Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2014

  • The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2014 was introduced in the Lok Sabha by the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Mr. Thaawar Chand Gehlot on July 16, 2014.  
  • The Bill replaces the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Ordinance, 2014. 
  • The Bill seeks to amend the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.  The Act prohibits the commission of offences against members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SCs and STs) and establishes special courts for the trial of such offences and the rehabilitation of victims.
  • Actions to be treated as offences:  The Act outlines actions (by non SCs and STs) against SCs or STs to be treated as offences.  The Bill amends certain existing categories and adds new categories of actions to be treated as offences. 
  • Forcing an SC or ST individual to vote or not vote for a particular candidate in a manner that is against the law is an offence under the Act.  The Bill adds that impeding certain activities related to voting will also be considered an offence.  Wrongfully occupying land belonging to SCs or STs is an offence under the Act.  The Bill defines ‘wrongful’ in this context, which was not done under the Act. 
  • Assaulting or sexual exploiting an SC or ST woman is an offence under the Act.  The Bill adds that: (a) intentionally touching an SC or ST woman in a sexual manner without her consent, or (b) using words, acts or gestures of a sexual nature, or (c) dedicating an SC or ST women as a devadasi to a temple, or any similar practice will also be considered an offence.  Consent is defined as a voluntary agreement through verbal or non-verbal communication. 
  • New offences added under the Bill include: (a) garlanding with footwear, (b) compelling to dispose or carry human or animal carcasses, or do manual scavenging, (c) abusing SCs or STs by caste name in public, (d) attempting to promote feelings of ill-will against SCs or STs or disrespecting any deceased person held in high esteem, and (e) imposing or threatening a social or economic boycott. 
  • Preventing SCs or STs from undertaking the following activities will be considered an offence: (a) using common property resources, (c) entering any place of worship that is open to the public, and (d) entering an education or health institution.
  • The court shall presume that the accused was aware of the caste or tribal identity of the victim if the accused had personal knowledge of the victim or his family, unless the contrary is proved.
  • Role of public servants:  The Act specifies that a non SC or ST public servant who neglects his duties relating to SCs or STs shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term of six months to one year.  The Bill specifies these duties, including: (a) registering a complaint or FIR, (b) reading out information given orally, before taking the signature of the informant and giving a copy of this information to the informant, etc. 
  • Role of courts:  Under the Act, a court of Session at the district level is deemed a Special Court to provide speedy trials for offences.  A Special Public Prosecutor is appointed to conduct cases in this court. 
  • The Bill substitutes this provision and specifies that an Exclusive Special Court must be established at the district level to try offences under the Bill.  In districts with fewer cases, a Special Court may be established to try offences.  An adequate number of courts must be established to ensure that cases are disposed of within two months.  Appeals of these courts shall lie with the high court, and must be disposed of within three months.  A Public Prosecutor and Exclusive Public Prosecutor shall be appointed for every Special Court and Exclusive Special Court respectively. 
  • Rights of victims and witnesses:  The Bill adds a chapter on the rights of victims and witness.  It shall be the duty of the state to make arrangements for the protection of victims, their dependents and witnesses.  The state government shall specify a scheme to ensure the implementation of rights of victims and witnesses.
  • The courts established under the Bill may take measures such as: (a) concealing the names of witnesses, (b) taking immediate action in respect of any complaint relating to harassment of a victim, informant or witness, etc.  Any such complaint shall be tried separately from the main case and be concluded within two months.   


Monday, March 28, 2016

I Crave Your Mouth, Your Voice, Your Hair | Pablo Neruda

Don't go far off, not even for a day
Don't go far off, not even for a day, because --
because -- I don't know how to say it: a day is long
and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station
when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep.

Don't leave me, even for an hour, because
then the little drops of anguish will all run together,
the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift
into me, choking my lost heart.

Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve on the beach;
may your eyelids never flutter into the empty distance.
Don't leave me for a second, my dearest,
 
because in that moment you'll have gone so far
I'll wander mazily over all the earth, asking,
Will you come back? Will you leave me here, dying?

--Pablo Neruda

Sunday, March 27, 2016

सुख का दुख / भवानीप्रसाद मिश्र

जिन्दगी में कोई बड़ा सुख नहीं है,
इस बात का मुझे बड़ा दु:ख नहीं है, 
क्योंकि मैं छोटा आदमी हूँ, 
बड़े सुख आ जाएं घर में
तो कोई ऎसा कमरा नहीं है जिसमें उसे टिका दूं।

यहां एक बात 
इससॆ भी बड़ी दर्दनाक बात यह है कि,
बड़े सुखों को देखकर 
मेरे बच्चे सहम जाते हैं,
मैंने बड़ी कोशिश की है उन्हें 
सिखा दूं कि सुख कोई डरने की चीज नहीं है।

मगर नहीं
मैंने देखा है कि जब कभी 
कोई बड़ा सुख उन्हें मिल गया है रास्ते में
बाजार में या किसी के घर,
तो उनकी आँखों में खुशी की झलक तो आई है,
किंतु साथ साथ डर भी आ गया है।

बल्कि कहना चाहिये 
खुशी झलकी है, डर छा गया है, 
उनका उठना उनका बैठना
कुछ भी स्वाभाविक नहीं रह पाता,
और मुझे इतना दु:ख होता है देख कर
कि मैं उनसे कुछ कह नहीं पाता।

मैं उनसे कहना चाहता हूँ कि बेटा यह सुख है,
इससे डरो मत बल्कि बेफिक्री से बढ़ कर इसे छू लो।
इस झूले के पेंग निराले हैं 
बेशक इस पर झूलो, 
मगर मेरे बच्चे आगे नहीं बढ़ते 
खड़े खड़े ताकते हैं, 
अगर कुछ सोचकर मैं उनको उसकी तरफ ढकेलता हूँ। 

तो चीख मार कर भागते हैं, 
बड़े बड़े सुखों की इच्छा 
इसीलिये मैंने जाने कब से छोड़ दी है,
कभी एक गगरी उन्हें जमा करने के लिये लाया था
अब मैंने उन्हें फोड़ दी है।

Natural disasters

Unusually heavy rains in densely populated areas can brew a deadly cocktail for disaster. And recent Chennai floods have made us realize that proper planning is a must for any city in the 21st century.
  • Therefore, today, as India massively ramps up infrastructure and promotes smart cities, it’s time to build resilience into the blueprint for the future, strengthen cities’ ability to respond to a disaster, as well as to recover rapidly if it does occur.
What’s been done so far?
From the time a super-cyclone hit Odisha in 1999, and a devastating earthquake shook Gujarat in 2001, India has sought to build a safer, disaster-resilient nation.
  • Odisha and Gujarat were among the first states to set up institutions to deal specifically with disasters. Then, in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami, and following legislation in 2005, theNational Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) was established in 2006.
  • India’s coastal areas are also making a beginning with a number of projects, including the Union government’s National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP), building the resilience of power infrastructure by placing electrical cables underground, among other measures.
  • The NCRMP, being implemented by the NDMA, is developing a digital platform that will help determine vulnerabilities to weather-related events along India’s coastline. This will help define land-use along the 7,500-km coast — three-fourths of which is cyclone-prone — and determine how strong we need to build to save lives.
At the global level too, efforts to boost urban resilience are gaining momentum. In 2014, nine institutions, including the World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) — the world’s largest fund for disaster prevention and recovery — announced the Resilient Cities Initiative, a worldwide collaboration to make cities safer.
What else can be done reduce the impact?
  • To increase resilience, critical infrastructure and services — schools, hospitals, water, electricity, communications systems, transportation, etc — will need to be built or retrofitted to withstand multiple hazards so that they continue to function in an emergency.
  • Preventing urban flooding will be equally critical. Similarly, it will be important to upgrade waste collection as carelessly handled garbage and construction debris are a major cause of clogged water outlets.
  • While modern technology can help forecast floods and cyclones, no precise methods exist to predict earthquakes. Enforcing building codes will therefore be imperative, especially in India where almost 60% of the landmass is seismically vulnerable.
  • Timely data availability has to be ensured. All towns and cities will benefit by collecting and sharing data on population densities, critical infrastructure, buildings, etc, enabling them to direct urban growth to safer places.
  • swift response can keep casualties low. On the lines of Gujarat, emergency response centres should be established across India. Such centres should also be provided with specialised search and rescue equipment, and outfitted emergency vehicles so that they could navigate narrow city lanes expeditiously.
  • Involving local communities is also critically important. In Odisha, for example, local volunteers have been trained as first responders and equipped to provide first-aid and conduct search and rescue operations, with special evacuation procedures to be followed for the disabled and elderly. In Gujarat, all schools, including rural ones, conduct exhaustive earthquake and fire drills that instil a deeprooted culture of safety and preparedness.
  • Also needed is the reduction in the multiplicity of urban authorities and their alignment with disaster-conscious ways of thinking.
  • There should also be disaster drills conducted to educate the public on what to do during an earthquake.
Conclusion:
Natural disasters are, of course, beyond human control. But human action and inaction can profoundly affect their outcome, exacerbating or mitigating their effects on people. Preparedness is the key to managing any more such disasters.

Friday, March 25, 2016

It is said that rising antimicrobial resistance is a serious threat to economic growth. Examine why. 

Increasing resistance of anti-microbial is a concern for health sector for countries. But another major of concern is it's project adverse impact on economy in following way-
a) Economic productivity of demographic dividend- It will hamper the quality and quantity of workforce. especially, in case of India, where demographic dividend is an advantages, increasing anti- microbial resistance is a major source of concern.e.g Tuberculosis can affect Indian youth severely.
b) Increasing health burden on Public- Resistance to anti-microbial will severely affect the health and budget of poor and vulnerable people, it will not only decrease their wage hours but also increase the unproductive expenditure on health. This may be a set back for poverty alleviation programs by govt.
c) Govt and Institutional expenditure- R&D has to be increased on development of new medicines, hospital costs will be increased and whole medical infrastructure and network has to be strengthen to deal with coming crisis, it will demand lot of resources, which could be used for more productive purpose like education.
Anti-microbial were like a revolution in health and economy sector, but their resistance can proved to be catastrophic also, Govt should take every possible step to deal with it from R&D in new drugs to awareness among people about anti-microbial usages.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

INDIA-UAE-SAUDI ARAB

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will soon visit Brussels, Washington and Riyadh. While the visit to Belgium to attend the European Union-India summit and announce the restart of Free Trade Agreement negotiations is long overdue, and the visit to the U.S. for the Nuclear Security Summit is an old calendar commitment, it is the visit to Saudi Arabia that makes the loudest statement on Mr. Modi’s foreign policy agenda this year.
Elevating ties
In bilateral terms, Mr. Modi’s Riyadh stop has numerous possibilities. The first is the elevation of ties between the two countries that Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir spoke of during his visit to Delhi earlier this month. This involves upgrading three key agreements — the energy security partnership of 2008, the strategic partnership of 2010 (which has included robust anti-terror cooperation), and the defence partnership of 2014, signed just months before the Modi government was sworn in — and melding them to form the basis of a new relationship.
The second possibility, which is equally important, is improving the trade and investment relationship. Bilateral trade at about $40 billion (lower this year because of falling oil prices) must be built beyond its current oil dependence, say officials, and India is keen to see Saudi investments in India on a par with its expectations from the United Arab Emirates. Perhaps this is why Mr. Modi has chosen to stop at Riyadh first, even though he had committed to visiting two of Saudi Arabia’s rivals, Israel and Iran, at the earliest.
Finally, there are emerging avenues for partnerships that the two countries want to explore. As oil revenues are lower, Saudi Arabia is keen to project itself as a ‘kingdom of dreams’, a hub for manufacturing and technology. In particular, the Saudi government is pitching its mega project, the King Abdullah Economic City, with a deep-sea port as a connector between the East and the West, and wants India to see it as a gateway to its new forays into Africa.
Given that nearly half of India’s seven million-strong Gulf diaspora works in Saudi Arabia, with families back in India dependent on them, India is keen to see new jobs created for them. It is no secret that both countries would like to move away from the conventional image of exploited Indian labourers living in regimented Saudi labour camps. “This is far from the reality of the three million-plus Indians who live and work in Saudi Arabia,” says former Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Talmiz Ahmad. “Many of them are top-end engineers and managers in Saudi projects, and it is unfortunate that a few horrific incidents and criminal acts involving Indians are extrapolated to represent the whole reality.” The truth is that recent negative reports — of a housemaid’s hand being severed in Saudi Arabia allegedly by her employer, or of the Saudi diplomat accused of keeping maids as sexual slaves in Delhi — have cast a shadow on ties, and had forced the Prime Minister to put off his visit to Riyadh more than once. Instead, both governments want to add a more positive and modern gloss to their ties. It is no coincidence that scientific and mathematical collaborations between Indian and Saudi Arabian researchers have seen the sharpest increase in the past few years.
Geopolitical signals
Mr. Modi’s visit will be watched most closely for its geopolitical signalling. In the subcontinent, it comes a year after ties between Saudi Arabia and its closest ally Pakistan were strained, when the Pakistani Parliament shot down a request to send troops to boost Saudi action in Yemen (which has left more than 3,000 dead). In contrast, during a telephone call to negotiate for Indian ships and planes to evacuate citizens, Prime Minister Modi went as far as to commend Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and hope for a quick resolution of the region’s challenges “under [King Salman’s] leadership”.
Since then, Pakistan has made many attempts to make amends, but the refusal to join the Yemen bombing campaign as well as some ambivalence on joining the Saudi-led coalition to fight the Islamic State have affected what was once seen as the most closely woven relationship. In the run-up to Mr. Modi’s visit, Pakistani newspapers have written about the disquiet in Islamabad over closer India-Saudi ties, suggesting that the sudden trip by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army Chief General Raheel Sharif to the Kingdom earlier this month was an attempt at reassurance rather than the military exercises they viewed together there.
Ties with the U.S., the Kingdom’s strongest international ally, are under a strain, as the Saudi government battles allegations of funding IS fighters even as it watches its arch-rival Iran bask in new-found international acceptance. Stung by this shifting narrative, the Kingdom’s most prominent diplomat Prince Turki bin Faisal recently wrote an angry article published in Arab papers titled “Mr. Obama, we are not ‘free riders’”. “Is it because you have pivoted to Iran so much that you equate the Kingdom’s 80 years of constant friendship with America to an Iranian leadership that continues to describe America as the biggest enemy,” he asked, listing what he claimed was Iran’s support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, even as he admitted that Saudi Arabia trains and funds Syrian “freedom fighters”.
Saudi Arabia’s other major ally China is attempting a similar shift. To the surprise of many, President Xi Jinping added Iran to his tour of Saudi Arabia and Egypt in January. While oil reserves were the currency of the past, connectivity is seen as the coinage for power in the future, and China’s entire focus at present is on the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative. Iran plays a major part in OBOR as a connector to Central Asia as well as West Asia, not Saudi Arabia.
It is against this backdrop that Mr. Modi is trying to shore up ties with Saudi Arabia. It will be a visit high on potential, but in a region that is equally high on tensions, the Prime Minister will have to walk a tightrope.
suhasini.h@thehindu.co.in

Monday, March 21, 2016

हाय सरदार पटेल ! / मनमोहन

सरदार पटेल होते तो ये सब न होता
कश्मीर की समस्या का तो सवाल ही नहीं था
ये आतंकवाद-वातंकवाद कुछ न होता
अब तक मिसाइल दाग चुके होते
साले सबके सब हरामज़ादे एक ही बार में ध्वस्त हो जाते

सरदार पटेल होते तो हमारे देश में
हमारा इस तरह अपमान न होता !

ये साले हुसैन-वुसैन
और ये सूडो-सेकुलरिस्ट
और ये कम्युनिस्ट-वमुनिस्ट
इतनी हाय तौबा मचाते !
हर कोई ऐरे गैरे साले नत्थू खैरे
हमारे सर पर चठ़कर नाचते !

आबादी इस कदर बढ़ती !
मुट्ठीभर पढ़ी लिखी शहरी औरतें
इस तरह बक बक करतीं !

सच कहें,सरदार पटेल होते
तो हम दस बरस पहले प्रोफ़ेसर बन चुके होते !

यूपी, बिहार से उठा लाएंगे.

इस शहर उजाला नहीं
हम बस्तियां जला अँधेरा भगाएंगे.

रोटियां नहीं कोई गम नहीं
सपने में तुम्हें रोटियां चखाएंगे.

क्या कहा? यहां महोत्सव नहीं होते!
हम ख़ून की होलिका जलाएंगे.

तुम्हारे शहर का भी नाम होगा
आईपीएल में इसे जगह दिलाएंगे.

लड़कियां कम हैं कोई गम नहीं
यूपी, बिहार से उठा लाएंगे.

वोट हमको ही देना याद रखना
जो नहीं देंगे राष्ट्रद्रोही कहलायेंगे.

चालीस साल से हट रही गरीबी, भुखमरी
चालीस बरस नई स्कीम से हम भी हटाएंगे. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

कुछ प्रेम कहानियाँ बेवकूफियों में ख़त्म हो जाती हैं.

तुम्हें समझ नहीं आता बिबान?
'क्या समझ नहीं आता?'
'कि... कुछ नहीं जब तुम समझोगे... खैर पता नहीं समझोगे या......'

परछाइयाँ आदमी के साथ ही रुख कर जाती हैं. वो भी चली गई, उसकी परछाई भी ज़िन्दगी से....
--

कई महीनों बाद फ़ोन बजा...
'बिबान...'
मैं आवाज़ पहचान गया.

'मेरा नाम विवान है, बिबान नहीं...'
तूने 'व' को 'व' बोलना कब सीखा?'
'तुझे याद आ गई इतने दिन बाद.... जाते वक़्त तो नया नंबर भी नहीं दिया था.'
'चाहिए था तो फेसबुक पे भी मांग सकता था.'
'तुझे देना था...?'
'पता नहीं... सुन शादी है मेरी... तू आएगा?'
'सुन मैं तब भी समझता था, अब भी समझता हूँ. तूने मुझे समझा कभी?'

'विवान, मेरे से ज्यादा किसी ने समझा तुझे? छोड़ सब, आई लव्ड यू एंड आई लव यू...अभी शादी करने दे बस....!'
'ठीक है... नहीं आऊंगा.'
'पागल आना तू... तू रहेगा तो हिम्मत रहेगी.... बाकि मुझे पता है मैं 36-24-36 नहीं थी.'  वो चुप्पी के बाद बोली.

'तू अब तक ये समझती थी..!!! एक्चुअली मैं माचो (Macho ) नहीं था... अब भी नहीं हूँ.... और जिम न तब बस का था न अब है...'
'बस इसलिए... वाह रे शायर...पहली बार किसी ने लड़की खुद की फिज़िक (Physique ) देख के छोड़ी होगी....'

कुछ प्रेम कहानियाँ बेवकूफियों में ख़त्म हो जाती हैं.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Women in Constitution Assembly


Of the total 299 members of the assembly, 15 were women, left their mark on the making of the republic.
They used this platform to asserted their equality and crafting a politically balanced republic. 
AMMU SWAMINATHAN
Criticized the constitution as lengthy one and wanted a constitution to be of small volume shall enough to carry in pocket (friendly to common people)
In her debates and speeches she promoted and applauded equal rights given to Indian women by way of the constitution and expressed apprehension that whether it could bring real democracy to people.
ANNIE MASCARENE
Annie Mascarene’s speeches during the assembly debates reflected these issues: the need to find the right balance between power that would be given to the centre and to the provinces.
She emphasized that Centralization should be introduced at later stages, but not in the initial stages
BEGUM AIZAZ RASUL
Only muslim woman in the constituent assembly,
She moved several amendments for issues: like the need for ministers to hold office for a good period to get enough time to do work of real impact (She was in favor of Swiss method of single non transferrable vote)
She supported India’s membership to the Commonwealth, 
She opposed separate electorate and reservation for minorities.
Expressed concern over limitation put on fundamental rights.

DAKSHAYANI VELAYUDAN
A prominent dalit leader and first dalit woman to graduate in India. She wanted abolition of Untouchablility to be included in the constitution itself.
She opposed separate electorate and reservation for dalits ——- She wanted equality for dalits in all respects.
She advocated for abolition of forced labor or beggar and campaigned for decentralization
HANSA MEHTA
She opposed reservation for minorities, but, advocated reservation for Dalits due to historical injustice
Durgabai and Begum Aizaz
Advocated for non imposition of Hindi on non native speakers and promoted discussion on Independence of Judiciary
PURNIMA BANERJEE
Advocated  state’s control over religious instructions in schools so as to prevent imposition of religious ideals on Children. Supported progressive taxation and importance of giving separate identity to educational planning.
Advocated for humane treatment of arrested persons
RENUKA RAY
opposed to reservation of seats for women. Advocated for proper budget allocation for education

MCI changes recommended by parliamentary standing committee

The medical council of india a body of high stature to oversee , regulate the medical education, institutions and doctors of this country has recently being made to be subject to some changes given its actions and recourses.
The parliamentary standing committee has provided a report on the basis of various reports including the recent ranjit roy committee and asked for the following changes.
It provides that MCI be replaced with new set of bodies as the architecture of MCI does not fall in place with present times. It calls for shifting from election to nomination, making different bodies to handle different issues like education, registration of doctors differently , handling medical colleges to make concerted effort and bring overall change to the medical education system in india
It has also recommended to revamp the curriculum to be in line with the disease profile of the country , to train MBBS students in district hospitals for more rural experience and to include research work in PG to promote the R&D in the country
However the committee has not clearly defined some issues dealing with the medical education
The up gradation of district hospital to medical colleges has not been touched. The case was put forth to reduce govts cost of building additional medical colleges. If the issue is not clearly stated the privatization of district hospitals going on like in Andhra Rajasthan will keep away poor from receiving healthcare and prove to be counter productive
Also the need for a survey of medical colleges for their standard check is missing. The survey like done in US and Europe for standard medical education is important to stop producing least quality doctors and decline the healthcare system
Health is an important aspect along with education for the growth of a country and the body and authority controlling and regulating it has to be of high stature and ethical sense.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Rights of Ministers and Attorney-General as respects Houses

"Rights of Ministers and Attorney-General as respects Houses.- Every Minister and the Attorney-General for India shall have the right to speak in, and otherwise to take part in the proceedings of either House, any joint sitting of the Houses, and any committee of Parliament of which he may be named a member, but shall not by virtue of this Article be entitled to vote."
Article 88 lays down that so far as the parliamentary position of the Attorney-General for India is concerned he is in parallel post to Minister in Parliament. This Article says every Minister and the Attorney-General has the right to speak in Parliament and can participate in proceedings of it and can also take part in joint sitting of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and in any of Parliamentary Committees, in which he is named as member but has no right to vote.
This provision in the Constitution of India is unlike that of the British Parliament.
In British Parliament, the Ministers who are members in one House cannot address the other House. In our Constitution this Article and Article 177 confer upon every Minister a right to address any House, or either House and otherwise take part in the proceedings but by virtue of these two Articles a Minister does not have a right to vote. This provision also covers the case of a Minister who is not a Member of any House for a period of six months within which he must become a member of one House or the other.
These two Articles also confer on the Attorney-General for India a right to take part in the proceedings of either House or its Committees but provide that he shall not vote by reason of the right conferred by these two Articles. The right of a Minister to address a House of which he is not a member and the right of the Attorney-General to address both the Houses without being under an obligation to be a member of the legislature at all, would raise the question whether the Ministers and Law officers are entitled to the privileges of the legislature.
In case of Harshan Verma v. Union of India , AIR 1987 SC 1969 it was held that to appoint a non-member of the Parliament as a Minister does not militate against the constitutional mechanism nor against the democratic principle embodied in the Constitution. The combined effect of Articles 75 and 88 is that a person not being a member of either House of Parliament can be a Minister upto a period of six months; though he would not have any right to vote, he would be entitled to participate in the proceedings thereof.

PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES


PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES

The work done by the Parliament in modern times is not only varied in nature, but considerable in volume. The time at its disposal is limited. It cannot, therefore, give close consideration to all the legislative and other matters that come up before it. A good deal of its business is, therefore, transacted by what are called the Parliamentary Committees.
Ad hoc and Standing Committees
Parliamentary Committees are of two kinds: Ad hoc Committees and the Standing Committees. Ad hoc Committees are appointed for a specific purpose and they cease to exist when they finish the task assigned to them and submit a report. The principal Ad hoc Committees are the Select and Joint Committees on Bills. Others like the Railway Convention Committee, the Committees on the Draft Five Year Plans and the Hindi Equivalents Committee were appointed for specific purposes. Apart from the Ad hoc Committees, each House of Parliament has Standing Committees like the Business Advisory Committee, the Committee on Petitions, the Committee of Privileges and the Rules Committee, etc.
Other Committees
Of special importance is yet another class of Committees which act as Parliament’s ‘Watch Dogs’ over the executive. These are the Committees on Subordinate Legislation, the Committee on Government Assurances, the Committee on Estimates, the Committee on Public Accounts and the Committee on Public Undertakings and Departmentally Related Standing Committees (DRSCs). The Committee on Estimates, the Committee on Public Accounts, the Committee on Public Undertakings and DRSCs play an important role in exercising a check over governmental expenditure and Policy formulation.
COMPOSITION AND FUNCTIONS OF THE COMMITTEES
Select and Joint Committees
When a Bill comes up before a House for general discussion,it is open to that House to refer it to a Select Committee of the House or a Joint Committee of the two Houses. A motion has to be moved and adopted to this effect in the House in which the Bill comes up for consideration. In case the motion adopted is for reference of the Bill to a Joint Committee, the decision is conveyed to the other House requesting them to nominate members of the other House to serve on the Committee. The Select or Joint Committee considers the Bill clause by clause just as the two Houses do. Amendments can be moved to various clauses by members of the Committee. The Committee can also take evidence of  associations,  public bodies or experts who are interested in the Bill. After the Bill has thus been considered the Committee submits its report to the House. Members who do not agree with the majority report may append their minutes of dissent to the report.
This Committee consists of 30 members who are elected by the Lok Sabha every year from amongst its members. A Minister is not eligible for election to this Committee. The term of the Committee is one year. The main function of the Committee on Estimates is to report what economies, improvements in organisation, efficiency, or administrative reform, consistent with the policy underlying the estimates may be effected and to suggest alternative policies in order to bring about efficiency and economy in administration. From time to time the Committee selects such of the estimates pertaining to a Ministry or a group of Ministries or the statutory and other Government bodies as may seem fit to the Committee. The Committee also examines matters of special interest which may arise or come to light in the course of its work or which are  specifically referred to it by the House or the Speaker.
The Committee on Public Undertakings consists of 15 members elected by the Lok Sabha and 7 members of Rajya Sabha are associated with it. A Minister is not eligible for election to this Committee. The term of the Committee is one year.
The functions of the Committee on Public Undertakings are—(a) to examine the reports and accounts of Public Undertakings; (b) to examine the reports, if any, of the Comptroller and Auditor General on the Public Undertakings; (c) to examine in the context of the autonomy and efficiency of the Public Undertakings whether the affairs of the Public Undertakings are being managed in accordance with sound business principles and prudent commercial practices; and (d) such other functions vested in the Committee on Public Accounts and the Committee on Estimates in relation to the Public Undertakings as are not covered by clauses (a), (b) and (c) above and as may be allotted to the Committee by the Speaker from time to time. The Committee does not, however, examine matters of major Government policy and matters of day-to-day administration of the Undertakings.
This Committee consists of 15 members elected by the Lok Sabha and 7 members of the Rajya Sabha are associated with it. A Minister is not  eligible for election to this Committee. The term of the Committee is one year.


The main duty of the Committee is to ascertain whether the money granted by Parliament has been spent by Government "within the scope of the Demand". The Appropriation Accounts of the Government of India and the Audit Reports presented by the Comptroller and Auditor General mainly form the basis for the examination of the Committee. Cases involving losses, nugatory expenditure and financial irregularities come in for severe criticism by the Committee. The Committee is not concerned with questions of policy. It is concerned only with the execution of the policy laid down by Parliament and its results.

Business Advisory Committee (Lok Sabha)

The Business Advisory Committee of Lok Sabha consists of 15 members including the Speaker who is the ex-officio Chairman. The members are nominated by the Speaker. Almost all sections of the House are represented on the Committee as per the respective strength of parties in the House. The function of the Committee is to recommend the time that should be allotted for the discussion of such Government legislative and other business as the Speaker, in consultation with the Leader of the House, may direct to be referred to the Committee. The Committee, on its own initiative, may also recommend to the Government to bring forward particular subjects for discussion in the House and recommend  allocation of time for such discussions. The decisions reached by the Committee are always unanimous in character and representative of the collective view of the House. The Committee generally meets at the beginning of each Session and thereafter as and when necessary.

Rules Committee (Lok Sabha)
The Rules Committee consists of 15 members including the Speaker who is the ex-officio Chairman of the Committee. The members are nominated by the Speaker. The Committee considers matters of procedure and conduct of business in the House and recommends any amendments or additions to the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha that are considered necessary.

Joint Committee on Offices of Profit
This Committee consists of 15 members. Ten members are elected from Lok Sabha and five from Rajya Sabha. The Committee is constituted for the duration of each Lok Sabha.
The main functions of the Committee are to examine the composition and character of the Committees appointed by the Central and State  Governments and to recommend what offices should disqualify and what offices should not disqualify a person for being chosen as, and for being, a member of either House of Parliament under article 102 of the Constitution.
The Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes consists of 20 members elected by the Lok Sabha and 10  members of Rajya Sabha are associated with it. The term of the Committee is one year. A Minister is not eligible for election to this Committee. The main functions of the Committee are to consider all matters concerning the welfare of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, falling within the purview of the Union Government and the Union Territories, to consider the reports submitted by the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and to examine the measures taken by the Union Government to secure due representation of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in services and posts under its control.
The Railway Convention Committee is an ad-hoc Committee. It consists of 18 members. Out of these, 12 members are from Lok Sabha nominated by the Speaker and 6 members are from Rajya Sabha nominated by the Chairman. By convention the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Railways are members of the Committee. Besides this, Ministers of State in the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Railways respectively are also its members.
The main function of the Committee is to review the Rate of Dividend payable by the Railways undertaking to General Revenues as well as   other ancillary matters in connection with the Railway Finance vis-a-vis the General Finance and make recommendations thereon. The Railway Convention Committee, 1949 was the first Committee after independence. This Committee and subsequent Committees confined themselves to determining the rate of dividend payable by Railways to General Revenues. Since 1971 the Railway Convention Committees have been taking up subjects for examination and report which have a bearing on the working of Railways.
This Committee came into being on 29th April, 1997, as a consequence of identical Resolutions adopted by both the Houses of Parliament on the occasion of International Womens’ Day on 8th March, 1996. The Committee consists of 30 members, 20 nominated by the Speaker from amongst the members of Lok Sabha and 10 nominated by the Chairman, Rajya Sabha from amongst the members of the Rajya Sabha. The term of the Committee is of one year. The Committee have been primarily mandated with the task of reviewing and monitoring the measures  taken by the Union Government in the direction of securing for women equality, status and dignity in all matters. The Committee would also suggest necessary correctives for improving the status/condition of women in respect of matters within the purview of the Union Government. Besides, another important function of the Committee is to examine the measures taken by the Union Government for comprehensive education and adequate representation of women in Legislative bodies/services and other fields. The Committee would also consider the report of the National Commission for Women. The Committee may also examine such other matters as may seem fit to them or are specifically referred to them by the Lok Sabha or the Speaker and the Rajya Sabha or the Chairman, Rajya Sabha.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...