The to commemorate his 125 Birth Anniversary

The Indian contract (Amendment) Act, 1996 amends section 28 of the Indian contract act. 1872 as it harms the interests of the consumer dealing with big corporations and causes serious hardship to those who are economically disadvantaged.

1. Keeping in view the needs and aspiration of the Urdu-speaking, people, particularly the Urdu-speaking women. It was decide that a university be set up to impart education in various disciplines including vocational and technical subjects in Urdu medium through conventional and distance education.

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Having regard to the all-India character of the university and in order to perpetuate the memory of maulana Abul Kalam azadm, it was decided to name the University as “Maulana Azad National Urdu University”.

The Act established the University with headquarters at Hyderabad.

2. The Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya act, 1996 (3 of 1997): Hindi is the official language of the Union and is a link language within the country.

Though Hindi is taught and studies in most of the Indian universities and nearly 150 universities abroad, there is no centralised institution or a Center of studies which coordinates, develops or directs programmes to meet such expectations.

With the above objects in view, it was decide to establish the Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya at Wardha.

It was proposed to be established after the name of the Nation to commemorate his 125 Birth Anniversary at Wardha because of his association with that city.

The act, inter alia, achieves the above objects.

3. The Apprentices (Amendment) Act, 1996 (4 of 1997) : The apprentices act,, 1961 provides for regulation and control or training of apprentices. In the functioning of the said Act, certain problems have been faced.

The amendments proposed in the act seek to achieve certain goals:

(i) In order to seek financial benefits from the Government, certain employers treat some departments of their establishments as separate. It was proposed to amend clause (g) of section 2 to amplify the definition of “establishment” in this regard;

(ii) The expression “worker” has not been defined in the act which has caused confusion with regard to determination of the strength of workers. A new clause (r) in section 2 was proposed to be inserted;

(iii) In cases, where the contract of the apprenticeship has been terminated before the expiry of the period of apprenticeship and a contract of apprenticeship has been entered into with a new employer and the contract of the apprenticeship could not be completed with the previous employer because of lapse on the part of such employer, it was proposed to provide that the period of apprenticeship training undergone with the previous employer shall be deemed to be included in period of apprenticeship training to be undertaken with the new employer. A new sub-section (4) was proposed to be inserted in section 7 for the purpose;

(iv) Sub-section (3) of section 8 was proposed to be amended for providing some measure of flexibility in the engagement of apprentices keeping in view with the potentiality and availability of training facilities with individual employers;

(v) Since industry is the ultimate beneficiary of the training through apprentices, it was proposed to amend sub-section (8) of section 9 to provide that industry should increasingly bear training cost of apprentices;

(vi) In order to improve the quality of apprenticeship training section 11 was proposed to be amended so that the qualifications of the instructional staff might be as prescribed;

(vii) Section 31 was proposed to be amended in order to enhance the amount of penalty which may be imposed;

(viii) Section 33 was proposed to be amended to provide than an officer of the rank of the Deputy Apprenticeship Adviser or above shall be competent to make a complaint before the court about an offence. The Act seeks to achieve the above objectives.

(5) The Companies (Amendment) Act, 1996 (5 of 1997): In 1977, Government appointed a Committee for the amendment of the Companies Act, 1956 and the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969, popularly known as the Sacker Committee.

Some of the recommendations of the Sachar Committee led to the Companies (Amendment) Acts of 1985 and 1988. However, while considering the proposals which led to the enactment of the Companies (Amendment) Act, 1988, a decision was taken by Government for a comprehensive review of the existing law.

Accordingly, the Companies Bill, 1993 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on 14 May 1993.

The Bill has not yet been taken up for consideration. In view of suggestions from the different forums the Government feels that the Bill would require comprehensive revision keeping in view the changes which have taken place in the capital market, operation of corporate sector and liberalization policies.

For this purpose and having due regard to the statement made on 22 July 1996 in Parliament, the Government has set up a working group to revise the Act.

Since this process would take considerable time for completion, the principal Act to be amended, inter, is as follows: (I) to provide protection to the depositors; (ii) to provide protection to employees’ interest in case of winding up of a company; (iii) to simplify some procedural and legal requirements in the interest of the corporate sector.

(6) The Special Court (Trial of Offences Relating to Transactions in Securities) Amendment Act, 1997 (6 of 1997): The Special Court (Trial of Offences Relating to Transactions in Securities) Act, 1992 was enacted on 6 June 1992 to provide for the establishment of a Special Court for the trial of offences relating to transactions in securities and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Section 5 of the Act confers power upon the Central Government to establish a Court called the Special Court consisting of a sitting Judge of the High Court nominated by the Chief Justice of the High Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the Special Court is situated, with the concurrence of the Chief Justice of India.

The Central Government established at Mumbai in June 1992 a Special Court consisting of a sitting Judge of the Bombay High Court, Justice S.N. Variava, for dealing with the cases under the aforesaid Act Since establishment of the Special Court in 1992 about 2,910 matters have been filed before the Special Court.

In addition, the Central Bureau of Investigation have also registered 70 cases relating to irregularities in transactions of securities and in 18 cases charge-sheets have been filed in the Special Court.

In order to expedite disposal of cases pending in the Special Court, it has become necessary to appoint additional Judges in the Special court.

As Parliament was not in session, the President promulgated on 16 January 1997 the Special Court (Trial of Offences Relating to Transactions in Securities) Amendment Ordinance, 1997 (Ord. 6 of 1997) to provide for appointment of additional Judges in the Special Court and also to provide for assignment of cases amongst them. The Act replaces the said Ordinance.

(7) The Depositories Related Laws (Amendment) Act, 1997 ( 8 of 1997): The Depositories Act, 1996 provides, inter alia, fora legal framework for the establishment of depositors for dealing in securities. However the said Act allows only securities of companies to be dealt in a depository mode.

The securities of statutory bodies like the Industrial Development Bank of India, Unit Trust of India, State Bank of India and other banks established under the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Act, 1970 and the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Act 1980 could not be dealt with in a depository mode.

In order to remove this lacuna and also to give effect to certain consequential changes, the Depositories Related Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 1997 was promulgated on 15 January 1997 amending the Depositories Act, 1996, the Companies Act, 1964, the State Bank of India Act, 1955.

The Act replaces the said Ordinance.

(8) The Income-tax (Amendment) Act, 1997 (14 of 1997): The Finance Act, 1995 introduced a new Chapter XIV-B in the Income- tax Act, 1961 so as to provide a new scheme of assessment of undisclosed income determined in respect of searches initiated on or after 1 July 1995.

Under this scheme the undisclosed income detected as a result of search initiated after 30 June 1995 was assessed separately as the income of a block period which consists of a period of ten previous years prior to the previous year in which the search was conducted and also the period of current previous years up to the date of search.

The undisclosed income was taxed at a flat rate of 60 per cent and no penalty under sections 271 (1) (c), 271A or 271B or interest under sections 234A, 234B or 234C was liveable.

It was also provided that the order of assessment for the block period had to be passed within one year from the end of the month in which the last of the search authorizations was executed.

In order to enhance the deterrent effect of searches and to enable better assessment of such cases, it was proposed to amend the provisions of Chapter XIV-B by an Ordinance.

The Finance (No. 2) Act, 1996, amended the provisions of section 80G of the Income-tax Act by inserting clause in sub-section (2) so as to provide for 100 percent deductions made to the funds established by the State Governments to provide medical relief to the poor.

Similar benefit was proposed to be extended to the National Illness Assistant Fund constituted by the Central Government.

Any amount of donation to this fund would be eligible for 100 percent deduction from the total income of the donor at the time of computation of his total income.

Under the provisions of section 54EA of the Income-tax Act, 1961, long-term capital gains were exempt from Income tax, if the whole or any part of the net sale consideration was invested in bonds, debentures or units of any mutual funds.

However, investment in shares did not qualify for exemption from long-term capital gains under section 54EA. To inject liquidity into the capital market it was proposed to include shares of a public company in the list of securities, investment in which would qualify for exemption under section 54EA.

Whereas, Parliament was not in session and the amendment to the amendment to the provisions of the Income tax Act as mentioned above were to be carried out immediately, the Income-tax (Second Amendment) Ordinance 1996 (Ord. 32 of 1996) was promulgated by the President on 31 December 1996.

The act replaces the said Ordinance.

(9) The Port Laws (Amendment) Act, 1997 (15 of 1997): There are eleven major ports in the country, six on the west coast (Kandla, Bombay, Jawaharla! Nehru Port, Marmugao, New Mangalore and Cochin) and five on east coast (Calcutta including Haidia, Paradip, Vieakhapatnam, Chennai and Tuticorin) which are administered by the Port Trust under the control of Central Government.

Over 90 per cent of India’s sea trade moves through the 11 major ports. The traffic being handled at the major ports has been increasing steadily over the years.

On the conservative estimate of cumulative growth of nine per cent per annum in terms of traffic, our ports would need to be capable of handling traffic of approximately 850 MT by 2012.

This would call for 300 to 400 additional berths to handle cargo of different kinds. The creation of additional port capacity of this order at the current costs would require an investment of over Rs 40,000 crore.

Projections made by the Ministry of Surface Transport indicate that not more than Rs 10,000 to Rs 12, 000 crore would be available from plan funds and the internal resources of the ports for investment in port development and the balance would have to come from the private sector or the capital market.

Recently the Government had laid down guidelines for private-sector participation in the major ports.

Therefore, it was felt that there should be a regulatory authority for determining the various rates and charges for services rendered both by the major ports and private providers of port facilities in order to provide a measure of transparency in the charges collected at major ports.

And private providers of port facilities in order to provide a measure of transparency in the charges collected at major ports.

The President accordingly promulgated the Port Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 1997 (ord 1 of 1097) on 9 January 1997 to amend the Indian ports Act, 1908 (15 of 1908) and the major ports trusts Act, 1963 (38 of 1963) to enable the central Government to set up a tariff authority for major ports.

The Authority shall fix the various port charges both vessel-related, and cargo related hitherto being fixed by the various port Trust Boards with the approval of the central Government.

The Authority shall also be vested with the power to fix the rates/charges to be collected by private provider of port facilities.

The Act relaxes the ordience.

(10) The National Highways Laws (Amendment) Act, 1997 (16 of 1997): The National Highways Authority of India Act, 1988 was amended so as to provide that the National Highways Authority of India ‘may seek the participation of the Private Sector in respect of the highways vests in the Authority.

In order to provide adequate capital and loans to the National Highways Authority of India by the central Government, it was proposed to make amendments in the National Highways Authority of India ACT, 1988.

The National Highways laws (Amendment) ordinance, 1997 (Ord. 9 of 1997) was promulgated by the president on 24 January 1997.

The Act replaces the aforesaid ordinance.

Lalit Kala Akademi (Taking over of Management) Act, 1997 (17. of 1997): The Goverment of India in 1988 set up a committee under the chairmanship of Shri P. N. Hasker to go into the functioning of National Academies and to recommend structural and other changes that may be necessary for the purposeful functioning of the General council, Executive Board and Electoral College.

Despite prolonged consultations for some years by the Department of culture, the Lalit Kala Academy did not accept some of the more impartment recommendations of the Haspar committee although the other two Academies have.

As serious difficulties had arisen with regard to the management of the Lalit Kala Academy and as any delay in taking the necessary remedial action would have been highly detrimental to the interests and objectives to take over its management for a limited period.

The Act replaces the said Ordinance.

The National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (Amendment) Act, 1997 (18 of 19S7): The Government of India has been implementing special schemes for the liberation and rehabilitation of Safai Karamacharis and their dependants, besides the various other steps taken for their social, economic and educational uplift.

The original target was to end the obnoxious practice of manual scavenging by the end of the Eighth Five Year Plan.

But the task could not be completed due to the tardy progress in most of the states; it was proposed to end this practice, a stigma on our social fabric, by the end of Ninth Five Year Plan.

As there was no separate agency at the Central level to study, evaluate and monitor the schemes for liberation and rehabilitation of Safai Karmcharis, the National Commission for Safai Karamacharis was constituted in the year 1993 as a body are the national level under the national Commission for Safai Karamacharis Ad 1993.

The said Act was to expire on 1 April 1997. The functioning of the Commission during the previous three years was appreciable in terms of their set goals and objectives.

Since the task of putting an end to manual scavenging was to be completed by the end of the Ninth Five Year Plan, it was proposed to extend the operation on the Act till 31 March 20002.

The National Environment Appellate Authority Act, 1997 (22 of 1997): Clause (v) of sub section (2) of section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (29 of 1986) empowers the Central Government to impose restrictions in the areas in which any industries, operations or process or class of industries, operations or processes shall not be carried out or shall be carried out subject to certain safeguards.

In view of recent pronouncements by the Supreme Court in certain public-interest litigation cases involving environmental issues, it was considered necessary to set up an independent body for quick redressal of public grievances.

Consequently, an Ordinance was promulgated providing for the establishment of a National Environment Appellate Authority to deal with petitions, complaints, representations or appeals against the grant of environmental clearance to projects.

The Act replaces the said Ordinance.

The Reserve Bank of India (Amendment) Act, 1997 (23 of 1997): The Joint Parliamentary Committee which enquired into the irregularities in securities and banking transactions had recommended that the Government examine whether the legislative framework for regulating NBFCs is sufficiently wide.

The Working Group on Financial Companies appointed by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) under the Chairmanship of Dr. A.C. Shah had suggested regulatory and control measures to ensure the healthy growth and operations of these companies.

The Reserve Bank of India (Amendment) Ordinance, 1997, to further amend the Reserve Bank of India Act, provides several safeguards for the NBFCs so as to ensure their viability.

These include compulsory registration of the NBFCs with Reserve Bank of India (RBI); stipulation of minimum net-owned funds requirement, creation of reserve fund and transfer of a certain percentage of profits every year to the fund and prescription of liquidity requirement.

RBI has also been vested with powers to issue guidelines encompassing aspects such as income recognition, accounting standards, provision for bad and doubtful debts, capital adequacy, etc., which are intended to ensure sound and healthy operations and the quality of assets of these companies.

RBI has also been empowered to issue directions to the auditors of NBFCs, to order special audit of NBFCs, prohibit acceptance of deposit by NBFCs, and to make application for winding up of NBFCs.

Whereas earlier the only recourse available to the depositor was to approach the Court of Law redressal of grievances, powers have been vested with the Company Law Board for directing the defaulting NBFCs to make repayment of the deposit/interest with a view to protecting the interests of the depositors.

The incorporated bodies have been totally prohibited from accepting deposits for purposes other than for personal use.

However, unincorporated bodies, partnership firms and Individuals have been allowed to accept loans and deposits for their legitimate business activities.

They have been permitted to continue to take deposits after incorporating themselves within the regulatory framework. The unincorporated bodies have also been specifically prohibited from issuing any advertisements in any form.

There were reports of several finance companies and unincorporated bodies having failed to repay the deposits collected from unsuspecting depositors who have been tempted by the attractive returns and incentives offered.

Concern has been expressed in several quarters on the need to take urgent steps to regulate the activities of such companies and unincorporated bodies.

As Parliament was not in session the President promulgated the Reserve Bank of India (Amendment) Ordinance, 1S97 (Ord. 2 of 1097) on 9 January 1997.

The Act replaces the above Ordinance.

(15) The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1897(24 of 1397): In the context of the National Telecom Policy, 1994 which, while stressing, amongst others, the need to achieve universal services, seeks to bring the quality of telecom services on par with world standards.

To provide for a wide range of services to meet customers’ demands at reasonable prices and to provide for participation of companies registered in India in the area of basic as well as value-added services.

To arrange for the protection and promotion of consumers’ interest and to ensure fair competition, it was felt necessary to separate the regulatory functions from the service-providing functions which will be in keeping with the general trends in the world.

In the multi-operator situation, arising out of the opening of basic as well as value-added services in which private operators will be competing with the Government operators.

There was a pressing need for an independent telecom regulatory body for regulation of telecom services and the orderly and healthy growth of the Telecommunications infrastructure, besides the protection of interests of the consumers.

Earlier, it was proposed to set up an independent Telecom Regulatory Authority as a non-statutory body and for that purpose the Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Bill, 1995 was introduced and then passed by the Lok Sabha on 6 August 1995.

At the time of consideration of the Bill in the Raiya Sabha, the Members of that House expressed the view that steps should be taken to set up a statutory authority. Similar views were also expressed by the Standing Committee on Communications.

To achieve the aforesaid object, a comprehensive Bill, namely, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, 1995 was prepared and notice for introduction was sent to the Lok Sabha but the same could not be introduced.

Subsequently, on 27 January 1996 the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Ordinance, 1996 (Ord. 10 of 1996) was promulgated with a view to conferring statutory status on the Telecom Regulator/ Authority.

A Bill to replace the said Ordinance was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 27 February 1996. The same could not come up for consideration and passing in the 16th session of the Lok Sabha.

Consequently, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Second) Ordinance, 1996 was promulgated on 27 March 1996.

Again the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Second) Ordinance, 1996 (Ord. 20 of 1996) lapsed on 4 July 1998. Later on the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Bill, 1996 was introduced on 23 July 1996.

This Bill was referred to the Standing Committee was tabled in both Houses of Parliament in November 1996.

The Government, after considering the report, decided to set up the authority on the lines of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Bill, 1996 incorporating therein suggestion of the Standing Committee with modifications and in certain cases without modifications.

As the Parliament was not in session and the President was satisfied that circumstances existed which rendered it necessary for him to take immediate action, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Ordinance, 1997 (Ord. 11 of 1997) was promulgated on 25 January 1997.

The salient features of the Act which replaces the said Ordinance are as follows:

(i) The Authority shall consist of a Chairperson and a minimum of two and a maximum of six members;

(ii) A person who is or has been a Judge of the Supreme Court or who is or has been the Chief Justice of a High Court shall be eligible to be appointed Chairperson of the Authority;

(iii) The members shall be persons of ability with varied experience in public-utility services who have special knowledge of and professional experience in the field of telecommunications, industry, finance, accountancy, law management and consumer affairs. No appointment of a person possessing qualifications as specified above, shall be made as a member from amongst employees of the Government unless such person has held the post in the Central or State Governments for a period of not less than three years;

(iv) The powers and functions of the Authority, inter, are to

(a) Recommend the need and timing for introduction of a new service- provider;

(b) Recommend the terms and conditions of the licence to a service-provider;

(c) Ensure technical compatibility and effective interconnection between different service- providers;

(d) Regulate arrangements of sharing of revenue derived from providing telecommunication services amongst service- providers:

(e) Recommend revocation of licence for non-compliance of terms and conditions of licence;

(f) Ensure compliance of terms and conditions of licence;

(g) Protect the interests of customers of telecommunication service;

(h) Settle disputes between service-providers;

(i) Fix rates for providing telecommunication services within India and outside India;

(j) Ensure effective compliance of universal service obligations:

(k) Monitor the quality of service and conduct periodical survey of such services provided by the service-providers; and

(l) Inspect the equipment used in the network and recommend the type of equipment to be used by the service- provider.

The Authority shall have an in-built dispute settlement mechanism including procedure to be followed in this regard as well as a scheme of punishment in the event of non-compliance of its orders.

The Authority will have to maintain transparency while exercising its powers and functions.

The powers and functions would enable the Authority to perform the role of watchdog for the telecom sector in an effective manner.

In order that the Authority may function in a truly independent manner and discharge its assigned responsibilities effectively, it is proposed to vest the authority with statutory status.

(16) The rice Milling industry (Regulation) Repeal Act, 1997 (28 of 1997): The Rice Milling Industry (Regulation) Act, 1958 was enacted to regulate the establishment of rice mills in the country for ensuring adequate supply of rice and to ensure that rice mills both then existing and new are equipped with and use modern technology.

Government was monitoring the progress of setting up and modernization of rice mills in the country and It. was found that the broad objectives of enacting the Rice Milling Industry (Regulation) Act, 1958 had been achieved as the number of modern rice mills had gone up from practically nil in 1970 to 34,163 as on 1 January 1996.

It was estimated that nearly sixty-five per cent of the total paddy produced in the country is processed in modem rice mills.

Besides, most of the commercial rice milliards in the country are now aware of the advantages of setting up modern rice mills and of modernizing their old units which had been yielding high percentages of broken and inferior quality by-products.

Considering the above-mentioned facts and in the context of the liberalized investment environment of the country, it became necessary to repeal the Rice Milling Industry (Regulation) Act, 1953.

This Act achieves the aforesaid objects.

(17) The Seamen’s Provident Fund (Amendment) Act, 1997 (29 of 1997): The Seamen’s Provident Fund Act, 1966 provides for the institution of a provident fund for Seamen.

Certain difficulties have been experienced in the implementation of the provisions of the Act. In order to remove these difficulties it was proposed to amend the Act as follows:

(i) It was proposed to amend the definition of ‘seamen’, to include certain categories of persons (hitherto excluded) within the? Aid definition;

(ii) It was proposed to amend section 4 to provide for the money received in the Fund to be deposited in any nationalized bank:

(iii) Section 7 (relating to employment of employees of the Board) was proposed to amend to provide for functional streamlining of such employment;

(iv) Section 8 was proposed to be amended to facilitate fixing of rate of contribution by the employer, as may be specified in the scheme;

(v) Sub-section (1) of section 16 was proposed to be amended to provide for enhanced punishment for contravention of the provisions of that sub­section; and

(vi) The Act achieves the above objects.

(18) The Vice-President’s Pension Act, 1997 (30 of 1997) : The salary and allowances and other facilities admissible to the Vice- President, being also the Chairman of the Council of States, are governed by the Salary and Allowances of Officers of Parliament Act, 1953.

That said Act does not contain any provision for payment of pension to a retired Vice-President. Like the President, who is the Head of the State, the Vice-President who holds a high office is also a high dignitary.

It is; therefore, felt that when a retired President is allowed pension and other privileges, it would be proper that a retired Vice- President also gets suitable pension and other privileges, so that after demitting his office he is able to maintain a reasonable standard of life befitting the high office held by him.

(I9) The Dock Workers (Regulation of Employment) Inapplicability to Major Ports Act, 1997 (31 of 1997): The cargo-handling operations on board of the vessel are carried out by dock workers and the employment of such workers Is regulated by the Dock Workers (Regulation of Employment) Act, 1948 (No. 9 of 1948).

The other operations on the shore are carried out by shore workers of the Port Trusts. Out of the eleven major ports in the country, Dock Labour Boards were set up at seven major ports under the said principal Act.

This arrangement of separate cargo- handling labour has led to certain disadvantages like different sets of labour with different service conditions under different statutory bodies, leading to water-tight compartments with no interchange ability.

As a result, while one set of labour may be idle, there may be shortage in the set or labour and vice versa. It has become difficult to have optimum and economical use of available manpower on port.

A number of committees were set up by the Department to look into the need for co-ordination of cargo handling labour in major ports. Ali the committees recommended integration of cargo handling labour by a single agency, i.e., Port Trust.

In view of the above, it was proposed that from such date as may be specified by notification.

The Central Government shall direct that the provisions of the Dock Workers (Regulation of Employment) Act, 1943 shall cease to have effect In relation to a major pert specified in the said notification and on the said date only after a settlement is arrived at between the Dock Labour Board of any major port.

Its workmen and the management of that major port, in accordance with provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.

The act achieves the aforesaid objectives.

(20) The Indira Gandhi National Open University (Amendment) Act, 1997 (32 of 1997): The Indira Gandhi National Open University Act, 1985 was enacted to establish and incorporate an open university at the national level for the introduction and promotion of open university and distance education systems in the educational pattern of the country.

During the last few years, IGNOU received a number of offers from countries like the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Mauritius and Seychelles to undertake their academic programmes in those countries.

Such programmes are to be conducted by the University through its Study Centres. Such Centres are to be established, maintained or recognized by the University within the existing institution.

Sub-section (2) of section 3 of the above-mentioned Act provides that the headquarters of the University Shall be at Delhi and it may establish or maintain colleges, Regional Centres and Study Centres at such other places in India as it may deem fit.

In view of the limitations stipulated by the aforesaid provision of the Act, it is not possible for of the limitations stipulated by the aforesaid provision of the Act, it is not possible for the University to extend its programmes abroad.

This Act, therefore, amended the said Act suitably so as to enable the University, with the prior approval of the Visitor, to establish Study Centres outside India and conduct its academic programmes through the distance mode in countries outside India.

The Election Commission of India, in February 1997, suggested that the security deposit for elections to the offices of the President and Vice-President might be enhanced.

The Government decided, after considering the suggestion, to enhance the security deposits to rupees fifteen thousand.

It also decided to increase the minimum number of proposes and secondary to fifty each in respect of election to the office of the President and twenty each in respect of election to the office of Vice- President.

As Parliament was not in session and the notification for Presidential election was to be issued in June 1997, an Ordinance was promulgated in 1997.