Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Parliament proceedings live | Homoeopathy council bill an attempt to dilute federalism: Tiruchi Siva

Parliament proceedings live | Homoeopathy council bill an attempt to dilute federalism: Tiruchi Siva

A day after Lok Sabha passed two contentious agri bills by voice vote, the fifth day of the monsoon session of the Parliament is likely to see discussion and passing of Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws Bill and Indian Medicine Central Council Bill, among others.

The session is expected to continue as scheduled despite Ministers Nitin Gadkari and Prahlad Patel testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) after 2-3 days of attending the House.

(For a concise report on the daily going-ons in the Parliament, subscribe to our political newsletter. Subscribe here and get it in your inbox.)

Here are the latest updates:

10.55 am | Rajya Sabha

SP MP from Ram Gopal Yadav from Uttar Pradesh says that the current amendments have limited scope, and are just to extend the tenure of the Board of Governors. He says there are many diseases for which there is no cure in allopathy, but there is a cure in ayurveda. He supports the Bill.

Parliament proceedings live | Homoeopathy council bill an attempt to dilute federalism: Tiruchi Siva


DMK MP from Tamil Nadu Tiruchi Siva terms the Bill as another attempt by the government to dilute the principle of federalism. He points out that there is no representation of elected members of State Medical Councils in the advisory council.

10.50 am | Rajya Sabha

Ordinance route to be used only in case of emergency, says Prasanna Acharya

“Homoeopathy is an old Indian system of medicine and it is accessible to the poor. So we need to make it robust,” says BJP MP Prasanna Acharya from Odisha.

“My contention isthat the ordinance should be brought in only during an extraordinary situation. We have a Parliament, why do we need an ordinance,” he asks. He says he and his party supports the Bill, but there is not clear demarcation of powers and functions, and that needs to be addressed.

10.40 am | Rajya Sabha

The members are discussing both Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020 together.

NCP MP Vandan Chavan is in the Chair.

AITC MP from West Bengal Dr. Santanu Sen asks what can be expected from a government that says that drinking cow urine can cure disease. He accuses the government of promoting quackery and private colleges.

10.20 am | Rajya Sabha

BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh Dr. Sudhanshu Trivedi speaks on the Bill. He says that one of the challenges before the government was to decide how to uphold the quality of teaching and practising homoeopathy. He says that a national eligibility test has been set up for this.

Parliament proceedings live | Homoeopathy council bill an attempt to dilute federalism: Tiruchi Siva


“Some say that there is no scientific proof for homoeopathic medicines effectiveness. Homoeopathy is a strain of medicine that focusses not just on the disease but also the patient. The science behind this is not visible to us,” he says.

“For instance, two ways of combating COVID-19 are by vaccine and by boosting immunity. Methods to boost immunity are available only in Indian medicine, and not by Western medicine,” he says. It is regrettable that we did not explore Indian medicine in depth earlier, says Dr. Trivedi. He adds that the only way to become a world leader is by being a pioneer, and not a follower. He cites the time and money China has poured into exploration of their traditional medicine as an example.

10.10 am | Rajya Sabha

Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan moves the motion to take up Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020. The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in June 2019.

MP K.K. Ragesh registers his protest against the “ordinance raj”.

INC MP Ripun Bora said that the autonomy of the Homeopathy Council, and briefly describes the history of the Council. He said the government has a history of taking away autonomy (cites J&K as an example) of institutes and organisations.

Parliament proceedings live | Homoeopathy council bill an attempt to dilute federalism: Tiruchi Siva


9.55 am | Rajya Sabha

DMK MP from Tamil Nadu Tiruchi Siva says that there is unequal representation of States in Central government jobs. He asks that 90% representation be given for residents of the States.

Other points raised include digitisation of land rights, concern on privatisation of ordinance factories, rights of pensioners, the uneven implementation of Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan.

9.45 am | Rajya Sabha

BJD MP from Odisha Muzibulla Khan raises the issue of revisiting census figures in Odisha as he suspects that figures related to the minority population is inaccurate.

AIAMK MP from Tamil Nadu M. Thambidurai requests the Centre to release the pending Custom Milled Rice subsidy amount of over 5,445 crore to the State. He details the break-up of the amount, and says that the State government is a farmer-friendly government.

Congress MP from Punjab Shamsher Singh Dullo raises the issue of illicit liquor in the State and requests the Centre to intervene and investigate the illicit liquor mafia. He requests that compensation be provided for people affected by this.

9.35 am | Rajya Sabha

Rajya Sabha resumes.

Papers laid on the table. Chairman reminds the House of safety guidelines. He asks the members to avoid meeting him in his chamber in person, and instead to write to him their requests. Slips are not allowed in the the examination halls, but they are allowed here, says Chairman Venkaiah Naidu, prompting laughter.

9.15 am

Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe tests COVID positive

BJP MP from Maharashtra Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe said that he has tested positive for COVID-19. He shared the news on Twitter.

The MP said that he had tested negative on September 11, but after he suffered from mild fever and headache, he got himself examined and retested. He said that he is being treated for the virus and appealed those who interacted with him to consult a doctor.

9 am | Rajya Sabha

The Upper House has been adjourned till 9.30 a.m following obituary reference to Karnataka MP Ashok Gasti.

Ashok Gasti


Gasti, who was BJP Rajya Sabha member from Raichur, succumbed to COVID-19 at a private hospital in Bengaluru on Thursday night. He was critically ill with multi-organ failure and was on life support system in the intensive care unit.


Covering Parliament during a pandemic

Sobhana K. Nair, who is covering the proceedings from the Parliament House, writes:

What strikes you the most when you enter Parliament now is emptiness. There are no milling crowds, no chatter, and no reporters tailing parliamentarians.

Strict rules have been put in place to ensure safety. To make sure that there are no big crowds, the number of reporters has been severely limited by both Houses of Parliament. The list of news organisations that are allowed inside the Parliament premises has been trimmed. Many regional and smaller organisations are barred. On any given day, there are not more than 35 reporters allowed inside the premises. The Rajya Sabha has come up with a roster allocating different dates to each organisation. On the days one doesn’t figure in the list, one has no choice but to watch the live transmission from miles away. No photographers, except from the news agency PTI, have been provided access. No television cameras are allowed except Doordarshan, ANI, Rajya Sabha TV, and Lok Sabha TV. And these camerapersons too are allowed only up to a certain point.


Rajya Sabha

Bills for Consideration and Passing

  • Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020
  • Salaries and Allowances of Ministers (Amendment) Bill, 2020
  • Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020
  • Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2020
  • Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020

Lok Sabha

Bill for Introduction

  • Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Bill, 2020

Bills for consideration and passing

  • Bilateral Netting of Qualified Financial Contracts Bill, 2020
  • Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2020
  • Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020

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