Reservation of professional seats for Ladakh

It may be recalled that following the doing away with the ‘special status’ of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir by abolition of Article 370 last year on August 5, the state was bifurcated into two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Prior to that constitutional arrangement Ladakh was sharing, as a part of the state , seats requirements in professional colleges in Jammu and Kashmir in respect of the aspiring students from the region . Since now it is a separate UT but has no Medical College or an Engineering College to cater to the requirements of the students of the twin districts of Leh and Kargil in Ladakh , an arrangement, therefore, had to be carved out to accommodate the aspirant candidates in the existing availability of professional seats in Jammu and Kashmir. Accordingly, a decision taken in this respect recently at a review meeting of the Advisory Committee chaired by the Chief Secretary of providing seats to Ladakhi students subject to a maximum of 4 percent for the academic year 2020-21 is the right decision as there were no other immediate alternatives . In other words, 4 per cent seats would be reserved exclusively for students of Ladakh in Medical and Engineering colleges in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir. It may further be noted that government of India, in this connection, had constituted an Advisory Committee and had asked it to submit its recommendations .
While this decision of the UT government deserves to be noted with satisfaction , it must surely have removed the apprehensions in the minds of the students of Leh and Kargil districts for the immediate academic year of 2020-21 . The decision of reserving seats for UT Ladakh will be resulting in deducting 35 seats from Medical Colleges and 24 seats from Engineering Colleges in Jammu and Kashmir from the total seats available . However, reservation for the residents of Jammu and Kashmir will be calculated on the remaining seats strictly as per the provisions of the JK Reservation Act and Rules. Ladakh administration, therefore, has all the reasons to feel assuaged and elated over this accommodation by the UT government. Accordingly, Jammu and Kashmir Board Of Professional Entrance Examinations (BOPEE) has now to take up the matter with the Ladakh administration in terms of admission policy and reservation policy to be adopted for selection process of their candidates.
If we take a look at the census of 2011 , Leh had a population of nearly 1.50 lakh and Kargil 1.45 lakh and could be the chief reasons of there being no professional colleges set up as the number of aspiring students might not be in proportion to the meriting of full fledged professional colleges. Since prior to the Reorganisation of the Jammu and Kashmir state , students from Ladakh were studying in Jammu and Kashmir and to that extent , much of difference would not be felt on the ground especially in the light of new Medical and Engineering colleges being set up in Jammu and Kashmir. It , most probably, cannot be a long term measure as the very idea of carving out the UT of Ladakh from the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was to mitigate the difficulties of the people of Ladakh in respect of covering long distances and in inclement weather conditions to Srinagar or Jammu for various requirements . However, for career building especially for those students who are brilliant and industrious, distances and difficulties do not matter in the highly competitive times.