The discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President's Address continued in Rajya Sabha. The three farm laws and the country's response to COVID-19 dominated the debate. While some Members highlighted India's high COVID-19 recovery rate and quick rollout of vaccines, others talked about the migrant crisis as a result of the lockdown, and the current state of the economy. 

One Member remarked that bills in Parliament were getting passed without adequate consultation with stakeholders. Some Members demanded that the three farm laws be withdrawn. 

Prior to the discussion, the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was introduced. The bill replaces an ordinance merging the J&K cadre of the All India Services with the AGMUT cadre.  

In Lok Sabha, the Question Hour began amid uproar and the House adjourned shortly thereafter. Proceedings resumed again and the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was introduced. This bill also replaces an ordinance. 

The House saw multiple adjournments and will meet again at 8.30 PM today.

Some key recommendations of the Standing Committee on the DNA Bill: 

  • A DNA Regulatory Board is proposed to be set up under the bill to supervise DNA data banks and laboratories. The Committee has noted that the DNA Regulatory Board should be independent and has recommended that the Chairperson of the Board be a person of eminence in the field of biological sciences or genetics. 
     
  • A National Data Bank and Regional DNA Data Banks will be established under the bill. The Committee has suggested not having any regional DNA data banks as they increase the vulnerability of the accuracy and security of the DNA system.

Numbers to note 

Rs 1,163 crore 

The Ministry of Labour and Employment informed Rajya Sabha that the investments of the EPFO in securities belonging to certain companies resulted in default of certain principal amounts and interest due, amounting to over Rs 1,163 crore.

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