Lok Sabha Current Affairs - 2019

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Lok Sabha passes Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019

Lok Sabha passed Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 which seeks to prohibit discrimination against transgender persons, including in matters of employment. This bill that lays emphasis on educating, skilling and making transgenders employable was moved by Union Minister for State for Social Justice and Empowerment Kishan Pal Gurjar.

Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019

Defines Transgender: As a person or individual whose gender does not match gender assigned at birth. It includes trans-men and trans-women, persons with intersex variations (means a person who at birth shows variation in his/her primary sexual characteristics, external genitalia, chromosomes, or hormones from normative standard of male/female body), gender-queers, and persons with socio-cultural identities, such as kinnar and hijra.

Prohibit Discrimination: Bill prohibits discrimination against a transgender person, including denial of service or unfair treatment in relation to education, healthcare, employment, access to, or enjoyment of goods, facilities, opportunities available to public.

Right of residence: Bill provides every transgender person shall have a right to reside and be included in his household.

Employment: No government/private entity can discriminate against a transgender person in employment matters, including recruitment as well as promotion.

Education: Educational institutions funded or recognised by relevant government shall provide inclusive facilities for transgender persons without discrimination.

Health care: Government must provide health facilities to transgender persons including separate HIV surveillance centres, and sex reassignment surgeries.

Certificate of identity for a transgender person: Transgender person may make an application to District Magistrate (DM) for a certificate of identity, indicating gender as ‘transgender’.

Offences and penalties: Bill imposes penalties for offences against transgender persons like bonded labour, denial of use of public places, removal from household & village and physical, sexual, verbal, emotional or economic abuse.

National Council for Transgender persons (NCT): NCT chaired by Union Minister for Social Justice, apart from redressing grievances of transgender person, will advise central government as well as monitor impact of policies with respect to transgender persons.

Way Ahead

As per 2011 census there are more than 4.80 lakh transgenders in country therefore even though maximum demands of the transgender community have been included in Bill but people’s prejudice regarding transgenders needs to be changed.

Lok Sabha adjourned sine die

The 1st session of 17th Lok Sabha was adjourned sine die, a day ahead of scheduled conclusion, as 99% of government business has been completed. The announcement in this regard was made by Speaker Om Birla after adopting resolution and a Bill related to Jammu and Kashmir.

After 17th Lok Sabha elections, the Budget session of Lok Sabha which was scheduled to end on 26 July was extended till 7 August.

Key Highlights

Productive Session: In his parting address to the house, Speaker termed it the most productive session since 1952. In this session, House passed 35 Bills, surpassing previous record of Bills passed in 1952 session (in it 24 bills were passed in 67 sittings). This Budget session of Lok Sabha had 37 sittings and sat for 280 hours. The productivity of the House remained 125%. Also in order to make it more productive, Lower House sat for 75 hours late in evening.

Proceeding undertaken: During session, 35 bills were passed, total 183 starred questions were orally answered, 1,066 issues of urgent importance taken up, and 488 issues taken up under rule 377 (of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha). As per rule 377 members are allowed to raise matters which are not points of order or which cannot be raised under any other rule.

Adjournment Sine Die

Its literal meaning in latin is without day i.e. without assigning a day for a further (or next) meeting or hearing. In terms of Legislative procedures it means to adjourn an assembly for an indefinite period.

Power of adjournment sine die lies with presiding officer of House. Also, presiding officer of a House can call a sitting of House before date/time to which it has been adjourned or at any time after House has been adjourned sine die.