Ladakh Given Divisional Status by Government

Ladakh was granted a divisional status by the State Government on 9th February, which created three administrative units – Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh in the state. The status was granted by the J&K Governor Mr. Satya Pal Malik.

What is the Divisional Status and Why Give it to Ladakh?

Indian states are sometimes divided into administrative divisions which have official administrative governmental status. This was started by the East India Company from the year 1829 so that administration can reach far flung areas. Each division is administered by a Divisional Commissioner. This office of Divisional Commissioner was created by Lord William Bentinck.

Ladakh used to be a part of the Kashmir division. Reasons for giving it divisional status –

  • Due to extreme climate and topography, the region used to get disconnected from the rest of the state for months as the entrance to the region used to get snowed. This caused administrative problems.
  • The cultural status of Ladakh is very different from the rest of the J&K state.

All these gave the people of Ladakh reasons for demanding setting up Ladakh as a separate Division. However, Ladakh’s Kargil and Leh districts already possess separate hill development councils for local administrative powers. Taking all of these into account the State Government of Jammu and Kashmir issued a notification of creation of Ladakh as the 3rd Division in the state as per the Section 5 of the Land Revenue Act.

Who is the Divisional Commissioner?

  • S/he is an Indian Administrative Officer (IAS) of higher seniority
  • Her/His rank will be that of Secretary to the state governments, or principal secretary to the state government.
  • S/he will be directly responsible for supervising the revenue and development administration of a division.
  • S/he will preside over Local government institutions in the division.
About the Ladakh Division
  • The new division will have Leh and Kargil districts
  • The headquarters of the new division will be at Leh
  • A new Divissional Commissioner and Inspector General of Police will be appointed
  • This might create employment opportunities for the local people of the region
  • The new division now makes Kashmir division as the smallest division of the three geographically (Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh)

The Jammu and Kashmir is a sensitive region for India on all fields – ecologically, politically, administratively etc. Due to harsh weather conditions, lots of problems crop up including Ladakh setting detached from the rest of the state for six months in the winter season. People there had been demanding some decentralization for quite some time. There were demands of creating Leh as a Union Territory. This is an attempt to increase contact with the people of Kashmir by the Government. However, similar demands of creating divisions have come up for the Pir Panjal and Chenab valley regions. Still, this will ultimately help the Indian nation in establishing closer ties with the regional people of Ladakh.


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