Current Affairs (26th March 2021)
- The Budget Session of the Parliament came to an end with both the Houses being adjourned sine die ahead of their schedule.
- 19 Bills were passed during the Budget Session which includes Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020, Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020, Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2021, National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development Bill, 2021 among others.
- The President from time to time summons each House of Parliament to meet. But, the maximum gap between two sessions of Parliament cannot be more than 6 months.
- The Parliament should meet atleast twice a year. 3 sessions in a year are:
- Budget Session: February to May
- Monsoon Session: July to September
- Winter Session: November to December
- A ‘session’ of Parliament is the period spanning between first sitting of a House and its prorogation (not only terminates a sitting but also a session of the House, done by the President of India).
ADJOURNMENT SINE DIE:
- It means terminating a sitting of Parliament for an indefinite period. When the House is adjourned without naming a day for reassembly, it is called adjournment sine die.
- The power of adjournment sine die lies with the presiding officer of the House.
National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development Bill
- The Parliament has passed the National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development Bill, 2021.
- The legislation seeks to establish the National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NBFID) to support the infrastructure financing in the country.
- This includes development of bonds and derivatives markets which are necessary for infrastructure financing.
- The ambit of developmental projects envisaged to be undertaken by the NBFID includes social sector infrastructure projects including Health & Education.
- The new statutory body is answerable to the Parliament and will be managed by the Government appointed Chairman and board nominated professionals.
- There is no provision of CAG audit of the proposed Development financing Bank.
- The NBFID will be set up as a corporate body with authorized share capital of one lakh crore rupees, with financial and developmental objectives.
- Financial objectives will be to directly or indirectly lend, invest, or attract investments for infrastructure projects located entirely or partly in India.
- Developmental objectives include facilitating the development of the market for bonds, loans and derivatives for infrastructure financing.
- NBFID will prove to be a catalyst for the ecosystem of Infrastructure funding.
Second tranche of auction
- India has launched its 2nd Tranche of auction for commercial coal mining offering 67 mines for sale of coal.
- This is the highest number of mines on offer in a particular tranche of auction after commencement of the auction regime since 2014.
- The coal mines on offer are a mix of mines with small and large reserves, coking and non-coking mines and fully and partially explored mines spread across six states.
- These states are Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
- The government is making coal the driver of economic activities in the country and there are huge opportunities that the Indian coal sector is offering.
- Commercial coal mining will bring in new investments, create huge employment opportunities and boost socio-economic development in coal-bearing states.
- A market-based coal economy will help the nation become Aatmanirbhar in coal.
- Chief Justice of India (CJI) Justice S A Bobde has recommended the Union Government to appoint the senior most Supreme Court (SC) Judge Justice N V Ramanna as the next CJI.
- Chief Justice Bobde is set to retire on 23rd April. Justice Bobde was sworn in as the 47th CJI in November 2019. Traditionally, the sitting Chief Justice writes a recommendation for his likely successor.
APPOINTMENT OF JUDGE:
- CJI is appointed by the President after consultation judges of the SC and High Courts as he deems necessary.
- The consultation with CJI is obligatory in the case of appointment of a judge other than CJI.
- From 1950 to 1973, the practice has been to appoint the seniormost judge of the SC as the CJI.
- This established convention was violated in 1973 when A N Ray was appointed as the CJI by superseding three senior judges.
- Again in 1977, M U Beg was appointed as the CJI by superseding the then senior-most judge.
- This discretion of the government was curtailed by the SC in the Second Judges Case (1993), in which the SC ruled that the seniormost judge of the SC should alone be appointed to the office of the CJI.
Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill 2021
- Lok Sabha gave its nod to a bill that seeks to strengthen the provisions relating to the protection and adoption of children.
- The amendment bill would address various issues flagged by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights that had looked into the working of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act,
- The proposed law seeks to make the district magistrate a “synergising officer” for issues related to protection of children.
- The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021, which seeks to amend the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, proposes to increase the role of district magistrates and additional district magistrates with issues concerning child care and adoption.
WHY SUCH LAW WAS NEEDED?
- The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) audit of Child Care Institutions (CCIs) in 2020, 90% of which are run by NGOs, found that 39% CCIs were not registered, even after the 2015 amendment was brought in.
- It also found that less than 20% CCIs, especially for girls, had not been set up in some states, 26% child welfare officers were not there.
- Moreover, three-fifths have no toilets, one-tenth have no drinking water and 15% homes don’t have provisions of separate beds, no diet plans.
- Rehabilitation of children is not a priority for childcare homes and children are reportedly kept in such institutions to get funds.
|Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015||Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021|
|Juvenile Justice Board will inquire about a child who is accused of a serious offence. Serious offences are those for which the punishment is imprisonment between three to seven years.||Serious offences will also include offences for which maximum punishment is imprisonment of more than seven years, and minimum punishment is not prescribed or is of less than seven years.|
|Offence which is punishable with imprisonment between three to seven years will be cognizable (where arrest is allowed without warrant) and non-bailable.||Such offences will be non-cognizable.|
|Prescribes the procedure for the adoption of children by prospective adoptive parents from India and abroad. On the acceptance of the child by prospective adoptive parents, a specialised adoption agency applies to a civil court to obtain the adoption order. The adoption order issued by the court establishes that the child belongs to the adoptive parents.||Instead of the court, the District Magistrate (including Additional District Magistrate) will issue such adoption orders.|
|In cases where a person living abroad intends to adopt a child from his relative in India, he is required to obtain an adoption order from the court.||Amends this to empower the District Magistrate instead, to issue such adoption orders.|
|No appeal for any order made by a Child Welfare Committee finding that a person is not a child in need of care and protection.||Any person aggrieved by an adoption order passed by the District Magistrate may file an appeal before the Divisional Commissioner, within 30 days from the date of passage of such order. Such appeals should be disposed within four weeks from the date of filing of the appeal.|
|An offence against children under the Act, punishable with imprisonment of a term more than seven years, will be tried in the children’s court. Other offences (punishable with imprisonment less than seven years) will be tried by any Judicial Magistrate.||All offences under the Act be tried in children’s court.|
|States constitute one or more CWCs for each district for dealing with children in need of care and protection. It provides certain criteria for the appointment of members to CWC. For instance, an appointee should be: (i) involved in health, education, or welfare of children for at least seven years, or (ii) a practising professional with a degree in child psychology, psychiatry, law, or social work.||Specifies certain additional criteria for the appointment of CWC members. It provides that a person will not eligible to be a member of the CWC if he: (i) has any record of violation of human rights or child rights, (ii) has been convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude, and such conviction has not been reversed, (iii) has been removed or dismissed from service of the central government, or any state government, or an undertaking owned by the government, or (iv) is part of the management of a child care institution in a district.|