The Parliamentary Standing Committee of IT and Communications has approved the new data protection bill, according to the Minister of Railways, Communication and IT, Ashwini Vaishnaw. Vaishnaw was addressing the Nasscom Technology Forum, 2023 in Mumbai. According to Vaishnaw, the Centre has submitted the draft bill with the committee and “they have given a big thumbs up.”

While addressing the Nasscom Technology Forum, he also said that the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill 2022 could be sent to the Parliament in 2023.

The Digital Personal Data Protection is one of the four comprehensive laws that the Centre is seeking to pass in order to regulate the digital tech space. The draft bills for two of the laws have already been released, the includes the data protection bill and the new telecom bill. 

New bill

The new data protection bill was redrafted and is set to be introduced in the following monsoon session. The previous iteration of the data protection bill, the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019, was scrapped by the Centre when the joint parliamentary committee made several changes to the bill. The JPC had made 12 amendments and recommended 81 amendments which had 99 sections. The Centre had cited, JPC’s many changes as a reason to start from scratch and create a more comprehensive draft which will be reintroduced.

However it should be noted that a standing committee is not the same as a JPC. A standing committee is more permanent, constituted every year or frequently. A JPC on the other hand, is an ad hoc committee which is temporary and created for a specific task. According to Vaishnaw, the bill has got expedited approval from the standing committee. 

As India embraces the techade, it still continues to not have a comprehensive data protection law in place. India’s journey to introduce a data protection law is a long one, atleast since 2017, the Ministry of Electronics and IT has been deliberating to introduce some type of data protection framework.