Recently, the Lok Sabha has passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which seeks to ease norms for religious minorities from neighbouring nations (non-muslims) to get Indian citizenship by amending age-old Citizenship Act, 1955. However, it has polarised regions in border states such as Assam since the locals fear that it will result in demographic change due to immigration.
The Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers has recently released the Drugs (Prices Control) Amendment Order, 2019 which prescribes that the drugmaker who has brought in an innovative patented drug will be exempt from the price control rules for 5 years from the date of marketing. It is meant to strike the right balance between consumer and producer interests. However, it falls short of addressing certain concerns regarding the drug pricing regulation in India.
NITI Aayog in its recent ‘Strategy for New India @ 75’ document, suggested for the establishment of All India Judicial Service. However, the number of different shortcomings and concerns in its implementation necessitates a relook on the proposals.
Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) is the financial turnaround and revival package for the electricity distribution companies of India (DISCOMS). It was launched with an aim to find a permanent solution to the financial struggle of the power distribution companies. However, even after 3 years of its implementation, the discoms continue to perform poorly. Therefore, urgent reforms are needed to address this issue and strengthen the power sector in India.
Recently, Indian firm “India Ports Global Limited” took over operations at the Shahid Behesti Port in Chabahar, Iran. The representative of India, Iran, and Afghanistan met and finalized the routes for trade and transit corridors between the three nations. An event has also been planned on February 26, 2019, to promote and popularise the potential of Chabahar port.
Recently, hundreds of activists from different parts of the country gathered in New Delhi to oppose the proposed amendments to the RTI Act and demanding operationalization of anti-corruption laws. They highlighted that the government is undermining the RTI Act by means of the proposed amendment bill and also by not appointing information commissioners.
Recently, the Lok Sabha has passed the Surrogacy (Regulation) bill, 2016 which prohibits commercial surrogacy and allows only altruistic surrogacy. The bill seeks to protect the rights of the surrogate mother and the child born from surrogacy and promotes ethical surrogacy. However, it falls short of addressing certain key concerns regarding the surrogacy in India.