We, the people, miss our houses

Source: Indian Express

Relevance: To understand the issues regarding the functioning of parliament.

Synopsis: Over the years, the functioning of Parliament has declined, which is not good for a healthy democracy. So, let us understand the issue involved in the functioning of Parliament

Drafting of Indian Constitution

The constitution assembly held its first meeting to draft the constitution on 9 Dec 1946. India finally adopted its constitution on 26th Jan 1950.

What was exceptional about the drafting process was the diligent attendance of the committee and its vigorous debates. It exhibited an approach of rapprochement and engagement with the opposition. However, over the years its functioning leaves much to be desired.

Functioning of Indian Parliament

  • In 2020, Parliament sat in session for 33 days only.
  • In the 2021 Monsoon session, Lok Sabha was scheduled to work for six hours per day for 19 days. Instead, it sat for 21 hours in total or 21% of what was conceived, as per the PRS Legislative Research
  • In the past 10 years, the Rajya Sabha has functioned for less than 25% of its scheduled time.

Global examples:

  • All the above-mentioned figure is much low when compared to other countries like the USA that met physically for 113 days in 2020
  • Brazil Parliament, which adopted the usage of an application called Infoleg, functioned at higher rates than in pre-pandemic times, with extraordinarily high voting rates.

Also, according to PRS data, none of the 15 bills introduced in the monsoon session were referred to any Parliamentary committee. A sharp downward trend can be seen in referring the bill to Parliamentary committees. From 71% in 15th LS to 27% in 16th and 12% in the present one

Read more: Parliament is abdicating its oversight role

Way Forward

Rather than physical infrastructure for Parliament, we need to make the functioning of Parliament more effective.

Print Friendly and PDF