Rajya Sabha Current Affairs - 2019

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Rajya Sabha passes National Institute of Design (Amendment) Bill, 2019

Rajya Sabha has passed National Institute of Design (Amendment) Bill, 2019. Now it has to be passed by Lok Sabha. The Bill seeks to amend National Institute of Design Act, 2014, which declares National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad as an institution of national importance.

National Institute of Design (Amendment) Bill, 2019

It seeks to declare four National Institutes of Design (NID) in Andhra Pradesh (Amaravati), Assam (Jorhat), Madhya Pradesh (Bhopal) and Haryana (Kurukshetra) as institutions of national importance.

Currently, these institutes are registered as Societies under Societies Registration Act, 1860 and do not have power to grant degrees or diplomas. Once these four institutions are declared of national importance, they will be granted the power to grant degrees and diplomas.

Significance of National Importance Tag

It will help to produce highly skilled manpower in design sector which in turn, will create job opportunities, both direct and indirect. It will also provide sustainable design interventions for handloom, crafts, rural technology, small, medium (SMEs) and large scale enterprises (LSEs); and outreach programmes for capacity, capability and institution building.

J&K Reorganisation Bill 2019 passed in Rajya Sabha

After passing a statutory resolution on scrapping special status to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) by diluting Article 370, Rajya Sabha has now passed voting on J&K Reorganisation Bill 2019 which will effectively bifurcate state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir with a legislature and Ladakh without legislature. A statutory resolution on Article 370 and J&K reorganisation bill were passed by Rajya Sabha and will be put to vote in Lok Sabha next.

Jammu and Kashmir will also become largest union territory (UT) in India in terms of area once it is carved out while Ladakh, will be 2nd largest UT after it comes to force.

J&K Reorganisation Bill 2019

Assembly Seats: Bill that seeks for division of Jammu and Kashmir will lead to an increase number of seats in newly-constituted Assembly from 107 to 114 out of which 24 seats would be deemed to be vacant till time Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) comes under jurisdiction of Indian state.

State assembly currently has 111 seats, of which 46 are in Kashmir Valley, 37 in Jammu and remaining 4 are in Ladakh division. After passing of reorganisation bill in Parliament, Ladakh will be a Union territory to be administered by Centre.

Assembly Tenure: With abrogation of Article 370, tenure of J&K state Assembly will now be 5 years as in other parts of state which till now had a special status with a 6-year tenure.

SC/ST Reservation: New Assembly shall have reservation for Scheduled Caste (SC) and Schedule Tribes (ST) as in other parts of state.

Reorganisation of Constituencies: Constituencies will be re-organised through a de-limitation exercise under 2002 Act of Parliament. For purpose of delimitation, 2011 census figures will be taken as benchmark.

Unicameral Polity: Bill also seeks to scrap state’s legislative council to make J&K a unicameral polity. State will have a Chief Minister and a Lt Governor and all financial bills will need to cleared by Lt Governor.

What will Change after Scrapping of Article 370?

With abrogation of Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir will now have no separate flag or Constitution and tenure of state legislative assembly will be for a period of 5 years like any other state and 2 union territories in country.

Indian Penal Code (IPC) will replace Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) to deal with criminal matters and Article 356, under which President’s rule can be imposed in any state, will also be applicable in union territories (UTs) Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh with unprecedented decision of Centre.

With addition of two new UTs, total number of will go up to 9- J&K, Ladakh, Delhi, Puducherry, Diu and Daman, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Chandigarh, Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.