NEW DELHI: The Narendra Modi-led government today announced the repealing of Article 370 which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The resolutions in this regard were adopted by the Rajya Sabha.
The Upper House also passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill, 2019 by voice vote. The Bill seeks to make Jammu and Kashmir a Union Territory with the legislature and Ladakh Union Territory without legislature.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) Bill 2019, which has provisions of 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Sections of upper caste in the state, was also passed by the Rajya Sabha.
The Debate In Rajya Sabha:
Replying to debate on the bills and resolutions, Home Minister Amit Shah asserted that scrapping of Article 370 will benefit all sections of society in Jammu and Kashmir and bring development and check terrorism.
Mr. Shah said, development of the state could not be possible due to this Article and asked the people for five years to make J&K the most developed state in India.
He said Article 370 was the root of all the evils, corruption, and poverty and the main cause of terrorism in the valley. He said, terrorism cannot be rooted out from the state without scrapping the Article. He said, it is because of this that democracy was never fully implemented, and corruption increased in the state.
The Minister assured that Jammu and Kashmir will go back to being a state from Union Territory as soon as the situation is normal in the Valley.
Mr Shah stated that Article 370 was meant to be temporary but the previous governments did not dare to remove it due to vote bank politics. The Minister said, over 41 thousand people of the state were killed in the last two decades.
He said, BJP has always believed that Article 370 is not in the favour of people of Jammu and Kashmir. The Minister said, only three families of the state were using it to further their own interests.
Earlier, opposing the move, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad alleged that by bringing this Bill, NDA government has disintegrated the integration which had occurred in the past 20 to 30 years. He said, it would be what he called a dark day in India’s history.
Other Congress leaders Kapil Sibal and P Chidambaram also hit out at the government saying it will have adverse consequences in the future. Derek O’Brien of Trinamool Congress said the move is unconstitutional. He said it is a Black day for Parliamentary democracy.
DMK’s Tiruchi Siva questioned the urgency of bringing the Bill when the elected government is not there. He said the decision should have been taken only after consulting the state legislation.
Prof Ram Gopal Yadav of Samajwadi Party also questioned the government’s move. He said, it is a decision taken in a hurry. Binoy Viswam of CPI and TK Rangarajan of CPI(M) also opposed the move. Protesting against it, JD(U) and TMC staged a walkout.
On the other hand, TDP’s K Ravindra Kumar supported the Bill saying this will lead to development and employment opportunities in Jammu and Kashmir. Supporting the Bill, Aam Aadmi Party’s Sushil Kumar Gupta said this will bring peace in Kashmir and development in the Valley will take place.
Bahujan Samaj Party leader Satish Chandra Mishra said his party is supporting the government’s bill on removing Article 370 in the Rajya Sabha.
Senior officials of Ministry of External Affairs briefed the envoys of several countries, including P5 nations, in New Delhi on proposals related to Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and administrative reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir that were introduced in Parliament today.
Sources in External Affairs Ministry said, during the meeting it was, inter alia, highlighted that the proposals currently under consideration of the Parliament are internal to India.
These are aimed at providing good governance, social justice and economic development in Jammu and Kashmir.
The New Jammu & Kashmir Union Territory Would Have Seven More Assembly Seats:
The new Union Territory Jammu & Kashmir will have a maximum number of 107 Assembly seats which will be further enhanced to 114. The Bill passed by the Rajya Sabha on Monday specified the starting of Delimitation process which is expected to increase the number of seats from Jammu region. This will lead to the end of hegemony of the Kashmir region, which was enjoying supremacy of number of seats and getting an artificial victory for the past seven decades.
At present, the effective strength of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly is 87, including four seats falling in the Ladakh region, which will now be a separate Union Territory (UT) without a legislature. Twenty-four seats of the Assembly continue to remain vacant as they fall under Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
“…The number of seats in the Legislative Assembly of Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir shall be increased from 107 to 114, and delimitation of the constituencies may be determined by the Election Commission in the manner hereinafter provided,” according to the J & K Reorganisation Bill, 2019, introduced by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Rajya Sabha on Monday. The total 58 page J & K Reorganisation Bill, 2019 is published below this article.
The UT of Ladakh will have Kargil and Leh districts. There shall be a council of ministers in the successor UT of J-K, the Bill said, consisting of not more than ten per cent of the total number of members in the Legislative Assembly, with the Chief Minister at the head “to aid and advise” the Lieutenant Governor in the exercise of his functions in relation to matters with respect to which the Legislative Assembly has the power to make laws.
The new Bill said that the new UT will have a reservation in the Assembly seats. “The number of seats to be reserved for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in the Legislative Assembly, having regard to the relevant provisions of the Constitution…,” it said. The Bill said that the Lieutenant Governor of the successor UT of J-K may nominate two members to the Legislative Assembly to give representation to women, if in his opinion; women are “not adequately” represented in the Legislative Assembly.
It also said that the Lok Sabha will have five seats from the UT of J-K, while Ladakh will have one seat. This means that there is no change in the total number of seats. “On and from the appointed day, there shall be allocated five seats to the successor UT of J-K and one seat to UT of Ladakh, in the House of the People, and the First Schedule to the Representation of the People Act, 1950 (43 of 1950) shall be deemed to be amended accordingly,” it said.
People from all walks of life across the country hailed the Centre’s decision to scrap Article 370 of the Constitution which accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir and proposed bifurcation of the state into two union territories.
People celebrated the Narendra Modi government’s decision by distributing sweets, bursting crackers and dancing to the beat of drums in several parts of the country including Bhopal, Shimla, Jammu, , Chandigarh, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Mumbai.
In Ladakh, celebrations broke out when the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019 tabled in Rajya Sabha. People in different parts of the region danced to the tune of drum beats and distributed sweets when the news of scrapping of Article 370 flashed on TV screens.
Displaced Kashmiris celebrated the Centre’s decision at Cyber City in Gurugram. President of the Kashmiri Samiti in Delhi, Sumeer Chrungoo described it a historic decision and said the minority community of Kashmiri Pandits will benefit from this move.
Leading film personalities also hailed the abrogation of Article 370. Actors Kangana Ranaut, Anupam Kher, Paresh Rawal, Dia Mirza, Gul Panag and filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri voiced their support to the government’s move. Cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir congratulated the Central Government for abolishing Article 370 that gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Industry leaders have also hailed the government’s decision saying the historic move will not only empower its people but make India stronger.
‘Achche Din’ For You As ‘Consumer Protection Act, 2019’ Comes Into Force
The Act provides for punishment for manufacture or sale of adulterant/spurious goods.
NEW DELHI: The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 came into force yesterday. Briefing the media about the new law through a video conference in New Delhi yesterday, Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said that this new Act will empower consumers and help them in protecting their rights through its various notified Rules and provisions.
He said the Act includes the establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority, CCPA to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers.
The CCPA will be empowered to conduct investigations into violations of consumer rights and institute complaints or prosecution, order a recall of unsafe goods and services, order discontinuance of unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements, impose penalties on manufacturers or endorsers or publishers of misleading advertisements.
आज विडियो कांफ्रेंसिंग के जरिए प्रेस को संबोधित किया और आज से प्रभावी हुए नये #उपभोक्ता_संरक्षण_कानून_2019 के प्रमुख प्रावधानों, इसके नये नियम-कानून,सजा के प्रावधान और उपभोक्ताओं के अधिकार संरक्षण के बारे में चर्चा की। यह कानून उपभोक्ताओं के हाथ मजबूत करेगा। @narendramodi pic.twitter.com/db1V2gyDgH
— Ram Vilas Paswan (@irvpaswan) July 20, 2020
To give effect to the provisions of the new #Consumer_Protection_Act, essential Rules notified with effect from 20th July, 2020. Some most important are Central Consumer Protection Council Rules and Appointment of President and Member in State/District Commission Rules.1/2 pic.twitter.com/5YJw9AqKF8
— Ram Vilas Paswan (@irvpaswan) July 20, 2020
Some other essential Rules notified are Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Rules; Mediation Rules; Model Rules and General Rules. e-Commerce Rules are under notification. 2/2 @jagograhakjago pic.twitter.com/tnXe83zNXb
— Ram Vilas Paswan (@irvpaswan) July 20, 2020
Paswan said that the rules for the prevention of unfair trade practice by e-commerce platforms will also be covered under this Act. The gazette notification for establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority and rules for prevention of unfair trade practice in e-commerce are under publication.
The new Act provides for simplifying the consumer dispute adjudication process in the consumer commissions, which include, among others, empowerment of the State and District Commissions to review their own orders, enabling a consumer to file complaints electronically and file complaints in consumer Commissions that have jurisdiction over the place of his residence, videoconferencing for hearing and deemed admissibility of complaints if the question of admissibility is not decided within the specified period of 21 days.
The Minister said an Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanism of Mediation has been provided in the new Act. This will simplify the adjudication process.
A complaint will be referred by a Consumer Commission for mediation, wherever scope for early settlement exists and parties agree for it.
The mediation will be held in the Mediation Cells to be established under the aegis of the Consumer Commissions. There will be no appeal against settlement through mediation.
The Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Rules, there will be no fee for filing cases up to Rs. 5 lakh.
There are provisions for filing complaints electronically, credit of amount due to unidentifiable consumers to the Consumer Welfare Fund (CWF). The State Commissions will furnish information to Central Government on a quarterly basis on vacancies, disposal, the pendency of cases and other matters.
The New Act also introduces the concept of product liability and brings within its scope, the product manufacturer, product service provider and product seller, for any claim for compensation.
The Act provides for punishment by a competent court for manufacture or sale of adulterant/spurious goods.
The court may, in case of a first conviction, suspend any licence issued to the person for a period of up to two years, and in case of second or subsequent conviction, cancel the licence.
Under this new Act, besides general rules, there are Central Consumer Protection Council Rules, Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Rules, Appointment of President & Members in State/District Commission Rules, Mediation Rules, Model Rules and E-Commerce Rules and Consumer Commission Procedure Regulations, Mediation Regulations and Administrative control over State Commission & District Commission Regulations.
Paswan said that the Central Consumer Protection Council Rules are provided for constitution of the Central Consumer Protection Council, an advisory body on consumer issues, headed by the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution with the Minister of State as Vice Chairperson and 34 other members from different fields.
The Council, which has a three-year tenure, will have Minister-in-charge of consumer affairs from two States from each region- North, South, East, West, and NER. There is also provision for having working groups from amongst the members for specific tasks.
In his concluding remarks, Shri Paswan said that in earlier Consumer Protection Act, 1986a single-point access to justice was given, which is also time-consuming.
The new act has been introduced after many amendments to provide protection to buyers not only from traditional sellers but also from the new e-commerce retailers/platforms. He said that this Act will prove a significant tool in protecting consumer rights in the country.
Adani Green Energy Wins The World’s Largest Solar Award
With this, it has leapfrogged towards its goal of 25 GW of ‘Installed Capacity’ by 2025.
AHMEDABAD (Gujarat): Adani Green Energy Limited (AGEL, NSE: ADANIGREEN) has won the first of its kind manufacturing linked solar agreement from the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). As a part of the award, AGEL will develop 8 GW of solar projects along with a commitment that will see Adani Solar establish 2 GW of additional solar cell and module manufacturing capacity.
This award, the largest of its type, ever, in the world, will entail a single investment of Rs. 45,000 crores (USD $6 billion) and will create 400,000 direct and indirect jobs. It will also displace 900 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over its lifetime.
A part of the diversified Adani Group, AGEL has 15GW of operating, in-construction and awarded wind and solar parks, making it perhaps the largest solar energy company in the world. The company develops, builds, owns, operates and maintains utility-scale grid-connected solar and wind farm projects. The electricity generated is supplied to investment-grade counterparties.
With this win, AGEL will now have 15 GW capacity under operation, construction or under contract thereby accelerating its journey towards becoming the world’s largest renewables company by 2025.
This award will take the Company closer to its target of achieving an installed generation capacity of 25 GW of renewable power by 2025 which in turn will see it committing an investment of Rs. 112,000 crores ($15 billion) in the renewable energy space over the next 5 years.
This is the single biggest investment announced since the launch of the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi’s Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (Self Reliant India Program).
It is also another significant step in India continuing to lead the world in battling climate change and furthering the commitment PM Modi made to the world at the COP 21 summit in Paris in 2015.
Commenting on the win, Gautam Adani, Chairman of the Adani Group said, “We are honoured to be selected by SECI for this landmark solar award. In today’s world, climate adaptation cannot be considered independent of economic development priorities and both, job creation, as well as decarbonization, must be simultaneous objectives.
India made a commitment at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris that it would lead the Climate Change revolution and today is the leader among the just eight nations on track to meet their COP21 commitments.
The fact that renewable power will transition into becoming the world’s cleanest and most economical fuel is a foregone conclusion and the Adani Group intends to play a leading role in this journey.
This award is yet another step in our nation’s climate change promise to the world as well as enabling our nation’s Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (Self Reliant India Program). It is another step towards fulfilling our Group’s Nation Building vision.”
Based on the award agreement the 8 GW of solar development projects will be implemented over the next five years. The first 2 GW of generation capacity will come online by 2022 and the subsequent 6 GW capacity will be added in 2 GW annual increments through 2025. The projects will include a variety of locations, including a 2 GW single-site generation project that is tied for the rank of the largest single-site project announced globally. The solar cell and module manufacturing capacity of 2 GW will be established by 2022 and along with the existing 1.3 GW of capacity will further consolidate the Group’s position as India’s largest solar manufacturing facility.
Adani Green Energy Limited’s business model of focusing on long-term contracts with investment-grade counterparties, rapidly constructing large projects, and thereafter building solar development partnerships with major global integrated energy players that seek to reduce their carbon footprint has enabled it to expand rapidly since its public listing less than two years ago. This new contract will further help strengthen this model.
Adani Group is a diversified organization in India with a combined market cap of $22 Bn comprising 6 publicly traded companies. Adani Group is headquartered in Ahmedabad, in the state of Gujarat, India. With four IG rated businesses it is the only Infrastructure Investment Grade issuer in India.
MEA Lists Out India’s Priorities For UNSC Seat Campaign
The election for the UN Security Council is slated to be held on June 17.
NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar launched a brochure earlier today outlining India’s priorities for its forthcoming campaign to secure an elected seat on the UN Security Council at elections slated for June 17, 2020.
As a single endorsed candidate of the Asia-Pacific Group, India’s candidature is very likely to succeed. In this case, this would be India’s eighth term on the UN Security Council; this two-year tenure will start in January 2021.
India’s approach at the United Nations Security Council will be guided by the following tenets:
- Samman (“Respect“)
- Samvad (“Communication“)
- Sahyog (“Cooperation“)
- Shanti (“Peace“)
- Samriddhi (“Prosperity“)
External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar asserted that India’s overall objective during the fresh tenure in the UN Security Council will be the achievement of N.O.R.M.S. , New Orientation for a Reformed Multilateral System.
The Priorities Paper, issued as a brochure by the Minister, set out the key priorities for India, as under:
- New Opportunities for progress
- Effective response to international terrorism
- Reforming the multilateral system
- A comprehensive approach to international peace and security
- Promoting technology with a human touch as a driver of solutions
He said this today at the launch event of a brochure outlining India’s priorities for its forthcoming campaign to secure an elected seat in the UN Security Council.
The election for the UN Security Council is slated to be held on June 17.
As a single endorsed candidate of the Asia-Pacific Group, India’s candidature is very likely to succeed. This would be the nation’s eighth term in the UN Security Council which will begin from January next year.
In his remarks, EAM referred to the international context that the Security Council will confront, with regard to both new and continuing traditional challenges to international peace and security.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has further contributed to a more complex international economic and political environment, including by limiting the capacity of States to respond to local, regional and global challenges.
Dr Jaishankar emphasized India’s long-standing role as a voice of moderation, an advocate of dialogue, and a proponent of international law.
He set out India’s principled approach to international relations, which India’s foreign policy establishment would bring to the table at the UN Security Council once India is elected to a two-year term on the Council.
New opportunities for progress, an effective response to international terrorism, reforming the multilateral system, comprehensive approach to international peace and security and promoting technology with a human touch as a driver of solutions have been underlined as the key priorities for the country in its stance at the UN Security Council.
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