28th Sep, 2020

Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020 passed

Parliament passed the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020 recently.

The bill amends the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.

The bill repeals the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance that was promulgated in April this year.

It shall include protections for health care service personnel combating epidemic diseases.

It expands the powers of the Central Government to prevent the spread of such diseases.

The legislation makes harm, injury, hurt or danger to the life of health care service personnel as a cognizable and non-bailable offence.

It has provisions of imprisonment from 3 months to 5 years and a fine between Rs. 50,000 to 2 lakh rupees.

Persons convicted of offences under the bill will also be liable to pay compensation to the health care service personnel whom they have hurt.


Social Security Code, 2020 passed

Lok Sabha passed the Social Security Code, 2020 recently.

Extending the reach of Employees’ State Insurance Corporation:

Efforts have been made to provide right to health security under ESIC to maximum possible workers

The facility of ESIC would now be provided in all 740 districts. At present, this facility is being given in 566 districts only.

Establishments working in hazardous sectors would mandatorily be linked with ESIC, even if there is only one worker working in it.

Provision for linking unorganised sector and Gig workers with ESIC.


Extending the reach of Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO):

EPFO’s coverage would be applicable on all establishments having 20 workers.

At present, it was applicable only on establishments included in the Schedule.

Option to join EPFO is also being given to establishments having less than 20 workers.

Schemes would be formulated for workers coming under the category of ‘Self-employed’ or falling under any other category under the aegis of EPFO.

Provision has been made to formulate various schemes for providing comprehensive social security to workers in unorganised sector.

A “Social Security Fund” will be created in order to implement these schemes.

Provision for Gratuity has been made for Fixed Term Employee and there would not be any condition for minimum service period for this.


Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 passed

Rajya Sabha passed the Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

It has been already passed by Lok Sabha.

The Bill seeks amendment to the Indian Institutes of Information Technology Act, 2014 and the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Public-private Partnership) Act, 2017.

The Bill seeks to declare five IIITs set up under the PPP mode in Surat, Bhopal, Bhagalpur, Agartala, and Raichur as institutions of national importance.

Currently, these institutes are registered as Societies under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and do not have the power to grant degrees or diplomas.

On being declared institutions of national importance, the five institutes will be granted the power to grant degrees.

The central government will contribute 50% towards the expenses of institutes functioning under the PPP mode.

35% will be borne by the states and 15% by the industries.

As a special impetus to North Eastern states, the central government will bear over 57% of the expenses whereas industries will contribute around 7% to the Institutes there.


Rashtriya Raksha University, Bill 2020 passed

Parliament has passed the Rashtriya Raksha University Bill 2020.

The Bill establishes the Raksha Shakti University, Gujarat established under the Raksha Shakti University Act, 2009.

The Bill declares the University to be an institution of national importance.

The Bill also repeals the 2009 Act.

The Bill provides for several authorities under the University.

These include:

(1) The Governing Body to frame the broad policies and programmers of the University;

(2) The Executive Council will be the principal executive body

(3) The Academic Council will specify the academic policies of the University.

The functions of the University include:

(1) Providing instructions and research in police sciences, including coastal policing and cyber security

(2) establishing and maintaining colleges

(3) Prescribing courses, holding exams, and granting degrees and other distinctions.


Industrial Relations Code, 2020 passed

Lok Sabha passed the Industrial Relations Code, 2020.

Efforts made by the Government under the code for quickly resolving disputes

Provision for two members instead of one member in the Industrial Tribunal.

Provision for taking the matter straight to the Tribunal in case the dispute is not resolved at conciliation stage.

Implementation of award in 30 days after Tribunal award.

After recognition of Fixed Term Employment, workers will get the option of Fixed Term Employment instead of contract labour.

Under this, they would get benefits of hours of work, salary, social security and other welfare benefits like a Regular Employee.

A provision for “Negotiating Union” and “Negotiating Council” has been made for undertaking negotiation on any dispute.

Provision has also been made for giving recognition to Trade Unions at Central and State level.

Trade Unions would be able to contribute more affirmatively and more effectively.

Provision for Re-Skilling fund has been made in the law for the first time for re-skilling those workers who have been fired from their jobs, so that they are able to get employment again.


Code On Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions Code, 2020 passed

Lok Sabha passed the Code on Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions Code, 2020.

Free health check-up once a year by the employer for workers who are older than a certain age.

Legal right for getting Appointment Letter to workers.

Cine Workers have been designated as Audio Visual Worker, so that more and more workers get covered under the OSH code.


National Forensic Sciences University Bill 2020 passed


Parliament has passed the National Forensic Sciences University Bill, 2020 recently.

The Bill shall establish the Gujarat Forensic Sciences University (Gandhinagar) and the Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences (New Delhi) as a National Forensic Sciences University in Gujarat.

The Bill declares the University to be an Institution Of National Importance.

This university will work for the capacity building in the field of forensic science and promote research.


Health in India report released

‘Health in India’ report was recently released.

Released by: The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation

Objective: To gather basic quantitative information on India’s health sector.

Around 7.5% of Indians reported that they were suffering from ailments.

Rural India: 6.8%

Urban India: 9.1%.

Religion based classification

Zoroastrian community: Most susceptible to ailments. (31.1%)

Jains: 11.2%

Sikhs: 11%;

Christians: 10.5%

Muslims: 8.1%

Buddhists: 8%

Hindus: 7.2%


Sex based classification

Women remain more susceptible to suffering from ailments than men.

Rural India: 6.1% of males and 7.6% of women

Urban India: 8.2% of males and 10% of females


Definition of ‘ailment’:

The survey defines ailment as any deviation from a person’s state of physical and mental well-being. The ‘Proportion of Persons who Responded as Ailing’ (PPRA) in a 15-day period when they were approached by the surveyors, were registered as those suffering from ailments.


Destination North East-2020

Union Home Minister inaugurated the “Destination North East -2020”.

The Union Home Minister is also the Chairman of the North-East Council.

Ministry: Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region.

Objective: To take the North East Region to other parts of the country.

Aim: To introduce various cultures of the country to each other along with the tourist

destinations of the North East.

Theme: The Emerging Delightful Destinations which speaks of the tourism destinations emerging stronger and more attractive when the Sector picks up momentum.