Lok Sabha passed the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Amendment) Bill. The Bill amends the Act of 2014 to declare the Indian Institute of Technology, Design and Manufacturing, Kurnool as an institution of national importance and adds it to the Schedule of the Act. During the debate, members raised several issues related to higher education such as measures to increase rate of enrollment, creation of national curriculum for information technology, steps to encourage entrepreneurship in the institutes, among other things.
Other scheduled business for the day in the Lower House could not be taken up due to disruptions.
In Rajya Sabha, the Collection of Statistics (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was passed. The Bill seeks to extend its jurisdiction Jammu and Kashmir for the collection of statistics pertaining to subjects under the Union or the Concurrent list of the Constitution as applicable to Jammu and Kashmir. The 2008 Act provides that the information collected under it can only be used for statistical purposes. The Bill removes this provision. It allows the central government to determine the manner in which such information collected will be used, for statistical purpose. Members participating in the debate raised concerns about the implications of the Bill on Article 370 [special status of Jammu and Kashmir], privacy, data security, among other things.
The Minister of Agriculture, Mr Radha Mohan Singh replied to the debate that concluded yesterday in Upper House on ‘the discussion raised on the farmers’ distress leading to rise in the incidents of their suicide’. The Minister informed the members that a National Commission has been constituted to study suicides and report from 13 states suggest that the volatility of monsoons is a huge reason for farmer distress. He added that the Ministry is looking to encourage farmers to become a collective and apply for loans for allied agricultural activities – Rs. 30000 cr given as loans in 3yrs. He also added that consultation with states’ agricultural markets are underway to reform mandis.
Rajya Sabha also took up discussion on the National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
Rajya Sabha was sitting at the time of sending this report.