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Special Content

Issue no 22, 26 August - 01 September 2023


Monsoon Session : Parliament Gives Nod to Diverse Bills

EN Explain

1.      The Anusandhan National Research Foundation Bill, 2023: The Bill seeks to establish the Anusandhan National Research Foundation (NRF) to provide high-level strategic direction for research, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the fields of natural sciences including mathematical sciences, engineering, and technology, and environmental and earth sciences. The Bill repeals the Science and Engineering Research Board Act, 2008, and dissolves the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) set up under it.


2.       The Pharmacy (Amendment) Bill, 2023: It amends the Pharmacy Act, 1948. The Bill has a special provision relating to persons registered or qualified under Jammu and Kashmir Pharmacy Act, 2021. It states that any person whose name has been entered in the register of pharmacists maintained under the Jammu and Kashmir Pharmacy Act or possesses qualifications prescribed under the act shall be deemed to have entered the register of pharmacists.


3.      The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023:  The Bill has provisions for the processing of digital personal data in a manner that recognises both the right of individuals to protect their personal data and the need to process such personal data for lawful purposes. According to the Bill, a person may process the personal data of an individual for a lawful purpose on the basis of their consent and for certain legitimate uses. The Bill has a provision to set up the Data Protection Board of India. The Board on receipt of an intimation of a personal data breach will inquire into the matter and impose a penalty. While determining the amount of monetary penalty to be imposed, the Board will consider the nature, gravity, and duration of the breach and the type, and nature of the personal data affected by the breach. The Bill states that individuals have the right to correction, completion, update, and erasure their personal data to which they have previously given consent. The bill has provisions for storage limitation of personal data, reasonable safeguarding of data, and the principle of accountability with regard to data.


4.      The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023: The Bill seeks to amend the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act l, 1991. It empowers the Central Government to make rules in connection with the affairs of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi including the functions, terms and other conditions of service of officers and employees. It also has a provision of the constitution of the National Capital Civil Service Authority. The authority consists of the Delhi Chief Minister, the Chief Secretary of Delhi, and the Principal Home Secretary of Delhi. The Authority will make recommendations to Delhi Lieutenant Governor regarding transfers and postings of officials and disciplinary matters. The Centre had brought an ordinance in this regard in May this year.


5.      The Advocates (Amendment) Bill, 2023: The Bill seeks to amend the Advocates Act, 1961. The Bill repeals certain sections related to touts under the Legal Practitioners Act, 1879. The Bill provides that every High Court, district judge, sessions judge, district magistrate, and revenue officer not below the rank of a district collector can frame and publish lists of touts.  The Court or judge may exclude from the premises of the Court any person whose name is included in the list of touts. No person will be included in such lists without getting an opportunity of showing cause against his inclusion. Under the new legislation, any person who acts as a tout while his name is included in the list of touts will be punished with imprisonment for up to three months, a fine of up to  500 rupees, or both.


6.      The Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill, 2023: The Bill seeks to simplify the online process of title verification and registration of periodicals by the office of the Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI). The Bill has provisions related to the circulation and verification of newspapers. It also has a provision for prior approval of the Central Government for the publication of facsimile editions of foreign periodicals in India. According to the Bill, a publisher of a periodical may make an application to the Press Registrar General for revision of particulars of the certificate of registration, or for revision of title. The Bill has a provision for the Appellate Board to be called the Press and Registration Appellate Board consisting of the Chairperson, Press Council of India and two members to be nominated by the Press Council of India, from among its members. It repeals the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867.


7.      The Indian Institutes of Management (Amendment) Bill, 2023: The Bill seeks to further amend the Indian Institutes of Management Act, 2017. The bill declares Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) as institutes of national importance. The Bill designates the President of India as a Visitor of every Institute covered by the Act. Under the Act, the Director of an IIM is appointed by the Board of Governors, based on the recommendations of a Search-cum-Selection Committee. The Bill mandates the Board to obtain the prior approval of the Visitor before appointing an Institute Director.


8.      The Offshore Areas Mineral (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2023: The Bill seeks to amend the Offshore Areas Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 2002 (OAMDR Act). The new Bill regulates mining in maritime zones of India. It allows the Government to reserve offshore areas that are not held under any operating rights. The Bill also allows the administering authority to grant a composite license or production lease to the Government or a government company. The Bill has the provision to form Offshore Areas Mineral Trust which will work for the welfare of the people affected by the mining and will do the research work related to mining.


 9.      The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2023: The Bill amends the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 which regulates the mining sector. With the world-wide focus on critical minerals the amendment introduces major reforms in the mining sector which includes (i) Omission of 6 minerals from the list of 12 atomic minerals specified in Part-B of the First Schedule of the Act, (ii) Empowering Central Government to exclusively auction mineral concessions for critical minerals specified in Part D of the First Schedule of the Act, (iii) Introduction of exploration licence for deep-seated and critical minerals


10.  The Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Bill, 2023: The Bill seeks to amend the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969.  The Act provides for the appointment of a Registrar-General, India who may issue directions for registration of births and deaths. The Bill adds that the Registrar General will maintain a national database of registered births and deaths. The Bill adds that, in cases of births, the specified persons will also provide the Aadhaar number of the parents and the informant. The Bill states that the national database may be made available to other authorities preparing or maintaining other databases. The Bill requires the use of birth and death certificates to prove the date and place of birth for persons born on or after this Bill comes into effect, for the purposes of admission to an educational institution, preparation of voter lists, appointment to a government post, and any other purpose determined by the Central Government.


11.  The National Nursing and Midwifery Commission Bill, 2023: The Bill provides for the regulation and maintenance of standards of education and services by nursing and midwifery professionals. The Bill has provisions for the constitution of the National Nursing and Midwifery Commission. It will consist of 29 members. According to the Bill, every state government must constitute a State Nursing and Midwifery Commission where no such Commission exists under state law. The central government will also establish the Nursing and Midwifery Advisory Council. The Chairperson of the National Commission will be the Chairperson of the Council.


12.  The National Dental Commission Bill, 2023: The Bill is intended to regulate the profession of dentistry in the country. It also aimed at providing quality and affordable dental education. The Bill repeals the Dentists Act, 1948 and constitutes the National Dental Commission, the Dental Advisory Council, and three autonomous Boards for regulating dental education and standards of dentistry. The Central Government is required to constitute a National Dental Commission consisting of 33 members. It will be chaired by an eminent and experienced dentist. Under the provisions of the Bill, state governments are required to institute State Dental Councils within one year of the enactment of the Act. The Central Government is required to constitute a Dental Advisory Council. The Council will advise the Commission on education, training, and research standards.


13.  The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2023: The Bill amends the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950 to modify the list of Scheduled Castes in Chhattisgarh. The Bill includes Mahara and Mahra communities as synonyms of the Mehra, Mahar, and Mehar communities in Chhattisgarh.


14.  The Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2023: The Bill seeks to amend the Cinematograph Act, 1952. The Bill prohibits the unauthorised recording and exhibition of films. Attempting an unauthorised recording will be an offence with imprisonment between three months and three years. It will also attract a fine between three lakh rupees and five percent of the audited gross production cost. The Bill has a provision to add certain additional certificate categories based on age. Films with an 'A' or 'S' certificate will require a separate certificate for exhibition on television, or any other media prescribed by the central government. The Bill provides that the certificates issued by CBFC will be perpetually valid, as against the previous period of 10 years. The Bill also removes revisional power of the Central Government in relation to films that have been certified or are pending certification.


15.  The Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023: The Bill seeks to amend the Coastal Aquaculture Authority Act, 2005. It seeks to decriminalise the offences under the Act for promoting ease of doing business and to fine-tune the operational procedures of the Coastal Aquaculture Authority. It is also aimed at promoting newer forms of environment-friendly coastal aquaculture including cage culture, seaweed culture, marine ornamental fish culture and pearl oyster culture which has the potential for creating additional employment opportunities. The Bill also has a provision to prevent the use of antibiotics and pharmacologically active substances which are harmful to human health in coastal aquaculture.


16.  The Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, 2023: The Bill amends the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 to make it applicable to certain types of land.   These include land notified as a forest under the Indian Forest Act, 1927 or in government records after the 1980 Act came into effect.  The Act will not be applicable for land converted to non-forest use before December 12, 1996. It also exempts certain types of land from the purview of the Act. These include land within 100 kilometres of the country's border needed for national security projects, small roadside amenities, and public roads leading to habitation. The Act specifies some activities that can be carried out in forests, such as establishing check posts, fencing, and bridges. The Bill also allows running of zoos, safaris, and eco-tourism facilities. The state government requires prior approval of the central government to assign any forest land to a private entity.  The Bill extends this to all entities, and allows the assignment to be made on terms and conditions specified by the central government.


17.  The Inter-Services Organisations (Command, Control and Discipline) Bill, 2023: The Bill empowers the Officer-in-Command of Inter-services Organisations to exercise disciplinary and administrative control over the service personnel under their command, irrespective of their service. The Bill will be applicable to all personnel of regular Army, Navy, and Air Force, and to persons of other forces as notified by the Central Government, who are serving in or attached to an Inter-Services Organisation. As per the provisions of the Bill, the Central Government may constitute an Inter-services Organisation that has personnel belonging to at least two of the three services.


18.  Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2023: Through this Bill, a total of 183 provisions are being proposed to be decriminalised in 42 Central Acts administered by 19 Ministries/Departments. For effective implementation of this, the Bill proposes measures such as (a) pragmatic revision of fines and penalties commensurate to the offence committed; (b) establishment of Adjudicating Officers; (c) establishment of Appellate Authorities; and (d) Periodic increase in quantum of fine and penalties. It is also ensured that the degree and nature of punishment are commensurate with the severity of the offence.


19.  The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Third Amendment) Bill, 2022: The Bill seeks to amend the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950, with regard to Himachal Pradesh. It includes the Hattee community of Trans Giri area of Sirmour district in the list of Scheduled Tribes in Himachal Pradesh.


20.  The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Fifth Amendment) Bill, 2022: The Bill amends the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950, with respect to its application to Chhattisgarh. The Bill includes Bhuinya, Bhuiyan, and Bhuyan communities as synonyms of the Bharia Bhumia community.  It also includes three Devanagari versions of the name of the Pando community. The bill includes Dhanuhar, Dhanuwar, Kisan, Saunra, Saonra and Binjhia communities in the list of Scheduled Tribes in Chhattisgarh.


21.  The Multi-State Cooperative Societies Bill, 2023: The Bill amends the Multi-State Co-operative Societies Act, 2002. It establishes the Co-operative Election Authority to conduct and supervise elections to the boards of multi-state co-operative societies. A multi-state co-operative society will require prior permission of Government authorities before the redemption of their shareholding.  The Bill allows state co-operative societies to merge into an existing multi-state co-operative society. The Bill establishes the Co-operative Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Development Fund for revival of sick multi-state co-operative societies. As per the Bill, the Central Government will appoint one or more Co-operative Ombudsman with territorial jurisdiction. The Ombudsman will inquire into complaints made by members of multi-state co-operative societies.


22.  The Mediation Bill, 2021: Brought in order to reduce the pendency of cases in courts, the Bill requires persons to try to settle civil or commercial disputes through mediation before approaching any court or tribunal. A party may withdraw from mediation after two mediation sessions. The mediation process must be completed within 180 days, which may be extended by another 180 days by the parties. The Bill provides for the setting up of The Mediation Council of India.  Its functions will include registering mediators, and recognising mediation service providers and mediation institutes.


23.  The Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2021: The bill seeks to promote research on medicinal plants, encourage the production of plant-based medicines and benefit the local persons involved in use of forest produce. Users of codified traditional knowledge and AYUSH practitioners will be exempted from sharing benefits with local communities. The Bill amends the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 to simplify compliance requirements for domestic companies.


Compiled by: Anuja Bahrdwajan & Annesha Banerjee (Young professionals, Publications Division)

Source: https://mpa.gov.in/bills-list/PIB/NewsonAIR