News: The delimitation commission for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has started. Basic demographic, topographic information as well as the local administration’s views of political aspirations of the district will be taken into consideration. Read News Here
The Jammu and Kashmir Delimitation Commission has announced that it will give its final report based on the 2011 Census and will also take into account the topography, difficult terrain, means of communication, and convenience available for the continuation of the ongoing delimitation exercise
What is Delimitation?
Delimitation literally means the process of fixing boundaries to territorial constituencies in a state that has a legislative body. It is provided to/for:
- To provide equal representation to all persons of a given state.
- Fair division and distribution of geographical areas by which no one political party have an advantage over others in elections.
- “One Vote One Value” principle is followed.
The Delimitation Commission for Jammu and Kashmir was constituted by the Centre last year to readjust the Lok Sabha and assembly constituencies of the union territory in accordance with the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which bifurcated the state into two union territories of J&K and Ladakh.
According to the Delimitation Commission Act, 2002, the Delimitation Commission consists of three members: 1. a serving or retired judge of the Supreme Court as the chairperson, and 2. the Chief Election Commissioner or Election Commissioner nominated by the CEC and 3. the State Election Commissioner as the ex-officio members of the commission.
Constitutional Provisions And History:
- Under Article 82, the Parliament enacts a Delimitation Act after every Census.
- Under Article 170, States also get divided into territorial constituencies as per Delimitation Act after every Census.
- The Delimitation Commission Act was enacted inthe year 1952, during the first FYP.
- Delimitation Commissions have been set up four times — 1952, 1963, 1973 and 2002 under the Acts of 1952, 1962, 1972 and 2002 respectively.
- There was no delimitation after the 1981 and 1991 Censuses.
Why postponed till 2026?
- Although the freeze on the number of seats in Lok Sabha and Assemblies should have been done away after the 2001 Census, but another amendment postponed this until 2026, after the 2021 census.
- This was justified on the ground that a uniform population growth rate would be achieved throughout the country by 2026.
- So, the last delimitation exercise — started in July 2002 and completed in 2008 — was based on the 2001 Census and it only readjusted the boundaries of existing (that time) Lok Sabha and Assembly seats.
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