The winter and budget sessions of Parliament may prove to be busy, if the UPA government lives up to its promises. HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said yesterday that the government would strive for a consensus on the Foreign Education Providers Bill so that it may be introduced in the ongoing session of Parliament. Law Minister Veerappa Moily has announced that the Judges Standard and Accountability Bill and the Commercial Division of High Courts Bill, 2009 will be tabled in Parliament soon.
Oscar Fernandes, Chairman of the Parliamentary Forum for HIV and AIDS, has promised to expedite consultation work on the long-pending HIV/AIDS Bill, and introduce it in the next session of Parliament.
The winter and budget sessions of Parliament may prove to be busy, if the UPA government lives up to its promises. HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, delivering the opening address yesterday at the ceremony for the announcement of the Infosys Prize 2009, emphasized the need for high quality educational institutions and said that the government would strive for a consensus on the Foreign Education Providers Bill so that it may be introduced in the ongoing session of Parliament.
The Regulation of Foreign University Entry and Operation (Maintenance of Quality and Prevention of Commercialisation) Bill, 2006, allows the entry of foreign educational institutions into India, and grants them the status of deemed Universities. Several provisions of the draft legislation have been disputed within the government itself, specifically, governance by the University Grants Commission, and the issue of reservation for SC/ST and OBC students, which certain members feel will discourage the entry of top-notch foreign universities into the country.
Law Minister Veerappa Moily has announced that a new Bill preventing corruption amongst the judiciary will soon be tabled in Parliament. The legislation, known as the Judges Standard and Accountability Bill, is intended to replace the Judges Inquiry Act and provides for reforms within the judiciary, to prevent corruption and to ensure accountability of judges. The Minister claims that the Bill is a 'state-of-the-art' legislation incorporating the best of legislative practices from across the world, including the United States, France and the United Kingdom.
The Law Minister has also moved a proposal to set up separate commercial wings in all High Courts to hear commercial and corporate disputes. The proposed Commercial Division of High Courts Bill, 2009 intends to set up a commercial bench in all the High Courts to hear commercial disputes with a pecuniary value of Rs. 1 crore and above. All such disputes, including those pending in the lower courts, will be transferred to the commercial bench, leaving the High Courts free to adjudicate on civil and criminal matters. Reports state that the draft legislation has been approved by concerned ministries, such as Corporate Affairs and Finance, and is now awaiting approval from the Office of the Prime Minister.
Oscar Fernandes, Chairman of the Parliamentary Forum for HIV and AIDS, has promised to expedite consultation work on the long-pending HIV/AIDS Bill, which addresses issues relating to people with HIV/AIDS, and introduce it in the next session of Parliament. The Bill, originally drafted in 2006, has been shuttling between the Law and Health ministries for three years. It provides for the prevention of discrimination and the protection and care of people with HIV/AIDS, and lays out measures to prevent the spread of the disease. On the occasion of World AIDS Day, the National Coalition on the HIV/AIDS Bill, a consortium of NGOs working in the health sector, has sent a message urging Parliament to pass the HIV/AIDS Bill in the current session.