October 23, 2021

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75 programmes on parliamentary democracy across nation, announces Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla

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75 programmes on parliamentary democracy across nation, announces Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla
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75 programmes on parliamentary democracy across nation, announces Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla
75 programmes on parliamentary democracy across nation, announces Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla

BENGALURU: Celebrating 100 years of the Speakers’ Conference which coincides with the platinum jubilee of Indian independence, 75 different programmes on Parliamentary democracy would be organised in different parts of the country, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said on Saturday.
“The tradition of holding Speakers’ Conference is completing 100 years this year. The first such conference was held in 1921 at Shimla and once again after 100 years, the conference is taking place in Shimla,” Birla told reporters.
He said the participants would discuss issues related to the parliamentary democracy, including the objectives achieved in the past 75 years.
“Along with it, we plan to hold the 75 different programmes in different parts of the country involving the smallest but the most important and responsible institution of the democracy, which is village panchayat to Parliament, municipal corporations, legislative assemblies or panchayats,” Birla said.
The Speaker said this is the centenary of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) as well. In this regard, an important international conference would take place on December 4 and 5 in New Delhi.
“The Speaker, PAC chairperson, its members, and the PAC chairpersons from other countries will take part in the conference,” Birla said.
There would be programmes on increasing the participation of youth and women in assemblies, Parliament and other democratic institutions, Birla said. Plans are afoot to hold an international meeting on participation of youth and women in the democratic process, he said.
Birla said the sole objective of the programmes is to strengthen the democratic institutions, make them accountable and prepare an actionplan to run the House. “We will make an advisory on the standard operating procedure (SOP) to run the House in the lowest level of institutions, which the States can follow,” he said.
The assembly Speakers would hold such programmes in their respective states as well.
Speaking about his visit to Karnataka, the Lok Sabha Speaker said the state has a long history of democracy.
Referring to the Anubhava Mantapa set up by 12th century social reformer Basaveshwara in Basava Kalyan in Bidar district of the state, Birla said, “The foundation of the oldest democracy was laid in Karnataka. That’s why we say that India is the mother of democracy.”
He said he was not referring to the democracy after independence but the one which was always ingrained in the action, behaviour and thought of Indians.
The Speaker said the Panchayat Raj system was a symbol of democratic values, which every villager used to follow.
Stating that din and interruptions in Parliament, assemblies and other councils were a matter of concern, Birla said wide-level discussions took place between the speakers and leaders of various political parties for the dignified behaviour of the members in the House.
“We will once again discuss in Shimla how to maintain the discipline, dignity and decorum of Parliament and legislatures,” Birla said.
Replying to a query on sessions being held till late in the night, the Lok Sabha Speaker said the past five sessions saw an increase in the productivity of the proceedings.
“Despite the prevalence of Covid-19, our members sat in the House till late in the night and held the proceedings more than the scheduled time. During the fourth session, the members remained in the House till late in the night. The productivity was 167 per cent and there was members’ participation. We want a similar kind of atmosphere whether be it in Parliament, legislatures, panchayat or the municipal councils,” he said.
Birla said a database on the important discussions held in Parliament and the legislatures would be prepared in Hindi and English in six months to add to the library in Parliament for the capacity- building of the members in the elected bodies.
“We are preparing a platform where our legislatures can access the database by the name or subject,” Birla said.
To a question on discussion on ‘One Nation, One Election’, he said many legislatures tried to hold discussions and Karnataka was one among them.
Stating that there was a discussion in Parliament on this topic on a private Bill, he said there should be more discussions and dialogues on this issue for fruitful results.

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