Constitution & Law Current Affairs - 2020

Summary of latest bill and acts passed or pending in 2019 in Parliament of India with their salient features and issues for Current Affairs 2019 preparation for various examinations such as UPSC, SSC, State Civil Services, CLAT, Judicial Services etc.

Anti-Maritime Bill introduced in Lok Sabha

On December 10, 2019, External Affairs Minister Jaishankar introduced the Anti-Maritime bill in parliament. The bill was introduced in days after the kidnapping of 18 Indians aboard in Nigeria. It aims at ensuring safety and security of India’s maritime trade and the crew members

Key Features

The bill is framed in accordance with the UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea). It provides punishment of death penalty to those involved in piracy at sea. Section 3 of the bill mentions that persons involved in the act of piracy shall be punished with imprisonment and death penalty.

Need for the bill

Piracy has been growing in the Indian Ocean region since 2008. It is especially more in the Gulf of Aden, which is used by more than 2,000 ships a day. The Gulf has seen several attacks from Somalia. The region is important as it is the busiest trade route between Europe, Asia and East Coast of Africa. These incidents affect the west coast of India as well. This is because, several countries jointly and individually are increasing their security in the Gulf of Aden region to protect their ships. This has forced the pirates to shift their operation eastwards and southwards. This affects India greatly and a strict legislation is required.

UNCLOS

The UNCOS or the Laws of the sea was framed at the third UN Conference that was held between 1973 and 1982. As of 2016, 167 countries including the European Union have joined UNCLOS. There is no direct role played by the UN in implementing the UNCLOS. However, organizations like International Whaling Commission, International Maritime Organization and International Seabed Authority have major role in following and implementing the rules.

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Parliament passes The Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019

On 9 December 2019, Parliament passed the landmark ‘The Recycling of Ships Bill 2019’ for Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships in India. Passing of this Bill will have far reaching effects in Indian Ship Recycling industry and is also a giant step and historical moment in Indian Maritime arena.

Key Features:  The Recycling of Ships Bill 2019

It joins together the existing Shipbreaking Code (revised),2013 and the provisions of the Hong Kong Convention, 2009. Thereby, now, ships to be recycled in India will need to obtain a ‘Ready for Recycling Certificate’ in accordance with Hong Kong Convention.

The protection of environment and safety of workers are soul of this bill. Once the Bill receives President’s assent and becomes an Act, it will ensure environment friendly recycling process of Ships and adequate safety of the yard workers.

The bill adequately address various environmental issues and workers’ safety concerns interconnected with the ships recycling Industry.

Key Benefits of bill:

 

It will herald significant increased number of global ships entering into Indian Shipyards for Recycling. The Recycling of Ships will in turn boost business & employment opportunities and strengthen India’s position in recycling industry.

It will raise brand value of India’s Ships Recycling Yards located at Alang (Gujarat), Mumbai Port, Kolkata Port & Azhikkal (Kerela).

10% of country’s Secondary steel needs, which is an outcome of Recycling of Ships, will be met in an eco-friendly manner.

Ships Recycling facilities will comply to International standards and Ships will be recycled only in such authorised facilities. Thus the tremendous growth of business activities will turn contribute to the country’s GDP.

Significance

India is a leader in global ship recycling industry with a share of more than 30% of the global market. With enactment of this bill, India will set global standards for safe and sound environmentally-friendly recycling of Ships, and will ensure adequate safety of yard workers. This this bill will also pave the way for more global ships to enter into Indian Shipyards for recycling and boost employment and business opportunities also.

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