On January 2, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) constituted a high-powered committee chaired by Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai for the Union Territory of Ladakh.

 

About the high-power Ladakh committee

The committee will discuss measures to —

  • protect the region’s unique culture and language taking into consideration its geographical location and strategic importance;
  • ensure protection of land and employment for the people of Ladakh;
  • strategise inclusive development and discuss issues related to the empowerment of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill District Councils of Leh and Kargil.

 

Why was the committee formed?

After the unique status of the formerly-existing State of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution was read down by Parliament on August 5, 2019, civil society organisations in Ladakh have been calling for the protection of land, resources, and jobs for the previous three years.

 

What is the sixth schedule?

  • The sixth schedule under Article 244 of the Constitution protects the autonomy of tribal populations through creation of autonomous development councils which can frame laws on land, public health and agriculture.
  • As of now ten autonomous councils exist in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
  • As per the 2011 Census, the total population of Ladakh was 2,74,289, and nearly 80% of them are tribals.