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Why Merger of J&K Civil Services Cadre with AGMUT is Modi Govt's Masterstroke

Image for Representation: Security forces patrolling in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir.

Image for Representation: Security forces patrolling in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir.

The political logic behind the merger is crystal clear. J&K is no more a 'no-go-area' for the service personnel from other parts of India.

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Manoj Gupta

Abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, a landmark decision by the Modi government, has been implemented in a systematic way. Through a series of incremental reforms, the Modi government has gradually executed its political and administrative decisions. One such decision is the recent merger of J&K Civil Services cadre into AGMUT, commonly known as UT cadre.

So far UT Cadre officers have been living a very peaceful life since they hardly had any idea of handling terrorism. However, due to the above mentioned merger they will now be responsible for tackling terrorism in the UT.

The political logic behind the merger is crystal clear. J&K is no more a 'no-go-area' for the service personnel from other parts of India.

For example, an officer who was serving in Delhi till yesterday can now serve as a Secretary in J&K Government in Srinagar. Similarly an IG from Kashmir can serve as a Joint Commissioner in Delhi police.

Both the service men and women in J&K and at the Centre seem to be worried due to this new reform since seemingly no civil servant from J&K likes to be posted in Arunachal Pradesh or a Delhi officer might not be willing to be posted as a DIG in South Kashmir.

Nevertheless, this is a political masterstroke by Modi government. In a smart technical manoeuvre, Modi sarkar has merged J&K with rest of India. Experts are of the opinion that in case an officer tries to play the local card during the election period then that person will be transferred out of the state and someone from another UT, who can handle elections, will be brought in to ensure a level playing field.

The practice of corruption can also be controlled in an effective manner. For many years local business groups in J&K have kept many officers as their lackey on a retainership basis. It will be now become difficult for these groups to cultivate officials from across India. And top bureaucrats and officials will not easily fall in trap of local business groups.

Only time can tell how the situation on ground is going to play out in the coming weeks and months.


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