Citizenship Amendment, Personal Data Protection, J&K Reservation Bills: Check their key features

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod to  several crucial bills, including the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, the Personal Data Protection Bill, the withdrawal of Jammu And Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019, the Conversion of three Sanskrit deemed to be Universities into Central Universities etc.

Citizenship Amendment, Personal Data Protection, J&K Reservation Bills: Check their key features
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New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod to several crucial bills, including the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, the Personal Data Protection Bill, the withdrawal of Jammu And Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 and the Conversion of three Sanskrit deemed to be Universities into Central Universities Bill.

Union HRD Minister, while addressing a press briefing after the Union Cabinet meeting, said, ''The Union Cabinet today approved the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) and several other key bills which will now be introduced in the ongoing session of Parliament.'' The Union HRD Minister further informed that the Union Cabinet also gave its nod to a proposal to convert the three Sanskrit deemed to be Universities into Central Universities.

''The Union Cabinet also cleared the Personal Data Protection Bill and the withdrawal of Jammu And Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019. The Cabinet also approved land monetisation at Pragati Maidan to build a five-star hotel.'' the Union Minister added.

''After the Union Cabinet nod, the ITPO will undertake a mega project to redevelop Pragati Maidan into a world-class International Exhibition and Convention Centre,'' Javadekar said.

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Here are the key features of the bills approved by the Union Cabinet 

Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019

The bill seeks to provide Indian nationality to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists fleeing persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, said sources.

The Bill, which amends the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants in select categories eligible for citizenship, has been attacked by the opposition, minority outfits and others for leaving out Muslims and also on the ground that it is at odds with the Constitution, which does not differentiate between citizens on the basis of their faith.

The Bill has been opposed vehemently by opposition parties like Congress, Trinamool, DMK, Samajwadi Party, RJD and the Left and even regional parties like BJD have expressed reservations. The Bill has sparked resentment in the northeast, and there are indications that the government is working out a compromise intended to reassure states in the region over the implications of granting citizenship to a large number of Hindus who have come from Bangladesh over the decades.

The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018

Personal Data Protection Bill aims to lay down a framework for processing of personal and private data by public and private entities. Union Telecom and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad recently informed the Upper House that the work on Data Protection law is on progress and would be introduced very soon in Parliament.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) will move the Bill in the Cabinet. The proposed law may have a considerable impact on MNCs operating in India, whether with or without a physical presence, due to its data localisation requirements and cross-border data transfer restrictions.

The Reserve Bank of India had, in April last year, issued a data localisation directive, mandating all authorised payment system operators and banks to store payment systems data only in India. This led to various ambiguities in the requirements as well as industry pushback on the strict requirements imposed, especially by global payment companies.

Recently, data privacy came under scrutiny after it came to light that some WhatsApp users in India have been snooped by the Israel-based tech firm NSO that developed Pegasus spyware to spy on 1,400 users across the world, including 121 Indian journalists, activists. Last week, Opposition also sought the government`s reply from Prasad if the government has made unauthorised use of the spyware.

Toeing the European Union`s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the government had last year introduced a draft personal data protection bill to regulate the use of individual`s data by the government and private companies. The draft bill, titled The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018, was prepared by an expert group headed by former Supreme Court judge BN Srikrishna. 

Now there will be norms on the collection, storage and processing of personal data, consent of individuals, penalties and compensation, code of conduct and an enforcement model is likely to be a part of the law. 

Jammu And Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019

Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed by the Rajya Sabha in August this year. After the Bill is passed by both houses of Parliament, all residents of Jammu and Kashmir with income below Rs 8 lakh per annum would benefit from a 10 per cent quota.

This Bill will provide up to 10 per cent quota for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in educational institutions and public employment alongside existing reservations in the state.

The Conversion of three Sanskrit deemed-to-be-Universities into Central Universities

The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry had a proposed to convert three deemed universities imparting education in Sanskrit into central universities.

According to the Conversion of three Sanskrit deemed-to-be-Universities into Central Universities Bill, three universities - Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, New Delhi, and Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, Tirupati - will be accorded the status of central universities.

The bill aims to convert the three Deemed-to-be universities into central universities to make them a seat of Sanskrit learning of national and international repute, according to the MHRD.

(With Agency inputs)