Bills & Acts Current Affairs 2019 - Current Affairs Today

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Updated:19-07-2019 23:01:48
Updated:19-07-2019 2 days ago
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  • The Lok Sabha passed the Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2019

    2 days ago
    The Lok Sabha  passed the Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The Bill aimed at establishing a Central University and Tribal University in Andhra Pradesh on July 12. The  government has allotted Rs.450 crore for the central university and Rs.420 crore for the central tribal university for offer research facilities in the fields of art, culture and technology to the tribal population.  Aim: The Bill seeks to amend the Central Universities Act, 2009. It aims to Provide  higher educational and research facilities in tribal art, culture, and customs primarily to the tribal population of India. It also aims to provide quality of higher education and also promote avenues of higher education for the people of the state. The Tribal University provide research facilities in tribal art, culture and customs and advancement in technology to the tribal population of India.  

    Rajya Sabha passed the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on 16 July

    2 days ago
    The Rajya Sabha passed the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on 16 July. The Bill aims to raise the threshold for an airport to qualify as major airport and inturn to reduce the tariff-fixing power of airport regulator to fewer airports.  The approval of the Bill will make as many as 16 airports under the purview of AERA. All other airports will continue to be looked after by the Civil Aviation Ministry. The amendment of the Bill does not subserve the interest of consumers. Bill lapsed: AERA (Amendment) Bill was earlier approved by the Cabinet in December 2017 during the first tenure of Modi government. The Bill got lapsed as it could not be passed in last year’s Monsoon Session. In the second term of the NDA government, the new Lok Sabha has approved the Bill again. The Bill got the Cabinet approval on June 24. Cons of the Bill: Privatisation of the airports and bidding system would impact the growth rate of sector, which is growing at around 10%. As the air ticket will be costlier the government would not be able to fulfill its target to take the air travel to common man. Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA): The AERA is a regulator that has the powers to set the tariffs charged at airports. It was established under the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act, 2008. Currently, the major airports, that have an annual capacity to handle 1.5 million passengers, falls under the purview of Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA).

    Meghalaya became the first Indian state to draft a water policy

    15 July 2019
    Meghalaya became the first Indian state to draft a water policy to ensure water conservation, issues and protection of water resources in the State. The Meghalaya State Cabinet approved the draft on July 12, 2019. The approved policy intended to achieve sustainable development by  Meghalaya state government. Aim: The Water Policy, which was approved by the Meghalaya State government, aims to provide safe and hygienic water for various purposes like drinking, domestic, sanitation and livelihood development. The policy recognised water as a common pool resource for all residents of the state. It is hoped that the Water conservation will improve health and livelihood and reduce water vulnerability among the people. Implementing the policy will assure good governance for present and future generations through integrated water resources management and environmental sustainability. Features of the policy: Meghalaya State Dam Safety Organisation's (SDSO) safety audit of state dams at periodic intervals to identify the safety risks and mitigate the adverse impacts. The policy included measures such as construction of check dams to conserve rainwater, setting up of rainwater harvesting systems, and proper ways to control improper use of groundwater. State government committees will be formed at village level to address the issue of groundwater. With this, the participation of the community is expected as it is to reach to the villages. The State department will monitor the quality of the water to check if it has a high content of iron or if it's acidic.



    Rajya sabha passed the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on 8 July

    9 July 2019
    Rajya sabha passed the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on 8 July. It allows the voluntary linking of the 12-digit identification number as part of know your customer (KYC) guidelines to open bank accounts or get a mobile connection. The bill will become a Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) law after President’s approval. Amendments: The amendments in the law will enable the authority responsible for issuing Aadhaar numbers to hold back the misuse of 12 digit identification numbers by aadhar. An Aadhaar holder can now opt for offline verification through QR code with consent.  An individual can not be  compelled to provide proof of possession of Aadhaar number or undergo authentication for the purpose of establishing their identity unless it is so provided by a law made by Parliament. The cost of e-KYC verifications for banks, financial technology companies and telecom service providers had increased substantially after the Supreme Court ruled in September that Aadhaar could only be used in direct benefit transfer for welfare schemes. Provisions under the Bill: UIDAI can impose a penalty of up to ₹1 crore if an entity fails to comply with the Aadhaar law and does not provide information sought by UIDAI.  UIDAI has given an option to children to cancel their Aadhaar on attaining 18 years.  Also, an entity is given a provision to create a UIDAI Fund, which will contain all fees, grants and charges received by the authority. The fund will be used for UIDAI’s expenses SC order: In September 2018, considering the privacy concerns, SC said that it was not mandatory for customers to link their Aadhaar number with their respective bank accounts or mobile phone numbers.  The Centre has brought in an ordinance to amend three laws in February. The laws are: 1. Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 2. Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 3. Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 The ordinance was passed to enable the government’s decision for voluntary use of Aadhaar for fulfilling KYC norms. 

    Rajya Sabha passed the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill 2019

    6 July 2019
    The Rajya Sabha passed the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on 4 June. The Bill was introduced by Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. It allows for the supersession of the Medical Council of India (MCI) by a Board of Governors for a two-year period from 2018 till 2020. The Bill will also allow for the increase in the number of members in the Board of Governors to 12 from the existing seven. As the Bill has been passed by both Houses, it will replace an ordinance that was promulgated on February 21.  The panel of eminent professionals will run the scam-tainted Medical Council of India (MCI) so that medical education can be regulated in the best manner. The BoG will have eminent people that includes directors of AIIMS and PGI, Chandigarh. The board will prevail until a council is constituted. The medical education can be regulated by the introduction of the BoGs in the best manner.  

    Parliament passed Central Educational Institutions (Reservations in Teachers' Cadre) Bill 2019

    6 July 2019
    The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Bill, 2019 passed by the Parliament.  The Rajya Sabha passed the Bill after it got passed in Lok Sabha on 1st July 2019. This Bill replaces the “The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Ordinance, 2019”.  The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Bill, 2019 holds as one unit restoring earlier reservation system. The main aim of the bill is to implement a 200-point reservation system instead of 1 3-point roster system will pave the way for filling more than 7,000 teaching jobs. Around 7000 existing vacancies in Central Educational Institutions paved the way for filling up 3 lakh vacancies in the Government (Central and State) Educational institutions. The compliance of the Constitutional Provisions of Articles 14, 16 and 21. The full representation of the Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes is to improve the teaching standards in the higher educational institutions by attracting all eligible talented candidates belonging to SCs/STs/SEBCs/EWS. The unit for reservation of posts in direct recruitment in teachers cadre will be the ‘University/Educational Institution will address the long-standing demands of persons belonging to SCs/STs/SEBCs and ensure their rights envisaged under the Constitution.

    Union Cabinet approved the Code on Wages Bill on 3 July

    4 July 2019
    The Union Cabinet approved the Code on Wages Bill, a draft legislation, on 3 July. The Bill seeks to mandate minimum wages fixed by the central government which will be implemented by states for all occupations. It is a first step towards reviving the labour law reform process.  About the Bill: The Code on Wages Bill was tabled in Lok Sabha in August 2017. But the Bill lapsed after the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha. The Bill proposed to empowerthe states to fix different minimum wages based on geography, skill and occupation, along with a national-level minimum wage which will act as a floor.  Currently, the minimum wages are fixed on the basis of categories such as skilled, unskilled, semi-skilled, high skilled, geographical regions, and nature of work. These categories are applicable for 45 central sphere establishments and 1709 scheduled employments in states.  At present, the Centre has fixed a non-statutory measure, that is, a National Floor-Level Minimum Wage, to ensure that states fix their minimum wages beyond this floor level. Under the Code on Wages Bill, four labour laws will be combined. The four laws are: 1) Payment of Wages Act, 1936 2) Minimum Wages Act, 1948 3) Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 4) Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 Ministry of Labour and Employment: Headquarters: New Delhi Minister: Santosh Gangwar (independent charge) Aim: ♦ To develop and coordinate vocational skill training and employment ♦ To create a healthy work environment for higher production and productivity  ♦ It is responsible to protect and safeguard the interest of workers in general and the poor, deprived and disadvantaged sections of the society.

    Lok Sabha passed the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers Cadre) Bill 2019

    2 July 2019
    The Lok Sabha passed the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Bill 2019 in 1 July 2019. The Bill seeks to replace an Ordinance which was issued in March. The House unanimously passed the Bill. The opposition demanded the bill to be referred to the standing committee for a comprehensive review.  Aim: The Bill will reiterate the government’s commitment towards reservation and to give equal opportunity to all as per the Constitution. This bill will give enough scope and opportunities in higher education sector in the country. The Bill will help fill about 7,000 existing vacancies in 41 Central universities. It aims to provide for reservation in appointments by direct recruitment of persons belonging to the SC, ST, Socially and Economically Backward Classes and Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) to the teachers’ cadre in certain Central Education Institution. Provisions of the Bill: The Bill will make University a unit, rather than a department, for the purpose of providing reservation in teachers’ positions in Central educational institutions. The Bill also has provision for 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Section (EWS). The government has already approved allocation of ₹770 crore for reservation for EWS.

    Rajya Sabha cleared the Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Bill, 2019

    29 June 2019
    The Rajya Sabha cleared the Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on June 27.that seeks to allow trusts to set up units in special economic zones, a day after the Lok Sabha passed the measure. The Bill will replace the Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019, promulgated in March. The amendment of sub-section (v) of Section 2 of the SEZ Act, 2005 will make a trust or any entity notified by the Central government eligible for consideration of grant of permission to set up a unit in special economic zones. The Bill aims at improving and encouraging more investments and introducing features including single-window clearance and to ease imports and exports.  Ordinance: The Bill will replace the ordinance promulgated in February 2019. The ordinance seeks to amend the definition of a person under the SEZ Act 2005, which will enable a trust to be considered for grant of permission to set up a unit. Exports from SEZs rose 21% on year to Rs 7 lakh crore in FY19. As of March 31, there were 232 SEZs, of which 25 are multiproduct and the rest are sector specific, with 5,109 approved units.


    Lok Sabha passed the Homeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2019

    29 June 2019
    Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State, Ministry of AYUSH presented the Homeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha. It passed the Bill on 27 June. Once Rajya Sabha passes the Bill, it will replace the ordinance issued in the same regard by the previous government. This was the second bill to be passed in Lok Sabha, in the second term of NDA government, after the Special Economic Zone (Amendment) Bill 2019. Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2019: The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2019 enables the government to extend the tenure of the Board of Governors (BoGs) for a further period of one year, with effect from May 17, 2019. The BoGs have been entrusted with the affairs of the Central Homeopathy Council.  The Board of Governors constitutes of eminent and qualified homoeopathy doctors and eminent administrators. The opposition parties opposed the Bill and demanded that the government should further examine the proposed legislation and provide supervision mechanism for homoeopathy and ayurvedic medical institutions. Homeopathy Central Council Act, 1973: The Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973 was enacted for the constitution of the Central Council of Homeopathy, along with the maintenance of the Central Register of Homeopathy and matters related to the field of homoeopathy. The Act was amended and passed in December 2002 as Homoeopathy Central Council Amendment Act, 2002. The amendment was to make provisions and seek permission from the central government for the setting up of new colleges or starting new courses or increase the admissions in the existing colleges. Despite the amendment many homoeopathic colleges are still struggling to meet the required standards necessary for quality education.

    Lok Sabha passed the Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Bill, 2019

    27 June 2019
    The Lok Sabha passed the Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on 26 June. The amendment of sub-section (v) of Section 2 of the SEZ Act, 2005 will make a trust or any entity notified by the Central government eligible for consideration of grant of permission to set up a unit in special economic zones. The Bill aims at improving and encouraging more investments and introducing features including single-window clearance and to ease imports and exports.  Ordinance: The Bill will replace the ordinance promulgated in February 2019. The ordinance seeks to amend the definition of a person under the SEZ Act 2005, which will enable a trust to be considered for grant of permission to set up a unit. Exports from SEZs rose 21% on year to Rs 7 lakh crore in FY19. As of March 31, there were 232 SEZs, of which 25 are multiproduct and the rest are sector specific, with 5,109 approved units.

    Fresh bill to ban Triple Talaq to be introduced in Lok Sabha

    21 June 2019
    A fresh bill to ban the practice of instant triple talaq introduced in the Lok Sabha.  The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 is been listed in the Lok Sabha's agenda replace an ordinance This is issued in February by the previous BJP-led NDA government. The 16th Lok Sabha the previous bill had lapsed pending in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill proposes to make the practice of instant triple talaq (talaq-e-biddat) a penal offence. The new bill is a copy of the ordinance in force.  Under the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance, 2019 The divorcing through instant triple talaq is illegal, void and will attract a jail term of three years for the husband.

    Union Cabinet cleared NDIAC Bill, 2019 on institutionalised arbitration

    16 June 2019
    The Union Cabinet has cleared the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC) Bill, 2019, which provides for setting up of an independent and autonomous body for institutional arbitration. It also aims to acquire and transfer the undertakings of International Centre For Alternative Dispute Resolution to New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC) with effect from March 2 this year. The Bill provides to replace and repeal the NDIAC Ordinance, 2019. The proposed New Delhi International Arbitration Centre is headed by a chairperson, who has been a judge of the Supreme Court or a judge of a high court or an eminent person, having special knowledge and experience in the conduct or administration of arbitration.

    The Union Cabinet approved two Medical Bills that was lapsed in the 16th Lok Sabha session

    13 June 2019
    The Union Cabinet approved the two Medical Bills, Indian Medical Council (Amendment Bill), 2019, and the Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment Bill), 2019. Both the bills had lapsed in the 16th Lok Sabha session.  The Bills are to be reintroduced in the upcoming Parliament session.  Indian Medical Council (Amendment Bill), 2019: The Bill is aimed at bringing in accountability, transparency, and quality in the governance of medical education in the country. The bill will also provide for supersession of the Medical Council of India (MCI) for a period of two years from August 26, 2018. The Board of Governors shall exercise the powers and functions of the MCI as assigned under the IMC Act, 1956. The Board of Governors (BoG) members will be increased from existing 7 to 12. Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment Bill), 2019: The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment Bill), 2019 is intended to extend the period for reconstitution of the Central Council from an existing period of one year to two years. Also, the tenure of the Board of Governors will be extended for a further period of one year with effect from May 17, 2019. Dentists Act, 1948: The Centre has also approved the introduction of a Bill to amend the Dentists Act, 1948. The Bill aimed to make the Dental Council of India more effective. The Bill is expected to restructure the Dental Councils. Also, the representation of Central government members and elected members would no longer be made mandatory in the Dental Councils.

    Triple Talaq Bill is to be tabled in the very first session of Parliament in the NDA government

    9 June 2019
    The second term of Narendra Modi government is likely to place the controversial Triple Talaq Bill in its very first session of Parliament. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Second Ordinance was promulgated on February 21, 2019.  An ordinance will lapse after six months of the promulgation. The bill should be passed by both sessions of Parliament within 45 days after the first sitting of Parliament. The Modi government’s government in its first tenure has failed to get the Bill cleared in the Rajya Sabha as the Opposition opposed the criminality clause. Even after removing the clause the government could not table the Bill, owing to continuous disruptions. Ordinance: The ordinance is a decree or law promulgated by a state or national government without the consent of the legislature. Article 123 of the Constitution of India grants the President certain law-making powers to promulgate ordinances when either of the two Houses of Parliament is not in session. The governor of a state can also issue ordinances under Article 213 when the state legislative assembly is not in session. Ordinances cease to operate either if Parliament/State assembly does not approve of them within six weeks of once both houses of the Parliament are in session, or if disapproving resolutions are passed by both Houses. 

    Lok Sabha passed the Indian Forest Amendment Bill, 2017

    22 March 2019
    The Lok Sabha passed the Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2017. The bill replaces Indian Forest (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 promulgated by President Ram Nath Kovind in November 2017 and amends Indian Forest Act, 1927.  Though bamboo was taxonomically a grass, it was earlier defined as a tree under the Indian Forest Act, 1927 and its felling and transit required permission. It was a major impediment for bamboo cultivation by farmers on non-forest land.  The bill omits bamboo grown in non-forest areas from the definition of trees. The omission thereby exempts it from requiring permits for felling or transportation of bamboo grown in non-forest areas. With this, bamboo grown in non-forest areas ceases to be a tree. It will encourage bamboo plantation by farmers, which will contribute to doubling farmers income by 2022.  The Indian Forest Act, 1927 consolidates laws relating to forests, the transit of forest-produce and duty to be levied on them. Under it, the definition of the tree includes palms, stumps, bamboos, brush-wood, and canes.

    MoEFCC amended rules to ban the import of solid plastic waste

    8 March 2019
    The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has amended the Hazardous and other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016 to completely ban the import of solid plastic waste.  The amendment notified by the MoEFCC fixes a loophole which previously allowed the import of plastic waste into India for processing. The ban on the import of plastics is in lines with the principles of sustainable development. To ensure the ban doesn't adversely impact the ease of doing business, the amendment allows the reverse import of defective electrical and electronic assemblies and components manufactured in and exported from India, within a year of export. India is exploring various options to discourage the use of single-use plastics and also is emphasizing recycling of the plastic waste to reduce the burden on the environment thereby providing benefits.

    Cabinet approved the National Mineral Policy 2019 on 28th February

    1 March 2019
    The Union Cabinet approved the National Mineral Policy 2019 on 28th February 2019. The policy is aimed at bringing about more effective regulation to the sector as well as a more sustainable approach while addressing the issues of those affected by mining. The policy will also provide a more effective, meaningful and implementable policy that brings in further transparency, better regulation, and enforcement, balanced social and economic growth as well as sustainable mining practices.  It also aims to increase the share of Indian software products in global market by tenfold, pitches for nurturing of 10,000 technology start-ups in software product industry, including 1,000 such startups in tier-II and tier-III towns.

    Cabinet approved the ordinance to curb Ponzi schemes

    20 February 2019
    The Cabinet approved the promulgation of an ordinance with regard to the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, to protect investors from Ponzi schemes. The Lok Sabha had passed the Bill on the last day of the Budget session, but could not get the approval of the Rajya Sabha. The proposed ordinance will tackle the menace of illicit deposit-taking activities launched by rapacious operators who exploiting regulatory gaps and lack of strict administrative measures to dupe poor and gullible people of their hard-earned savings. It has provisions for punishment and repayment of deposits. Ponzi scheme: Ponzi scheme is a form of fraud which lures investors and pays profits to earlier investors by using funds obtained from more recent investors.

    LS passed the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2018

    16 February 2019
    The Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2018 was passed in Lok Sabha. It amends the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act, 1951. The act was provided for the erection of a National Memorial in memory of those killed or wounded on April 13, 1919 in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar.  The Bill provided a Trust to manage the National Memorial. The Trust as per the 1951 Act includes: (i) the Prime Minister, as Chairperson, (ii) the President of the Indian National Congress, (iii) Minister-in-charge of Culture, (iv) the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, (v) the Governor of Punjab, (vi) the Chief Minister of Punjab, and (vii) three eminent persons nominated by the central government. The 2018 amendment bill removes the President of and the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha. It also says that the leader of the single largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha will be the Trustee.

    Rajya Sabha cleared law removing leprosy as ground for divorce

    14 February 2019
    Parliament passed a Bill removing leprosy as a ground for divorce under five personal laws, including the Hindu Marriage Act. The Rajya Sabha on the last day of the Budget session passed the Bill without debate after consensus on the issue.  The Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018 sought to remove leprosy as a ground for divorce in five personal laws, Hindu Marriage Act, Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, Divorce Act (for Christians), Special Marriage Act and the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act.

    Centre introduced the Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indian Bill

    14 February 2019
    The government has introduced the Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indian Bill, 2019 in the Parliament. The Bill aims to arrest the cases of Indian women being trapped in fraudulent marriages with non-resident Indians (NRI). The bill was introduced by the Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill proposes to offer greater protection to Indian women married to NRIs and serve as a deterrent to NRIs against harassment of their spouses.

    Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and triple talaq Bill lapsed

    14 February 2019
    The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 lapsed as the government failed to push it through Rajya Sabha despite a last- ditch effort as the term of the present Lok Sabha ends.  The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was seen as violating the terms of the 1985 Assam Accord that had set March 24, 1971 as the cut-off for granting citizenship.  Along with the Citizenship Bill, the triple talaq Bill that criminalises instant divorce in a Muslim marriage has also lapsed.

    AP Assembly cleared Kapu sub castes, EWS Bills

    10 February 2019
    The Andhra Pradesh Assembly passed the Bills for 5% reservation each for the Kapus (Kapus, Telaga, Ontari and Balija sub-castes) and other Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in the general category consequent to the 103rd amendment to the Constitution. The Bills are the A.P. EWSs of Citizens (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions and of Appointments or Posts in the Public Services under the State for Kapus) Bill, 2019 and the A.P. EWS other than Kapus (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions and of Appointments or Posts in Public Services under the State) Bill, 2019. The Assembly also passed the A.P. Backward Classes Sub-Plan (Planning, Allocation, and Utilisation of Financial Resources) Bill, 2019 (BC Sub-Plan) after brief debate on its modalities.

    President of India gives assent to The Constitution (One Hundred and third Amendment) ACT, 2019

    14 January 2019
    President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the Constitution (One Hundred and Third Amendment) Act, 2019 which grants 10 percent reservation in jobs and educational institutions to the economically weaker sections in the general category. The Act amends Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution to provide reservation to the economically weaker sections in the general category. The 10 percent reservation will be in addition to the existing 50 percent reservation for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes (OBC) making the total reservation quota 60%. Following a group of general category, people are eligible for the reservation as per the law Families with Income below Rs 8 lakh per annum.

    Centre introduced the Trade Unions Act, 1926 in LS

    12 January 2019
    Centre introduced a Bill in the Lok Sabha to amend the Trade Unions Act, 1926. The Centre said that the Bill would grant recognition to trade unions, ensure representation of workers in tripartite bodies and check arbitrary nomination by the government. The CPI(M) members protested against introducing the Bill and walked out in protest.

    Rajya Sabha Cleared 10 percent quota for economically weak in general category

    10 January 2019
    A day after Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha on 9th January , 2019 passed the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty Fourth Amendment) Bill 2019 to introduce a 10% reservation for economically weaker sections among general category for jobs and educational institutions. The bill was supported by 165 members while seven members voted against it. The bill had the support of 323 lawmakers in the lower house. The quota is over and above 50 percent mandated for the SCs, STs and the OBCs. The major castes to benefit from the proposed law are Brahmins, Rajputs (Thakurs), Jats, Marathas, Bhumihars, several trading castes, Kapus and Kammas among other upper castes. The Bill amends Article 15 of the Constitution, by adding a clause which allows states to make "special provision for the advancement of any economically weaker sections of citizens".

    Lok Sabha passed the 'DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019'

    9 January 2019
    The purpose of this Bill is to expand the application of DNA-based forensic technologies to support and strengthen the justice delivery system of the country. The key components of this Bill include: establishment of a DNA Regulatory Board; accreditation of DNA laboratories undertaking DNA testing, analysing, etc.; establishment of the National and Regional DNA Data Banks, as envisaged in the Bill, will assist in forensic investigations. The Bill also aims to add value in empowering the criminal justice delivery system by enabling the application of DNA evidence, which is considered the gold standard in crime investigations. Earlier, Shashi Tharoor of Congress and N K Premchandran of RSP opposed the bill and demanded to send it to the Standing Committee of the House.

    Cabinet cleared the redrafted Citizenship Amendment Bill

    8 January 2019
    The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016 recommended that the Assam government should help settle migrants especially in places which are not densely populated, thus, causing a lesser impact on the demographic changes and providing succour to the indigenous Assamese people. The Union Cabinet cleared the redrafted Citizenship Amendment Bill and it will be tabled in Parliament. The Bill paves the way to grant citizenship to six religious minorities: Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians, and Buddhists, from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh who came to India before 2014. The BJP-ruled Assam showed strong resistance to the bill as it would pave the way for giving citizenship for people came after March 1971 in Assam, which adds burden to the State, in violation of the Assam Accord of 1985.

    Cabinet approved a Constitution Amendment Bill to provide 10 percent reservation

    8 January 2019
    The Cabinet approved a Constitution Amendment Bill to provide 10% reservation to the economically backward sections in the general category. The Bill will also cover those from the Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist and other minority communities.  The quota will be over and above the existing 50% reservation to the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes (OBC). The government is likely to bring a Constitution Amendment bill in Parliament. According to article 368, the Bill must be passed in each House by an absolute majority (over 50% of total membership) and a two-thirds majority of members present and voting. Eligibility: ♦ People earning Iess lakh annually ♦ People who own farm land below 5 acres ♦ People own a measuring less than 1,000 sq ft ♦ In its famous lndra Sawhney judgment, the Supreme Court had set a ap of 50% on quotas ♦ A Constitutional Amendment Bill would be required as the Constitution does not provide for reservation on the ground of economic conditions. It envisages Amendments to Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution

    LS passed Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill

    6 January 2019
    The Lok Sabha passed the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2018. The Bill will allow a panel of eminent professionals to run the scam-tainted Medical Council of India (MCI) so that medical education can be regulated in the best manner. Health Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda said this Bill superseded the MCI and the powers of the council had been vested in a Board of Governors (BoG). The BoG will have all eminent personalities and include directors of AIIMS and PGI, Chandigarh. This board will continue to perform till a council is constituted. The Bill seeks to replace an ordinance issued in September 2018. A separate Bill to replace the MCI with the National Medical Commission is pending in Parliament.

    Parliament passed the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill

    5 January 2019
    Parliament following the approval from the Rajya-Sabha passed a bill to provide retrospective recognition to central and state government funded institutions offering B.Ed and related courses that are not recognized under the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) Act.. The NCTE (Amendment) Bill which will be a one-time measure would help over 17,000 students who have obtained B.Ed degrees from those institutions which do not have NCTE approval for the course under the 1993 law. 23 state and central universities and colleges offering B.Ed courses were found not recognized by the Council. The government would ensure that the quality of institutes offering B.Ed courses is maintained and proposes to start an integrated course in B.ED as in Law and other courses from 2020.

    Bill on Arunachals ST list approved by Union cabinet

    4 January 2019
    The Union Cabinet approved the introduction of a Bill to modify the list of Scheduled Tribes (ST) of Arunachal Pradesh. The bill proposes deletion of the Abor tribe from the state's ST list 'as it is the same as Adi' tribe. As there is no tribe called 'Khampti', the bill replaces it with 'Tai Khamti' on the list. The bill seeks to include the Mishmi-Kaman (Miju Mishmi), Idu (Mishmi) and Taraon (Digaru Mishmi) tribes in the list. It also proposes inclusion of 'Monpa, Memba, Sartang, Sajolong in lieu of the Momba' tribe. The Nocte, Tangsa, Tutsa and Wancho tribes would replace the words 'any Naga tribe' in the state's ST list.

    Kerala State Cabinet approved Kerala Pravasi Welfare Act

    4 January 2019
    The Kerala State Cabinet decided to recommend the Governor to promulgate an Ordinance amending the Kerala Pravasi Welfare Act. The Act aims at providing a regular income for Non-Resident Keralites (NoRKs) returning home. The amount collected through the scheme will be used to fund development activities taken up by Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) and other agencies. The Cabinet resolved to enhance the monthly remuneration for special Government pleaders to Rs.1,20,000, senior government pleaders to Rs.1,10,000 and that for government pleaders to Rs.1,00,000. The proposed scheme will enable the Kerala Pravasi Welfare Board to receive deposits from non-resident Malayalis and use it, along with a matching share from the government, to provide a monthly dividend for investors.

    Cabinet approved the amendment on Trade Unions Act

    3 January 2019
    The Union Cabinet approved the amendment on Trade Unions Act, 1926, to facilitate recognition of trade unions at the Central and federal level. The amendment was proposed by the Centre. Most trade unions opposed the proposed amendments saying the government was trying to interfere in, and cripple, their functioning.  Ten Central trade unions had earlier written to the Labour Ministry objecting to the draft version of the amendment Bill; the only major standout was the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The amendment will ensure that the nomination of workers’ representatives in tripartite bodies by the government will become more transparent and reduce litigation and industrial unrest. Trade unions which are recognised under the amended law would be accountable in maintaining industrial harmony. Ten Central trade unions have issued a general strike call on January 8 and 9.

    Cabinet approved the draft National Commission for Homoeopathy Bill

    30 December 2018
    The Union Cabinet approved the draft National Commission for Homoeopathy Bill, 2018. The Bill seeks to replace the existing regulator Central Council of Homoeopathy with a new body to ensure transparency and accountability. The Bill aims to bring reforms in the medical education of Homoeopathy. The Bill also aims at bringing reforms in the medical education of homoeopathy in line with the National Medical Commission proposed for setting up for allopathy system of medicine. The draft Bill provides for the constitution of a National Commission with three autonomous boards entrusted with the conduct of education of Homoeopathy by Homoeopathy Education Board. 

    Cabinet approved the draft National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill

    29 December 2018
    The Union Cabinet approved the draft National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2018. The NCIM will promote the availability of affordable healthcare services in all parts of the country. The draft Bill will enable the constitution of a National Commission with four autonomous boards for the purpose of conducting overall education in Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, and Sowarigpa. There are two common boards, namely the board of assessment and rating to assess and grant permission to educational institutions of Indian systems of medicine, and board of ethics and registration of practitioners of Indian systems of medicine to maintain a National Register and ethical issues relating to practice under the National Commission for Indian Medicine. The Bill proposes an entrance and an exit exam that all graduates need to clear to get practising licenses. This is to assess the standard of teachers before appointment and promotions.

    Manipur Assembly passed anti-mob violence bill

    26 December 2018
    Manipur Assembly led by CM N Biren Singh passed the 'Manipur Protection from Mob Violence Bill' to reduce the number of mob lynchings in the state. The bill recommends life imprisonment for those involved in mob violence if it results in the death of a victim. The assembly also passed the Manipur Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2018 unanimously.

    Lok Sabha passed Consumer Protection Bill

    22 December 2018
    The Lok Sabha passed two Bills, the Consumer Protection Bill, 2018 and the National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation, and Multiple Disabilities (Amendment) Bill, 2018. The Consumer Protection Bill, 2018 seeks to replace the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The Bill will become law once it goes through the Rajya Sabha. It is meant to protect those who use new technologies such as e-commerce and online shopping. The financial jurisdiction of the District Consumers Courts has been increased: they can deal with complaints involving Rs.1 crore as against the Rs.20 lakh earlier. Under the clause of product liability, a manufacturer will be liable to give compensation for products with defects.

    U.S. Senate passes the First Step Act

    21 December 2018
    The U.S. Senate passed the First Step Act, a criminal justice reform Bill, that would roll back what are seen as excessively punitive criminal justice policies that have been in place since the crackdown on crime in the 1980s. The Bill benefits federally convicted individuals, mostly serving drug offences. Major reforms include reducing the disparity in how crack cocaine and powder cocaine offences are treated by federal law, the differential treatment of the types of cocaine offences tends to be harsher on African-American users. Some 2,000 federal offenders are likely to be impacted by this. The leaders of the U.S. House expects the Bill to pass their chamber so that President Trump can sign it into law.

    Lok Sabha passed the Surrogacy Regulation Bill

    20 December 2018
    The Lok Sabha passed the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016. The Bill aimed at banning commercial surrogacy to protect women from exploitation. It also proposed to allow only altruistic surrogacy by infertile Indian couples from a "close relative" only. The Surrogacy Bill was approved by the Cabinet in August 2016. It was introduced in the Lok Sabha in November 2016 and was later referred to a parliamentary standing committee on health and family welfare in January 2017. The Bill stated: ♦ Singles, homosexuals and live-in couples cannot apply for surrogacy ♦ The couples who already have children will also not be allowed to opt for surrogacy ♦ It entitles only Indian citizens to avail of surrogacy, whereas foreigners, NRls and PIOs are not allowed to commission surrogacy in the country ♦ Women within the age group of 23 years to 50 years and men aged between 26 and 55 years will be eligible to go in for surrogacy. The child, thus born, will be deemed to be the legal offspring of the intended couple ♦ A woman can be a surrogate only once in her lifetime  

    Maharashtra Governor approved the Bill granting reservation to Marathas

    2 December 2018
    Maharashtra Governor Vidyasagar Rao approved the Bill granting 16% reservation to Marathas. He signed the reservation under the state for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018. The Maratha community, which forms 30% of the state population, will be entitled to reservation benefits and advantages enshrined in the Articles 15(4) and 16(4) of the Constitution as the quota has been provided under the Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) category.  In September 2014, the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)-led state government had promulgated an ordinance for Maratha quota. However, it failed the legal test. In June 2017, the State Backward Class Commission (SBCC) was asked to study the social, financial and educational status of the Maratha community.

    Iran parliament passed a Bill to counter terrorist financing

    8 October 2018
    Iran’s Parliament approved a Bill to counter terrorist financing. It was strongly opposed by conservatives but seen as vital to salvaging the nuclear deal with European and Asian partners. The objective of the Bill is to bring Iran’s laws in line with international standards and allow it to join the UN Terrorism Financing Convention. The Bill, that was put forward by Iran’s government, is a bid to meet demands by the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF). FATF urged Iran to tighten its laws against money laundering and terror financing.  The issue has become particularly pressing since the United States walked out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran earlier this year and began reimposing sanctions.

    Supreme Court decriminalised a portion of Section 377 of IPC

    6 September 2018
    On 6th September 2018, the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra overruled its own 2013 decision and decriminalised a portion of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), that criminalises private consensual sexual acts between same sex adults (homosexuality). Section 377 was introduced in 1861 during the British rule of India, and targeted in particular Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) individuals and communities. Modelled on the Buggery Act of 1533, it criminalised sexual activities "against the order of nature", including homosexual sex.

    Arunachal Cabinet passed Bill for creation of 3 new districts

    30 August 2018
    The Arunachal Pradesh Assembly passed a Bill for the creation of three new districts, namely Pakke-Kesang, Lepa Rada and Shi Yomi, in the State. Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein had introduced the Arunachal Pradesh Re-Organisation of Districts (Amendment) Bill, 2018, in the House. The Assembly passed the Bill by voice vote. Arunachal Pradesh as of now has 22 districts.  The Pakke-Kessang district will be carved out of East Kameng district with five administrative units.  The Lepa Rada district would be created by bifurcating the Lower Siang district with headquarters at Basar and four administrative units.  The Shi-Yomi district would be created by bifurcating the West Siang district with its headquarters at Tato and four administrative units.

    Punjab Assembly passed Bills against sacrilege

    29 August 2018
    The Punjab Assembly, led by chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh,  unanimously passed Bills for an amendment to the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to make desecration of all religious texts punishable with life imprisonment.  The IPC (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2018, has inserted Section 295AA. The Bill provides that whoever causes injury, damage or sacrilege to Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Srimad Bhagavad Gita, the Holy Quran and the Holy Bible with the intention to hurt the religious feelings of the people shall be punished with imprisonment for life.

    Supreme Court clarified Second marriage is valid even if plea against divorce is pending

    28 August 2018
    Interpreting section 15 of Hindu Marriage Act, SC bench observed that restriction placed on the second marriage in Section 15 of the Act till the dismissal of an appeal would not apply to a case where parties have settled and decided not to pursue the matter. Section 5(1) of the Hindu Marriage Act places a bar on marriage by a person who has a spouse living at the time of the marriage. Section 11 makes such a marriage null and void. Section 15 tells when a divorcee can marry again.

    Rajya Sabha passes Immovable Property Amendment Bill

    11 August 2018
    The Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property (Amendment) Bill, 2017 which was moved by Union Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, was adopted by a voice vote. The Lok Sabha had passed the bill in December last year. Aim:-  To amend the regulations governing the compensation payable for acquisition of immovable property by the Centre for defence and security purposes.

    Rajya Sabha passed the SC and ST (PoA) Amendment Bill 2018

    10 August 2018
    Rajya Sabha passed the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018. The Bill will reverse the Supreme Court order that provides the provision for the immediate arrest of the accused booked under the SC/ST law. Now the Bill rules out any provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of atrocities against people from SC and ST communities.  It states that there will be no need for a preliminary enquiry to register a criminal case. An arrest under this proposed law would not be subject to any approval. An FIR will be filed based on complaints of crimes against people from Dalit and tribal communities without any questions, it entails.

    Lok Sabha passed The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill

    10 August 2018
    Lok Sabha passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, outlawing talaq-e-biddat. According to the Bill, talaq-e-biddat has been made a cognizable and non-bailable offence. Three provisions of the Bill: ♦Instant triple talaq is illegal ♦It imposes a jail term of up to three years and fine ♦It provides additional safeguards from the Act being misused It also provides for subsistence allowance to Muslim women and custody of minor children as may be determined by the magistrate.

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