The Modi Government revoked the special status of the state Jammu and Kashmir that had been suffering for the last 70 years precisely six months ago in August, 2019. The “special status” under Article 370 was meant to be a boon for Kashmir but it ended up becoming a nightmare for the state, owing to severe exploitation of the Constitutional Special Status by local radical Islamist groups. Scrapping the state of this special status meant splitting the state into two union territories and bringing them under the rule of the central government, like all other Indian States. This would ensure higher security and better governance without the political and religiously fuelled interference of several organisations within the state.
The abrogation of Article 370 by the central government, ruled by BJP (Bhartiya Janata Party), was met with widespread support within the country but not without some flak from international media as well as the Indian Opposition.
6 months later, walking down the streets of Kashmir, one can heave a sigh of relief at the fact that the state has received 44 proposals for investments and this appears to be a visible sign of progress. Ever since the Modi Government revoked Article 370 and 35A from Jammu and Kashmir, multiple foreign companies have shown interest in investing a whopping amount totalling 175 Million USD.
The State Government has disclosed that these investment proposals came between August, 2019 and December, 2019. The money will truly be a harbinger of positive change in Kashmir and generate employment for the youth – something that has been long awaited in the beautiful area, which is otherwise rife with political turmoil and deprivation of a right to legal employment.
The Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, an able and dedicated Cabinet Minister mentioned that “All proposals are currently under scrutiny by respective departments” and await approval.
In an additional statement, Mr. Goyal said that the number of patent applications in the area have increased from a mere 22,631 in 2014-15 to a massive 85,426 by the end of 2018-19. “Time taken in examination of patents has reduced from an average of 72 months in 2014-15 to around 36 months at present. Grant of patents has increased from 5,978 in 2014-15 to 15,283 in 2018-19. Period of examination of new trademark applications was reduced from 13 months in 2015-16 to less than 30 days currently.” he said.
Adding to that, the Minister also mentioned that “India now has among the fastest trademark examination globally – trademark is registered in less than 7 months, if there are no office objections or opposition filed, as compared to 3-5 years required earlier”.
11.25 lakh trademark registrations have been done in 5 years (2015 – 2019) alone, compared to 11 lakh registrations done in the last 75 years (1940-2015).
After the removal of article 370, the Government has also sanctioned the construction and commencement of 9 medical universities in Jammu and Kashmir, along with 2 branches of AIIMS – All India Institute of Medical Sciences – the most coveted Medical Institution in the country.
This kind of a development in the area was truly unprecedented by those who were highly critical of the government’s move to revoke the special status of Kashmir and had been adding a religious speculation to the decision – implying that the apparent constitutional decision had an underlying motive of suppressing Muslims – which was never the case.
Ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge as the Head of the BJP (Bhartiya Janata Party) in 2014, the Central Government has been trying to bring a wave of development, employment and progress to the country to fulfil their desire of making India a fully developed nation and bring justice to the potential it truly has.