Women's Reservation Bill in India
Women's Reservation Bill in India

Celebrating Progress: India Moves Towards 33% Women’s Reservation in Parliament and Assemblies

  1. Introduction:
    • The Indian government, in a significant move following the relocation to the new Parliament building, introduced the Women’s Reservation Bill in the Lok Sabha.
    • The bill proposes to grant one-third reservation to women in the lower house of Parliament, state assemblies, and the Delhi legislative assembly.
  2. Prime Minister’s Announcement:
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi made this announcement during his inaugural speech in the new Parliament.
    • He highlighted that the Union Cabinet had given its approval to this long-pending proposal.
  3. Historical Context:
    • PM Modi recalled that discussions on the Women’s Reservation Bill had persisted for many years.
    • During Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure, the bill had been introduced multiple times but had failed to secure the necessary majority for passage.
  4. Vision for Progress:
    • Prime Minister Modi expressed his determination to push this initiative forward.
    • He referred to it as the ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam’ and emphasized that it would lead to greater female representation in Parliament and state assemblies.
  5. Recognition of Women’s Contribution:
    • The Prime Minister recognized the substantial contributions made by Indian women across various domains, from sports to entrepreneurship.
    • He emphasized that the world had acknowledged India’s women-led development approach.
  6. Key Points about the Bill:
    • The ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam’ is the first bill to be introduced in the new Parliament building.
    • It aims to provide a 33 percent reservation to women in both Parliament and state assemblies.
    • However, its implementation is contingent on the completion of the delimitation exercise in India.
  7. Implementation Timeline:
    • The bill cannot be put into effect before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
    • Delimitation can only take place after the first post-2026 census, which means the bill might not become law until at least 2027.
    • Some reports suggest it might be implemented by the 2029 Lok Sabha elections.
  8. State Approval Requirement:
    • Constitutional experts highlight that after passing in both Houses of Parliament, the bill must receive approval from at least 50 percent of state assemblies.
    • This step is crucial as it impacts the rights of individual states.
  9. Reserved Seats for SC/ST Women:
    • Once the bill becomes an Act, it mandates that 33 percent of the seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the House/assembly will be allocated to women from these communities.
    • The legislation will remain in effect for 15 years, with the possibility of extension.
  10. Impact on Representation:
    • The implementation of this bill is expected to significantly increase the number of women members in Lok Sabha, potentially rising from 82 to 181, according to Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal.
  11. Seat Rotation:
    • Reserved seats for women will be subject to rotation following each delimitation exercise.
  12. Historical Context:
    • The Women’s Reservation Bill had initially been passed by the Rajya Sabha in 2010 but was not taken up in the Lok Sabha, ultimately lapsing in the lower house.

A1: The Women’s Reservation Bill in India is a legislative proposal aimed at providing one-third reservation for women in both the Parliament and state assemblies.

A2: The bill’s implementation hinges on the completion of the delimitation exercise, making it unlikely to become law before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, and possibly not until 2027 or later.

A3: If the bill is passed by both Houses of Parliament, it must also gain approval from at least 50 percent of state assemblies, as it impacts state rights. Once enacted, it will lead to increased female representation in politics and reserved seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes women.


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