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While our nation is occupied with the ravages of the Farm Bill of 2020, very few are aware of the miscellaneous bills that have been passed or are pending approval since 2019. The Farm Bill has brought the legislative process and its ramifications to the forefront, as the nation discusses and deliberates the nuances of the recently introduced legislation. However, we tend to overlook many other bills pertaining to the multiplicity of fronts that the Indian Government focuses on.

It is imperative that we, as dutiful citizens of the nation, acknowledge and laud the judicial system for its efforts at improving India’s status quo. Simultaneously, minimal knowledge of the bills that have been successfully passed or are pending approval facilitates the smooth functioning of our democracy. After all, democracy, in its most rudimentary form, stands for ‘the government of the people, by the people, for the people’. Hence, it is crucial for us, as watchdogs of democracy, to be aware of the recent developments on the diverse fronts undertaken by the government.

It is interesting to note that the Indian Constitution is the longest in comparison to any other sovereign nation. This bears proof of our judicial system’s willingness to adapt to the changing times. The Indian Constitution has had 104 amendments, as of January 2020, making it one of the most evolving constitutions globally. Adhering to passe and outdated rules can often cause a country to regress. Case in point, several Indian-origin doctors choose to make a move to America or Europe, due to the expansive scope of opportunities offered there in comparison to the rather outdated rules mandated by the Medical Council of India (MCI).

The recently formed National Medical Commission (NMC) has managed to overcome many an obstacle that plagued the medical sector of India through the introduction of its NMC Bill of 2020. What the Indian Medical Council failed to do; the National Medical Commission has single-handedly managed to achieve. At the time of its inauguration, the Medical Council of India was overseeing the wellbeing of a population of 40 crores, which is nearly 96 crores less than our current population. It naturally follows that amendments to the rules of MCI ought to change manifold, keeping up with the evolving population. The NMC Bill of 2020 is one of the plethora of bills that have been introduced in the past two years, which have often missed mass attention owing to language barriers and other miscellaneous reasons.

The Finance Minister of India, Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman has recently lauded the introduction of the National Nursing and Midwifery Commission (NNMC) which has been formed with the goal to ensure high-quality neo-natal and maternity care along with proper education at par with international standards for the nurses and midwives of the nation. The Bill promises to fulfill these few primary goals in the future-

  • Timely regulation and quality maintenance of basic standards of education as well as services by the country’s diverse nursing and midwifery professionals
  • A thorough assessment of various medical and healthcare institutions of the country
  • Proper maintenance of a Central Register and State Register system for better record-keeping
  • Crafting a comprehensive system to develop access, research, development, and adoption of several latest scientific advancements.

The Budget of 2021 has heralded amplified opportunities for advancements in the Healthcare Sector and the new bill is no less than a cherry on the top.

Bills have been introduced in several areas such as Agriculture and Rural Development, Environment and Infrastructure, Health, Education, and Social Welfare, and so on. Here’s a list of bills in the Health Sector and their statuses (barring the aforementioned NMC Bill of 2020)-

  • The National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2020

Status: Pending

  • The National Nursing and Midwifery Commission Bill, 2020

Status: Pending

  • The Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2020

Status: Pending

  • The Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Bill, 2020

Status: Passed

  • The National Commission for Homoeopathy Bill, 2019

Status: Passed

  • The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2019

Status: Passed

  • The National Medical Commission Bill, 2019

Status: Passed

  • The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019

Status: Pending

Here’s a list of bills in the Education Sector and their statuses-

  • The Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Bill, 2020

Status: Passed

  • The Central Sanskrit Universities Bill, 2019

Status: Passed

Additionally, July 2020 witnessed the introduction of the New Education Policy (NEP). The new policy, which has caused quite a stir among the masses, essentially aims at the universalization of education beginning from pre-school up to the secondary level. This diverse range of bills, laws, and policies is a testimony to the adapting Indian Constitution that makes room for change with changing times. As Indian citizens, we must be aware and in turn, make others aware of our rights granted by the continually formed and amended laws.

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