Delimitation Commission - J&K Delimitation 2020, Constituencies | UPSC Notes

By K Balaji|Updated : June 30th, 2022

Delimitation is the process of redrawing limits for specific territorial constituencies in a country to reflect population changes based on current census data for the elections. Under the rules of the Delimitation Commission Act, the Delimitation of Constituencies must be done by the commission as an independent panel.

The Indian Parliament enacts the Delimitation Act following each census as per Article 82 of the Constitution. After each census, states are divided into constituencies as per Article 170. Recently, the delimitation commission submitted its report for J&K delimitation as the number of seats was increased in the Assembly.

Table of Content

What is the Delimitation Commission?

It is a high-level or high-power body that has been put by an Act of the Parliament and the orders of the Commission are part of the legal action so no one can question these orders in a court of law. The purpose behind the same is to set the boundaries or fix them for the constituencies all over the country. The sole purpose behind the Commission is “One Vote One Value.”

  • Delimitation Commission is also known as the boundary commission.
  • The President of India appoints the Delimitation Commission and it works in association with the Election Commission of India.

It is a significant topic for the students studying current affairs and related subjects concentrating on Indian polity, and governance-related subjects for the upcoming UPSC Exam.

Composition of Delimitation Commission

The delimitation commission members include the following

  • Retired Supreme Court judge
  • Chief Election Commissioner
  • Respective State Election Commissioners

Jammu Kashmir Delimitation Commission

The Delimitation Commission 2020 for J&K was set up because the erstwhile J&K state had 111 seats, 46 in Kashmir, 37 in Jammu, and 4 in Ladakh; plus 24 seats reserved for Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

The Jammu Kashmir Delimitation Commission Members are

  • Justice (Retired) Ranjana Prakash Desai
  • Sushil Chandra
  • former chief election commissioner of India
  • J&K election commissioner, K.K. Gupta

The J&K Delimitation Commission proposed various changes, but the following got the approval of the Union Government. The Union Government, through an official notification, approved the J&k Delimitation Commission proposals. The Delimitation Commission has seen the Jammu & Kashmir region as one single Union Territory.

The Delimitation Commission Jammu Kashmir made the following changes-

  • The legislative Assembly seats were increased to 7. Six in Jammu (now 43 seats) and one in Kashmir (47 seats).
  • Reservation of seats for ST - 9 seats and for SC candidates 7 seats have been reserved.
  • Removal of the regional distinction between Jammu and Kashmir and treating it as one. This was done by combining of Anantnag region in Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu to carve out Anantnag-Rajouri as a Parliamentary constituency.
  • Two seats are reserved for the Kashmiri Pandit community nomination.

The Delimitation Commission J&K did not make any delimitation for the 24 seats reserved for the Pakistan-occupied part of Jammu and Kashmir.

Delimitation Commission Act

The process of delimitation must be carried out in a specified manner for its smooth functioning by following the below-mentioned steps:

  • As per Article 82, the Delimitation Act needs to be enacted by the Parliament once every cycle of the census is done.
  • According to Article 170 of the same Act, States also get divided into territorial constituencies after every census.
  • Once the Act is passed and brought to power, it is the Central or the Union Government that has to set up a Delimitation Commission.
  • Once the Commission is given the powers, then they come out with delimitation and related policies.

Delimitation Commission of India [Timeline]

The Delimitation Commission was appointed by the President of the country taking the help of the Election Commission in 1950-51 as part of the very first exercise.

  • So far there have been four such commissions after the initial Act was enacted in 1952, with the commissions being set up in 1952, 1963, 1972, and 2002.
  • The census of 1981 and 1991 did not see any commissions as such.

Duties of the Delimitation Commission

The Delimitation Commission is a high-level body that has the duty to manage the different territorial constituencies and their representation in the Lok Sabha. It is done by the House of the People and Legislative Assembly of every state in the country based on the current population figures as collected according to the census statistics.

  • The commission ensures equal representation to equal parts of a population.
  • Geographical areas are divided fairly so that one political party doesn’t have an edge over others in an election.

Delimitation of Constituencies

The number and boundaries of constituencies are determined in such a manner that equal representation for equal segments of the population is possible.

  • No political party should be given any kind of prominence or should be in a position to avail undue advantage.
  • In areas where the population of SCs and STs is in great numbers, then a seat must be reserved for them as identified by the Commission.
  • The majority always wins and has an upper hand when there is some kind of difference in opinion.

The commission was established to give prominence to the voters and value them to have a fair division of geographical areas rather than giving undue importance to the political parties. It came to redraw the boundaries of the various constituencies including the Assembly as well as Lok Sabha seats based on a recent census.

Problems with the Delimitation Commission

  • The major problem that was behind the Delimitation was that States are bound to end up with a larger number of seats in Parliament that took little interest in population control. The southern states were at a loss in such cases.
  • The total number of seats in the Parliament and the Legislative Assembly that was fixed as per the 1971 census saw no changes even in 2008 when the delimitation was based on the census of 2001.
  • A cap that has been put by the Constitution of India on the maximum number of seats in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha has made it possible for a single representative to represent increasing populations after the delimitation.

Delimitation Commission UPSC

UPSC Polity books are the best way to get the desired knowledge on these polity and governance issues that hold a great significance for aspirants preparing for the IAS Exam.

The UPSC Previous Year Question Papers for Prelims & Mains must be solved as and when possible to whatever extent to gain confidence and get the knowledge of questions that you might get in the paper. Both objectives, as well as subjective questions, must be practiced as the students can get them in any form.

Download Delimitation Commission UPSC Notes PDF

Delimitation Commission UPSC Question

UPSC Prelims Question 2012: Regarding the Delimitation Commission, consider the following statements:

  1. The orders of the Delimitation Commission cannot be challenged in a Court of Law.
  2. When the orders of the Delimitation Commission are laid before the Lok Sabha or State Legislative Assembly, they cannot affect any modifications in the orders.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Options:

A) 1 only

B) 2 only

C) Both 1 and 2

D) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer. Option C: Both 1 and 2

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FAQs on Delimitation Commission

  • The provisions of the Delimitation Commission Act, 1952, made it possible for the coming up of the Delimitation Commission of India. The main aim is to fix the limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a country by taking care of Lok Sabha and Legislative Assembly in the country to represent population change.

  • The Delimitation Commission Act get enacted in 1952 with the commissions being set up 4 times – 1952, 1963, 1973, and 2002 under the Acts of 1952, 1962, 1972, and 2002.

  • The Parliament is bound to enact the Delimitation Act after every Census is carried out under Article 82. Under Article 170, as per the Delimitation Act, States also get divided into territorial constituencies.

  • The Delimitation Commission is appointed by the President of India in association with the Election Commission of India with the members being

    • A retired judge of the Supreme Court
    • The Chief Election Commissioner
    • State Election Commissioners (of the respective states)

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