Displaying 1 - 290 of 290
Prachee Mishra - November 14, 2018
Recently, the Indian Railways announced rationalisation of freight fares.  This rationalisation will result in an 8.75% increase in freight rates for major commodities such as coal, iron and steel, iron ore, and raw materials for steel plants.... Read More
Vinayak Krishnan - November 2, 2018
Recently, there have been multiple Naxal attacks on CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh.  Parliamentary Committees have previously examined the working of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs).  In this context, we examine... Read More
Suyash Tiwari - September 27, 2018
In the past few months, retail prices of petrol and diesel have consistently increased and have reached all-time high levels.  On September 24, 2018, the retail price of petrol in Delhi was Rs 82.72/litre, and that of diesel was Rs 74... Read More
Ahita Paul - September 13, 2018
The issue of Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) in the Indian banking sector has become the subject of much discussion and scrutiny. The Standing Committee on Finance recently released a report on the banking sector in India, where it observed... Read More
Roopal Suhag - August 10, 2018
The Consumer Protection Bill, 2018 was introduced in Lok Sabha in January 2018. The Bill replaces the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Previously in 2015, a Bill had been introduced to replace the 1986 Act. The 2015 Bill acknowledged that the rapid... Read More
Prachee Mishra - July 26, 2018
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 was enacted to provide a time-bound process to resolve insolvency among companies and individuals.  Insolvency is a situation where an individual or company is unable to repay their outstanding debt.... Read More
Sanat Kanwar - July 17, 2018
The Monsoon Session of Parliament begins tomorrow and will continue till August 10, 2018.  It is scheduled to have 18 sittings during this period.  This post outlines what is in store in the upcoming session. The session has a packed... Read More
Suyash Tiwari - July 16, 2018
Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved an increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for Kharif crops for the 2018-19 marketing season.  Subsequently, the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP)... Read More
Sai Priya Kodidala - May 16, 2018
Recently, there have been reports of price crashes and distress sales in case of farm produce, such as tomatoes, mangoes, and garlic.  In some cases, farmers have dumped their produce on roads.  Produce... Read More
Nivedita Rao - May 3, 2018
The National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha in December, 2017.  It was examined by the Standing Committee on Health, which submitted its report during Budget Session 2018.  The Bill... Read More
Vatsal Khullar - April 25, 2018
Over the last few days, the retail prices of petrol and diesel have touched an all-time high.  In Delhi, petrol was selling at 74.6/litre on April 25, 2018, while diesel was at 66/litre. Petroleum products are used as raw... Read More
Roshni Sinha - April 20, 2018
Today, some Members of Parliament initiated proceedings for the removal of the current Chief Justice of India by submitting a notice to the Chairman of Rajya Sabha.  A judge may be removed from office through a motion adopted by Parliament on... Read More
Gayatri Mann - April 11, 2018
In November 2017, the 15th Finance Commission (Chair: Mr N. K. Singh) was constituted to give recommendations on the transfer of resources from the centre to states for the five year period between 2020-25.  In recent times,... Read More
Nivedita Rao - April 6, 2018
The Union Cabinet recently approved the launch of the National Health Protection Mission which was announced during Budget 2018-19.   The Mission aims to provide a cover of five lakh rupees per family per year to about... Read More
Roopal Suhag - April 2, 2018
In Budget Session 2018, Rajya Sabha has planned to examine the working of four ministries.  The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation is one of the ministries listed for discussion.  In this post, we look at the key schemes being... Read More
Vinayak Krishnan - March 20, 2018
Each year during the Budget Session, Rajya Sabha examines the working of certain ministries.  This year it has identified four ministries for discussion, which includes the Ministry of Home Affairs.  In light of this, we analyse some key... Read More
Prachee Mishra - March 12, 2018
Finances of the Railways were presented along with the Union Budget on February 1, 2018 (the Railways Budget was merged with the Union Budget last year).  In the current Budget Session, Lok Sabha is scheduled to discuss the allocation to the... Read More
Vibhor Relhan - February 22, 2018
Following the recommendation of the Election Commission (EC), the President disqualified 20 MLAs of the Delhi Legislative Assembly last month for holding an ‘office of profit’. The legislators in question were appointed as parliamentary secretaries... Read More
Prachee Mishra - January 23, 2018
In the last decade, the government has implemented several schemes to address issues related to urbanisation and aid the process of urban development.  One of the schemes is the Smart Cities Mission, which intends to take advantage of the... Read More
Sai Priya Kodidala - January 8, 2018
Recently, the Ministry of Agriculture released a draft Model Contract Farming Act, 2018.  The draft Model Act seeks to create a regulatory and policy framework for contract farming.  Based on this draft Model Act, legislatures of... Read More
Nivedita Rao - January 2, 2018
The National Medical Commission Bill, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha recently and is listed for consideration and passage today.[1]  The Bill seeks to regulate medical education and practice in India.  To meet this... Read More
Nivedita Rao - December 15, 2017
The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 has been listed for passage during the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament.  This Bill was introduced in the Monsoon Session last year and referred to the Standing Committee on Social... Read More
Gayatri Mann and Vatsal Khullar - December 7, 2017
The Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha during Monsoon Session 2017.  The Bill is currently being examined by a Joint Committee of the two Houses of Parliament.  It seeks to establish... Read More
Vibhor Relhan - December 6, 2017
On Monday, December 4, the Chairman of Rajya Sabha disqualified two Members of Parliament (MPs) from the House under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution (better known as the anti-defection law) for having defected from their party.[1] These... Read More
Vinayak Krishnan - November 27, 2017
Presently, there are around 40 state and central laws regulating different aspects of labour, such as resolution of industrial disputes, working conditions in factories, and wage and bonus payments.  Over the years, some experts have... Read More
Vatsal Khullar - November 22, 2017
Parliament sessions are usually held thrice a year: once in February for the Budget Session, once around July or August for the Monsoon Session, and once in November for the Winter Session.  This year, the government is yet to announce the... Read More
Vatsal Khullar - November 1, 2017
‘Ease of doing business’ refers to the regulatory environment in a country to set up and operate a business.  Every year, the World Bank compares the business environment in 190 countries in its Ease of Doing Business Report.  In its... Read More
Abhijit Banare - October 31, 2017
The Governor of Rajasthan promulgated two Ordinances amending the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and Indian Penal Code, 1860 applicable in Rajasthan on September 7. The Ordinances restrain any investigation to be conducted against a judge,... Read More
Vatsal Khullar - October 16, 2017
The United Nations celebrates October 16 as the World Food Day every year, with an aim to spread awareness about eradicating hunger and ensuring food security for all.[1]  In this context, we examine the status of food and public distribution... Read More
Gayatri Mann - October 12, 2017
The Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017 was introduced in Parliament during Monsoon Session 2017.[1]   The Bill proposes to create a framework for monitoring financial firms such as banks, insurance companies, and stock... Read More
Prachee Mishra - October 5, 2017
Recently, the central government launched the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (or Saubhagya).[i],[ii]  The scheme seeks to ensure universal household electrification (in both rural and urban areas) by providing last mile connectivity... Read More
Vinayak Krishnan - October 3, 2017
In India, police and law and order come under the purview of state governments.[1]  Accordingly, each state has its own police force for maintaining law and order and investigating crimes.  However, due to financial and other constraints,... Read More
Nivedita Rao - September 19, 2017
In India, children in the age group of 6-14 years have the right to free and compulsory elementary education in a neighbourhood school under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009.  This covers primary (classes 1... Read More
Nivedita Rao - September 8, 2017
In the recent past, there has been a renewed discussion around nutrition in India.  A few months ago, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had released the National Health Policy, 2017.[1]  It highlighted the negative impact of... Read More
Prachee Mishra - August 24, 2017
Safety has been one of the biggest concerns in the Indian Railways system.  While the number of accidents have gone down over the last few years, the number still remains over 100 accidents a year.  In light of the recent train accidents... Read More
Vibhor Relhan - August 5, 2017
The elections for the next Vice-President of India are underway today.  The current Vice President Dr. Hamid Ansari will complete his second five-year term on August 10, which is in a few days.  While the BJP-led NDA’s candidate is Mr... Read More
Prachee Mishra - June 30, 2017
India’s urban population has grown by 32% from 2001 to 2011 as compared to 18% growth in total population of the country.[1]  As per Census 2011, 31% of the country’s population (377 million people) live in cities, and contribute to 63% of the... Read More
Trina Roy - June 20, 2017
Yesterday, the BJP announced its candidate for the upcoming election of the President, which is scheduled to be held on July 17.  In light of this, we take a look at the manner in which the election to the office of the President is conducted,... Read More
Anviti Chaturvedi - June 10, 2017
Yesterday, the Supreme Court delivered its first verdict in a series of legal challenges that have been made against the Aadhaar project.[1]  In the present matter, the court was examining whether a provision of the Finance Act, 2017 that made... Read More
Prachee Mishra - May 31, 2017
Recently there have been news reports about the NITI Aayog submitting its recommendations on improving the financial health of Air India to the Ministry of Finance.[1],[2]  The Civil Aviation Ministers have also mentioned that the Ministry will... Read More
Vatsal Khullar - May 24, 2017
Over the last two months, the centre and over 15 states have passed laws to levy the Goods and Services Tax (GST).  Under these laws, tax rates recommended by the GST Council will be notified by the government.  The Council met in Srinagar... Read More
Tanvi Deshpande - March 22, 2017
The Finance Bill, 2017 is being discussed in Lok Sabha today.  Generally, the Finance Bill is passed as a Money Bill since it gives effect to tax changes proposed in the Union Budget.  A Money Bill is defined in Article 110 of the... Read More
Vatsal Khullar - February 7, 2017
The Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Bill, 2017 is being discussed in Parliament today.[1]  The Bill replaces an Ordinance promulgated on December 30, 2016 to remove the Reserve Bank of India’s  (RBI) liability and central... Read More
Roopal Suhag - February 6, 2017
Budget Session 2017 commenced with the President, Pranab Mukherjee, addressing a joint sitting of Parliament on January 31, 2017.  This address by the President highlights the legislative and policy activities and achievements of the government... Read More
Mandira Kala - November 23, 2016
The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 was introduced in Lok Sabha on November 21, 2016 and is listed for passage this week.  The Bill regulates altruistic surrogacy and prohibits commercial surrogacy.  We present a brief overview of the... Read More
Roopal Suhag - October 3, 2016
The Ministry of Human Resource Development released the draft National Education Policy, 2016 in July this year.[1]  The Ministry was receiving comments on the draft policy until the end of September 2016.  In this context, we provide an... Read More
Prachee Mishra - September 21, 2016
Earlier today, the Union Cabinet announced the merger of the Railways Budget with the Union Budget.  All proposals under the Railways Budget will now be a part of the Union Budget.  However, to ensure detailed scrutiny, the Ministry’s... Read More
Prianka Rao - August 11, 2016
Earlier today, a Bill to raise maternity benefits was introduced and passed in Rajya Sabha.  The Bill amends the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961.  The Act regulates the employment of women during the period of child birth, and provides... Read More
Vatsal Khullar - August 4, 2016
  The Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Bill, 2016 is listed for discussion in Rajya Sabha today.[i]  The Bill aims to expeditiously resolve cases of debt recovery by... Read More
Prianka Rao - August 2, 2016
Yesterday, the government circulated certain official amendments to the Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014 on GST.  The Bill is currently pending in Rajya Sabha.  The Bill was introduced and passed in Lok Sabha in May 2015.  It... Read More
Vatsal Khullar - August 1, 2016
The Bihar Prohibition and Excise Bill, 2016 was introduced and debated in the Bihar Legislative Assembly today.  The Bill creates a framework for the levy of excise duty and imposes a prohibition on alcohol in Bihar.  In this context, we... Read More
Prianka Rao - July 28, 2016
A Bill to amend the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 was introduced and passed in Lok Sabha yesterday.  The Bill makes amendments in relation to the declaration of assets of public servants, and will apply retrospectively. Declaration of assets... Read More
Vatsal Khullar - June 30, 2016
The Union Cabinet approved the implementation of Seventh Pay Commission recommendations yesterday.  The Commission was tasked with reviewing and proposing changes to the pay, pension and efficiency of government employees. These... Read More
Vatsal Khullar - May 11, 2016
At noon today, the Finance Minister introduced a Bill in Parliament to address the issue of delayed debt recovery.  The Bill  amends four laws including the SARFAESI Act and the DRT Act, which are primarily used for recovery of outstanding... Read More
Aravind Gayam - May 10, 2016
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 is listed for passage in Rajya Sabha today.  Last week, Lok Sabha passed the Code with changes recommended by the Joint Parliamentary Committee that examined the Code.[1],[2]  We present... Read More
Roopal Suhag - May 6, 2016
Yesterday, Members of Parliament in Lok Sabha discussed the situation of drought and drinking water crisis in many states.  During the course of the discussion, some MPs also raised the issue of ground water depletion.  Last... Read More
Apoorva - February 9, 2016
Yesterday, the Telecom and Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) released the Prohibition of Discriminatory Tariffs for Data Services Regulations, 2016.  These regulations prohibit Telecom Service Providers from charging different tariffs from... Read More
Prianka Rao - December 22, 2015
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2015 was introduced in Lok Sabha yesterday, as a Money Bill [Clarification: This is as per news reports.*  The text of the Bill does not indicate that it is a Money Bill].  In this context, we briefly... Read More
Apoorva - December 18, 2015
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2015 is currently pending in Rajya Sabha and was listed for passage in the current Winter session of Parliament.  The Bill was passed by Lok Sabha after incorporating certain... Read More
Prianka Rao - October 16, 2015
Earlier today, the Supreme Court struck down the two Acts that created an independent body for the appointment of judges to the higher judiciary. One of the Acts amended the Constitution to replace the method of appointment of judges by a collegium... Read More
Joyita - April 8, 2015
Yesterday, Cabinet approved amendments to the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013, which is currently pending in Parliament. In this context, the blog post outlines key features and issues related to the Bill, and... Read More
Apoorva - March 24, 2015
A few minutes ago, the Supreme Court delivered a  judgement striking down Section 66 A of the Information Technology Act, 2000.  This was in response to a PIL that challenged the constitutionality of this provision.  In light of this... Read More
Joyita - March 16, 2015
On March 10, Lok Sabha passed a Bill to amend the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.  The Bill is now pending in Rajya Sabha.  This blog briefly outlines the context... Read More
Prachee Mishra - March 7, 2015
Earlier this week, Lok Sabha passed the Bill that provides for the allocation of coal mines that were cancelled by the Supreme Court last year.  In light of this development, this post looks at the issues surrounding coal block allocations and... Read More
Joyita - January 2, 2015
Earlier this month, guidelines for the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) were released by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.  Key features of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin), as outlined in the guidelines, are detailed below. ... Read More
Prianka Rao - November 17, 2014
Compulsory voting at elections to local bodies in Gujarat Last week, the Gujarat Local Authorities Laws (Amendment) Act, 2009 received the Governor’s assent.  The Act introduces an ‘obligation to vote’ at the municipal corporation, municipality... Read More
Trina Roy - November 14, 2014
Recently the Chairman of Rajya Sabha issued a direction to extend the sitting hours and change the timing of Question Hour in the Upper House. Beginning with the Winter Session, which starts on November 24, Rajya Sabha will meet from 11 am to 6 pm,... Read More
admin_2 - November 14, 2014
On 12th November, 2014, the Chief Minister of the newly formed government in Maharashtra won a confidence vote in the Maharashtra State Assembly. This trust vote was done by a voice vote, the outcome of which was contested by opposition parties. In... Read More
Joyita - October 17, 2014
The Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana was launched last week, for the development of model villages.  Under the Yojana, Members of Parliament (MPs) will be responsible for developing the socio-economic and physical infrastructure of three villages... Read More
Anviti Chaturvedi - June 19, 2014
In the last few weeks, after the 16th Lok Sabha election, there has been some debate around powers of the central government to remove Governors.  News reports have suggested that the central government is seeking resignations of... Read More
Anil - May 27, 2014
As the dust settles around the 16th Lok Sabha, attention must now shift to the state assemblies, some of which have been newly constituted like Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and the few that will go into... Read More
Anil - May 7, 2014
The term of the 12th Haryana Legislative Assembly ends in October this year.  We look at the work done by the 12th Haryana Assembly during its term from 2009 to 2014 to assess its performance on metrics such as the number of sittings, members’... Read More
Sakshi - April 29, 2014
Recent news reports indicate that the European Union (EU) has banned imports of Alphonso mangoes and four vegetables from India due to the presence of harmful pests and a lack of certification before export.  The ban will be effective between... Read More
Shreya - April 21, 2014
Recently, the President repromulgated the Securities Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014, which expands the Securities and Exchange Board Act’s (SEBI) powers related to search and seizure and permits SEBI to enter into consent settlements.  The... Read More
Joyita - April 14, 2014
Recently, the Election Commission has recommended postponing certain policy decisions of the government related to natural gas pricing, and notifying ecologically sensitive areas in the Western Ghats, by invoking the Model Code of Conduct... Read More
admin_2 - March 24, 2014
The 15th Lok Sabha recently concluded with the worst track record on a number of indicators. In the first of a four part series in Livemint, MR Madhavan of PRS Legislative Research discusses whether one can hope for an improvement in the performance... Read More
Joyita - September 27, 2013
In light of the decision of the union cabinet to promulgate an Ordinance to uphold provisions of the Representation of People Act, 1951, this blog examines the Ordinance making power of the Executive in India.  The Ordinance allows legislators... Read More
Joyita - September 23, 2013
In the recently concluded Monsoon Session of Parliament , the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development released a report on the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Development Act, 2005 (MGNREGA).  This blog... Read More
Saumya - September 9, 2013
The depreciating Indian rupee was a recurring topic of discussion and debate in the Monsoon Session of the Parliament.  The USD/INR exchange rate depreciated 9% during this Monsoon Session, hitting a record low of INR68 to a dollar on August 28... Read More
M R Madhavan - September 6, 2013
The new Land Acquisition Bill has detailed a process for acquiring land.  The process could take up to 50 months.  This will increase the gestation period of projects.  The new time line and the attendant uncertainty at each step will... Read More
M R Madhavan - September 5, 2013
Parliament is considering a proposal to change the process of appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and High Courts.  A Constitutional Amendment Bill has been introduced in Rajya Sabha that enables the formation of a Judicial Appointments... Read More
Nithin - September 4, 2013
Recently, there have been instances of certain collective investment schemes (CISs) attempting to circumvent regulatory oversight.  In addition, some market participants have not complied with Securities and Exchange Board... Read More
M R Madhavan - August 29, 2013
The Land Acquisition Bill is slated to be taken up for consideration and passing in the Lok Sabha today. The government had circulated an amendment list in the last session of Parliament. In a column in the Financial Express, MR Madhavan... Read More
M R Madhavan - August 20, 2013
In the last decade, some schemes have been recast as statutory entitlements – right to employment, right to education and right to food.  Whereas schemes were dependent on annual budgetary allocations, there rights are now justiciable, and it... Read More
Shreya - August 19, 2013
The ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament is being widely viewed as the 'make or break' session for passing legislation before the end of the 15th Lok Sabha in 2014. Hanging in balance are numerous important Bills, which will lapse if not passed... Read More
admin_2 - August 15, 2013
In an Indian express editorial, Mandira Kala discusses the Bills, addressing corruption and good governance, pending in Parliament.  She discusses what their fate may be given that the Monsoon session is widely being viewed as a make or break... Read More
Joyita - August 5, 2013
The percentage of the population living below the poverty line in India decreased to 22% in 2011-12 from 37% in 2004-05, according to data released by the Planning Commission in July 2013.  This blog presents data on recent poverty estimates... Read More
Joyita - July 23, 2013
In light of recent debates surrounding the implementation of the Mid Day Meal Scheme (MDMS) in certain states, it is useful to understand the basic features of the scheme. The MDMS is the world’s largest school meal programme and reaches... Read More
admin_2 - July 5, 2013
Sakshi of PRS Legislative Research discusses the government's ordinance-making power in the context of the National Food Security Ordinance in an Indian Express opinion editorial. On Wednesday, the Union cabinet approved the food security... Read More
Chakshu Roy - June 18, 2013
Source: www.pib.nic.in   Yesterday the Prime Minister reshuffled his Cabinet and inducted four cabinet ministers and four ministers of state.  Since the beginning of the UPA II government, there have been three major... Read More
Alok - June 3, 2013
The issue of paid news has been debated for a long time, most recently during the 2012 Gujarat assembly elections, the Jindal Steel-Zee News dispute and disqualification of a sitting UP MLA by the Election Commission of India (ECI) in... Read More
Vishnu - May 23, 2013
These are challenging times for chit fund operators. A scam involving the Saradha group allegedly conning customers under the guise of a chit fund, has raised serious questions for the industry. With a reported 10,000 chit... Read More
Chakshu Roy - May 23, 2013
In today's Opinion piece, in the Indian Express, we discuss how enacting hasty new legislation in response to public events may not be the answer.  The recent spot fixing controversy in the Indian Premier League has brought the issue of betting... Read More
Sakshi - May 9, 2013
The 15th Lok Sabha is close to the end of its tenure. A key legislation that proposes major reforms in food security was listed for discussion in Parliament. The National Food Security Bill, 2011 has been scrutinised by a Standing Committee. In... Read More
admin_2 - May 2, 2013
The last few days have seen repeated disruptions in Parliament. In an Opinion Editorial published in the Indian Express, Chakshu Roy of PRS Legislative Research discusses the impact of the current disruptions on Parliament. His analysis points to... Read More
Priya - April 26, 2013
Elections to the 14th Legislative Assembly of Karnataka are scheduled to be held on May 5, 2013. Of the 224 assembly constituencies that will go into polls, 36 are reserved for Scheduled Castes and 15 for Scheduled Tribes. Voting will take place in... Read More
Vishnu - April 12, 2013
"No one can ignore Odisha's demand. It deserves special category status. It is a genuine right," said Odisha Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik, earlier this month. The Odisha State assembly has passed a resolution requesting special category... Read More
Vishnu - March 14, 2013
Authored by Vishnu Padmanabhan and Priya Soman The Budget speech may have already been scrutinised and the numbers analysed but the Budget process is far from complete.  The Constitution requires expenditure from the government’s... Read More
Jhalak - March 7, 2013
Yesterday the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha engaged in a debate on the President's speech, known as the Motion of Thanks. The President's speech is a statement of the legislative and policy achievements of the government during the preceding year and... Read More
Kaushiki - March 6, 2013
Recently, the Parliament passed a law that addresses the issue of sexual harassment in the work place.  The Bill, introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 7, 2010, drew on the 1997 judgment of the Supreme Court (known as the Vishaka judgment) to... Read More
admin_2 - February 28, 2013
The Protection of Women against Sexual Harassment Bill was passed by Rajya Sabha yesterday.  Prior to this, no legislation specifically addressed the issue of sexual harassment at the workplace.  In 1997, the Supreme Court issued... Read More
Jhalak - February 28, 2013
The Budget session 2013 commenced with the President, Pranab Mukherjee, addressing Parliament on February 21, 2013.  The address is a statement of the policy of the government.  Yesterday a Motion of Thanks was moved in the Lok Sabha and a... Read More
Kaushiki - February 26, 2013
Latest in the string of litigations filed after the enactment of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (RTE Act), the Delhi High Court ruled that the Act shall not apply to nursery admissions in unaided private schools for... Read More
Priya - February 19, 2013
In 2010, the Legislative Assistants to Members of Parliament (LAMP) Fellowship was conceptualised by PRS Legislative Research, creating a unique platform for young Indians to engage with policy making at the national level. The Fellowship, a first... Read More
Sakshi - February 6, 2013
There have been some recent developments in the sugar sector, which pertain to the pricing of sugarcane and deregulation of the sector.  On January 31, the Cabinet approved the fair and remunerative price (FRP) of sugarcane for the 2013-14... Read More
Kaushiki - February 5, 2013
In the run up to the Budget session of Parliament, the Cabinet has decided to accept some of the key recommendations of the Select Committee on the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011.  The Bill, passed by the Lok Sabha in December 2011, was... Read More
Jhalak - February 5, 2013
The President issued the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance on February 3, 2013. This ordinance amends the Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code and the Indian Evidence Act. Here we explain what an ordinance is, how it is made and with what... Read More
Sakshi - January 23, 2013
The right to food and food security have been widely discussed in the media.  The National Food Security Bill, 2011, which makes the right to food a legal right, is currently pending in Parliament.  The Bill seeks to deliver food security... Read More
Pallavi - December 31, 2012
Recently, Delhi witnessed large scale protests by various groups demanding stricter punishment and speedier trial in cases of sexual assault against women.  In light of the protests, the central government has constituted a Commission (... Read More
Kaushiki - December 20, 2012
Recently, the government announced that it plans to transfer benefits under various schemes directly into the bank accounts of individual beneficiaries.  Benefits can be the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS)... Read More
Anil - December 13, 2012
Elections to the 13th Legislative Assembly of Gujarat are scheduled to be held in two phases on the 13th and 17th of December.  The BJP has been the dominant majority party in the Assembly since 1995.  The 2002 elections saw the largest... Read More
Pallavi - December 7, 2012
On November 28, 2012, the Comptroller and Auditor General submitted its report on the implementation of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).  According to the report most of the projects initiated under JNNURM have not... Read More
Jhalak - December 6, 2012
In recent news reports there have been deliberations on whether there is a possibility of appealing a central government decision on forest clearances.  In this context, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed states to comply with... Read More
Vishnu - December 4, 2012
After months of discussion,  the issue of FDI in retail is being deliberated in the Lok Sabha today.  In September 2012, the Cabinet had approved 51% of FDI in multi-brand retail (stores selling more than one brand).  Under these... Read More
Kaushiki - November 26, 2012
Recently, the Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare submitted its report to the Parliament on the National Commission for Human Resource for Health Bill, 2011.  The objective of the Bill is to “ensure adequate availability of human... Read More
Madhukar - November 23, 2012
Listed below are some key Bills pending in Parliament that are expected to address various aspects of corruption in India. These Bills need to be scrutinized carefully by both lawmakers and citizens alike, so as the strengthen them. Citizen groups... Read More
Jhalak - November 22, 2012
Recently, the government issued letters de-allocating coal blocks of various companies, based on the recommendations of the  Inter Ministerial Group (IMG).  This post discusses the history behind the de-allocations, the... Read More
M R Madhavan - November 22, 2012
Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have seen disruptions this morning on the issue of FDI in multi-brand retail.  The issue may be discussed in Parliament under various procedures.  We have explained these in an Op-Ed in today’s Indian Express... Read More
Sakshi - November 2, 2012
A recent news report has discussed the methods by which states such as Chattisgarh have attempted to reform the Public Distribution System (PDS).  Chattisgarh has computerised its PDS supply chain and introduced smart cards as part of a slew of... Read More
Vishnu - November 1, 2012
Reports suggest that the first reactor of the Kudankulam power plant is close to operational. With state discoms struggling, advocates of nuclear power see Kudankulam as a necessary boost to India’s struggling power sector.  The Kudankulam... Read More
Simran - October 30, 2012
The protests against the nuclear power plant at Kudankulam have intensified over the recent weeks.  The Kudankulam plant is expected to provide 2 GW of electricity annually.  However, activists concerned about the risks of nuclear energy... Read More
Kaushiki - October 26, 2012
A change in the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 may be in the pipeline.  According to news reports, the government may amend the 1970 Act to safeguard the interest of contract workers.  The proposal is to bring parity... Read More
Pallavi - October 22, 2012
According to a press release, the Ministry of Civil Aviation is considering abolishing the development fee being levied at the Delhi and Mumbai airports.  The Ministry has already asked the Kolkata and Chennai airports not to levy a development... Read More
Simran - October 19, 2012
On October 16, the Group of Experts on Privacy, Chaired by Mr. A. P. Shah, submitted its Report to the Planning Commission.  The Expert Group was appointed to set out the principles that Indian privacy law should abide by.   Even though privacy has... Read More
Jhalak - October 18, 2012
There has been much discussion about bringing the GDP growth on track and the need for expediting infrastructure projects in this regard. At the Planning Commission Meeting to approve the Twelfth Five Year Plan, last month, there were... Read More
Vishnu - October 17, 2012
Recently, the Kelkar Committee published a roadmap for fiscal consolidation.  The report stresses the need and urgency to address India’s fiscal deficit.  A high fiscal deficit – the excess of government expenditure over receipts – can be... Read More
Sakshi - October 15, 2012
A recent news report stated that the Planning Commission has advocated putting in place a “proper regulatory mechanism” before permitting the use of genetic modification in Indian crops.  A recent Standing Committee report on genetically... Read More
Simran - September 20, 2012
On September 14, 2012 the government announced a new FDI policy for the broadcasting sector.  Under the policy, FDI up to 74% has been allowed in broadcasting infrastructure services.  Previously the maximum level of FDI permitted in most... Read More
Pallavi - September 19, 2012
On September 14, 2012, the central government announced that foreign airlines would now be allowed to invest up to 49% in domestic airlines.  Under the policy announced by the government, the ceiling of 49% foreign investment includes... Read More
Sakshi - September 17, 2012
According to news reports, the Supreme Court stayed a Calcutta High Court judgement on the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011 [Singur Act] on August 24, 2012. The apex court also issued a notice to Tata Motors seeking its response... Read More
Jhalak - September 3, 2012
The Chemical Weapons Convention (Amendment) Bill, 2010 (the Bill) was recently passed by the Lok Sabha without any amendment.  The Chemical Weapons Convention Act, 2000 (the Act) was enacted to give effect to the United Nations Convention on... Read More
Kaushiki - August 28, 2012
The implementation of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 has run into rough weather.  The Act consolidates eight laws[1] governing the food sector and establishes the Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSA) as the regulator.  It... Read More
admin_2 - August 22, 2012
(Authored by Anil Nair) The Maharashtra Legislative Assembly recently passed the Maharashtra Housing (Regulation and Development) Bill.  This is the first such Bill to be passed by any state, which sets up a housing regulator to regulate... Read More
Karan - August 17, 2012
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) released a Performance Audit of Allocation of Coal Blocks and Augmentation of Coal Production, on August 17, 2012.  Some of the main findings and recommendations of the report are highlighted below... Read More
admin_2 - August 9, 2012
(Authored by Anil Nair) Many states in the Indian Union have instituted the post of Parliamentary Secretary.  A Parliament Secretary often holds the rank of Minister of State and has the same entitlements and is assigned to a government... Read More
Sana - August 7, 2012
Last month, the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) issued revised guidelines for the registration of the Pension Fund Managers (PFMs).  These guidelines are for the PFMs to manage the National Pension System (NPS) in the... Read More
Simran - August 2, 2012
According to a recent press release, the Cabinet has approved a proposal to introduce a Bill in Parliament to amend the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC).  While the draft Bill is currently not available, its highlights are specified in the press... Read More
Kaushiki - August 1, 2012
In India, children between the age group of 6 and 14 years have the fundamental right to free and compulsory education.  This right is implemented through the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (RTE Act).  The Act... Read More
Sakshi - July 31, 2012
According to news reports, the Prime Minister recently chaired a meeting with ministers to discuss an alternative plan (“Plan B”) for the National Food Security Bill, 2011 (hereinafter “Bill”).  The Bill is currently pending with the Standing... Read More
Karan - July 27, 2012
Reports suggest that a debt restructuring plan is being prepared for power distribution companies (discoms) in seven states - Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh.  According to some estimates... Read More
admin_2 - July 2, 2012
The National Telecom Policy was adopted by the cabinet on May 31, 2012.  It was released in public domain later in June.  Among other things, the policy aims to provide a single licence framework, un-bundle spectrum from licences, and... Read More
Rohit - June 14, 2012
The Election Commission has announced the schedule for the election of the President of India.  The last date for nominations is June 30, elections will be held on July 19, and counting will take place on July 22.  The BJD and AIADMK have... Read More
Kaushiki - June 13, 2012
The Protection of Children against Sexual Offences Act, 2012 was passed by both Houses of Parliament on May 22.  The legislation defines various types of sexual offences against children and provides penalties for such acts. According to a... Read More
Sakshi - May 29, 2012
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare tabled a Report in Parliament on May 8, 2012, on the functioning of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO).  CDSCO is the agency mandated with the regulation of... Read More
Pallavi - May 25, 2012
The central government appointed the J&K Interlocutors Group on October 13, 2010.  The Group submitted the Report to the Home Ministry earlier this year.  The Report was made public by the Home Ministry on May 24, 2012. It may be noted... Read More
Karan - May 24, 2012
Government owned Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) raised the price of petrol by Rs 6.28 per litre on May 23, 2012.  After the inclusion of local taxes, this price hike amounts to an increase of Rs 7.54 per litre in Delhi.  India met 76... Read More
Karan - May 22, 2012
There has been no resolution so far to the issue of assured fuel supply from Coal India Limited (CIL) to power producers.  According to reports, while CIL released a model supply agreement in April 2012, so far only around 13 Fuel Supply... Read More
Sana - May 18, 2012
(Co-authored by Sana Gangwani and Pallavi Bedi) The Standing Committee Report on the Land Acquisition and R&R Bill, 2011 was tabled in the Lok Sabha on May 17, 2012. The major changes to the Bill recommended by the Committee include: Land... Read More
Vishnu - May 17, 2012
The issue of the General Anti Avoidance Rule (GAAR) has dominated the news recently and there are fears that GAAR will discourage foreign investment in India.  However, tax avoidance can hinder public finance objectives and... Read More
Kaushiki - May 15, 2012
According to news reports (see here and here), the Cabinet approved four Bills for discussion in Parliament.  The Bills cleared for consideration and passing are: the Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2010; the National Accreditation Regulatory... Read More
Simran - May 11, 2012
In April last year the government had notified the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules, 2011  (IT Rules) under the Information Technology Act, 2000.  The IT Rules are listed for discussion in Rajya Sabha today in... Read More
Rohit - May 9, 2012
Parliament voted on the Demands for Grants for the Ministry of Home Affairs on May 02, 2012. During the debate, MPs expressed concern over the status of police forces in different States of the country.  They emphasised  the need to... Read More
Rohit - May 4, 2012
The Supreme Court passed its  judgment in General Officer Commanding (Army) vs. CBI on May 01, 2012.  The case addressed the issue of need for sanction to prosecute Army officers under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA... Read More
Kaushiki - April 29, 2012
The first batch of B.Tech students will pass out in the next couple of months from six new IITs but they will not get their degrees unless Parliament passes an Amendment Bill.  M.Tech students who completed their course in IIT Hyderabad last... Read More
Simran - April 27, 2012
TRAI released its recommendations on auction of spectrum on April 23, 2012.   The recommendations are in pursuance of the Supreme Court order cancelling 122 telecom licences.  The cancellation was ordered on grounds of... Read More
Rohit - April 27, 2012
The Piracy Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha on April 24, 2012.  According to the Statement of Objects and Reasons, there has been a significant increase in attacks by pirates, particularly in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of... Read More
Kaushiki - April 14, 2012
In a landmark judgment on April 12, 2012, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of the provision in the Right to Education Act, 2009 that makes it mandatory for all schools (government and private) except private, unaided minority... Read More
Simran - April 12, 2012
As per news reports, the union government has filed a Presidential Reference in relation to the 2G judgment.  In this judgment the Supreme Court had cancelled 122 2G licences granting access to spectrum and had ordered their re-allocation by... Read More
Rohit - April 4, 2012
The government of West Bengal has recently imposed a tax on the entry of goods into the local areas of the State.  According to the Finance Minister, this will help meet 'cost for facilitating trade and industry in the State'. Many States... Read More
Rohit - March 15, 2012
The Minister of Railways, Dinesh Trivedi, presented the Railways Budget 2012 to Parliament on 14th March.  While commenting on the financial position of Railways, the Minister said that 'the Indian Railways are passing through a difficult phase... Read More
Karan - March 12, 2012
The President addressed the Parliament on 12 March 2012.  Below are some items from the agenda of the central government as outlined in the speech. Legislation A Bill to eliminate manual scavenging and insanitary latrines shall be... Read More
Karan - March 12, 2012
The President addressed the Parliament after the 2009 Lok Sabha Elections on 4th June 2009.  She also addressed Parliament on 22nd February 2010, as well as on 21st February 2011.  The tables below highlight some items from the agenda of... Read More
Rohit - March 7, 2012
Several Rajya Sabha seats go to elections this year. The President and the Vice-President are also due to be elected by August. We analyse the impact of the recent State Assembly elections on the composition of the Rajya Sabha and the outcome of the... Read More
Rohit - February 8, 2012
The Arms Act, 1959 governs matters related to acquisition, possession, manufacture, sale, transportation, import and export of arms and ammunition. It defines a specific class of ‘prohibited’ arms and ammunitions, restricts their use and prescribes... Read More
Simran - February 1, 2012
Criminal laws in India by way of “sanctions” allow for protective discrimination in favour of public officials.[1]  Under various laws, sanctions are required to investigate and prosecute public officials.  Over the past 15 years these... Read More
Rohit - January 24, 2012
Over the next few weeks, Assembly elections are scheduled to be held in five States – Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa.  As parties prepare for the upcoming elections, we take a look at the electoral trends in these states... Read More
Pallavi - January 24, 2012
Report on Khap Panchayats The Law Commission has drafted a consultation paper on caste panchayats.    A draft legislation titled “The Prohibition of Unlawful Assembly (Interference with the Freedom of Matrimonial Alliances) Bill, 2011... Read More
Rohit - December 28, 2011
The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011 was passed by Lok Sabha yesterday. The Bill will be discussed next by Rajya Sabha. Unlike the Lok Sabha, where the UPA government holds a majority in the House, the composition is different in Rajya Sabha. As on... Read More
admin_2 - December 20, 2011
Authored by Anil Nair and CV Madhukar PRS just concluded a workshop for MLAs from 50+ from more than a dozen states.  What an AMAZING experience this was, even though this is the sixth such workshop we have held in this past year! This... Read More
Kaushiki - December 18, 2011
There are indications that the Lok Pal Bill, 2011 is likely to be taken up for consideration and passing during the current Winter session of Parliament.  The Bill was introduced on Aug 4, 2011 in the Lok Sabha after a prolonged agitation led... Read More
Sachin - November 29, 2011
The Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly recently passed a resolution calling for the division of Uttar Pradesh [U.P] into four States. But the procedure for formation of new States laid down in Article 3 of the Constitution provides that a State has... Read More
Simran - November 16, 2011
Media in India is mostly self-regulated.  The existing bodies for regulation of media such as the Press Council of India which is a statutory body and the News Broadcasting Standards Authority, a self-regulatory organization, issue standards... Read More
Vivake - November 9, 2011
Over the last couple of weeks, MNREGA is back in the spotlight. The Union Minister for Rural Development wrote to certain states regarding potential misuse of funds, and it was announced that rural development schemes are open to CAG audit.  In... Read More
Sachin - November 1, 2011
The Right to Information Act, 2005, contains several exemptions which enable public authorities to deny requests for information. RTI Annual Return Reports for 2005-2010 give detailed information on use of these exemptions to reject RTI requests.... Read More
Simran - October 25, 2011
The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology released three draft policies on telecommunications, information technology and electronics.  The Ministry has invited comments on the draft policies, which may be sent to ... Read More
Sachin - October 11, 2011
The Gujarat High Court is hearing an important case related to the appointment of the Lokayukta in Gujarat.  The issue is whether the Governor can appoint the Lokayukta at his discretion or whether appointment can be made only upon obtaining... Read More
Simran - October 4, 2011
The doctrine of separation of powers implies that each pillar of democracy – the executive, legislature and the judiciary – perform separate functions and act as separate entities.  The executive is vested with the power to make policy... Read More
Vivake - September 26, 2011
Last week, the Planning Commission filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court updating the official poverty line to Rs 965 per month in urban areas and Rs 781 in rural areas. This works out to Rs 32 and and Rs 26 per day, respectively. The perceived... Read More
admin_2 - September 26, 2011
The following piece by C V Madhukar appeared in the September,2011 issue of Governance Now magazine. The debate in Parliament in response to the recent Anna Hazare led agitation demanding a strong Lok Pal Bill was a fine hour for the institution of... Read More
Sana - September 1, 2011
We wrote an FAQ on Parliamentary Privilege for IBN Live. See http://ibnlive.in.com/news/what-puri-bedi-are-guilty-of-parl-privilege-faqs/179977-37.html The full text is reproduced below. Several MPs have given breach of privilege notices against... Read More
Devika - August 23, 2011
We wrote an FAQ on the Lok Pal Bill for Rediff.  http://www.rediff.com/news/special/special-parliamentary-committee-cannot-study-lokpal-bill-in-10-days/20110822.htm The Lok Pal Bill has been referred to the Standing Committee of Parliament on... Read More
M R Madhavan - August 20, 2011
We wrote a piece for ibnlive.com on the major differences between the government’s Lok Pal Bill, 2011 and the Jan Lok Pal Bill drafted by Anna Hazare’s group.  The note is reproduced below.   The streets are witnessing a demand that the... Read More
admin_2 - August 17, 2011
Parliament is expected to take up a motion for impeaching Justice Soumitra Sen of the Calcutta High Court.  We wrote an FAQ on the process of impeachment and the facts of this case for Rediff. See: http://www.rediff.com... Read More
M R Madhavan - August 11, 2011
We wrote an FAQ on the Lok Pal Bill for Rediff.  See http://www.rediff.com/news/slide-show/slide-show-1-all-you-wanted-to-know-about-the-lokpal-bill/20110808.htm The full text is reproduced below. What is the purpose of the Lok Pal Bill?... Read More
Anirudh - July 8, 2011
In the aftermath of the nuclear leaks in Japan, there have been concerns regarding the safety of nuclear power plants around the world. There are some proposals to change the regulatory framework in India to ensure the safety of these plants. We... Read More
Vivake - June 23, 2011
The Department of Land Resources in the Ministry of Rural Development has released a draft version of The Land Titling Bill, 2011 on its website. This draft is a major revision of the original draft Bill released in 2010. Public comments on this... Read More
Anirudh - June 20, 2011
The Union government’s Cabinet Committee on Security recently gave clearance to the Home Ministry’s NATGRID project.  The project aims to allow investigation and law enforcement agencies to access real-time information from data stored with... Read More
Kaushiki - June 17, 2011
The government is considering a number of measures to tackle corruption such as the formation of the office of the Lokpal or Ombudsman to investigate corruption cases, the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, 2010 that requires judges to... Read More
Kaushiki - June 13, 2011
On June 3, 2011, the National Advisory Council (NAC) posted the draft of the National Food Security Bill on its website and has asked for public feed back on the Bill by June 12, 2011. Key Features of the Draft National Food Security Bill, 2011 -... Read More
Anirudh - June 9, 2011
The National Advisory Committee has recently come out with a Communal Violence Bill.  The Bill is intended to prevent acts of violence, or incitement to violence directed at people by virtue of their membership to any “group”.  An existing... Read More
M R Madhavan - June 1, 2011
The government's acquisition of land for projects has been facing protests across the country, the violence in Uttar Pradesh being only the latest. What is Land Acquisition? Land acquisition is the process by which the government forcibly... Read More
Rohit - May 30, 2011
By Rohit and Jhalak Some Rajya Sabha seats will be contested over the next year.  The Presidential elections are also scheduled to be held in 2012.  The recent assembly elections has implications for both these elections.... Read More
Rohit - May 20, 2011
By Rohit and Aakanksha In February this year, Bihar made it mandatory for its employees to declare their assets.  The new guidelines prescribe that departmental proceedings would be initiated against those who fail to submit these details.... Read More
Chakshu Roy - May 9, 2011
The government has given itself the “master key” to access major consumer databases maintained by companies in different sectors. Under new regulations made under the Information Technology Act, government can ask companies to share sensitive... Read More
Simran - April 21, 2011
 The last few months saw a number of allegations of corruption in issues such as contracts for the Commonwealth Games, allocation of  2G Spectrum, and the building of the Adarsh housing society.  Professor... Read More
Anirudh - April 20, 2011
A recent case before the Supreme Court has once again highlighted the issue of judicial decisions potentially replacing/ amending legislation enacted by Parliament.  The case importantly pertains to the judiciary’s interpretation of existing... Read More
Kaushiki - April 18, 2011
This article was published in the Indian Express on April 8, 2011 Dodging the Drafts By Kaushiki Sanyal and C.V. Madhukar Social activist, Anna Hazare’s fast unto death for the enactment of a strong Lok Pal Bill has provided an impetus to... Read More
Kaushiki - April 7, 2011
The Lok Pal (anti-corruption body) Bill has generated widespread interest in the past few days. The Bill is an attempt by the government, under massive pressure due to corruption charges, to gain some of its lost ground. However, civil rights... Read More
Rohit - March 14, 2011
The general discussion on the Railway Budget concluded in Parliament this week. During the discussion, several MPs made a reference to two important documents tabled by the Railway Minister in 2009 - the ‘White Paper' on Indian Railways and the 2020... Read More
Kaushiki - March 9, 2011
Bihar became the first state to scrap the MLA Local Area Development Fund scheme (MLALAD).  According to news reports, Nitish Kumar, Bihar’s Chief Minister, is planning to replace it with the CM Area Development Programme, which would be... Read More
Anirudh - March 4, 2011
In a recent judgement (Judgement on Feb 23 - Baldev Singh and Ors. V. State of Punjab), the Supreme Court reduced the sentence of three persons convicted of rape from 10 years to 3 and a half years, and also asked the three convicts to pay a fine of... Read More
Madhukar - March 3, 2011
The demand for a JPC has been accepted by the government. But disruptions in Parliament continue to plague its functioning. The speaker of Lok Sabha and the chairman of Rajya Sabha routinely ask the members who rush into the well to return to their... Read More
Rohit - March 1, 2011
In a recent judgement, the Karnataka High Court upheld the disqualification of five independent MLAs from the Assembly. These MLAs, who had previously served as Ministers in the Yeddyurappa government, were disqualified along with 11 others after... Read More
Kaushiki - February 26, 2011
The Budget Session of Parliament began with President Pratibha Patil’s address to a joint session of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.  The session will continue till April 21, 2011 with a recess from March 17 to April 3, 2011.  The... Read More
Chakshu Roy - February 25, 2011
If the government has its way, accessing the internet using wifi hotspots at airports and cafes just might become a thing of the past.  It might happen because of the way "cyber cafes" are defined in the Information Technology Act.  The IT... Read More
Madhukar - January 28, 2011
There are a little over 4000 MLAs across all states in India.  For the citizen, a law passed by his state legislature is as relevant and important as one passed by Parliament.  And MLAs also have no research support available to... Read More
Rohit - January 10, 2011
The union government is reportedly considering a legislation to create anti-corruption units both at the centre and the states. Such institutions were first conceptualized by the Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) headed by Morarji Desai in its... Read More
Anirudh - January 10, 2011
Recently the government released draft rules under the Right to Information Act for consultation before it finalised them.  This process of public consultation on draft rules is a welcome step which is not often followed. Many Acts passed by... Read More
Rohit - December 30, 2010
The Justice  Srikrishna Committee, which is looking into the feasibility of a separate Telangana State, is expected to submit its report by tomorrow.  It might be useful at this point in time to revisit the recommendations of the... Read More
Esha - December 24, 2010
The convention for passing Bills in the Parliament is by orally communicating agreement or disagreement with the proposed motion (whether a Bill should be passed or not, for example). When a motion is put to vote the speaker says, 'Those in the... Read More
Anirudh - December 23, 2010
In a recent case, the Supreme Court directed the appropriate government to enact a law by June 2011.  The case, Gainda Ram & Ors. V. MCD and Ors.[1], concerned the legal framework for regulating hawking in Delhi.  The judgement lays... Read More
Mandira Kala - December 23, 2010
In the recently concluded Winter Session of Parliament, nine Bills were introduced. Of the Bills introduced, 4 bills have been referred to the relevant Standing Committee for examining the Bill. The Standing Committees have been given three months... Read More
Chakshu Roy - December 23, 2010
The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament has invited suggestions on "Recent Developments in the Telecom Sector including allocation of 2G and 3G Spectrum". Comments are invited from experts, associations, individuals, organisations and... Read More
Vivake - December 22, 2010
In the recently concluded Congress plenary, Congress President Sonia Gandhi suggested state financing of elections as a measure against corruption in the electoral process. State funding of elections has been suggested in the past in response to the... Read More
Kaushiki - December 21, 2010
In India, one of the common threads that run through many of the corruption scandals is the issue of conflict of interest i.e. public officials taking policy decisions based on their personal interest.  For example, Shashi Tharoor in the IPL... Read More
Esha - December 21, 2010
One of our earlier posts (read here) tackled the question of whether the Public Accounts Committee could summon ministers or not. According to a direction of the speaker, a Minister cannot be summoned by a financial committee. There are no specific... Read More
Vivake - December 21, 2010
In the aftermath of the 2G scam, there has been a great deal of discussion on how Parliamentary Committees can be used for scrutinising the functioning of the government.  Committee Reports are generally put in the public domain, but how... Read More
Mandira Kala - December 21, 2010
A Committee has been set up to examine appropriateness of procedures followed by the Department of Telecommunications in issuance of licences and allocation of spectrum during the period 2001-2009.  The Committee will be chaired by retired... Read More
Anil - December 20, 2010
Apropos Madhukar’s post on available information on the functioning of state legislatures, data on the number of days State Assemblies shows a mixed trend over the 2000 to 2010 period. However, most states uniformly under perform when it comes to... Read More
Esha - December 20, 2010
Around 1400 reports have been tabled by the PAC since the first Lok Sabha till end of 14th Lok Sabha. In terms of absolute numbers, the largest number of reports were tabled during the 5th Lok Sabha (1971-77).  However, in terms of the... Read More
Anil - December 20, 2010
Parliament passes an average of 60 Bills a year.  Each state legislature also passes a similar volume of legislation addressing an array of complex issues.  Bills cover subjects ranging from microfinance, land acquisition, and honour... Read More
Madhukar - December 20, 2010
Most legislative assemblies make Parliament look like a paragon of virtue A COUPLE of days ago, an MLA from Orissa made news for climbing on to the speaker's table in the assembly. Not so long ago, television screens beamed images of Karnataka MLAs... Read More
Anirudh - December 20, 2010
The recent 2G-controversy and the related debate over the role of the PAC as opposed to the JPC also raises a broader Issue regarding the general scrutiny of government finances by Parliament.  Oversight of the government’s finances involves... Read More
Chakshu Roy - December 20, 2010
It is common knowledge that individuals contesting elections have to file an affidavit, declaring (i) their criminal records (if any), (ii) assets & liabilities and (iii) educational qualification.  What is not widely known is that after... Read More
Chakshu Roy - December 18, 2010
The Departmentally Related Standing Committee on Information Technology has invited comments on the subject of "Isssues related to Paid News". Comments/Suggestions/Opinion/Views to be sent to: Additional Director (IT) Lok Sabha Secretariat, Room No... Read More
Tonusree - December 18, 2010
In recent public discourse over lobbying, two issues that have underscored the debate are: Greater transparency in the policymaking process, and Equality of access for all stakeholders in engaging with the process. There is a need to... Read More
Anirudh - December 17, 2010
The issue of judges declaring their assets assumes importance in light of recent allegations and inquiries into allegations of wrongdoing by judges (read our post on the report of the Committee set up to examine allegations of wrongdoing by Justice... Read More
Chakshu Roy - December 17, 2010
The winter session has come to an end, but parliamentary committees continue to meet to discuss important issues.  Some of them are: Lok Sabha Committee on Ethics | 21 Dec 2010 | Agenda: Adding to procedure of Lok Sabha,  rules to... Read More
Esha - December 16, 2010
The Public Accounts Committee  examines how the Government spends public money. It examines the amount granted by the Parliament and the amount actually spent. A Speaker in the past, has passed a direction which specifies clearly that a... Read More
Vivake - December 16, 2010
The following is a comparison of the rules regarding the transparency of MPs' private interests in India and South Africa. In India, conflict of interest amongst MPs has been debated extensively in the recent past. The primary check on preventing... Read More
Sana - December 16, 2010
The Andhra Pradesh government issued an Ordinance on October 15, 2010, which stipulated conditions for the microfinance activities in the State. This Ordinance was ratified two months later on December 15, 2010 by the lower house of the Andhra... Read More
Chakshu Roy - December 16, 2010
The Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister recently remarked that the Rajya Sabha should be abolished.  This is not a new thought.  In 1954 and 1973, resolutions were moved in the Lok Sabha seeking to abolish the Rajya Sabha.  Both these... Read More
Anil - December 16, 2010
Reuters news agency has reported that the Andhra Pradesh State Assembly has approved legislation to regulate the microfinance sector. The Assembly ratified an earlier ordinance curbing operations by MFI lenders. The ordinance took effect in October... Read More
Esha - December 15, 2010
Between 2002-06 the average number of sitting per year (May - April) was around 19 but since 2006 the average has dipped to around 11 sittings per year. The average number of committee sittings is around 15 per year from 2002-10. The committee met... Read More
Anirudh - December 15, 2010
The Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, 2010 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 1, 2010. The Bill was introduced by the Shri M. Veerappa Moily, the Minister of Law and Justice. The Bill seeks to (a) lay down judicial standards, (b)... Read More
Anil - December 15, 2010
News agencies have reported that the newly elected NDA Government has decided in its cabinet meeting to scrap the existing allocation of funds for Local Area Development scheme for Bihar MLAs and MLCs. http://www.indianexpress.com/news/nitish-govt-... Read More
Rohit - December 15, 2010
What is petitioning? Petitioning is a formal process that involves sending a written appeal to Parliament. The public can petition Parliament to make MPs aware of their opinion and/ or to request action. Who petitions and how? Anyone can petition... Read More
Sana - December 10, 2010
On December 1, 2010, the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha.  The Bill revamps the present system of inquiry into complaints against judges.  The case of Justice Sen was the one of the more recent... Read More
admin_2 - December 2, 2010
By Chakshu Rai and Anirudh Burman What is the difference between a JPC and a PAC? A structured committee system was introduced in 1993 to provide for greater scrutiny of government functioning by Parliament. Most committees of Parliament include MPs... Read More
Vivake - November 19, 2010
The 2010 Commonwealth Games may have ended on October 14th, but the controversy surrounding the organising of the games is far from over. In Parliament, the Opposition has called for a Joint-Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to be formed to investigate... Read More
M R Madhavan - November 16, 2010
All companies are currently governed by the Companies Act, 1956. The Act has been amended 24 times since then. Three committees were formed in the last ten years, chaired by Justice V B Eradi (2001), Naresh Chandra (2002) and J J Irani (2005) to... Read More
Anil - October 25, 2010
At an event organised by the Hansard Society, a UK based political research and education charity, MPs spoke about what their role entails and the challenges the face in fulfilling their role.  It is striking to note the similarity... Read More
admin_2 - October 15, 2010
The trust vote drama in Karnataka has hit the national headlines. The incumbent chief minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa appears to have won the first round. It remains to be seen how the BJP responds to the governor’s direction that a second trust vote be... Read More
admin_2 - October 10, 2010
This month, PRS Legislative Research is 5 years old! The objective when we started out was to make the legislative process in India better informed, more transparent and participatory.  From what started off as an idea, we believe we... Read More
Madhukar - September 23, 2010
All stakeholders, including citizens, NGOs, etc. have an important role in the law making process. But for many stakeholders, the process is not obvious or easily explained. In PRS, we often receive a number of requests from NGOs about how it is... Read More
Kaushiki - September 8, 2010
One of the most politically contentious issues in recent times has been the government’s right to acquire land for ‘public purpose’.  Increasingly, farmers are refusing to part with their land without adequate compensation, the most recent... Read More
Kaushiki - September 7, 2010
Given India’s anti-defection laws, the Educational Tribunals Bill, 2010 should have sailed through smoothly in the Rajya Sabha.  The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on August 26 in spite of opposition from many MPs who raised a number of... Read More
admin_2 - September 3, 2010
The recent order of the ministry of environment and forests (MoE&F) rejecting the application for grant of forest clearance to the Orissa Mining Company (the Vedanta project) has raised a number of important questions. The order cited the... Read More
admin_2 - August 31, 2010
The Lok Sabha has passed the bill to revise the salary of members of parliament. Much of the debate in the media has been on the wealth of current MPs and the lack of accountability. It is important to focus as well on structural issues related to... Read More
Anirudh - August 20, 2010
In law, the addition or deletion a single punctuation or a single word can have a major impact on the effect of that law.  One such example can be seen from the recommended changes in the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, 2010 by... Read More
Rohit - August 17, 2010
The Medical Council of India (MCI) has seen a few major controversies over the past decade. In the latest incident, MCI President, Dr. Ketan Desai was arrested by the CBI on charges of accepting a bribe for granting recognition to Gyan Sagar Medical... Read More
Anirudh - August 12, 2010
The Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on April 26, 2010, and was passed by the Lok Sabha on May 6 (See Bill Summary here).  The Bill was not referred to a Standing Committee of Parliament.  The Bill has been... Read More
Rohit - August 4, 2010
This post is pursuant to the discussion on population stabilization being held in Parliament currently. India is the second most populous country in the world, sustaining 16.7% of the world's population on 2.4% of the world's surface area. The... Read More
admin_2 - August 2, 2010
To facilitate greater awareness generation and engagement of the youth, PRS conceptualised a legislative analysis competition - ANALYSIS. Being organized for the fourth year in succession, ANALYSIS is a national-level competition that encourages... Read More
Anil - July 20, 2010
The Chief Minister of Kerala has made a statement in the Assembly this week agreeing to look into the demand to change the name of the state to Keralam to make it conform to the state's name as pronounced in Malayalam.  A few major cities in... Read More
Avinash - July 15, 2010
The draft Direct Taxes Code Bill seeks to consolidate and amend the law relating to all direct taxes and will replace the Income Tax Act, 1961.  The draft Bill, along with a discussion paper, was released for public comments in August 2009.[1]... Read More
Kaushiki - July 13, 2010
The issue of honour killing grabbed headlines with the death of Nirupama Pathak, a Delhi-based journalist, who was alleged to have been killed by her family because she was pregnant and was planning to marry a person outside her caste.  This... Read More
Anirudh - July 8, 2010
"Parliamentary approval of the creation, mandate and powers of security agencies is a necessary but not sufficient condition for upholding the rule of law. A legal foundation increases the legitimacy both of the existence of these agencies and the (... Read More
Rohit - June 30, 2010
Petroleum Secretary S Sundareshan, while addressing a press Conference on Friday, announced the government’s decision to deregulate prices of petrol. Petrol prices shall now be subject to periodic revisions based on fluctuations in market prices. An... Read More
Avinash - June 29, 2010
The simple answer is yes. Under the Copyright Act, 1957, the government, and the government alone, can print its laws and issue copies of them.  If, for instance, a person, takes a copy of an Act, and puts it up on their website for others to... Read More
admin_2 - June 25, 2010
Indian Express published an article by PRS on the proposed Rules to disallow participation by political parties in urban local bodies (such as municipalities). Click here for the article
admin_2 - June 23, 2010
Rajya Sabha June 23 and 24, 2010: Committee on Science & Technology, Environment & Forests Agenda - The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, 2010 June 29, 2010: Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture Agenda - Duties,... Read More
Anirudh - June 21, 2010
The Civil Damage for Nuclear Liability Bill, 2010 has been criticised on many grounds (Also click here), including (a) capping liability for the operator, (b) fixing a low cap on the amount of liability of the operator, and (c) making the operator... Read More
Rohit - June 10, 2010
Our Constitution provides protection against laws imposing criminal liability for actions committed prior to the enactment of the law. Article 20 (1) under the Part III (Fundamental Rights), reads: 20. (1) No person shall be convicted of any... Read More
Anirudh - May 25, 2010
The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, 2010 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on may 7, 2010.  The following is PRS’s summary of the Bill (The Bill summary and the Bill along with related media articles can also be accessed on the PRS... Read More
Anirudh - May 4, 2010
One of the main tasks of the Parliament is to frame laws through debate and discussion on the floor of the House.  However, there have been repeated instances where Bills introduced by the government have been passed without substantive... Read More
Kaushiki - April 29, 2010
The shortage of skilled man-power is a cause for concern in most sectors in India.  Experts acknowledge that the present higher education system in India is not equipped to address this problem without some changes in the basic structure.... Read More
Chakshu Roy - April 27, 2010
1.  Is the government empowered to intercept communication between two individuals? Answer: Yes. The Central and the State government can intercept communication.  Letters, telephone (mobiles and landlines) and internet communication (e... Read More
M R Madhavan - April 26, 2010
The Seeds Bill was introduced in 2004, and is listed for discussion in Rajya Sabha this week. We had flagged some issues in our Legislative Brief. The Standing Committee had also made some recommendations (summary available here). These included the... Read More
Anirudh - April 19, 2010
Anirudh and Chakshu Friday's issue of Indian Express carried an op-ed article by the Director of PRS on the issue of the re-establishment of the Legislative Council (upper house) in Tamil Nadu. The article (a) traces the history of the legislature... Read More
admin_2 - April 8, 2010
By Rohit & Anirudh A modified 'Modernization of State Police Forces' scheme was started by the central government in 2000-01. One of the objectives was to help police forces in meeting the emerging challenges to internal security in the form of... Read More
Mandira Kala - April 7, 2010
The empowered group of ministers (EGoM) met recently to review the draft food security bill. Two issues have been reported to have gained prominence in their discussions – the exact number of poor families that are likely to be beneficiaries under... Read More
Kaushiki - April 1, 2010
Census 2011 or the 15th National Census, a gigantic exercise to capture the socio-economic and cultural profile of India’s population, began on April 1, 2010.  India undertakes this exercise every 10 years through the Office of the Registrar... Read More
Madhukar - April 1, 2010
We need your ideas and inputs.  Ideas on how we can inform many more people who are interested in policy about what they can access on the PRS website. The mission of PRS is to strengthen the legislative process by making it better... Read More
Anirudh - March 25, 2010
During the recess, the Departmentally Related Standing Committees of Parliament examine the Demand for Grants submitted by various Ministries.  The Demand for Grants are detailed explanations of that Ministry's annual budget which form part of... Read More
Avinash - March 18, 2010
Parliament has announced the ministries whose Demands for Grants will be discussed in detail in the Lok Sabha (after April 12 when Parliament reconvenes).  They are: Defence Rural Development Tribal Affairs Water Resources... Read More
M R Madhavan - March 17, 2010
Well, that is the number of seats to be reserved for women in Lok Sabha in the first round if the women’s reservation bill is passed.  The rules for determining number of seats to be reserved are as follows. The Bill does not reserve one-... Read More
Avinash - March 17, 2010
Because of the interest in the Women’s Reservation Bill and the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, we’ve received a number of queries about the process by which a bill becomes an Act. We have a more comprehensive primer on the subject, but... Read More
Avinash - March 16, 2010
Parliament is set to go into recess this week and will convene again on April 12th.  Before going into recess, both houses will have completed general discussions on the budget. Once the recess begins, it’s time to go beyond the big budget... Read More
Tonusree - March 15, 2010
The Lok Sabha  adjourns today for a three-week recess.  The Rajya Sabha is scheduled to adjourned on March 18.  Here’s a brief look at the activity of Parliament this session (data till March 15): Productive Hours: The session has... Read More
Anirudh - March 10, 2010
There have been articles in the media on the future passage of the Women's Reservation Bill stating that the Bill will have to be ratified by state legislatures before it is signed into law by the President.  Our analysis indicates that... Read More
Rohit - March 9, 2010
Indiscipline and disruptions in Parliament are much talked about issues.  Not only are disruptions a waste of Parliament's valuable time, these significantly taint the image of this esteemed institution.  Commotion in Rajya Sabha over the... Read More
admin_2 - March 8, 2010
  By Kaushiki Sanyal On March 8, the 100th anniversary of the International Women’s Day, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) intends to debate and put to vote a Bill which has been hanging fire in Parliament since May 6,... Read More
Anirudh - March 4, 2010
The presentation of the Annual Budget before the parliament is one of the mechanisms available to any legislature to scrutinise and authorise revenues and expenditures of the country.   In this post I quote and summarise from two sources (... Read More
Madhukar - March 1, 2010
The budget process is covered by live TV and extensively by most newspapers each year.  Most large companies have their own analysis of the budget.  Increasingly, there is an effort by civil society groups to analyse the budget to decipher... Read More
Avinash - February 12, 2010
Unlike the Parliamentary system, the concept of 'question hour' or 'question time' doesn't really exist in the American legislature.  Here's an interesting report done by the Congressional Research Service on the possibility of a question... Read More
Kaushiki - February 11, 2010
The row over Bt Brinjal, a genetically modified version of the plant, provoked the government into imposing a moratorium on the commercial cultivation of the plant in India.  The debate has revolved around issues of economic efficacy, human... Read More
M R Madhavan - February 9, 2010
Speaker Meira Kumar has urged political parties to arrive at a consensus on the women’s reservation bill.  The 2008 Bill has the following main features.  1. It reserves one-third of all seats in Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies within... Read More
Anirudh - February 8, 2010
In the late 1960s and 70s, defections (elected legislators changing parties after the election) in Parliament and State Legislatures became very frequent, so frequent in fact, that the epithet "Aaya Ram Gaya Ram" was coined to describe the same.... Read More
Madhukar - February 6, 2010
The objective of this blog is to supplement the information provided on the PRS website, with more analysis, information, that might be useful for readers.  We expect to discuss issues about legislation and policy on some occasions and about... Read More