More than two years after Ladakh became a Union Territory, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has constituted a high-powered committee headed by Minister of State Nityanand Rai to “ensure protection of land and employment” for the people of Ladakh.
The 17-member committee that includes Ladakh Lieutenant Governor R.K. Mathur will “discuss measures to protect the region’s unique culture and language taking into consideration its geographical location and its strategic importance”, an order by MHA said.
The committee will also discuss measures for inclusive development and employment generation in the region and issues related to empowerment of Ladakh Autonomous Hill District Coucils of Leh and Kargil.
On August 5, 2019, the former State of Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two UTs – J&K and Ladakh, the latter without a Legislative Assembly.
After its special status was removed, the civil society and political groups in Ladakh have been demanding inclusion under the sixth schedule of the Constitution to protect land, employment and cultural identity of Ladakh. The schedule protects tribal populations providing autonomy to the communities through creation of autonomous development councils which can frame laws on land, public health, agriculture. As of now 10 autonomous councils exist in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
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