Because of the COVID-19 pandemic threat, Parliament's monsoon session was suspended eight days ahead of schedule. The ten-day small session was crucial. More than two dozen bills were passed in the session. In addition, the session will also be remembered for the suspension of MPs, unprecedented uproar over the bills. Let me tell you that this has been the second smallest session of the house. This was the second smallest session in a total of 69 monsoon sessions for Rajya Sabha since 1952. Earlier, a one-day session was convened in the Rajya Sabha on 20th August 1979 in which Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh resigned from his post.
Three bills relating to agricultural reforms through agricultural bills (Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Simplification) Bill, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Price Assurance and Agreement on Agricultural Services Bill, Essential Commodities Act Amendment Bill) were passed. They also had a massive protest. The bill for contract farming with a central law other than Mandi law was passed in the house.
Three laws of labour reforms (The Code of Business Safety and Health Bill, the Code of Industrial Relations Bill, the Labour Law, and the Social Security Code Bill) were also passed in this session. These include good provisions of 29 old labour sector laws. These laws also provide for the betterment of migrant laborers. The new Labour Codes provide for minimum wages, social security, etc., for more than 50 crores organized, unorganized, and self-employed workers. This will ensure equality of pay to women workers as compared to male workers. Setting up a social security fund for 40 crore unorganized sector workers, including platform workers, will help expand the comprehensive social security net.
The bill on tax reforms emphasizes the need to simplify the tax system so as to help people get rid of the crisis.
The bill on the regulation of cooperative banking will enable the scam in the name of banking among the common people to be controlled.
The Homoeopathy Central Council Bill and the Indian Medicine Central Council Amendment Bill are being considered very important for improving the medical education sector. After their passage, the way to form a commission has also been cleared. The National Commission for Indian Systems of Medicine and the National Commission for Homoeopathy will aim to improve Indian systems of medicine and homeopathy.
Under the FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) Bill, NGOs and other organizations interfering in domestic politics will be curbed by taking foreign donations.
The Epidemic Diseases Amendment Bill will prevent attacks on doctors and health services. Any such activities have now been treated as cognizable and non-bailable offenses. In addition to imprisonment for three months to five years, punishment has been provided to carry out or promote such acts of violence. Moreover, in the event of property loss or any damage, the offender will also be liable to pay double the fair market price as compensation to the victim.
The National Defence University Bill proposes to upgrade the Defence Power University at Gandhinagar in Gujarat to the status of an institution of national importance. The proposed National Defence University will generate new information through research and cooperation with various parties and cater to special knowledge and new skills, training needs on police and order, the criminal justice system, and administrative reforms. The proposed university will have relationships with universities in other countries of the world based on the exchange of contemporary research, academic collaboration, curriculum design, technical know-how, and training and skill development purposes.
It has been proposed to bring cooperative banks under the Reserve Bank's supervision through the Banking Regulation Amendment Bill. Through this amendment, efforts have been made to provide security to the depositors.
The Triple IIIT Amendment Bill will declare the remaining 5 IIITs as well as 15 existing IITs with Public-Private Partnership (ITS) as institutions of national importance with powers to award degrees. This will authorize them to use the naming of a Technology Graduate (B.Tech) or Post-Technology (M.Tech) or Ph.D. as a university or institution of national importance. This will also enable these institutes to attract adequate students needed to develop a robust research facility in the country in the field of Information technology.
The Companies Amendment Bill will enable Mutual Indian companies to be listed in foreign stock exchanges.
30% deduction through amendment bill relating to salaries and allowances of the triads.
After the Jammu and Kashmir official language bill, the official language has now become Kashmiri, Dogri, and Hindi.
The most important part of the Aircraft Amendment Bill is that now the path of creating three different-gal regulatory bodies under the Ministry of Civil Aviation has been cleared. The three will work under a director-general who will appoint the government. These three bodies will include the Director-General of Civil Aviation, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, and Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau. Further, the existing fines ceiling has been increased from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 1 crore. The bill also paves the way for licensing of aircraft for production, rights, sale of aircraft, import and export of aircraft, and better maintenance of airports.
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