Current Affairs February 2020 – Bills & Acts

1 – Union Cabinet approved Pesticide Management Bill 2020

Pesticide Management

The Union Cabinet has approved the Pesticide Management Bill 2020. The legislation will promote organic pesticides in the country and regulate the business of pesticides. The bill will now be presented in the Parliament.

The bill includes the provision of compensating the farmers in case of losses of crops due to the use of spurious or low quality of pesticides. The Bill aims to replace the existing Insecticides Act of 1968.

2 – Union Cabinet approved the Major Ports Authority Bill 2020

Major Ports

The Union Cabinet approved the Major Ports Authority Bill 2020 that will replace a 1963 law governing country’s 12 major ports which will be introduced in the ongoing session of Parliament. The proposed law is aimed at enhancing the overall efficiencies of the ports.

India has 12 major ports – Deendayal (erstwhile Kandla), Mumbai, JNPT, Marmugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (earlier Ennore), V O Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia). The 12 major ports in India would get a boost through the new law.

3 – Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 amended to make arbitration process user friendly

Arbitration

The Union Government has amended the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 by the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015 in order to make arbitration process user-friendly, cost-effective and ensure speedy disposal and neutrality of arbitrators.

The Amendment provides for the creation of an independent institution Arbitration Council of India-ACI. ACI will be headed by a Chairperson, who has been a Judge of the Supreme Court or a Chief Justice or Judge of a High Court or an eminent person, having special knowledge and experience in the conduct or administration of arbitration. Besides, it will also have two Full-time Members and a Part-time Member.

4 – Government amended provisions of Arms Act, 1959 and Arms Rules, 2016

Ministry of Home Affairs

The Ministry of Home Affairs has amended the provisions of the Arms Act, 1959 and the Arms Rules, 2016 to provide adequate firearms and ammunition to the shooters for their practice.

  • The amendment has increased the number of additional weapons kept by International Medalists/Renowned Shooters to 12 from 7 under the exempted category.
  • For .22 LR rifle / pistol, 5000 ammunition can be purchased instead of 1000, for other type of Pistol/Revolver, 2000 instead of 600 can be purchased and for shotgun calibers 5000 instead 500 can be purchased by the shooters.

5 – Cabinet approved the Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill 2020

Assisted Reproductive Technology

The Union Cabinet has approved a historic Bill for the welfare of Women in the Country – the Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill 2020. The bill makes provisions for safe and ethical practice of assisted reproductive technology services in the country.

The major benefit of the Act would be that it will regulate the Assisted Reproductive Technology services in the country. Consequently, infertile couples will be more ensured/confident of the ethical practices in ARTs. The government in the recent past has introduced the Surrogacy Regulation Bill 2020 and the approval of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Bill 2020.

6 – Cabinet approved the IIT Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020

IIT Laws

The Union Cabinet approved Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020. The Bill will declare the remaining 5 IIITs-PPP along with the existing 15 Indian Institutes of Information Technology in Public Private Partnership mode as ‘Institutions of National Importance’ with powers to award degrees. This will entitle them to use the nomenclature of B.Tech or M.Tech or Ph.D degree as issued by a University or Institution of National Importance.

The objective of the approval is for formalization of IIITs at Surat, Bhopal, Bhagalpur, Agartala and Raichur.