The Indian Antarctic Bill, 2022 was introduced in Lok Sabha today. The Bill's Statement of Objects and Reason notes the increased tourism and growing presence of Indian scientists in Antarctica, and states that this requires a domestic legislation on Antarctica consistent with its obligations as a member of the Antarctic Treaty.
The Bill seeks to prohibit Indian expedition to Antarctica or carrying of certain activities in Antarctica without a permit or the written authorisation of another Party to the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty and establishes a Committee on Antarctic Governance and Environmental Protection.
The Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Orders (Second Amendment) Bill, 2022 was discussed and passed in Lok Sabha. The Bill excludes Gond community as a Scheduled Caste in four districts of Uttar Pradesh and recognises it as a Scheduled Tribe in the four districts.
The House then took up Private Members' Business. The Compulsory Voting Bill, 2019 was taken up for discussion. The discussion did not conclude.
Rajya Sabha also took up Private Members' Business. Discussion resumed on a private Members' Bill on population control. We have a video looking at some of the arguments raised by Members of the House on the issue of population control. The Health and Family Welfare Minister also took part in the debate. He sought to assure the House that the government has taken active measures to improve the health and well-being of Indian citizens and also promote family planning. The Minister said that this had resulted in a falling fertility ratio and so, asked the private Member to withdraw his Bill.
The Bill was withdrawn and the House then briefly took up discussion on The Indian Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2021 before adjourning for the day.
Numbers to note
The Ministry of Railways informed Rajya Sabha that 19 elephants were killed on railway tracks in 2021. This is more than 16 elephant deaths in 2020. At the same time, 69 wild animals other than elephants were killed in 2022 and 38 in 2021.