Region-specific recruitment ads rekindle domicile row in J&K

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Srinagar, May 24 (IANS) The domicile row was rekindled in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday after advertisements appeared for staff recruitment in hospitals seeking region specific domicile certificates.

After the abrogation of articles 370 and 35A, the permanent resident certificate issued in favour of citizens in J&K had become redundant.

Instead, people were asked to obtain domicile certificates those would suffice for purposes of recruitment etc.

The domicile certificates state that a person is the resident/domicile of J&K although he can be living in any of the two regions of Jammu or Kashmir.

Two 500-bedded hospitals are being built in collaboration with the DRDO in J&K, one in the Jammu division and the other in Kashmir division.

Ironically, two separate advertisements have been issued by the administration seeking applications from doctors and paramedics, one for the hospital coming up in Jammu and the other for the one coming up in Srinagar.

The advertisement for Jammu hospital says ‘the candidate should be permanent resident/domicile of Jammu division’ while the advertisement for the Srinagar hospital says ‘the candidate should be permanent resident/domicile of Kashmir division’.

The decision has invoked strong criticism with some saying that this amounts to further bifurcation of J&K into Jammu and Kashmir as two separate legal entities.

Legal experts say the categorisation of posts as divisional or district cadre does not mean that the recruitment can be restricted to one specific place.

“A teacher’s post advertised in the district cadre in Kathua district does not debar a candidate from any of the remaining 19 districts from seeking employment as a teacher in Kathua district,” said Bashir Ahmad, a senior advocate.