The Indian Antarctic Bill, 2022 was discussed in Lok Sabha today. The Bill has been brought in to fulfil India's responsibilities as a consultative party to the Antarctic Treaty. The Bill introduces a permit requirement for expeditions to Antarctica and for undertaking certain activities. For this, a Committee on Antarctic Governance and Environmental Protection, headed by the Secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences will be established. The Committee will also be responsible for ensuring compliance with relevant international laws for protection of the Antarctic environment.
Speaking on the Bill, a Member said that a separate chapter on Waste Disposal and Management in the Bill is a welcome step. The Bill was passed.
In Rajya Sabha,Private Member's Bill on the Right to Health was taken up for discussion. The Bill seeks to provide for health as a fundamental right to all citizens and to ensure equitable
access and maintenance of a standard of physical and mental health. Speaking on the Bill, a Member said that the Supreme Court has already pronounced the Right to Health as a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution. He suggested that, instead, the country must focus on developing health infrastructure by increasing its health spending. Another Member asked the government to reconsider the GST rate on hospital rooms and treatment. The discussion did not conclude.
During Special Mentions in Rajya Sabha, a Member raised an issue emerging from a notification of the Ministry of Rural Development. The notification replaces manual attendance with app-based attendance for MGNREGA worksites with more than 20 people. The Member pointed out that this change has made it difficult for women workers to collect their wages who have less access to smartphones.
Earlier in the day, the Joint Committee on the Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was given further extension till the last week of Monsoon Session 2022 to present its report.
With the swearing-in ceremony for Ms Droupadi Murmu scheduled for Monday, proceedings in both Houses of Parliament were adjourned till 2 PM on July 25.
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The Ministry of Law and Justice informed Lok Sabha today that no time limit has been drawn for the appointment of the Chairperson and Members of the 22nd Law Commission. The constitution of 22nd Law Commission of India was approved by the Cabinet for a term of three years 29 months ago, from February 21, 2020.