New Delhi: If the Narendra Modi government’s plan to bifurcate the state of Jammu and Kashmir and turn J&K and Ladakh into two Union Territories goes through, the state’s IAS, IPS and Indian Forest Service (IFS) cadres would be dissolved with immediate effect, ThePrint has learnt.
While all states have separate cadres in these three All India Services, the Union Territories have a collective cadre known as the AGMUT cadre, which stands for Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territories (excluding Andaman & Nicobar Islands).
“The J&K cadre will be merged with the AGMUT cadre if the bill is passed,” a top government source said on the condition of anonymity.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah Monday announced the government’s plan to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir, with Ladakh becoming a Union Territory without a legislature, and J&K becoming one Union Territory with a legislature.
The announcement was made alongside the government’s move to scrap the contentious Article 370 of the Constitution, which grants “special status” to J&K.
What it would entail
Whenever a state is divided into two or more states, its cadres of IAS, IPS and IFS officers are restructured. Most recently, this happened in 2014 when Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh.
Unlike the division of the Andhra Pradesh cadre then, since J&K would cease to be a state, the cadre would simply be merged with the AGMUT cadre.
AGMUT is different from the other cadres since it comes directly under the central government, unlike the state cadres which report to state governments. This means officers from this cadre can be posted, transferred, etc. by the central government directly. Their services can be terminated by the Centre on its own too, with the legislative assembly of the UT having no say in the matter.
‘Happy to serve anywhere’
J&K cadre officers who spoke to ThePrint on the condition of anonymity said they were by-and-large happy with the government’s decision, and that it would go a long way in integrating Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country.
“I am happy about the government decision… I am a government servant, and will keep doing my job and take any posting that the government wants me to,” said one officer.
However, another officer pointed out that while subsuming the J&K cadre into the AGMUT cadre may just seem a logistical transition, it would have widespread ramifications for the governance of the region, which will fall completely under the Centre’s ambit if the legislation goes through.