India now has officially two more Union Territories (UT) – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. These two UTs came into existence under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019.
Governors for the two UTs, Girish Chandra Murmu and R. K. Mathur will take oath today administrated by the Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Gita Mittal.
First Mathur will take oath as Lt. Governor of Ladakh in Leh. Justice Gita Mittal would then fly to Srinagar to administer the oath of office to Girish Chanra Murmu who will take charge as Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.
Girish Chandra Murmu is an IAS officer from the Gujarat cadre and had served under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He had also served under him when Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
R. K. Mathur, a 1977 batch IAS officer from Tripura cadre, retired as Chief Information Commissioner last year. He was the Defence Secretary from 2013 to 2015.
Security arrangements have beefed up in view of the ceremony. India had scrapped Article 370, which gave Jammu and Kashmir special status. The Central Government was also able to pass the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019, in Parliament which bifurcates the state into two UTs.
While Jammu and Kashmir will have a Legislative Assembly, Ladakh would be under the direct control of the central government. The administrative offices in Jammu and Kashmir have been shifted from Srinagar to Jammu
The former Jammu and Kashmir are now fully integrated into the mainland of India. The central government can now bring both the Union Territories under its direct ambit and provide development more effectively.