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Monsoon Session: Triple Talaq, Scrapping of UGC and Other Key Bills to be Taken Up

After the budget session was termed a complete washout, the Centre and opposition are now gearing up for a busy Monsoon session.

Debayan Roy | News18.com

Updated:July 18, 2018, 7:23 AM IST
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Monsoon Session: Triple Talaq, Scrapping of UGC and Other Key Bills to be Taken Up
A view of Parliament House on the eve of Monsoon Session. (PTI Photo/Kamal Kishore)
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New Delhi: The monsoon session of the Parliament is all set to begin on July 18 and will last till August 10. Sixty eight pending bills and six ordinances are in line to be taken up in the Lok Sabha, while 40 bills await in the Rajya Sabha.

After the budget session was termed a complete washout, the Centre and opposition are now gearing up for a busy Monsoon session.

The opposition is cobbling up a united front to nominate a candidate for the post of the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha. Before the bills are tabled and discussed, the opposition is likely to rake up issues that might delay the session.

With the Supreme Court coming down heavily on inaction by states in cases of cow vigilantism, a debate on an anti-lynching law is likely to take place. Atrocities on schedule castes, schedule tribes, as well as lateral entry into civil services, dismantling of UGC among other issues are also likely to come up.

With parliament session starting from Wednesday, several key bills are likely to be passed, tabled or debated.

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017

All eyes are on this legislation, which is currently stuck in Rajya Sabha. The bill promises to uplift the condition of Muslim women who, till date, were left at the mercy of the society after instantaneous divorce.

The bill was prepared after a Supreme Court verdict struck down the practice of instant Talaq. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has now, however, said that if Congress attempts to stall the bill then even women reservation bill would not be backed by the BJP.

The bill also envisages a provision for the aggrieved wife to seek subsistence allowance and custody of her minor children by moving the court. The bill will make instant talaq, proclaimed verbally, through writing or electronic form, illegal and void.

Any aggrieved Muslim woman would be entitled to approach a magistrate court to seek redressal. The bill was cleared by the Lok Sabha through a voice vote but could not be passed in the Upper House due to a deadlock over the opposition's demand of referring it to a select committee for close scrutiny.

The Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2016

This bill primarily seeks to transfer 'Bhogta' community of Jharkhand from the list of SCs to the STs list. The bill was introduced by Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram when demonetisation was being discussed. It focuses on issues pertaining to STs in Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Tripura. The government keeps amending the lists originally notified in 1950 based on requests made by various state governments.

Higher Education Commission of India Bill 2018

Through this bill, the union government has decided to introduce the Higher Education Commission of India in place of the University Grants Commission.

HECI will focus on improving the quality of higher education. HRD ministry has also stated that the new body will be empowered with punitive powers such as imposing fines, withdrawal of power to grant degrees, or directions to cease operations.

The 123rd Constitutional Amendment bill

This bill seeks to grant constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes has been pending since April 2017. Even the Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Orders (Amendment) Bill that will help in the inclusion of excluded tribes are pending.

Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill

The bill which may prove to be a blessing for childless couples has been pending since November 2016. It permits childless couples to opt for surrogacy. However the bill has been criticised for stating that the surrogate mother should be a 'close relative' of the couple. The bill, however, strangely remains silent on the definition of "close relative."

The National Medical Commission Bill, 2017

This bill attempts to repeal the 83-year-old Medical Council of India with a government-appointed NMC. But this bill has been a bone of contention between the health practitioners and the government. Concerns have been raised saying that the proposed bill was not thoroughly debated.

According to the doctors, the bill is “anti-people and anti-poor” and it would “cripple” the medical profession. In April this year, the bill was referred to a standing committee for review.

The monsoon session would await the Rajya Sabha's nod on many ordinances including Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance National Sports University Ordinance, Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance and Commercial Courts, Commercialision and Commercial Appellate Division of HCs (Amendment) Ordinance.

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| Edited by: Padmaja Venkataraman
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