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New Delhi: With a month to go for the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act to take effect, the Union home ministry and the Jammu and Kashmir administration have begun to flesh out the modalities of the move.

Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla and Jammu and Kashmir chief secretary B.V.R. Subrahmanyam met in the national capital on Thursday, in the third meeting between them to lay the groundwork for the two Union territories (UTs) of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

The announcement bifurcating Jammu and Kashmir into two UTs was made on 5 August, along with the decision to abrogate Article 370, which gave special status to the erstwhile state.

Various aspects of the J&K Reorganisation Act and its implementation were discussed on Thursday, said people familiar with the development, requesting anonymity. The Act will come into effect on 31 October.

On Wednesday, Subrahmanyam, J&K principal secretary Rohit Kansal and additional secretary (Jammu and Kashmir division) Gynesh Kumar held a two-hour-long meeting in this context.

Previously recruited officers of the Jammu and Kashmir cadre of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), and other central service officers will continue to serve in the parent cadre, while new recruits will be allocated the Arunachal Goa Mizoram and Union Territories (AGMUT) cadre, according to the Act.

The allocation of employees and officers between the two UTs, as well as the division of assets, are key issues that are being fleshed out.

Ladakh will be a UT without a legislative assembly, while the UT of Jammu and Kashmir will have a lieutenant governor and a 107-member assembly, which will be enhanced to 114 after a delimitation exercise. As many as 24 seats of the assembly will remain vacant as they fall under Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Kashmir has been grappling with a curfew, communication shutdown, and a heavy security blanket since Article 370 was abrogated.

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