Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the minimum age of marriage for females and boys would be equalised in 2020 during his address from the Red Fort.
Two important reform bills were passed by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday. The first significant advancement concerns the age at which girls can marry. A law has been passed by the cabinet to make the minimum age of marriage for both boys and girls the same, which is 21 years. If this regulation is adopted, the minimum age for females of all religions and social groups to marry will change. A bill relating to election reforms was also approved at the same time. If this bill is passed by Parliament, new voters will have more opportunities to register if the voter ID is linked to the Aadhar card. Both of these bills are expected to be introduced during the current Parliamentary session. Both of these reforms are revolutionary in their own right. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the minimum age of marriage for females and boys would be equalised in 2020 during his address from the Red Fort. At the same time, the Election Commission has been raising the issue of electoral changes for a long time.
Recommendation to apply to all religions equally, with four laws amended
Under the chairperson of Jaya Jaitley, a task force was formed to look into the minimum age of marriage for girls, and its report was given to NITI Aayog in December last year. The task team had proposed a comprehensive plan to raise the age of marriage for females to 21 years old, with a strong suggestion that it be implemented across the country uniformly. This is the second significant marriage change introduced by the Modi government, and it will apply to people of all faiths equally. Previously, a major move was done to register NRI weddings within 30 days.
The task force’s report is due in December 2020.
Eminent intellectuals, legal experts, and leaders of civil society organisations from across the country were consulted by the 10-member task team. The government was given a copy of the report. After communicating directly with women representatives throughout the country via webinar, the report was submitted to the government in the last week of December.
Modification to the marriage law was passed in 1978.
The task team has proposed changes to four legislation in order to retain the marriage age at 21 years. The last time the minimum age for girls was raised was in 1978, when the Sharda Act 1929 was amended to raise the age from 15 to 18.
Between the ages of 18 and 21, 16 crore girls marry.
Every year, 1.5 million girls under the age of 18 get married in India, according to UNICEF. According to the Census Registrar General, there are around 16 crore married girls in the country between the ages of 18 and 21.
The linking of Aadhar numbers would now be voluntary. EC
To make voting records more transparent and reliable, the Election Commission proposed connecting voter ID with Aadhaar. It will also aid in the identification of bogus voters and individuals who have registered in more than one location on the voter registry. The Election Commission plans to allow migrant workers to vote in the cities where they live, and this will happen.
This will also be a significant step toward One Nation, One Data. By altering the Representation of the People Act, the bill would also include a provision that will allow youngsters who turn 18 after January 1 to register to vote four times per year. They have only had this opportunity once until now.