amendment) Bill, 2024, moved by Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Virendra Kumar, adds Valmiki community as a synonym of Chura, Balmiki, Bhangi, and Mehtar communities in the list of Scheduled Castes in Jammu and Kashmir.

The bill seeks to amend the Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Castes Order of 1956, which lists the castes deemed to be Scheduled Castes in Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Union Minister of Tribal Affairs & Agriculture and Farmer Welfare moved the Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Tribes Order (Amendment) Bill, 2024 that seeks to amend the Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Tribes Order of 1989 to create separate lists for Scheduled Tribes for Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

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The Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Tribes Order (Amendment) Bill, 2024 seeks to add four communities -- Gadda Brahmin, Koli, Paddari Tribe, and Pahari Ethnic Group -- to the list of Scheduled Tribes in Jammu and Kashmir.

Thereafter, discussion for consideration and passage of the three proposed legislations ensued simultaneously in the Upper House.

Before the bills were moved, Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar announced the government's decision to award Bharat Ratna to former prime ministers Chaudhary Charan Singh and P V Narasimha Rao and agriculture scientist M S Swaminathan.

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He said it is an honour to announce the prestigious award to the aforementioned personalities for their contributions to the respective fields.

"When Bharat Ratna is given it is an honour not only for the person but the entire nation," Dhankhar said.

He further said it is a matter of satisfaction and joy for every Indian.

The government had earlier announced the country's highest civilian honour for L K Advani and Karpoori Thakur. PTI RSN ZMN

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