Jammu and Kashmir (union territory)

Jammu and Kashmir[lower-alpha 2] is a region administered by India as a union territory, and constituting 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.[10][11] The region of Jammu and Kashmir is separated by the Line of Control from the Pakistani-administered territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan in the west and north respectively. 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
A map of the disputed Kashmir region showing the Indian-administered union territory of Jammu and Kashmir
Administering CountryIndia
Union territory31 October 2019
CapitalSrinagar (May–October)
Jammu (Nov-April)[1]
  BodyGovernment of Jammu and Kashmir
  Lieutenant GovernorGirish Chandra Murmu
  Chief MinisterVacant
  LegislatureUnicameral (114 seats)[2]
  Parliamentary constituencyRajya Sabha (4)
Lok Sabha (5)
  High CourtJammu and Kashmir High Court
  Total42,241 km2 (16,309 sq mi)
Highest elevation7,135 m (23,409 ft)
Lowest elevation247 m (810 ft)
  Density290/km2 (750/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+05:30 (IST)
ISO 3166 codeIN-JK
Vehicle registrationJK
LanguagesKashmiri, Dogri, Punjabi, Pahari, Gojri,[4] Bhadarwahi,[5] Bateri,[6] Shina,[7] and Burushaski[8]
Hindi, English (administrative)

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 erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, with effect from 31 October 2019.[12]


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);[13][14] The Government of India and Indian sources in turn, call the territory under Pakistan control "Pakistan-occupied Kashmir" ("POK") or "Pakistan-held Kashmir" ("PHK").[15][16] "Indian-administered Kashmir" and "Indian-controlled Kashmir" are often used by neutral sources.[17]


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.[18] Indian citizens from other states were not allowed to purchase land or property in Jammu and Kashmir.[19]

Jammu and Kashmir had three distinct areas: Hindu-majority Jammu region, Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley and Buddhist-dominated Ladakh.[20] 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.[20][21]

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.[20]

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.[22] The reorganisation took effect from 31 October 2019.[12]



Jammu and Kashmir is home to several valleys such as the Kashmir Valley, Tawi Valley, Chenab Valley, Poonch Valley, Sind Valley and Lidder Valley.[23] The Kashmir valley is 100 km (62 mi) wide and 15,520.3 km2 (5,992.4 sq mi) in area.[24] 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 Great Plains of northern India.[25] Along the northeastern flank of the Valley runs the main range of the Himalayas.[26] This valley has an average height of 1,850 metres (6,070 ft) above sea-level,[24] but the surrounding Pir Panjal range has an average elevation of 10,000 feet (3,000 m).[27] The Jhelum River is the major Himalayan river which flows through the Kashmir valley.[28] The Tawi, Ravi and Chenab are the major rivers flowing through the region.[29]


The climate of Jammu and Kashmir varies greatly owing to its rugged topography. In the south around Jammu, the climate is typically monsoonal, though the region is sufficiently far west to average 40 to 50 mm (1.6 to 2 inches) of rain per months between January and March. In the hot season, Jammu city is very hot and can reach up to 40 °C (104 °F) whilst in July and August, very heavy though erratic rainfall occurs with monthly extremes of up to 650 millimetres (25.5 inches). In September, rainfall declines, and by October conditions are hot but extremely dry, with minimal rainfall and temperatures of around 29 °C (84 °F).

Across from the Pir Panjal range, the South Asian monsoon is no longer a factor and most precipitation falls in the spring from southwest cloudbands. Because of its closeness to the Arabian Sea, Srinagar receives as much as 25 inches (635 millimetres) of rain from this source, with the wettest months being March to May with around 85 millimetres (3.3 inches) per month. Annual precipitation is only around 100 mm (4 inches) per year and humidity is very low. All the rivers freeze over and locals actually do river crossings during this period because their high levels from glacier melt in summer inhibits crossing.

Administrative divisions

The union territory of Jammu and Kashmir consists of two divisions: Jammu Division and Kashmir Division, and is further divided into 20 districts.[30]

DivisionNameHeadquartersArea (km²)
JammuKathua DistrictKathua2,651
Jammu DistrictJammu3,097
Samba DistrictSamba904
Udhampur DistrictUdhampur4,550
Reasi DistrictReasi1,719
Rajouri DistrictRajouri2,630
Poonch DistrictPoonch1,674
Doda DistrictDoda11,691
Ramban DistrictRamban1,329
Kishtwar DistrictKishtwar1,644
Total for divisionJammu26,293
KashmirAnantnag DistrictAnantnag3,984
Kulgam DistrictKulgam1,067
Pulwama DistrictPulwama1,398
Shopian DistrictShopian612.87
Budgam DistrictBudgam1,371
Srinagar DistrictSrinagar2,228
Ganderbal DistrictGanderbal259
Bandipora DistrictBandipora398
Baramulla DistrictBaramulla4,588
Kupwara DistrictKupwara2,379
Total for divisionSrinagar15,948

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.[31]

The President of India appoints a Lieutenant Governor for the union territory.[31]

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.[31]

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 Lieutenant Governor will also have the power to promulgate ordinances which will have the same force as the acts of the legislative assembly.[31]

The union territory remains under the jurisdiction of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, which will also serve as high court for Ladakh.[31] Police services continue to be provided by the existing Jammu and Kashmir Police.[32]

Elections for the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly are to be held following the implementation of new constituency boundaries which is expected to be completed in 2021.[33]


The main political parties active in the region are the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Indian National Congress, the Jammu & Kashmir National Conference and the Jammu and Kashmir People's Democratic Party. Other parties with a presence in the region parties include the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party and the Jammu and Kashmir People's Conference.

Parliament of India

Jammu and Kashmir sends five members (MPs) to the lower house of the Indian parliament (the Lok Sabha) and four members to the upper house (the Rajya Sabha).

Lok Sabha constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir
ConstituencyReserved for



  1. Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory between India and Pakistan. Jammu and Kashmir has 42,241 km2 of area administered by India and 13,297 km2 of area controlled by Pakistan under Azad Kashmir which is claimed by India as part of Jammu and Kashmir.
  2. Pronounced variably as /ˈæm/ or /ˈʌm/, /ˈkæʃmɪər/ or /kæʃˈmɪər/.[9]

See also


  1. Desk, The Hindu Net (8 May 2017). "What is the Darbar Move in J&K all about?". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 10 November 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  2. https://www.livemint.com/news/india/new-dawn-for-j-k-begins-two-new-federal-units-take-shape-11572493040564.html
  3. "Saser Kangri - AAC Publications - Search The American Alpine Journal and Accidents". Publications.americanalpineclub.org. Archived from the original on 14 February 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  4. Khan, N. (6 August 2012). The Parchment of Kashmir: History, Society, and Polity. Springer. p. 184. ISBN 9781137029584. Archived from the original on 23 February 2019. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  5. "Bhadrawahi". Ethnologue.com. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  6. Bateri.
  7. Crane, Robert I. (1956). Area Handbook on Jammu and Kashmir State. University of Chicago for the Human Relations Area Files. p. 179. Shina is the most eastern of these languages and in some of its dialects such as the Brokpa of Dah and Hanu and the dialect of Dras, it impinges upon the area of the Sino-Tibetan language family and has been affected by Tibetan with an overlay of words and idioms.
  8. "Pakistan's "Burushaski" Language Finds New Relatives". Npr.org. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  9. Jones, Daniel (2003) [1917], Peter Roach; James Hartmann; Jane Setter (eds.), English Pronouncing Dictionary, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-3-12-539683-8
  10. (a) Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannia, Kashmir, region Indian subcontinent, Encyclopaedia Britannica, retrieved 15 August 2019CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link) (subscription required) Quote: "Kashmir, region of the northwestern Indian subcontinent ... has been the subject of dispute between India and Pakistan since the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947. The northern and western portions are administered by Pakistan and comprise three areas: Azad Kashmir, Gilgit, and Baltistan, the last two being part of a territory called the Northern Areas. Administered by India are the southern and southeastern portions, which constitute the state of Jammu and Kashmir but are slated to be split into two union territories. China became active in the eastern area of Kashmir in the 1950s and has controlled the northeastern part of Ladakh (the easternmost portion of the region) since 1962.";
    (b) "Kashmir", Encyclopedia Americana, Scholastic Library Publishing, 2006, p. 328, ISBN 978-0-7172-0139-6 C. E Bosworth, University of Manchester Quote: "KASHMIR, kash'mer, the northernmost region of the Indian subcontinent, administered partlv by India, partly by Pakistan, and partly by China. The region has been the subject of a bitter dispute between India and Pakistan since they became independent in 1947";
  11. Jan·Osma鈔czyk, Edmund; Osmańczyk, Edmund Jan (2003), Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements: G to M, Taylor & Francis, pp. 1191–, ISBN 978-0-415-93922-5 Quote: "Jammu and Kashmir: Territory in northwestern India, subject to a dispute between India and Pakistan. It has borders with Pakistan and China."
  12. Ministry of Home Affairs (9 August 2019), "In exercise of the powers conferred by clause a of section 2 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act." (PDF), The Gazette of India, retrieved 9 August 2019
  13. Zain, Ali (13 September 2015). "Pakistani flag hoisted, pro-freedom slogans chanted in Indian Occupied Kashmir – Daily Pakistan Global". En.dailypakistan.com.pk. Archived from the original on 18 November 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  14. "Pakistani flag hoisted once again in Indian Occupied Kashmir". Dunya News. 11 September 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  15. Snedden, Christopher (2013). Kashmir: The Unwritten History. HarperCollins India. pp. 2–3. ISBN 978-9350298985.
  16. "The enigma of terminology". The Hindu. 27 January 2014. Archived from the original on 16 October 2015.
  17. South Asia: fourth report of session 2006–07 by By Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Foreign Affairs Committee page 37
  18. K. Venkataramanan (5 August 2019), "How the status of Jammu and Kashmir is being changed", The Hindu
  19. "Article 370 and 35(A) revoked: How it would change the face of Kashmir". The Economic Times. 5 August 2019.
  20. Article 370: What happened with Kashmir and why it matters. BBC (2019-08-06). Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  21. Jeelani, Mushtaq A. (25 June 2001). "Kashmir: A History Littered With Rigged Elections". Media Monitors Network. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  22. "Parliament Live | Lok Sabha passes Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, Ayes: 370, Noes 70". Thehindu.com. 6 August 2019. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  23. Vij, Shivam (5 May 2017). "Kashmir Is A Prison With Three Walls". HuffPost. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  24. Guruswamy, Mohan (28 September 2016). "Indus: The water flow can't be stopped". The Asian Age. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  25. Khan, Asma (26 April 2018). "A Tryst of the Heart and History along the Karakoram Highway". Greater Kashmir. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  26. Andrei, Mihai (11 March 2019). "Why India and Pakistan keep fighting over Kashmir — the history of the Kashmir conflict". GME Science. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  27. Vrinda; J. Ramanan (21 December 2017). "Doorway of the gods: Himalaya crosses five countries". The Hindu. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  28. "Jhelum River". Encyclopædia Britannica. 15 December 2015. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  29. Agencies (29 July 2019). "Flooding alert issued as India releases water". The Nation. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  30. "Ministry of Home Affairs:: Department of Jammu & Kashmir Affairs". Archived from the original on 8 December 2008. Retrieved 28 August 2008.
  31. Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Bill passed by Rajya Sabha: Key takeaways, The Indian Express, 5 August 2019.
  32. Ratan, Devesh; Johri, Iti (7 August 2019). "Salient Features Of Jammu & Kashmir Reorganization Bill [Read Bill]". LiveLaw.in: All about law. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  33. "Jammu and Kashmir assembly election in 2021 after delimitation: EC sources". Zee News. 29 August 2019.
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