1 - Parliament passed the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019
The Parliament has passed the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The Bill reduces Special Protection Group cover to only Prime Minister, former Prime Minister and their immediate family members up to 5 years after ceasing post if they are residing at the residence allotted.
The bill amends Special Protection Group Act 1988 which was in application. The bill was earlier passed by Lok Sabha on November 27, 2019. It was passed in the Rajya Sabha on 3rd December 2019.
2 - Cabinet approved Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019
The Union Cabinet has approved Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019. The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, has been referred to a 30-member Joint Committee, which will submit its report before the end of the Budget Session 2020. Meenakashi Lekhi from the BJP has been appointed chairperson of the Joint Committee.
Cabinet has also approved the withdrawal of Jammu And Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019. It has also given its nod to The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The bill seeks to amend the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen Act, 2007.
3 - Parliament passes Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Bill, 2019
Parliament has passed the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Bill, 2019. The Prohibition of the Electronic Cigarettes Bill, 2019 bans production, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertisements of e-cigarettes with stringent punishments for any violation. It replaces the ordinance promulgated on the 18th of September 2019.
e-cigarette is not a tobacco product but has the ability to bring serious health complications. The intention of the bill is not to criminalize users but to prevent the availability of e-cigarettes and their use in India.
4 - Parliament passed Recycling of Ships Bill 2019
Parliament passed the Recycling of Ships Bill 2019. The bill will pave way for streamlining the already existing ship breaking industry and also help the country obtain eco-friendly steel. Since it is a labour-intensive industry, the bill aims at regulating the industry so that it complies with the Hong Kong convention.
The bill is aimed to provide for the regulation of recycling of ships by setting certain standards and laying down the statutory mechanism for enforcement of such standards. India accounts for 30% of the ship breaking industry in the world.
5 - Cabinet approved official amendments to the Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2019
The Union Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval for official amendments to the Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The Bill shall deter the potential perpetrators from indulging in illegal arms and ammunition trade and its manufacturing, better address the present day security needs and effectively deal with the incidents and proliferation and trade of illicit arms and ammunition.
The approved amendments to the Arms Act include licence in electronic form, longer validity period of licenses and stricter regulatory mechanism to check illegal possession arms by proposing stricter punishment provisions.
6 - Cabinet approved Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019
The Union Cabinet approved the proposal to make amendments in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (code), through the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019. The amendments aim to remove certain difficulties being faced during insolvency resolution process to realise the objects of the code and to further ease doing of business.
The Amendment Bill seeks to amend sections 5(12), 5(15), 7, 11, 14, 16(1), 21(2), 23(1), 29A, 227, 239, 240 and insert new section 32A in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (Code).
7 - Cabinet approved Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2019
The Union Cabinet has given its approval to introduce the Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2019 for carrying out the amendments to the Aircraft Act, 1934 (XXII of 1934). The Bill enhances the maximum limit of fine from the existing Rs. 10 lakhs to Rs. One Crore. It also enlarges the scope of the existing Act to include regulation of all areas of Air Navigation.
The amendments would fulfil the requirements of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). This will enable the regulatory bodies in the Civil Aviation sector to become more effective.
8 - Parliament passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019
Parliament passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019. The bill amends the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants of six communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan eligible for Indian citizenship. The communities are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians.
The Bill also proposes to relax the condition for acquisition of citizenship by naturalization for non-Muslim migrants from these countries. A significant feature of the Bill is that the relaxations for citizenship by naturalization will not be applicable to tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram or Tripura.
9 - Rajya Sabha passed bill to establish unified authority for IFSC
Rajya Sabha passed the International Financial Services Centers Authority Bill, 2019. The Bill aims at establishing a unified authority to develop and regulate the financial services market in the International Financial Services Centers in India.
Presently, multiple agencies are entrusted with regulating the specific market including the RBI, SEBI, IRDA and PFRDA. The unified authority will act as a single-window for regulating various financial activities in the IFSC. IFSC has become the major hub for the financial services.
10 - Lok Sabha passed Central Sanskrit Universities Bill
The Lok Sabha has passed the Central Sanskrit Universities Bill, 2019. The Bill seeks to convert the three deemed-to-be universities: (i) Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi, (ii) Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, New Delhi, and (iii) Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, Tirupati into Central Universities.
The Bill will empower the institutions, which being deemed-to-be universities, do not have powers to grant affiliation to colleges and attract more students from within India and abroad.
11 - Parliament passed bill to extend SC-ST quota in legislatures
Parliament has passed the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Sixth Amendment) Bill 2019. The Bill seeks to extend the reservation for SCs and STs in Lok Sabha and State Assemblies by another ten years till January 25, 2030.
Reservation for members of Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs), given for the past 70 years in Lok Sabha and state assemblies, is due to end on January 25, 2020.