Monsoon Session of Parliament: Lok Sabha passes Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2019; Rajya Sabha discusses electoral reforms

  • The Lok Sabha passed Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and discussed the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC) Bill

  • Electoral reforms were discussed in the Rajya Sabha, after the resolution to do so was tabled by TMC MP Derek O’Brien

  • The Rajya Sabha saw the introduction of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Bill

The Lok Sabha passed Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and discussed the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC) Bill on Wednesday, while the Rajya Sabha saw the introduction of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Bill.

During the discussion on the Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2019, AAP’s Bhagwant Mann proposed dental insurance for the poor, while BJP’s Bharti Pravin Pawar took note of rising cases of oral cancer and sought more dental colleges across the country. VCK’s Thol Thirumavalam said that Primary Health Centres should have dentists and BJP’s Santosh Pandey added that the amendment will eliminate corruption in the dental education sector.

 Monsoon Session of Parliament: Lok Sabha passes Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2019; Rajya Sabha discusses electoral reforms

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan speaks in the Lok Sabha. PTI

RSP’s NK Premachandran and TMC’s Pratima Mandal sought amendments to the Bill. Mandal talked about the lack of new faces in the Dental Council of India, which saw its last registration in 1972 and the need of lack of governmental interference in choosing members. Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan clarified that the Centre does not discriminate against anyone in the nomination process for the council.

Speaking on the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC) Bill ,Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor agreed that India needs an arbitration centre, but objected to the introduction of the current version of the Bill. He listed three reason for his objections, including that the body will not be an autonomous and independent institution as the Bill vests power with Centre.

Electoral reforms were discussed in the Rajya Sabha, after the resolution to do so was tabled by TMC MP Derek O’Brien. "For the first time Article 324 was imposed in my state. We have to take the responsibility as to how election commissioners are appointed. Private funding bill had a solution to this," O'Brien said. O'Brien said multi-phase elections is a problem, but the solution also does not lie in rushing into ‘One Nation, One election'.

O'Brien listed misuse of data as another issue in Indian elections in the Rajya Sabha. BJP’s Bhupender Yadav argued that ‘One Nation, One election’ would cut down poll expenditure and ensure that all politicians focus on issues of the people, rather than elections all year round. He also sought that the I-T Act be revisited to reform electoral funding.

Congress’ Kapil Sibal cited a report which stated that over Rs 70,000 crore was spent during the Lok Sabha elections, 45 percent of which was spent by the BJP. "We should investigate if the source was black or white money," Sibal suggested. He pointed out that prior to the elections, the Finance Act was amended to find the source of the money.

Congress’ Rajeev Gowda said every candidate spends much more than actually allowed during election. Meanwhile, CPI’s D Raja said that the Collegium should appoint election commissioners, adding that simultaneous polls are unconstitutional. BSP’s Satish Chandra Misra sought that the ballot system should be brought back.

RPI’s Ramdas Athawale said, "One nation, one election, Narendra Modi is our selection. To save the expenditure and time of the government, I request the Congress to support the process of the polls. Why are you after the EVMs, come after us."

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad pointed out the "double standard" of the Opposition on the EVM issue. "Why should security of the nation not be an issue during elections," asks Prasad. Taking an apparent hit at the Congress, Prasad said parties in their manifesto mention that the sedition law should be scrapped, the people of the country then have the right to decide who would protect the country.

Speaking on the issue of 'One Nation, One Election', Prasad says the sheer expenditure would be saved. "There is a need for one electoral roll. Election is the festival of democracy and therefore we should ensure that the character of the festival should not be lost," says Prasad. "We are not a closed mind. Maybe we can come to proper conclusion," Prasad said.

The Rajya Sabha also discussed The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers' Cadre) Bill, 2019. The Bill will provide for the reservation of posts in appointments by direct recruitment of persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, the socially and educationally backward classes and the economically weaker sections, to teachers' cadre in certain Central Educational Institutions established, maintained or aided by the central government.

Manoj Kumar Jha of the RJD said that some institutions have been excluded from this Bill and asks the government why this has been done. He also said there are not enough ad-hoc teachers. Shiv Sena's Anil Desai, speaking in support of the Bill, took note of the plight of the teaching community and also asked about the excluded institutions.

AAP’s Sushil Kumar Gupta sought that the government get rid of the 13-point roster. Congress’ Digvijaya Singh, DMK’s Tiruchi Siva and BJP’s Satyanarayan Jatiya welcomed the Bill. Congress’ Hanumanthaiah welcomed the Bill, with the condition that the exempted institutions be included.

During the Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha, while Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa talked about the drug menace in Punjab, BJP MP Shwait Malik from Punjab raised the issue of burning of crop residue, listing out the issues that arise from crop burning. Congress MP from Uttar Pradesh PL Punia talked about the protocol behind registering a case under the Prevention of Atrocities Against SC/ST Act. He talks about the recent incident where members of a Dalit family were killed for objecting to an attempt at sexual harassment and molestation.

During the Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha, among the issues raised included the flooding in Mumbai due to heavy rains and the Malad wall collapse, which resulted in 26 deaths. These issues were raised by BJP’s Manoj Kotak. BJP’s Kumari Diya raised the issues of rising rape cases and the lack of CCTVs in Rajasthan.

Updated Date: Jul 03, 2019 23:32:03 IST