From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Annual Review of State Laws
Mains level : Not Much
The COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent lockdown had a huge impact on the working of the state legislatures in India. The PRS Legislative Research’s “Annual review of state laws 2020” shows that the productivity and efficacy of State legislatures are poor.
Annual Review of State Laws
- This report focuses on the legislative work performed by states in the calendar year 2020.
- It is based on data compiled from state legislature websites and state gazettes.
- It covers 19 state legislatures, including the union territory of Delhi, which together accounts for 90% of the population of the country.
Highlights of the report
(1) Sittings of states
- Compared with its average number of sitting days of 32 from 2016 to 2019, the Karnataka legislature, which is bicameral, met on 31 days last year, the highest for any State in 2020.
- The southern State was followed by Rajasthan (29 days) and Himachal Pradesh (25 days). For comparison, Parliament met for 33 days last year.
- In 2020, the average number of sitting days for the 19 States was 18, which was 11 less than the four-year (2016-19) average of 29.
- Kerala, which had the distinction of remaining at the top in the four years with an average of 53 days, had only 20 days of sittings of the legislature last year.
(2) Number of bills
- As for the number of Bills passed last year, Karnataka again topped the list with 61 Bills, followed by Tamil Nadu (42) and Uttar Pradesh (37). For this purpose, Appropriation Bills were excluded.
- Among poor performers under this category, Delhi passed only one Bill; West Bengal passed two Bills and Kerala three Bills.
(3) Time taken for passing bills
- On the duration of time taken to pass Bills, the previous year saw 59% of the Bills being passed by the legislature of the States on the day of introduction.
- A further 14% was adopted within a day of being introduced.
- Only 9% of the Bills were passed more than five days after introduction, some of which were referred to committees for further examination.