JAMMU: Union Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh today urged the J&K government to bring out a legislation to revive the Dogra certificate and issue the same to youths who are willing to join defense services from the region.
"The Dogra certificate was there for long and it helped the youth of the region to get accommodated in the defense services. But the Congress government diluted the certificate in the name of equality between the two regions, but it helped nobody," he told reporters. Speaking at a function organised by the Jammu Press Club, Singh appealed all political parties, including Congress to come onboard and help restore the Dogra certificate to the youth of the Jammu region.
"There are many other places in the country where the youth get certain certificates which help them get relaxation in joining the defense services. "Dogra certificate does not have anything based on religion. Its issuance is based on the demographic and scientific reasons, so it should be restored by the state government", he said.
The previous UPA government had announced relaxation for recruitment in Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs). The relaxations were extended to residents from Kashmir region and Leh and Ladakh regions under the geographical criteria while the same applied to the Dogra people under the ethnic tribe community. But the order was revoked after it was criticised from various quarters.
For border dwellers affected by cross-border firing, the Union Minister said that the state government has identified 10 acres of land in Hira Nagar locality where 5 Marla plots each would be given to the affected. Singh said that 250 bunkers are also being constructed for the security of the people living along the International Border with Pakistan in Jammu region.
He said that the central government has doubled the salary of Special Police Officers (SPO) and Village Defense Committees (VDC) but the same has not been implemented by the state government due to shortage of funds. The minister hinted that the state will soon be getting a "huge financial package" from the Centre and the increased salaries will thus be paid from the package.
He said that he would also like to have two war memorials in Jammu province to commemorate the victory of the 1965 war over Pakistan. When asked to comment on the statement made by PDP president Mehbooba Mufti in which she blamed the Centre for 'youths turning towards guns and stones', he said that issues related to national interest should not be discussed in public.
Singh also assured the Press Club members that demands of construction of a media centre, that include an auditorium, conference hall, video conferencing facility and coffee house, will be lookd into.