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Union Cabinet Approves Mediation Bill, 2021 & Press & Registration of Periodicals Bill, 2023

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Union Cabinet approves recommendations of Parl panel on Mediation BillOn 19th July 2023, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the amendments to 2 key bills: The press and Registration of Periodicals Bill, 2023 and the Mediation Bill, 2021, which were re-worked to incorporate suggestions from a Parliamentary panel.

  • The amendments cleared by the union cabinets are largely based on the recommendations made by the parliamentary panel.
  • These bills will be introduced in the monsoon session of Parliament.

Note: Around 30 bills are being prepared for consideration during the monsoon session (from 20th July 2023 to 11th August 2023).

Amendments to Mediation Bill 2021:

  • Amendments to the Mediation Bill including reducing the maximum timeline for completing mediation proceedings from 360 to 180 days.
  • Pre-litigation mediation has been made voluntary instead of mandatory.

About the Mediation Bill 2021:

Mediation Bill, 2021 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on 20th December 2021 and the Parliamentary Standing Committee was tasked to review the bill.

  • The bill aims to institutionalise mediation and establish the Mediation Council of India.
  • The Bill requires people to try to settle civil or commercial disputes through mediation before approaching any court or tribunal.The Bill aims to promote, encourage, and facilitate mediation, especially institutional mediation, to resolve disputes, commercial and otherwise.
  • It also proposes mandatory mediation before litigation and safeguards the rights of litigants to approach competent adjudicatory forums/courts for urgent relief.


The bill applies only for mediations conducted in India.

  • involving only domestic parties
  • involving at least one foreign party and relating to a commercial dispute (i.e., international mediation)
  • if the mediation agreement states that mediation will be as per this Bill

Disputes not fit for mediation:

Disputes involving claims against minors or persons of unsound mind, involving criminal prosecution, and affecting the rights of third parties are considered disputes not fit for mediation.

Key Features:

i.The Mediation Council of India, established to regulate the profession of mediatrors, will not have representation of practising mediators with adequate experience.

ii.The council requires prior approval from the Government of India(GoI) before issuing regulations related to its essential functions.

iii.According to the bill, Mediation proceedings will be confidential, and must be completed within 180 days and it may be extended by 180 days by the parties.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a structured, interactive process where an impartial third party neutrally assists disputing parties in resolving conflict through the use of specialized communication and negotiation techniques.

About the Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill, 2023:

The Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill, 2023 will replace the Press and Registration of Books(PRB) Act 1867’ which governs the registration of the print and publishing industry in India.

  • This will simplify the legislation that de-criminalises various provisions and brings digital media under its ambit.
  • This bill aims to ensure transparency and ease of doing business.
  • This will also facilitate the registration process for newspapers and periodicals and remove penal provisions for not including the name of the printer or the operation of printing presses by newspapers.

Key Points:

i.At present, anyone who wants to start a newspaper has to apply with the district collector who will send the application to the Registrar of Newspapers in India (RNI) to check for title availability.

ii.The new bill moves this step of checking title availability online and reduces the time for registration.