Bills and Acts in Current Affairs 2017

Summary of latest bill and acts passed or pending in 2017 in Parliament of India with their salient features and issues for Current Affairs 2017 preparation for various examinations.

Lok Sabha passes Indian Institutes of Management Bill, 2017

The Lok Sabha passed the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) Bill, 2017 by voice vote. The Bill declares the IIMs as institutions of national importance.

The bill seeks to empower these institutions to attain standards of global excellence in management, management research and allied areas of knowledge. It also promises to grant administrative, academic and financial autonomy to these B-Schools and allow them to grant degrees.

Key Highlights of Bill

The bill allows IIMs to grant degrees to their students. It also grants them complete autonomy, combined with adequate accountability. It establishes coordination Forum of IIMs as an advisory body. It empowers board of an IIM to drive the management of the institution. It will select Chairperson and Director of IIM.

The board will have greater participation of experts and alumni. It will also include women and members from Scheduled Castes/Tribes. Besides, it adds provisions for periodic review of the performance of IIM by independent agencies and their results will be placed in public domain. Besides, it also has provision to place the Annual Report of the IIMs in the Parliament and CAG (Comptroller and auditor general of India)  auditing their accounts.

Background

IIMs are the country’s premier institutions imparting best quality education in management and are recognized as world-class management Institutions and Centres of Excellence. India has 20 IIMs now. All IIMs are separate autonomous bodies registered under the Societies Act. Earlier they were not authorized to award degrees. These awards were treated as equivalent to MBAs and Ph.D, respectively, but their equivalence was not universally acceptable, especially for the Fellow Programme.

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Parliament passes Collection of Statistics (Amendment) Bill, 2017

The parliament has passed The Collection of Statistics (Amendment) Bill, 2017 after it was approved by the Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha has passed it earlier.

The bill aims at amending the Collection of Statistics Bill, 2008, which facilitates the collection of statistics related to social, economic, demographic, scientific and environmental aspects, by central, state and local governments. It also allows the appointment of statistics officers to collect information and contains provisions to ensure security of information.

Salient features of bill

Jurisdiction of the 2008 Act: The Bill extends jurisdiction of the parent act to the state Jammu and Kashmir for the collection of statistics pertaining to subjects under the Union (List-I) or the Concurrent list (List-II) of the Constitution. These subjects include citizenship, banking, education, labour and forests as applicable to J&K.

Nodal officer: It adds provisions for the appointment of a nodal officer by the Union or state government. The function of nodal officer is to coordinate and supervise statistical activities under the government which has appointed him. Further, the Union government can also determine the powers and duties of the nodal officer.

Use of information:  The Bill removes provision from parent act dealing with information collected under it only is used for statistical purposes. It also allows the Union government to determine the manner in which such information collected will be used for statistical purposes.

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