LS Speaker assures all Covid protocols during Budget 2021 Session
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Monday said all necessary arrangements will be made as per the Covid-19 protocols during the forthcoming Budget Session of the Parliament starting from January 29. Birla made the remarks while attending the virtual meeting of the Standing Committee of the Conference of the Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth (CSPOC) on Monday.
Speaking on the occasion, Birla observed that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the functioning of Parliaments across the world. He said that even during the pandemic, some important legislative businesses were transacted by the Lok Sabha, including the enactment of appropriate laws for the protection of health workers serving the public during this challenging time. The proceedings of the House were conducted in compliance with all corona-related safety protocols and health safety was ensured for everyone working in the Parliament House Complex. PTI Photo
Increased use of ICT tools
Birla informed that the increased use of ICT tools like e-Parliament and e-Office in the functioning of Parliament has served to provide a conducive environment to the Members of Parliament in the effective discharge of their responsibilities. He expressed the view that while on the one hand ICT technologies have supported the members by providing virtual platforms, on the other hand, they have helped to make the Parliament`s working more transparent, inclusive, and accountable. This has resulted in the creation of more opportunities for MPs and citizens to engage in parliamentary work. He further stressed that the advantages created by ICT should reach all sections of society in an equitable manner and only then will the country and society be able to receive its total benefits. Therefore, we should strive to work towards creating a "people-centric, inclusive, and development-oriented" society, by overcoming the digital divide.
Birla further said that in order to achieve the development goals of all nations, India is closely working with all friendly countries for accelerating the capacity-building in areas of information, communication and technology. He reiterated India`s commitment to strengthen the global partnership to promote use of digital technologies for a brighter future for the global community. Later, speaking to media persons, Birla said that it is not appropriate for a Parliament to comment on laws passed by Parliaments of other countries.
26th CSPOC meeting
In the meeting, the subjects to be considered in the 26th CSPOC meeting to be held in Australia in 2022 were discussed. These subjects are Parliament and the pandemic, the second subject was the ever-changing requirements of Parliaments in respect of physical and cybersecurity, the subject of E-Parliament was also discussed in this meeting. The fourth subject taken up for discussion in the meeting was the role of Presiding Officers or Speaker in advancing parliamentary innovations.