Lok Sabha adjourned after Question Hour due to disruptions.
In Rajya Sabha during the Zero Hour, one Member asked the government to widen the scope of Prevention of Sexual Harassment Act, 2013 to include gender bias. He pointed to the Economic Survey’s recent data on female labour force participation. Female participation in the labour workforce has declined from 33% in 2011-12 to 25.3% in 2017-18. His recommendations to strengthen the Act included making it mandatory for companies to publish the number of complaints of gender bias in their annual reports.
Citing National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) data on deaths in police and judicial custody, another Member urged the government to ratify the UN Convention against torture. He sought the introduction of an anti-torture law to set uniform standards of policing and prisoner rights across the country. A Bill to ratify the said convention was introduced in 2010 and passed by the Lok Sabha. However, the Bill lapsed without passing.
In the evening, the Health Minister briefed the Rajya Sabha on measures being taken by the government to deal with the outbreak of Coronavirus 2019. He informed the House that:
- As of today, 1,275 flights have been screened covering 1,39,539 passengers.150 passengers identified with symptoms have been referred to isolation facilities.
- Screening of passengers has also been initiated in 12 major sea ports and all minor ports of the country to identify passengers and crew coming from China and to isolate them in case they are found symptomatic.
- Following a confirmed case in Nepal, the government has initiated screening in all integrated check posts from Nepal in collaboration with states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Sikkim and Bihar as well as Seema Suraksha Bal and land port authorities.
- Testing of samples from Maldives have already been undertaken. Request for sample testing from Afghanistan has been agreed to. India has also agreed to provide assistance to Bhutan in managing the disease and screening of passengers.