President Ram Nath Kovind accorded approval to six key state Bills, including one which allows setting up of an AYUSH university at Kurukshetra in Haryana. The officials from the Home Ministry said that two of these Bills are from Congress-ruled Karnataka, one each from BJP-ruled Haryana, Jharkhand and Gujarat and one from Left-ruled Kerala. As per the ministry officials, the Bills were sent to the President’s secretariat after consultations with all the stakeholders, according to a report by The Indian Express. As per the report, two of the Bills from Karnataka include Minimum Wages (Karnataka Amendment Bill), 2017 which provides for better wages to labour from 23 industries, and Karnataka Maritime Board Bill, 2015 which proposes to set up a board that will come up with ideas to initiate development projects at ports.
The Indian Express report also added that the Bills regarding minimum wages and industrial dispute were kept on the priority to boost the labour reforms. The President also gave his assent to the Collection of Statistics (Amendment) Bill, 2017, which will enable the Centre to collect socio-economic and other statistical data from the state of Jammu and Kashmir. One of the bills approved by the President also included a Bill from Gujarat that allows under-trail prisoners to appear in the Court through video conference instead of appearing before the Court physically. The bill soughts for an amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code to undertake the above reform.
The list also includes the President approving the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017. As many as eleven lakh teachers appointed till March 2015 under the Right to Education (RTE) Act will get time till 2019 to acquire the prescribed minimum qualifications for confirming their appointments, as per the new Bill.
The department of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) was set up by the BJP government for streamlining Ayurveda and promoting education and research in it.