New Delhi: As promised, the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday cleared a fresh bill to protect rights of married Muslim women by banning the practice of instant triple talaq.The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019, which was passed by the Cabinet, will be introduced in the upcoming Parliament session beginning June 17. While elaborating on the decisions taken by the Cabinet, Union Information & Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters that the government was confident that the triple talaq bill would get passed in both the houses of the parliament as all demands of opposition parties had been taken into consideration. Also Read – IAF receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France”The government has made all the necessary changes in the bill. Given that our PM is committed towards sabka sath, sabka vikas and sabka vishwas, this bill will be passed in Rajya Sabha unanimously,” Javadekar said, adding that the Bill proposes to declare the practice of triple talaq as void and illegal. “The Bill also provides for payment of subsistence allowance to married Muslim women and dependent children. It also proposes to make the offence cognizable,” Javadekar said. Also Read – Cosmology trio win Nobel Physics PrizeIn another important decision, the Cabinet has cleared the Jammu Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which is aimed at giving relief to persons in J&K residing in areas adjoining International Border. Once the bill gets passed, about 3.5 lakh residents living in 435 villages adjoining International Border would get the reservation benefits in direct recruitment, promotion and admission in different professional courses. The Cabinet has also approved the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 making Aadhaar a voluntary requirement for KYC. Once the bill gets passed in both the Houses of the Parliament, no individual would be compelled to provide Aadhaar number unless provided by law. The Cabinet has also approved the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Bill, 2019, which would enable a 200-point roster system in universities and colleges. It will enable filling 7,000 existing vacancies of teachers across the country, the minister said.
Britain is losing its religion, research has found, as the proportion of non-believers is the highest it has ever been. More than half of the population has no faith and the share of the population who say they are Church of England Christians has fallen to just 15 per cent – the lowest ever recorded. Just three per cent of those aged 18 to 24 said they belonged to the Church of England, while the proportion overall of non-Christians has tripled from two to six per cent.Church of England leaders said the findings were “troubling”, but expressed optimism that the church could still attract some of the 53 per cent who said they had no religion. The Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Revd Paul Bayes, said: “In this modern world people are more willing to be honest and say they have ‘no religion’ rather than casually saying they are ‘CofE’. This honesty is welcome.”Of course the latest BSA figures bring a continuing challenge to the churches, to speak clearly of our faith into a sceptical and plural world. But saying ‘no religion’ is not the same as a considered atheism. People’s minds, and hearts, remain open.”But Humanists UK chief executive Andrew Copson said the figures were proof that the Church was undergoing an “ongoing and probably irreversible collapse in adherents”. “It is long overdue that the Government woke up to the demographic reality of today’s Britain and recognises that ever-increasing state funding for religion, and public emphasis on the activities of religious groups, is the reverse of what the public wants,” he said. The proportion of believers is also falling among older demographics, though the figures much higher than among the young. Half of those aged 55 to 64 said they had no religion, the first time religious people have not been in the majority in this age group. Of the overall six per cent belonging to other faiths, half were Muslim and a third were Hindu, with Jewish, Sikh, Buddhist and other groups all smaller. The figures from the British Social Attitudes Survey done by the National Centre for Social Research were first produced in 1983. In that year 40 per cent of the population identified as Church of England, a figure which has been steadily declining ever since. More than two-thirds of the population said they were Christian. This has now fallen to 41 per cent. However the proportion of “other” Christians, including Pentecostal and Methodist groups, has stayed exactly the same at 17 per cent, and the proportion of Roman Catholics has shifted only slightly from 10 per cent to 9 per cent. This is thought to have been partly fuelled by immigrant communities. Denominations such as Pentecostal churches, attended by those from areas such as west Africa, are among the fastest-growing. Eastern European immigrants are also thought to have kept the proportion of Catholics steady over the past 30 years. Saying ‘no religion’ is not the same as a considered atheism. People’s minds, and hearts, remain open.The Rt Revd Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.