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The parliamentary Standing Committee on Education, Women, Children, Youth, and Sports will hold its first meeting on April 13 to consider the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill.

The Bill was previously introduced in the Lok Sabha during the Winter Session. According to reports, the committee must submit its report by June 24 of this year.

Sushmita Dev, a Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP, had previously stated that it was inappropriate for such a Bill to be scrutinized in a committee with 30 out of 31 male members.

Priyanka Chaturvedi, a Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP, had also written to Upper House Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, urging him to reconsider the committee and appoint more women to ensure fair scrutiny.The prohibition of Child marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021 2021 proposes to amend the existing law regarding men’s and women’s minimum marriageable ages. The current Bill proposes raising the minimum age for women to marry from 18 to 21. The Bill will have an impact on a few laws, including, ‘The Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872’; ‘The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936’; ‘The Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937’; ‘The Special Marriage Act, 1954’; ‘The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955’; and ‘The Foreign Marriage Act, 1969’, besides ‘The Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956’; and ‘Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956’.

According to the government, the Bill also aims to reduce the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR), Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), as well as improve nutrition levels and the sex ratio at birth.

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