Parliament updates | High level committee will look into mob violence Rajnath Singh informs Lok Sabha

Union home Minister Rajnath Singh makes a statement in Lok Sabha on Monday.

Union home Minister Rajnath Singh makes a statement in Lok Sabha on Monday.   | Photo Credit: LSTV

Rajya Sabha passes amendments to Special Relief Act, sends Ancient Monuments amendment Bill to Select Committee; Lok Sabha passes Negotiable Instruments Amendments.

Following a high-drama session on Friday, which saw the BJP defeating the no-confidence motion moved by the Telugu Desam Party, Parliament reconvened on Monday.

While the Lok Sabha passed the amendments to Negotiable Instruments Act, the Rajya Sabha approved amendments to Special Relief Act. The Upper House also referred the Ancient Monuments amendment Bill to Select Committee. The Rajya Sabha also witnessed adjournment after TDP members indulged in sloganeering.

Here are the live updates:

Lok Sabha | 6:12 pm

Rajnath Singh informs the House that a high level committee chaired by union home secretary Rajiv Gaub has been set up to look into the  situations arising out of mob violence and lynching and suggest measures to address the situation. The committee will submit its report in four weeks.

He also says Group of Ministers headed by himself will consider the panel's recommendations. The External Affairs Minister, Road Transport Minister, Gangas Rejuvenation Minister, Law Minister, and Minister for  Social Justice and Empowerment will be part of the GoM.

The GoM will submit its recommendation to the Prime Minister, he says.

On that note, the Lok Sabha is adjourned for the day.

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Date | Time

In Rajya Sabha, the Chair allow AAP member Sanjay Singh to complete his speech even though the House timing has ended. House will function till Mr. Singh speaks.

Mr. Singh also speaks on infringement of State's rights. He says we urged the ministry not to increase the fare of Delhi Metro and now people prefer own vehicles instead of public transport, he claims.

Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day.

Lok  Sabha | 5:45 pm

In Lok Sabha, HRD Minister responds in a discussion NCTE (Amendment) Bill. The Bill proposes induction process for newly-appointed college teachers.

There have been instances of teachers who weren't BEd gratautes. Over one lakh such teachers are being provided training using platforms such as Swayam.

There is a craze for English. State governments can start language training centres and Centre would support, he says.

Education's budget has been increased to Rs. 85,000 crore. In total budget has been increased by 70% in the last four years.

In my school days black boards were a rarity. Today, operation digital board is in process, Mr. Javadekar says.

Lok Sabha decides to increase the timing of the House.

Rajya  Sabha | 5:45 pm

Vikas Mahatme (BJP) says every five minutes a fatal accident occurs. The Chair says you have only five minutes. House erupts in laughter.

Can accidents be prevented by laws? Mr. Mahatme says yes. People witness accidents but don't want to help fearing liabilities. This Bill protects the good samaritans.

Rajya  Sabha | 5:40 pm

Air, rail and maritime are with the Centre. The only transport with States is road and you want to stash it away, says T.K.S. Elangovan. If amendments can prevent accidents, then amendments can do wonders, says the DMK member. Powers of the State is taken away and given to a private authority. This is the biggest accident, he says.

The Bill is unconstitutional. This Bill is not to prevent accidents, but to take away the State's powers, he says.

Rajya  Sabha | 5:30 pm

T.K. Rangarajan (CPI-M) says the Bill is terribly silent on road condition, congestion in roads, lack and of traffic discipline. The power of State government will be reduced to that of gram panchayat, he warns.

The Bill is against State-owned transport corporation that provide affordable transport operations. It will lead to its collapse. Kerala and Tamil Nadu is prosperous because the State transport offered connectivity to every village.

You want to privatise loss-making transport corporations. Govt hospitals, police stations, and courts are running on loss, will you privatise them, he asks.

I request all the colleagues to withdraw the Bill. This government is creating more destitutes, he says.

Rajya  Sabha | 5:15 pm

Chhaya Verma (Congress) says motor vehicles are insured for a year, instead it should be insured for life. One time insurance will be beneficial for the owners too, she says.

Licence is issued to people up to 60 years of age. Elderly people must be granted with proper fitness certificate, she says.

Amar Shankar Sable (BJP) begins the speech paying tributes to road accident victims.  As many as 25 per cent of road accident victims are youth, hence the Bill must be passed for the sake of youth, he says.

"America's roads are good not because they are rich. America is rich because its roads are good," he says quoting Nitin Gadkari. Road connectivity and motor vehicle amendments will aide in eradicating poverty, he claims.

Rajya  Sabha | 5:05 pm

Vijaysai Reddy (YSRCP) is the next speaker. Dr. Satyanarayana Jatiya is in the Chair.

Mr. Reddy says the recommendations of Select Committee are genuine and the government ought to have considered it.

A substantial part of State's Authority are taken away by the Central government. Doesn't this tantamount to infringing State's rights, he asks.

While the Supreme Court says Bharat Stage II vehicles should be phased out, this Bill talks about issuing fitness certificate to such vehicles. The Bill is silent on road rage.

Parallel authority is being formed for governing driving schools. The creation on fund to grant solatium to accident victims are also creating conflict of interest, he says.

The Bill needs to be withdrawn, select committee suggestion should be incorporated and re-introduced.

Rajya  Sabha | 5:00 pm

Ram Kumar Kashyap (INLD) is optimistic that the Bill will reduces accidents. He claims road infrastructure is a reason for accidents. Most highways are made in this country by filling up water bodies. This is why during monsoon, highways are flooded.

Helmets and seat belts should be made mandatory, he says. In Chandigarh, wearing helmet is mandatory, but not in Haryana. I have seen people who travel to Haryana from Chandigarh removing their helmets and seat belts after crossing Chandigarh, he says.

Mr. Kashyap says it has become habit for people to drive in the wrong side these days. Stringent punishment must be given to such violators, he says.

Hit and run cases should get more stricter punishment. Use of  mobile phones must be banned while driving. However, all laws will fail if people don't follow the rules. People should be made aware of road safety, he suggests.

Rajya  Sabha | 4:50 pm

Derrick O'Brein (Trinamool Congress) says Minister Nitin Gadkari is not in the House. The debate must be continued tomorrow and the minister should listen to us.

MoS Mandviya says he is noting the points and he is ready for replies.

Let's have division now, says Mr. O'Brein.

The Chair says the debate will continue tomorrow.

Rajya  Sabha | 4:40 pm

Elamaram Kareem (CPI-M) makes his maiden speech in Rajya Sabha. He says he opposes the Bill. This Bill is hiding something in the name of road safety, Mr. Kareem says.

In the name of road safety, there is an hidden agenda of privatisation, he claims. In the name of simplification, the Central government is trying to keep all regulations to itself.

Only 10 percent of road accidents are due to drivers, he says quoting a IIT Professor's report. The stress and long working hours of drivers are not taken in consideration, he says.

The mandatory third party insurance clause for State carriers will only lead to closure of such firms. This is only going to take State Transport Undertakings to financial crunch, he says.

How will accident come down if aggregators are introduced, he asks citing examples of cab aggregators such as Ola and Uber, wondering if they haven't met with any accidents so far.

In the name of vehicle condition, the Bill insists on branded spares and company service centres. What will be the fate of roadside mechanics. Should they manufacture pakodas, he asks.

Mr. Kareem says the Bill will only increase corruption.

If the government is serious in reducing accidents it should consider setting up motels, reduce long-working hours, invest in the road infrastructure, and train schoolchildren on road safety. This Bill won't help, he says.

Rajya  Sabha | 4:30 pm

Harivansh (JD-U) says the Bill should have been brought two decades ago. He says the Parliament has failed in enacting a law for road safety. A Supreme Court Bench is hearing a PIL on road safety. We have failed to do our duty, Mr. Harivash says.

Quoting a Supreme Court plea, Mr. Harivansh says about 90 per cent accidents were due to non-implementation of laws. Accidents in Bihar have come down by 60 per cent after prohibition, he claims adding that drunk driving shows laws are not implemented properly.

He lauds Delhi government's initiative to allow online application on driver's licence.

Mr. Harivansh says while he welcomes this law, a National Transport Policy should be considered for the long term.

Rajya  Sabha | 4:25 pm

Pratap Kesari Deb (BJD) says State Transport Ministers were given a draft Bill and the provisions that were added by the Select Bill were not sent back to the States. He also points out none of the amendments were taken up in the Select Committee.

Mr. Deb points out ambiguities in the Bill. He says the Bill is ignoring States. He says all States cannot be viewed by same prism as they are different. The Bill also robs revenue generated by the States, he says.

Mr. Deb says he would oppose the bill if the recommendations of Select Committee are not considered.

Rajya  Sabha | 4:10 pm

Manish Gupta (Trinamool) is the next speaker. He claims the Bill is "overly centralised" and the powers of the States are infringed.

We have to move towards eliminating permits, but this Bill is adding more permits, he says.  The Bill seeks to provide a National Transportation Authority. This is unnecessary as States handle it now. The suggestions of Standing Committee have not been incorporated, he says.

The Bill will push out small transport operators and lead to corporates taking over transport, Mr. Gupta states.

Mr. Gupta says he will be moving amendments.

All those who believe in federalism should oppose the Bill.

Rajya  Sabha | 4:00 pm

'More needs to be done on road safety'

Vishambar Prasad Nishad (Samajwadi Party), who was also part of Standing Committee that scrutinised the Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill, says several States didn't send their transport ministers for discussions.

Jairam Ramesh points out Parliamentary Affairs Minister and Cabinet Ministers are absent. Vijay Goel returns saying he had stepped out to drink water. Debate continues.

Mr. Nishad says government should check the quality of the helmets. Similarly overloading of people and freights in vehicles must be checked, he says pointing out this is a main reason for accidents.  Highways should have a separate police force, Mr. Nishad says.

Mr. Nishad says driving schools shouldn't train their students on the main roads. This is only increasing accidents, he says. He also wants vehicles to be certified fit for travelling in Highways.

Every district must have a trauma centre, he suggests. 

Lok  Sabha | 3:55 pm

Lok Sabha now takes up The National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017. HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar moves the Bill. The Bill seeks to recognise retrospectively certain teacher training institution and teacher training courses.

Rajya  Sabha | 3:55 pm

Vinay Sahasrabuddhe continues to speak. He says the vehicle density in India is three times higher than the United States and blames the lack of proper public transport in the country. He also claims the pedestrians are finding it difficult to cross the roads.

Mr. Sahasrabuddhe says car pooling and full utilisation of cars must be incentivised. Road safety training must be part of school curriculam.

Lok  Sabha | 3:40 pm

Lok Sabha takes up Negotiable Instruments Act amendments to voting. Mr. Sampath moves amendments to the Bill.

His amendment is rejected.  Now, other amendments are taken up.

The Bill is passed.

Rajya  Sabha | 3:40 pm

Vinay Sahasrabuddhe is the next Speaker. As the head of Select Committee, he says, he took inputs from many stakeholders. Tamil Nadu and Kerala have opposed the Bill. We even took traffic police into confidence before drafting the Bill, he says.

Mr. Sahasrabuddhe says over 1,70,000 people have lost their lives in road accidents in 2014. The fatality is increasing every year. Hence, we have included road safety in the amendments.

The Bill increases drivers licence from three years to five years. The Bill also envisages training to drivers, he says. Seat belts have been made mandatory. There are penalising clause for motorists who don't give way to ambulances. There is always room at the top. But this Bill is better than the previous ones, he says.

Accidents are not always caused by drivers. The roads also needs to be blamed. Sometimes the speed breakers are like vehicles breaker, he says.  The Municipal Corporations also must have a say on traffic management, he adds.

In Lok Sabha, MoS Pratap Shukla replies to the discussion on Negotiable Instruments Amendments.

Rajya  Sabha | 3:30 pm

The penalities are so high that a person may have to sell his vehicle to pay it, says Mr. Hariprasad speaking against the Motor Vehicles Amendments.

This Bill will only help the corporate sector, he says. 

The state carrier will be affected due to the Bill. The southern States are doing a good job as public carriers and they are at loss, Mr. Hariprasad says. In the garb of road safety, the Bill is only profiting corporates, he says ending the speech.

Tiruchi Siva is in the Chair.

 

Rajya  Sabha | 3:20 pm

Rajya Sabha takes up Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill, 2018. Mansukh Mandaviya introduces the Bill. He says the Bill have been further amended after taking the inputs from members.

Hariprasad (Congress) initiates discussion. He points out that the concerned minister is absent in the House. The Bill is silent on road safety clauses, he claims.

Mr. Hariprasad who was part of the Select Committee that scrutinised the Bill says out of 92 clauses, only three refers to road safety. The Ministry is trying to dilute the powers of the State government. The authority of RTO is being diluted. Only an RTO can register a vehicle, but now a dealer can register a vehilce. A registration in the RTO would charge upto Rs. 500. But a dealer would charge as much as Rs. 15,000. How will it end corruption, he asks.

Click here to read about the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017

Lok  Sabha | 3:15 pm

Aniruddhan Sampath (CPI-M) wants a fair trial in case of cheque bounce. Many times money lenders take blank cheques and write value on their own, he claims.

"This Bill is for the money lenders, by the money lenders, of the money lenders and I strongly oppose the Bill in toto," he says.

Rajya  Sabha | 3:05 pm

Rajya Sabha takes up Special Relief Amendments to vote.

Amendments brought by opposition members are rejected and the Bill is passed.

Lok  Sabha | 3:05 pm

TDP equates Andhra's case with cheque bounce

We were given a cheque by Manmohan Singh on Special Status. It was bounced. We came to the court, which is the Parliament, the promises are not fulfilled, says Ravindra Babu of TDP. Speak about this Bill only, says the Chair

The Bill goes against the spirit of government, says Mr. Babu to which the Chair asks if it's relevant to this Bill.

Rajya  Sabha | 3:05 pm

Ravi Shankar Prasad replies. He responds to Hari Vansh's remark that the Hindi version of the Bill is too complicated to read. We are making efforts to make business Hindi simple. Let's work together, he says.

The original Bill was not in sync with modern needs. Today PPP is the model. How can an errant contractor be tackled in today's scenario was the basis of the amendment, Mr. Prasad says.

The State governments are also on board over amendments, Mr. Prasad says. Every infrastructure sector comes under the Bill, he says. This Bill is an agent to recognise the changing India. On charges that the Bill is making contract terms tougher, Mr. Prasad the Bill is good for good contractors and strong for non-performing contractors. In case a contractor flees, the project will be completed by another contractor and the money will be taken from the non-performer, he says.

Rajya  Sabha | 2:50 pm

Sukendhu Shekar Ray wonders if the government is taking the powers of court through the amendments to the Specific Relief Act. He says he is opposing the Bill

Earlier, AIADMK's Navaneethakrishnan and Congress's Pradip Bhattacharya spoke. Their parties are supporting the Bill.

Lok  Sabha | 2:45 pm

AIADMK's Vijaykumar says the Bill must protect the poor and middle class from money lenders and usury.

Trinamool Congress' Kalyan Banerjee says in cases of wilful offenders it is difficult even to serve summons. The court should be more serious in dealing withe the NA Act, he says. The fast track courts are not fast at all, Mr. Banerjee  says. He also wants the issuer to deposit 100 per cent in court in case of dispute.

It's the middle class who are suffering due to cheque bounces, Mr. Banerjee says.

Lok  Sabha | 2:40 pm

Shivakumar Udasi (BJP) contradicts with Shashi Tharoor. He says change is a continuous process. This Bill is the first step and more amendments may be taken in future, he says.

Opposition Leader Mallikarjun Kharge raises Point of Order. He points out no Minister is present in the House when the Bill is being discussed. "Don't your ministers have confidence in your government," he asks.

Treasurey Bench points out at Anant Geete, the minister for Heavy Industries.

Rajya  Sabha | 2:30 pm

Ravi Shankar Prasad introduces The Specific Relief (Amendment) Bill, 2018.

The Bill was already passed by Lok Sabha in March. The Bill seeks to include contracts not specifically enforceable,  which involves the performance of a continuous duty which the court cannot supervise, or a contract which is so dependent on the personal qualifications of the parties.

If contract is broken due to non-performance of promise by any party, the party who suffers by such breach shall have the option of substituted performance through a third party or by his own agency.

A new provision is introduced that prohibits grant of injunction in a suit involving a contract relating to an infrastructure project specified in the Schedule, where granting injunction would cause impediment or delay in the progress or completion of such infrastructure project.

Lok  Sabha | 2:30 pm

Shashi Tharoor continues his speech. If a person wilfully denies to appear before a cheque bounce case, the aggrieved party suffers. But Bangladeshi court facilitates trail in absentia. This should be allowed in India, especially in cheque bounce cases, Mr. Tharoor says.

In France, a person who is declared offender in cheque bounce cases, he cannot write cheques for five years and a central register maintains the list, he says adding that such provisions are missing in the Bill.

The third suggestion is puts forth is on fast track courts for cheque bounce cases.

We are not voting against the Bill. It could have been better Bill. I will be happy if the Bill is amended, he says.

Rajya  Sabha | 2:23 pm

Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma explains the salient feature of the Ancient Monument amendment Bill. It fails to cut ice. Opposition insists on sending it to Select Committee.

Congress member Anand Sharma and Vice President discuss keeping the rule book in their hands.

The Bill is referred to Select Committee.

Lok  Sabha | 2:20 pm

What will be amended in Negotiable Instruments Act?

The Bill seeks amend the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881. The Bill inserts a provision allowing a court trying an offence related to cheque bouncing, to direct the drawer (person who writes the cheque) to pay interim compensation to the complainant.

The Bill inserts a provision specifying that if a drawer convicted in a cheque bouncing case files an appeal, the appellate court may direct him to deposit a minimum of 20% of the fine or compensation awarded by the trial court during conviction. 

In case the drawer is acquitted (during trial or by the appellate court), the court will direct the complainant to return the interim compensation (or deposit in case of an appeal case), along with an interest. 

- Source: PRS

Lok  Sabha | 2:10 pm

Lok Sabha reconvenes. Deputy Speaker M. Thambi Durai is in the Chair. Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2017 is taken for discussion. Shiv Pratap Shukla, MoS Finance, introduces Bill and seeks the House to pass the Bill.

The Bill is unconstitutional Bill, says Left member A Sampath.

Shashi Tharoor initiates the discussion on the Bill. Is this version of the Bill the best we can do for the country? he asks.

Rajya Sabha | 2:00 pm

Rajya Sabha reconvenes. The Ancient Monument and Archeological Sites and Remains (Amendment) Bill, 2018 is taken up for discussion.

Congress member Jairam Ramesh says the Bill has typographical errors. Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad says certain clauses need clarification, so the Bill must be sent to Select Committee.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vijay Goel says the Bill has already been passed by Lok Sabha. "Let's discuss the Bill and take amendments," he says.

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu says Mr. Ramesh's concerns are valid. "Will it be possible to send to Select Committee and getting back within the Monsoon session?" he asks.

Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma seeks permission to convince the members to take up the Bill. He is supported by the Treasury Benches.

The Bill affects the roots of our culture. This shouldn't be taken easily, says Ambika Soni, who was previously held the Culture Minister.

Lok Sabha | 1:00 pm

Renuka Butta of YSRCP raises the issue of Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh. She claims the Centre changed the goal post from SCS to special package to special pupose vehicle. She requests the Centre to support the state.

Pappu Yadav (RJD) raises the issue of child sexual abuse in a hostel in Bihar. He demands a CBI probe.

Lok Sabha adjourned till 2:10 pm.

Rajya Sabha | 12:50 pm

While many villagers are declared open defecation free, but the practice continues, says Chhaya Verma, member from Chhattisgarh. She wants to know steps taken on corruption charges in implementing schemes to eradicate open defecation in Chhattisgarh. Minister says an inquiry will be taken up.

Rajya Sabha adjourned. To meet at 2 pm.

12:50 pm

In the meantime, Congress is planning to move motion against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for "misleading the Parliament on Rafale deal."

Lok Sabha | 12:40 pm

In Lok Sabha, Jyotiraditya Sinha raises the issue of rising rapes in the country. Pointing out the NCRB data, Mr. Scindia says over 40,000 cases of rapes have been reported.  He goes on to say how some BJP leaders were involved in some rape cases. Congress members raise slogans. Don't politicise serious issues, Speaker tells members.

Santosh Ahlawat says Kendriya Vidyalaya in her constituency doesn't have adequate rooms. Please construct rooms or allow the school to run in two shifts, she says.

Rajya Sabha | 12:30 pm

Live telecast of Rajya Sabha proceedings resume. Sloganeering continues. Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu continues with Question Hour.

Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan responds questions on human-animal conflict. Rupa Ganguly asks about tackling poaching and locals killing wildlife that stray into human habitats. Lower level staffs are being trained to tackle such instances, Dr. Harsh Vardhan says.

Lok Sabha | 12:30 pm

Zero Hour proceedings begin in Lok Sabha. TRS member Jithender Reddy thanks the Prime Minister for acknowledging the efforts of Telangana government during his speech in no-confidence motion. He requests the Centre to continue its support to the State.

Alappuzha member K.C. Venugopal raises the issue of Kerala floods. Most of the State Lok Sabha members are in Kerala now to aide in relief efforts. He wants the Centre to declare Kerala floods as national calamity.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar says the government is willing to take up a separate discussion on floods as many States are facing monsoon wrath.

Lok Sabha | 12:00 pm

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal introduces the amendments to Insolvency Code in Lok Sabha on Monday.

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal introduces the amendments to Insolvency Code in Lok Sabha on Monday.  

 

In Lok Sabha, the Zero Hour proceedings are cancelled and Bills are being introduced.

Finance Ministry In-Charge, Piyush Goyal introduces Bill to amend Insolvency Code.

BJD member Bhartruhari Mahtab opposes the introduction of Bill. Citing the recent takeover of Bhushan Steell by Tata Group, Mr. Mahtab asks what was the need for banks to take a hair cut when the steel industry is booming now.

He alleges a deep nexus between promoters, bankers and auditors in the garb of resolving bad loans. "This is only helping crony capitalism," Mr. Mahtab says.

Mr. Goyal responds. He blames the erstwhile Congress government for the "mess in banking sector." He claims the need for such a Bill would not be necessitated had the previous government took care of bad loans.

Rajya Sabha | 12:00 pm

Rajya Sabha reconvenes. Question Hour is in progress. MoS Defence Subhash Bamre answers questions pertaining to welfare measures taken for defence personnel and their families.

Members are having issues with microphones. A member repeats his question. The member says children of defence personnel are having problems in continuing their education due to frequent transfers. The Minister says building new Sainik Schools are being considered.

Members raise slogans. Vice President asks the proceedings to go ahead in-camera.

Lok Sabha | 11:50 am

Question Hour continues in the Lok Sabha. Questions on Ekalavya Schools for tribals, EPFO and employer contribution were raised.

Some BJP members want to take up privilege motion against Rahul Gandhi for his remarks during no-confidence motion.

Speaker asks members to submit papers pertaining to various members.

Lok Sabha | 11:40 am

The curious case of an 'officer'

Mallikarjun Kharge points out that an officer was counting the number of members and taking notes. This is breach of rule, he says. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan says she will look into it.

Minister Radha Mohan Singh says the officer is attached to the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry and rules permit him to be present in the Gallery. But members cry foul.

The proceedings are televised. I will look into it, the Speaker assures.

Lok Sabha | 11:35 am

How to identify a predatory journal

A member asks about spurious or predatory journals. The UGC will review and list the journals to be prescribed by August 30, says HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar. We are using a software to check plagarism in thesis, he says.

Saugata Roy (Trinamool Congress) quotes a report and asks on what basis a journal is prescribed. Without naming RSS, Prof. Roy claims the think tanks selecting journals for UGC are associated with the organisation.

Adhir Ranjan Chudhury (Congress) asks how to find out if a journal is predatory or not? A Standing Committee looks into this, Over 26,000 journals are recognised. Out of this 11,000 are recommended by global body COPUS. "We will release the full list in three months," Mr. Javadekar says.

Lok Sabha | 11:25 am

LNG usage

 

Next set of questions are on LNG fuel. Minister Dharmendra Pradhan is replying.

"Will LNG be used in rail and shipping transport?" asks a woman MP, apart from seeking infrastructure on LNG terminal. The minister applauds her question and says two terminals are coming up in Ennore near Chennai and another in eastern India. The government is also planning to expand the use of LNG as fuel for transport purpose, he says.

"Women ask the right questions," Speaker Sumitra Mahajan remarks.

Will the villagers who produce bio-methane be able to add their produce in the national grid, asks a member. We have a programme called 'Govardhan' to convert cow dung and farm waste to energy such as bio gas or LNG. We are actively considering the member's suggestion, he says.

Rajya Sabha | 11:15 am

In Rajya Sabha, Zero Hour proceedings begin. There are 15 submissions today, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu says. Members want to raise their issues first. Some seek immediate discussion. Alwar lynching is being taken up. Mr. Naidu adjourns the House till noon as the House is not in order.

Lok Sabha | 11:05 am

UGC vs HECI

Question Hour in progress in Lok Sabha on Monday.

Question Hour in progress in Lok Sabha on Monday.   | Photo Credit: Courtesy: Lok Sabha TV

 

Trinamool Congress member Sugata Bose asks why University Grants Commission is being abolished and a new institute with powers lesser than UGC is being created. He also questions the 'eminence' tag being granted to certain institutes.

Minister Prakash Javadekar elaborates how the higher education has expanded over the years and how there is a need to reform the UGC now. As far as eminence tag is considered, the minister says this is an ongoing process and more institutes will be granted in the future.

Deputy Speaker M. Thambidurai, in the capacity of AIADMK member, asks why not strengthen UGC instead of bringing a new body. He claims this is a way to take higher education in Central list even though education is a State subject. He also claims the idea was conceptualised by the UPA and being implemented by the NDA. "This is old wine in new bottle," he says.

The minister says the Bill is different from UPA's version and the funding process is only being changed.

Asaduddin Owaisi (AIMIM) says the Bill is against federalism. "States rights won't be infringed. There will be no change in reservation policy at all," Mr. Javadekar says.

Rajya Sabha | 11:05 am

In a step towards paperless proceeding, Rajya Sabha will be taking notices and questions online. The existing practice of submissions through paper will also continue. This was announced by Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu.

11:00 am

Both Houses of the parliament convene.

In Lok Sabha Question Hour begins. Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar is taking questions pertaining to his ministry.

In Rajya Sabha, Vice President reads obituary reference.

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