During this COVID 19 pandemic times, there are many new regulations, amendments, new policies, rules that are being made by the Government in its official Gazette. People rather started working from their home than going out and working at their offices. Students are trying to adapt themselves to the online-based system of education. As a consequence of these changes, there is no much communication among the people to spread the changes happening around. As the times changed, situations have also been changing. Being at home does not fully give a scope of what is happening in the outside world. This article provides with the background of the word Gazette, how crucial it is for the government of a country to have an official Gazette, the means that India has adopted to publish its official Gazette, and major notices and happenings of August which were notified in the Official Gazette, by the Government of India. It covers the legal updates of August, holistically from all the aspects, to give full scope and insight of official happenings in August.
Any Law in a democratic country like India can only prevail and is successful when it reaches to the maximum quantum of people in the country. Some laws may have more disadvantages than having advantages, in a democratic country people can come out and put forth their opinions on any particular decision that is taken by the Government.
In a very basic sense, people can judge something or come with their opinion, when they are made aware of the changes that are being brought into the society. Though there are many other means for the people to access and get the information known, all means may not provide accurate information.
For example, there are thousands of websites that provide the day to day affairs but are not trustworthy. There might be chances of them acting as a source of information for the people, where they put up wrong information to misguide the people, rather than giving the actual information. So, here comes the need to trust the sources that give information on notices directly from the Government. One of the best sources is the Gazette.
The word Gazette has been adopted from the French language, which means a legal newspaper. The term Gazette was first used in the 17th century by English-speaking and French-speaking countries, which indicated the newspaper that publishes the day to day official notices of the government. Later it has become so common that all the countries started using this word as a sobriquet for the newspapers.
In the year 1665, England came up with a public journal named “The Oxford Gazette”, by which all the legal news or notices by their government were announced or brought into public. This kind of Gazettes is also called “Government Gazette”.
In India and a few other countries, it has become a legal fundamental or essential for the governments to document the legal notices through Gazettes so that they come into force and reach the public domain.
The Gazette of India
In India, the government publishes an official gazette namely “The Gazette of India”, through which the people come to know about the amendments of the existing laws, statutory rules, statutory regulations, Governmental orders, and any new laws if made by the government.
In India, the Gazettes are of two types, namely Extraordinary Gazette and Weekly Gazette. The Weekly Gazette is published by the Government weekly, whereas the Extraordinary Gazette is issued when it is concerned or according to the need. There are four parts categorized under the Gazette of India, those are usually named as Part-1, Part-2, Part-3, and Part-4.
The gist of a few subjects that are issued under the above-mentioned parts are:
- Notifications regarding non-statutory rules, regulations, orders, resolutions issued by the ministers of Government of India.
- Notifications regarding appointments, promotions, leaves, and other related subjects.
- Notifications relating to the non-statutory orders issued by the ministry of defense in India.
- Acts, Ordinances, Regulations approved by the Government of India.
- Bills and Reports of the select committee.
- Supplements showing statistics of birth, death, etc.
In India, the publication of Government Gazette is supervised by the Ministry of Urban Development headquartered in Nirman Bhawan, New Delhi.
As time passed the importance of the Gazette has been recognized by the Government and decided to have an e-Gazette, to make it available to the public at large. Also, it is so difficult to find a particular Gazette, in printed books, when it is required. If the Gazette is in paper form, there might be chances of it getting deteriorated. So, having a glance at all these aspects the Ministry of Urban Development, GOI decided to start the electronic publication of the Gazette. The same was started by the ministry in the year 2008.
Gazette Updates of August
The following are some of the prime updates in August, notified by the Government in its Official Gazette. These give a brief and basic idea of the notices that were issued. Many changes have been brought into the statutes, foreign policies, amendments, etc. The listed updates give an idea of the changes, to the reader:
- The Ministry of Finance, on the occasion of the 125th Departure anniversary of Sri ShyamacharanLahiri Mahasaya, issued One Hundred Twenty-Five rupees commemorative coin.
It has a circular shape with a 44-millimeter diameter and 200 serrations. It has silver as the major component along with copper, Nickel, and Zinc.
- The term ShriBethalaVijayaPrakashKumar as the acting president of NCLT(National commission for Law Tribunal) has been extended for another period of one month, starting from the 5th of August, 2020. It may further be extended till the regular president will be appointed.
- The Central Government announced that the CAROTAR, Customs (Administration of Rules of Origin under Trade Agreements) Rules, 2020 is to be implemented or will come into force from 21st September 2020.
It mainly aims that the Exporter while making the trade agreement has to claim the preferential rate of duty under it.
- The Central Government constituted a National Council for Transgender persons under Section-16 of the Transgender Persons(Protection of Rights) Act, 2019.
The Chairperson of this Council would be the Union Minister from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. This council is established to look after issues relating to the transgender community.
- The president appointed Shri Rajiv Kumar, IAS(Retd.) as the Election Commissioner, as Shri Ashok Lavasa resigned from the post.
- The Central consumer protection authority, after the approval of the Central Government, has notified the Central Consumer Protection Authority (Allocation and Transaction of Business) Regulations, 2020
- The Food and Standards Authority of India has notified that new regulations are being brought by further amending the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labeling)Regulations, 2011. These regulations are called the Food and Safety (Packaging and Labeling)First Amendment Regulations,2020.
- A new amendment to the Companies(Management and Administration) Rules, 2014 has been notified by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, which can be called the Companies(Management and Administration) Amendment Rules, 2020. It says that a company need not necessarily attach its annual return extract with the Board’s report.
- It has been notified by the Ministry of Labor and Employment, that the industries dealing with the services of Foodstuff would become a Public Utility Service under the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947, for six months. Public Utility Service means any service which provides the public with basic everyday necessities.
- Ministry of Home Affairs notified that the President announced rules of Transaction of Business for the government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. These rules are called the Transaction of Business of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Rules, 2019.
These rules mainly throw focus on how the work should be allocated, work distribution among different departments, the powers given to each department, etc. This notification also defines that if there are any further suggestions regarding the notified rules, then the secretary of that particular department can personally take it to the notice of the Lieutenant Governor.
- The Ministry of Finance on the 26th of August 2020, has issued new rules to the existing Debt Recovery rules, which can be called the Debt Recovery(Procedure) Amendment Rules, 2020.
These rules say that the Tribunals involving in solving the issues related to debt recoveries are not required to hold any sittings on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays. Before the amendment was made in 2016, these tribunals held sittings on all days of the week, whereas after the 2016 amendment, the sittings were held on all days except on 2nd Saturdays.
- The Central Government has passed an order according to which a few entries regarding narcotic drugs were inserted into the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Regulation of Controlled Substances) Order, 2013. This Order is called Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Regulation of Controlled Substances) Amendment Order, 2020.
- The Comptroller and Audit General of India notified new regulations as an amendment to the existing Regulations on Audit and Accounts, 2007.
These regulations impose a duty on the CAG, to examine the validity, legality, effectiveness, efficiency of financial management, and public administration in the country.
- The Directorate General of Foreign Trade has amended the policy regarding the Personal Protective Equipment(PPE) or Masks. It was prohibited to export PPE as per the previous amendment made. Policies regarding the same were kept changing followed by the changes in January, May, and June. With this present amendment, the restrictions on the exporters are removed and set free to export all kinds of PPE including Surgical drapes, isolation aprons, surgical wraps, and X-ray gowns.
- The Government announced seven-day mourning following the death of former President Pranab Mukherjee. To mark his contribution towards the nation, the Central Government has decided that the flag would be flown half-mast in Delhi and the Capitals of all States and Union Territories.
We see that the rules in India are not fixed. To say, they keep on changing as per the
needs of the Society and to act according to the situation in the country. Being the citizens of the country, all must be aware of the changes that are being brought for the welfare of the country. The Gazette not only provides the relevant information officially but also keeps a record of the same, to refer back whenever needed. The transgender community which was never into the light before has now got a Council established to look after their issues. The need for surgical masks has now become a significant necessity, in August there, were changes made by the government regarding the export and import of the same. Along the lines, it can be concluded that the people must be made aware of the new rules, regulations, and changes in the existing ones as the growth of the country starts only when people are mindful of its welfare.
Q1 What is the Gazette?
A Gazette is the authorized legal document of a country through which the people come to know about the amendments of the existing laws, statutory rules, statutory regulations, Governmental orders, and any new laws if made by the government.
Q2 What is the difference between a “Gazette” and a “Newspaper”?
During the initial stages, when the term Gazette was newly introduced, people used the words Gazette and Newspaper interchangeably. Even, now in most countries, many newspaper publishers use the term Gazette in their title.
In India, the key difference between a Gazette and a Newspaper is that the Gazette is an official publication by the Government of India on a periodical basis, and a Newspaper is a publication of everyday updates by concerned publishers.
Q3 Can the e-Gazette issued by the Government of India, be downloaded by anyone or is it limited only to the officials?
The e-Gazette is not limited to officials, it can be downloaded by everyone through the official website of the Gazette of India, where a list of notifications, weekly and on a need basis, are found.
In this website, you can also find the categories and sub-categories under which the notifications are issued. This helps in quick finding of one particular notice.
Q4 What is it meant by Transaction of Business Rules for J&K, those are notified under the Gazette of India, in August?
These are the rules defining the business of the Government, they provide the details of allocation of work to the various departments, the distribution of work, the distribution of powers, etc.
Based on these rules, the Lieutenant Governor on the advice of Chief Minister allots the business of Government among the ministers by giving each minister one or more departments to look after.
Q5 Who can make the changes in the statues by issuing it officially in the Gazette? Is there a person in authority to specifically look after this?
Any new orders, amendments, rules, and regulations can be brought or the changes to the existing ones can be made, by the authorized person upon whom that particular Act or Statute in its provisions, is conferring the power to. The changes are made by the person to whom the Act is conferring the power. While issuing it in the Official Gazette in the form of notification, it is looked after by the Department of Publication and aris printed by the Government of India Printing Presses regularly.