Lok Sabha Current Affairs - 2019
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Lok Sabha has passed The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Second Amendment) Bill, 2017 to abolish the ‘no detention policy’ in schools. The Bill amends the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. The Act was having provision of no detention policy i.e. no child can be held back in any class until completion of elementary school (classes 1-8).
Key Features of Bill
The Bill amends provision related to no detention policy in the parent Act to empower central or state government to allow schools to hold back child in class 5, class 8, or in both classes. It mandates conducting, regular examination in class 5 and class 8 at end of every academic year.
In case, child fails class 5, class 8 examinations, he will be given additional instruction and opportunity for a re-examination (within two months from the declaration of the result). If child fails again in re-examination, he may be held back in class 5, class 8, or in both classes.
The Bill empowers Union and State governments to decide whether to not hold back child in any class till completion of elementary education. Further, Union or State governments will decide manner and conditions subject to which child may be held back.
The Lok Sabha has passed Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017 to empower government to fix period of maternity leave and tax-free gratuity amount with an executive order. The Bill seeks to amend the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972.
Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972
It allows for payment of gratuity to employees in any establishment, factory, mine, oilfield, plantation, port, railways, company, or shop employing 10 or more workers. Under it, employees are paid gratuity if they have provided at least 5 years of continuous service at time of termination.
Key Features of Bill
The Bill empowers central government to notify period of maternity leave eligible for qualifying as continuous service and determine amount of gratuity available to employees.
The maximum maternity leave, for the purpose of calculating continuous service under the Act, was based on the maternity leave provided under the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961. The Bill removes the reference to 12 weeks in Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 and empowers central government to notify the maximum maternity leave. Under the Act, maximum maternity leave was 12 weeks and was changed to 26 weeks by Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017.
The Bill removes the existing ceiling of Rs 10 lakh amount of gratuity payable to an employee and states that the ceiling may be notified by the central government.