Citizenship Bill: Rajya Sabha approved the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill on December11, thus the legislative procedure of giving Indian citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh was completed. Home Minister Amit Shah said in the debate on the bill that the legislation seeks to provide citizenship to persecuted minorities in the three countries and not take away the citizenship of anyone. He rejected the Opposition charge that the bill was against Muslims. The Bill was passed with 125 votes in favour and 105 against it. Besides BJP, its allies such as JD-U and SAD, the legislation was supported by AIADMK, BJD, TDP and YSR-Congress.
PSLV-C48: India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C48, successfully placed India’s latest spy satellite RISAT-2BR1 and nine other foreign satellites in their designated Orbits. The rocket blasted off at 1525 hrs IST (3:25 pm) from the First Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota, on December 11.
The Personal Data Protection Bill: The Personal Data Protection Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 11, and referred to a Joint Select Committee following a voice vote. Introducing the Bill, Ravi Shankar Prasad, electronics and information technology minister, said, “Though a lot of discussions went into formulating the Bill, we want Parliament to discuss this too. Hence, we have decided that a Joint Select Committee (JSC) of both houses of Parliament should look at it.”
Metro Car Shed: Maharashtra government today set up a committee to identify alternative land for the Metro car shed whose construction in the city’s green lung Aarey Colony was stayed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray last month. The four-member panel, to be headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Finance), will also investigate if due procedure was followed in chopping 2100 trees in the colony in October, said a state government order.
IFSCs: The Lok Sabha on December 11 passed a bill to set up a unified authority for regulating all financial activities in international financial services centres (IFSCs) in the country. The unified authority will act as a single platform for regulating various financial activities in the IFSC. All the laws of the land, including the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, will be applied and the unified authority which will be independent would be subjected to audit by the CVC and the CAG.
GST: The goods and services tax (GST) rates and slabs may be raised next week.during the GST Council meeting due to the pressure on revenue collection. The all-powerful GST Council, headed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, is set to meet on December 18 in the backdrop of lower-than-expected GST collection and pending compensation to many states.
Person of the year: Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who began a global movement by skipping school and demanding action on climate change, angrily charging ‘How Dare You’ at the world’s most powerful leaders during the UN Climate Summit for their inaction, was today declared as Time magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year.