Members in Rajya Sabha today called the attention of the
Minister on the situation arising due to floods in the country and the
preventive measures taken by the government etc. During the debate members
highlighted several issues like blockade of roadways in hilly areas, the need
for better water management. The
Minister of State,Home Affairs,Mr. Kirren Rijiju replied at the end of the
debate and assured the house that the central government will be giving all
financial and logistical support to the states.
The Upper House took up discussion on the Child Labour
(Amendment) Bill, 2012. In 2015 the government had circulated amendments to this
The Bill prohibits employment of adolescents (person between
14-18 years) in hazardous occupations. Further the Bill seeks to prohibit
employment of children below 14 years in all occupations except where the child
helps his family after school hours or is working in the audiovisual
entertainment industry. During the debate several members raised their concerns
about these exceptions.
The Standing Committee which had previously examined the
Bill in 2013 had recommended that all exceptions should be removed. Employment of
children below 14 years should be prohibited in all occupations where there is
a subordinate relationship of work and labour.
A comparison of the Bill, Standing Committee Recommendations and 2015
amendments can be found here.
Six bills were introduced in Lok Sabha. These were - The
Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, the Dentists (Amendment) Bill, the
National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research (Amendment) Bill,
the Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Bill, the High Courts (Alteration of
Names) Bill and the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
Subsequently, the Lower House took up the Indian Medical
Council (Amendment) Bill and the Dentists (Amendment) Bill for discussion.
These Bills are related to the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET).
They introduce a uniform entrance examination for all dental and medical
colleges at the undergraduate and the post-graduate level. States have been
given an option to opt out of the uniform entrance examination for 2016-17. For
states opting out, the Bills specify that the exam will not be applicable to
state seats in both public and private institutions at the undergraduate level.
Both the houses were
sitting at the time of sending this report.