In the concluding part of this series, The Indian Express reporters look at five different institutions from business to culture, legislature to judiciary, and read between the headlines of this year to interpret what will make news in 2016.
2015 saw the passage of a landmark private member’s bill on rights of transgenders in the Rajya Sabha — the first time in 47 years that such a bill had cleared the House. However, for most of the year, Parliament made news for not functioning, including blocking by the Opposition of big-ticket legislation on GST and land acquisition. During the monsoon session, the Rajya Sabha showed the most efficiency when it passed six bills without any discussion, while the highlight of the winter session was a two-day commemorative sitting of both Houses to mark the birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar and the adoption of the Constitution.
Towards the end of 2015, the PM invited Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and former PM Manmohan Singh to find a compromise on the GST Bill. While a breakthrough couldn’t be reached then, the fact that a majority of the states and business and trade bodies support the GST could see it getting passed in 2016.
One thing that didn’t happen
Passage of the Right to Fair Compensation and Fair Compensation in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, now sent to a joint parliamentary committee. Some 100 MPs of 14 Opposition parties walked from Parliament to Rashtrapati Bhawan to petition the President against the bill.