After nearly a 27-year-long marathon in the Parliament, the women’s reservation bill finally sprinted its way to victory. On September 20, the Lok Sabha passed the new version of the bill–The Constitution (One Hundred and Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2008, with full unanimity. It seeks to reserve 1/3rd or 33% of all seats for women in the Lok Sabha and the state legislative assemblies. Now this momentous leap not only promises a transformed political landscape in India but also a beacon of hope for a better women representation.
454 members of the Lok Sabha supported the bill, whereas only two members opposed the bill. Here, scroll down to learn everything about the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam.
1. First Introduced In 1996
It was initially introduced in the Parliament on September 16, 1996, during the tenure of H.D. Deve Gowda-led government. The bill was again to be introduced in 2008 and was eventually passed in the Lok Sabha in 2010 but failed to succeed.
2. Reserve 1/3rd Seats For Women
Once the bill comes into force, it’ll reserve 1/3rd of all seats for women in Lok Sabha, State Assemblies, and Union Territories of NCT. That’s not it, the seats reserved for SC and ST will also have 1/3rd of their seats reserved for women.
3. Will Continue For Only Next 15 Years
The women’s reservation bill will continue its practice for the next 15 years after the commencement of the amendment act, or until the parliament decides to extend it.
4. Based On Rotational Basis
The reserved seats will be allotted on a rotation basis to different constituencies every time there’s a delimitation process.
5. Will Come In Effect After The Delimitation & Census Process
Now the bill can only come into effect after the delimitation process and a fresh census. In simpler words, it is the process of redrawing boundaries of various assemblies and Lok Sabha constituencies based on a recent census. What this means for the bill is that it’ll be a couple of years before it comes into effect.
It is important to note that the last census in India was conducted in 2011. It was supposed to take place again in 2021 but got delayed due to the pandemic. There’s no official confirmation as to when the next census will take place but many argue that it will not likely happen before 2025. This means that the bill cannot be put to work until after the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Further, according to the current legislation, the delimitation exercise can only be conducted after the first post-2026 census. This also means that the bill might not see the light of the day till 2027. However, Home Minister Amit Shah has announced that the process of delimitation and census will begin soon after the 2024 Lok Sabha polls and hinted that the bill will likely come into force after the 2029 Lok Sabha polls. However, many believe that it’ll take longer than that.
Yes, it’s a long road ahead for the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam to come into force. Still, it is a huge step towards women’s empowerment and better representation that we all have been longing for so long.
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