Jammu and Kashmir (union territory)
Jammu and Kashmir is a region administered by India as a union territory and consists of the southern portion of the larger Kashmir region, which has been the subject of a dispute between India and Pakistan since 1947, and between India and China since 1962. The Line of Control separates Jammu and Kashmir from the Pakistani-administered territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan in the west and north. It lies to the north of the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab and to the west of Ladakh, which is also subject to the dispute as a part of Kashmir, and administered by India as a union territory.
Jammu and Kashmir
Region administered by India as a union territory
Lidder Valley, Akhnoor Fort
A map of the disputed Kashmir region showing the Indian-administered union territory of Jammu and Kashmir
|Coordinates: 33.5°N 75.0°E|
|Union territory||31 October 2019|
|• Body||Government of Jammu and Kashmir|
|• Lieutenant Governor||Manoj Sinha|
|• Chief Minister||Vacant|
|• Legislature||Unicameral (114 seats)|
|• Parliamentary constituency||Rajya Sabha (4) |
Lok Sabha (5)
|• High Court||Jammu and Kashmir High Court|
|• Total||42,241 km2 (16,309 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||7,135 m (23,409 ft)|
|247 m (810 ft)|
|• Density||290/km2 (750/sq mi)|
|• Official||Kashmiri, Dogri, Urdu, Hindi, English.|
|• Spoken||Punjabi, Pahari, Gojri, Dadri Bhadarwahi, Bateri, Shina, Burushaski and Khowar|
|Time zone||UTC+05:30 (IST)|
|ISO 3166 code||IN-JK|
|HDI (2018)||0.688 (Medium)|
Provisions for the formation of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir were contained within the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which was passed by both houses of the Parliament of India in August 2019. The act re-constituted the former state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, with effect from 31 October 2019.
Jammu and Kashmir is named after the two regions it encompasses – the Jammu region and the Kashmir Valley.
The Government of Pakistan and Pakistani sources refer to Jammu and Kashmir as a part of "Indian-occupied Kashmir" ("IOK") or "Indian-held Kashmir" (IHK). The Government of India and Indian sources in turn, call the territory under Pakistan control "Pakistan-occupied Kashmir" ("POK") or "Pakistan-held Kashmir" ("PHK"). "Indian-administered Kashmir" and "Indian-controlled Kashmir" are often used by neutral sources.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir was accorded special status by Article 370 of the Constitution of India. In contrast to other states of India, Jammu and Kashmir had its own constitution, flag and administrative autonomy. Indian citizens from other states were not allowed to purchase land or property in Jammu and Kashmir.
Jammu and Kashmir had three distinct areas: Hindu-majority Jammu region, Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley and Buddhist-dominated Ladakh. Unrest and violence persisted in the Kashmiri Valley and, following a disputed state election in 1987, an insurgency persisted in protest over autonomy and rights.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in the 2014 Indian general election and five years later included in their 2019 election manifesto the revocation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India, in order to bring Jammu and Kashmir to equal status with other states.
A resolution to repeal Article 370 was passed by both the houses of the Parliament of India in August 2019. At the same time, a reorganisation act was also passed, which would reconstitute the state into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The reorganisation took effect from 31 October 2019.
In September 2019 nearly 4,000 people, including two former Chief Ministers and hundreds of other politicians, were arrested by the Indian authorities in Kashmir; the state was put under a lockdown and communication and internet services were suspended.
Jammu and Kashmir is home to several valleys such as the Kashmir Valley, Tawi Valley, Chenab Valley, Poonch Valley, Sind Valley and Lidder Valley. The Kashmir valley is 100 km (62 mi) wide and 15,520.3 km2 (5,992.4 sq mi) in area. The Himalayas divide the Kashmir valley from the Tibetan plateau while the Pir Panjal range, which encloses the valley from the west and the south, separates it from the Punjab Plain of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Along the northeastern flank of the Valley runs the main range of the Himalayas. This valley has an average height of 1,850 metres (6,070 ft) above sea-level, but the surrounding Pir Panjal range has an average elevation of 10,000 feet (3,000 m). The Jhelum River is the major Himalayan river which flows through the Kashmir valley. The Tawi, Ravi and Chenab are the other important rivers flowing through the region.
The union territory of Jammu and Kashmir consists of two divisions: Jammu Division and Kashmir Division, and is further divided into 20 districts.
|Total for division||Jammu||26,293||10,152||25,794.95||498.05|
|Total for division||Kashmir||15,948||6,158||15,226.41||721.54|
Jammu and Kashmir has two major airports at the two capitals of the territory: Jammu Airport at Jammu and Sheikh ul Alam Airport at Srinagar, which is also the only international airport in the territory. These airports have regular flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chandigarh and other major cities of the country.
The under-contruction Jammu-Baramulla line of the Northern Railways is the only railway line in the territory. Once complete, the line will connect the two regions of Jammu and Kashmir and will also provide a rail link to the Kashmir valley from other parts of the country.
The Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, a segment of the NH44, is the main highway in the territory connecting the two capitals by road. National Highways 144, 144A, 444, 501, 701 and 701A are the other NHs in the territory.
As per the 2011 census, Jammu and Kashmir has a total population of 12,267,013. The sex ratio is 889 females per 1000 males. Around 7.6% of the population is scheduled caste and 10.9% belong to the scheduled tribes, mainly Gujjar, Bakerwal, and Gaddi. The SCs are mostly concentrated in the Jammu region.
The Kashmir Division is largely Muslim (96.41%) with a small Hindu (2.45%) and Sikh (0.81%) population. The Jammu Division is predominantly Hindu (66%) with a significant Muslim population (30%). The Muslims form a majority in the Rajouri, Poonch, Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban districts of Jammu, while the Hindus form a majority in Kathua, Samba, Jammu and Udhampur districts. Reasi district has an almost equal number of Hindus and Muslims.
The most widely spoken language in Jammu and Kashmir is Kashmiri, the mother tongue of 52% of the population according to the 2011 census. Other major languages include Dogri (20%), Gojri (9.1%) and Pahari (7.8%). The remaining population speaks languages such as Punjabi, Bhaderwahi, Siraji, Bauti, Purkhi etc. Urdu is also widely understood and spoken, particularly in the Kashmir region where it acts as the lingua franca alongside Kashmiri and also serves as a medium of instruction along with English, while Hindi is taught and understood in the southern areas of Jammu.
According to the 2011 census, literacy rate in Jammu and Kashmir was 67.17%, male literacy was 75%, while female literacy was at 56.43%.
Kashmir University located in Srinagar is the main university in the territory. Other universities include Jammu University, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, Islamic University of Science & Technology, etc. Major institutions of higher education are NIT Srinagar, IIT Jammu, IIM Jammu and NIFT Srinagar. Medical colleges include SKIMS in Srinagar and AIIMS Vijaypur.
Government and politics
The union territory of Jammu and Kashmir is administered under the provisions of Article 239 of the Constitution of India. The Article 239A, originally formulated for the union territory of Puduchery, will also be applicable to Jammu and Kashmir.
The President of India appoints a Lieutenant Governor for the union territory.
A Council of Ministers led by a Chief Minister is appointed by the Lieutenant Governor from the membership of the legislative assembly. Their role is to advise the Lieutenant Governor in the exercise of functions in matters under the jurisdiction of the legislative assembly. In other matters, the Lieutenant Governor is empowered to act in his own capacity.
The legislative branch is of government is a unicameral legislative assembly, whose tenure is five years. The legislative assembly may make laws for any of the matters in the State List of the Constitution of India except "public order" and "police", which will remain the preserve of the central Government of India. The Lieutenant Governor also has the power to promulgate ordinances which have the same force as the acts of the legislative assembly.
The union territory is under the jurisdiction of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, which also serves as high court for Ladakh. Police services are provided by the Jammu and Kashmir Police.
The main political parties active in the region are the Bharatiya Janata Party (State President: Ravinder Raina), the Indian National Congress (State President: Ghulam Ahmad Mir), the Jammu & Kashmir National Conference (President: Farooq Abdullah) and the Jammu and Kashmir People's Democratic Party (President: Mehbooba Mufti). Other parties with a presence in the region parties include the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party, the Jammu and Kashmir People's Conference, the Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (President: Altaf Bukhari), the Jammu and Kashmir Workers Party (President: Mir Junaid) and Ikkjutt Jammu (President: Ankur Sharma).
Jammu and Kashmir in the Parliament of India
- Lok Sabha constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir
|Constituency||Reserved for |
Jammu and Kashmir's economy is primarily services-based and agriculture-oriented. The gross domestic product of Jammu and Kashmir is estimated at ₹1.76 lakh crore (US$25 billion) in 2020–21.
The Kashmir Valley is known for its sericulture and cold-water fisheries. Wood from Kashmir is used to make high-quality cricket bats, popularly known as Kashmir Willow. Major agricultural exports from Jammu and Kashmir include apples, pears, cherries, plums, saffron and walnuts. The traditional Kashmiri handicrafts industry employs a large workforce of around 340 thousand artisans and has potential for producing export goods. Small-scale cottage industries include carpet weaving, silks, shawls, basketry, pottery, copper and silverware, papier-mâché and walnut wood. The horticulture sector is the next biggest source of income in the economy. The temperature of Jammu and Kashmir is also suited to floriculture and can support various species of flora.
Over 500 mineral blocks are present in Jammu and Kashmir, 261 of which are in the Kashmir Division alone. Kishtwar is known as the 'land of sapphire and saffron'. Resources such as timber, herbs and medicinal shrubs, edibles such as mushroom, chilgoza, black zeera and saffron are available in the forests. The sapphire reserve mines of Machail, Paddar are a source of mineral wealth. Jammu and Kashmir is the only administrative unit in India with a large amount of borax and sapphire resources. It possesses 36 percent of the graphite, 21 percent marble and 14 percent of gypsum present in India. Coal, limestone and magnesite are found scattered among the different districts of the union territory.
Other minerals of significance that occur are bauxite, ball clay and china clay in Udhampur; bentonite in Jammu; diaspore in Rajouri and Udhampur; graphite in Baramulla; lignite and marble in Kupwara; quartz and silica sand in Anantnag, Doda and Udhampur; and quartzite in Anantnag district. In addition, the Department of Geology and Mining has determined the presence of minerals such as magnetite, dolomite, fuel mineral, decorative building stones, slate and gemstones, materials with commerical and industrial uses in many products and factories.
In the fiscal year 2019–20, total exports from Jammu and Kashmir amounted to ₹188.18 million (US$2.6 million). The Jammu & Kashmir Bank, which is listed as a NIFTY 500 conglomerate, is based in the union territory. Jammu and Kashmir is one of the largest recipients of grants from the central government annually. According to the Sustainable Development Goals Index 2021, 10.35 percent of the population of Jammu and Kashmir live below the national poverty line, the third-highest among union territories in the country.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) regulates all major aspects pertaining to media and telecommunications in Jammu and Kashmir. In addition, the Jammu and Kashmir administration released their media policy in 2020 which enabled government officers to sanction journalists and media organisations for disseminating "fake news," and is valid for the next five years. The policy attracted criticism for allegedly reducing people to "passive recipients of the information the government intends to disseminate." The Press Council of India (PCI) expressed concern over the provisions of fake news in the policy, as it "interferes with the free functioning of the press."
Major periodicals in Jammu and Kashmir include Greater Kashmir, Rising Kashmir, Kashmir Times, Daily Excelsior, Elite Kashmir and Kashmir Monitor. DD Kashir is the state-owned television broadcaster. Popular private television channels are ETV Urdu and Gulistan News. In association with All India Radio, DD Kashir has established high power transmitters along the India–Pakistan border. Radio Sharda, a worldwide community radio service for Kashmiri Pandits, was started by Ramesh Hangloo. FM Tadka 95.0, BIG FM 92.7, Radio Mirchi and Red FM 93.5 are private FM radio stations.
Sports tournaments in Jammu and Kashmir are organised by both the Indian army and police, as well as mainstream political parties and the All Parties Hurriyat Conference. Sportspersons who represent India in tournaments face stigmatisation from separatists.
Jammu and Kashmir has 18 stadiums, 23 training centres, three indoor sports complexes and 42 government-maintained playing fields. Srinagar is home to the Sher-i-Kashmir Stadium, a stadium where international cricket matches have been played. The Maulana Azad Stadium in Jammu is one of the home venues for the Jammu and Kashmir cricket team. The Bakshi Stadium in Srinagar, named after Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad, hosts football matches.
Institutions such as the Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering and Winter Sports provides mountaineering, skiing and adventure courses. The Royal Springs Golf Course, Srinagar, located on the banks of Dal lake, is considered one of the best golf courses of India. Jammu and Kashmir was also host to the first Khelo India Winter Games, held in 2020 in Gulmarg. Jammu and Kashmir came first with the most gold medals at 26, followed by the Indian Army team with 8 gold medals. The second edition of the winter games were also held in Gulmarg in 2021, with Jammu and Kashmir coming first again.
Jammu and Kashmir is home to several valleys such as the Kashmir Valley, Chenab Valley, Sindh Valley and Lidder Valley. Some major tourist attractions in Jammu and Kashmir are Srinagar, the Mughal Gardens, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Patnitop and Jammu. Every year, thousands of Hindu pilgrims visit holy shrines of Vaishno Devi and Amarnath which has had significant impact on the state's economy.
The Kashmir valley is one of the top tourist destinations of India. Gulmarg, one of the most popular ski resort destinations in India, is also home to the world's highest green golf course. The decrease in violence in the state has boosted the state's economy, specifically tourism.
Jammu and Kashmir is also famous for its scenic beauty, flower gardens, apple farms and more. It attracts tourists for its unique handicrafts and the world-famous Kashmiri Shawls.
- River Chenab in Chenab Valley
- Sindh Valley
- Lidder Valley
- the Mughal Gardens
- Pahalgam views
- Sanasar Lake which is around 11 km from Patnitop
- View of Amarnath Valley.
- Jammu and Kashmir (princely state), for the entity that existed till 1952
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- University of Jammu
- Central University of Kashmir
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- Real Kashmir F.C.
- Jammu and Kashmir football team
- Jammu and Kashmir Police
- Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry
- Jammu and Kashmir Rifles
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'If there be Paradise on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here'. This Persian couplet invokes the heavenly realms. The verse was inscribed at the Shalimar Gardens in Kashmir, founded by the Mughal emperor Jahangir in 1620, (...)
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