The four bills — the Inter-Services Organisations (Command, Control and Discipline) Bill, the Indian Institutes of Management (Amendment) Bill, National Dental Commission Bill and the National Nursing and Midwifery Commission Bill — were passed by voice vote in a matter of three-and-a-half hours, with only BJP and parties like BJD, AIADMK, TDP, YSRCP and TMC (M) participating in the discussions. Each of these smaller parties supported the bill, though the individual MPs did raise some concerns or made certain suggestions.
Replying to the debate on the inter-services organisation bill in RS, defence minister Rajnath Singh noted that warfare was no longer conventional and had turned technology and network-centric.
He said though it was still premature to talk about theaterisation, “I can assure that when theaterisation happens, this Act will apply to the theatre command with the issue of a mere notification”..
Responding to YSRCP MP Vijaysai Reddy’s concerns regarding low defence spending by India, Singh underlined that financial resources can never be a hurdle to India’s defence and security. “If need be, we can raise our defence spend to 4-5% our GDP,” he stated.
The IIM (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to strengthen the governance and oversight of the elite management institutions while preserving their academic autonomy, was also passed by voice vote after a short discussion. Replying to a debate on the bill in Rajya Sabha, education minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the government has no intention to take away the academic accountability from the institute and that the bill will only ensure its management accountability.
Later, a joint discussion was held on two bills moved by health minister Mansukh Mandaviya. The National Dental Commission Bill seeks to repeal the Dentists Act, 1948 and constitute the National Dental Commission, Dental Advisory Council and three autonomous boards for regulating dental education and standards of dentistry. The second bill, the National Nursing and Midwifery Commission Bill, seeks to regulate and maintain the standards of education and services for nursing and midwifery professionals.