Bills and Acts in Current Affairs 2017

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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Lok Sabha passes Indian Institutes of Information Technology (PPP) Bill, 2017

The Lok Sabha passed the Indian Institute of Information Technology Public Private Partnership (IIIT-PPP) Bill, 2017 to allow 15 IIITs established on a PPP model to grant degrees and get statutory status.

The bill also seeks to grant institute of national importance status to IIITs on the lines of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs).

Background

The Union Government had initiated the opening of 20 IIITs with private partnership of which 15 are already operational. These engineering and tech schools were established at a cost of Rs. 128 crore each. The centre had contributed 50% of the amount, states 35% and private partners remaining 15% (i.e. 50:35:15 ratio). However, these institutes were not been eligible to grant degrees.

Salient Features of the Bill

Definition of PPP: The bill define PPP as a partnership under a scheme of the centre for establishment of institutes through collaboration between the centre, the state government and industry partners such as individuals, trusts, companies or societies.

Establishment of an institute: State government will identify at least one industry partner for collaboration to establish an institute and submit a proposal to the centre. The centre will examine the proposal based on certain criterias. The centre may reject or accept the proposal with modifications. Upon such acceptance, the centre will enter into a MoU with the concerned state government and industry partners to establish proposed institute.

Role of the industry partner: It will have powers for co-creating programs as per the requirements of the industry; actively participating in the governance of the institutes; and funding and mentoring startups in the institutions.

Board of Governors: It will be the principal policy making and executive body of the institute. The Board of each institute will comprise upto 15 members including Chairman nominated on the recommendation of the centre.

Senate: It will be the principal academic body of each institute. It will specify the criteria and procedure for admission to courses of study; recommend to the Board, creation of teaching and other academic posts; and specify academic content of programmes and courses of study.

Coordination Forum: It will deliberate on matters of common interest to all the institutes. It will advise the centre to include or exclude an institution from the schedule of the Bill.

Funds of the institute:  Each institute will maintain a fund consisting of funds from the government and other sources including grants, fees and donations. Further, each institute will create corpus fund of the net income of the institute and donations for its long term sustainability.

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