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Gujarat Assembly passes Aadhaar Bill, 2017

The Gujarat Assembly has passed Gujarat Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2017.

The bill seeks to empower the state government to use Aadhaar number as the sole identifier for the delivery of various subsidies and benefits in an effective and targeted manner. 

Key Facts
  • By linking the Aadhhaar number with various schemes will help the state government create a credible system to authenticate the identity of actual beneficiaries.
  • As of now, Gujarat government provides various subsidies and financial assistance to the citizens under 119 schemes using RTGS or through cheques.
  • This bill will ensure more accurate, targeted and efficient delivery of such disbursements using Aadhaar number.
  • All the residents of Gujarat above 18 years have been issued Aadhaar cards, moreover 85% citizens in the age group of 5 to 18 have been issued such cards having unique identification number.

Background

The Bill has been framed as per the Central Aadhaar Act, passed by the Parliament in 2016. The central act empowers the state governments to introduce similar laws for targeted delivery of subsidies and benefits by linking Aadhaar number of each beneficiary.

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Union Cabinet approves bill to amend Collection of Statistics Act, 2008    

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved introduction of Bill in Parliament to extend the jurisdiction of the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008 to Jammu & Kashmir.

The Amendment will be pertained to statistics under Union (List-I) and Concurrent lists (List- III) in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution and Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 1954.

Key Facts about Bill
  • It will strengthen data collection mechanism in the state of Jammu & Kashmir.
  • It will extend the jurisdiction of the parent Act to J&K in respect of matters not reserved for the State as per the 1954 Order.
  • It also envisages appointment of nodal officer at Centre and in each State/UT to effectively coordinate data collection activities and provide consultation to government departments to avoid unnecessary duplication.
Background
  • The Collection of Statistics Act, 2008 was enacted by the Parliament to facilitate the collection of statistics on economics, social, demographic, scientific and environmental aspects etc.
  • The Act extends to the whole of India, except J&K. The J&K state legislature also had enacted the Jammu & Kashmir Collection of Statistics Act, 2010, which is replica of the central legislation extending to whole state.
  • However, both central and state legislations are not applicable to statistical subjects falling in the Union List, as applicable to the J&K under the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order 1954.
  • This has created a legislative vacuum. Besides, concurrent jurisdiction to be exercised by Centre in J&K also has not been provided in the Central legislation. So the amendment is intended to address this vacuum.

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Union Cabinet approves Indian Institute of Management Bill, 2017

The Union Cabinet has approved the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bill, 2017, under which the IIMs will be declared as Institutions of National Importance.

It will also enable IIMs to grant degrees rather than diplomas to their students. At present IIMs are not authorised to award degrees as they registered as societies. Hence, they are awarding Post Graduate Diploma and Fellow Programme in Management.

Salient features of the Bill
  • Allow IIMs to grant degrees to their students.
  • Grant complete autonomy to IIMs, combined with adequate accountability. Coordination Forum of IIMs as an advisory body will be established.
  • Board of an IIM will drive the management of the institution. It will select Chairperson and Director of IIM.
  • Board will have greater participation of experts and alumni. It will also include women and members from Scheduled Castes/Tribes.
  • Periodic review of the performance of IIM will be conducted by independent agencies and their results will be placed in public domain.
  • The Annual Report of the IIMs will be placed in the Parliament and CAG (Comptroller and auditor general of India) will audit their accounts. 
Background

Indian Institutes of Managements (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. All IIMs are separate autonomous bodies registered under the Societies Act and are not authorized to award degrees. These awards are treated as equivalent to MBAs and Ph.D, respectively, but their equivalence is not universally acceptable, especially for the Fellow Programme.

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