Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Know Your Right

Muzaffar conducts a short training on what to expect under the J&K Public Services Guarantee Act

(Dr. Raja Muzaffar Bhat, 36, was born in Wathoora village in the Budgam district and matriculated from Tyndale Biscoe Memorial High School in 1993. He completed his Bachelor's degree in Dental Surgery from from the Karnatka University in 2000. He has a private dental practice in Chandoora and is a social activist dedicated to educating public on the Right To Information (RTI) legislation. He is the Convener of the J&K RTI Movement and associated with the Commonwealth Human Rights Intitiative (CHRI) office in New Delhi.)


Corruption is eating into the vitals of the society and it is not only the biggest problem in Jammu & Kashmir but it is one of the serious global issues now. Getting public services is not an easy job in our State. Whether somebody wants a building permission, a ration card or to get a State Subject Certificate people have to pay bribes and have to wait for months together. Now after the enactment of J&K Public Services Guarantee Act 2011(J&K PSG Act 2011) on April 13th 2011 people may get some relief from paying bribes and also from unnecessary delays in Government offices.

It is a matter of right for the people of J&K now to get public services from the various Government offices within specified time. The preamble of this act clearly says that J&K Public Services Guarantee Act 2011 is an act to provide for the delivery of Public Services to the people of the state within the specified time limit. This act can only be useful to public if it is implemented in letter and spirit. It is not only the job of the Government to implement it but the best way to implement it is to make rigorous use of this act.

The public service can be defined as a service which common citizen is supposed to get from the Government. Let us take an example:
A resident of Jammu & Kashmir state has to have a Permanent Resident Certificate (PRC) which is commonly called State Subject Certificate. Providing this certificate to the permanent resident of J&K state is the duty of the Revenue department officials and this can be called a public service. Similarly obtaining building permission, caste certificate, backward certificate, water connection etcetera can all be called public services and now people have the right to get these services within stipulated time and if these services are not provided to the applicants, the officials responsible can be penalized for the same. People won’t have to wait for months or years together to get a ration card , PRC or a building permission. The job has to be done within a specified time.

As per section 4 sub section 2 of J&K PSG Act 2011 the Government may for different areas and different services designate officers who will be responsible for providing each of such service to the eligible persons. This means that there will be officers designated in various offices across nook and corner of the state who will be responsible to provide the public services to the people. For example in order to get Permanent Resident Certificate (State Subject Certificate) the Assistant Commissioner Revenue (ACR), Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) or the Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of the concerned area have been designated as the Designated Officers (DO) and the person who wants to get a PRC (State Subject Certificate) must apply before him under PSG Act 2011 by writing a simple application and attaching the relevant documents with the application. Similarly for getting a ration card the eligible person must apply before concerned Tehsil Supply Officer (TSO) in rural areas and Assistant Director in urban areas of the Consumer Affairs & Public Distribution department (CAPD). Details regarding relevant documents and other designated officers will be elaborated in future. The designated officer (DO) is bound to provide the public service within specified time which varies from fifteen days to months for various service. The time period to receive various services will also be elaborated in future.

If the applicant does not gets the service within the stipulated time or the service provided is deficient in any manner he can file 1st appeal under section 6 sub section 1 of J&K PSG Act 2011 against the Designated Officer (DO) before the designated 1st Appellate Authority (1st AA) within 30 days of getting deficient service or expiry of the time to get the particular service. In case of PRC (State Subject Certificate) the concerned Deputy Commissioner of the area has been designated as 1st Appellate Authority and for getting a ration card the 1st Appellate Authority is the Deputy Director of CAPD. The 1st Appellate Authority has to dispose off the 1st appeal within a time of 45 days under section 6 sub section 2 of J&K PSG Act 2011.

No comments: