Cooperation of constitutional institutions important for democracy: LS Speaker
Shillong: It is important for all constitutional institutions to complement and cooperate with each other for a strong democracy, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said on Thursday.
He was addressing the members of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.
“Democracy can be strengthened only when all constitutional institutions work in tandem and cooperate with each other within their respective constitutional jurisdictions. All the institutions should complement each other,” he said.
“There can be dissent during discussions but we should not reach an impasse. Our discussions should lead to the welfare of the people of the country,” the Speaker added.
Birla, who is currently on a two-day visit to Meghalaya, said one of his foremost priorities in Parliament was to make women, young and newly-elected MPs aware of various parliamentary conventions and practices.
“I always promote and welcome their active participation in debates and discussions that take place in the House. It is very important to ensure the capacity-building of the members to pave way for constructive debates in Parliament,” he said.
The Speaker also talked about some of the new initiatives being taken in Lok Sabha to enhance the practical knowledge of the members, including briefing sessions on the bills being introduced in the lower house.
He advised that similar programmes should be organised in the legislative assemblies as well.
Birla also talked about PRISM, a new service that was introduced in Parliament during the Budget Session, to provide MPs with parliamentary research and information support.
“I would like you to set up a similar modern research wing in the legislative assembly to provide round-the-clock support to the members. We will be happy to provide all possible support for setting up such a research wing,” he told the MLAs.
Among facilities that were underway, he said, was the NeVA (National E Vidhan Application) that would make proceedings and debates of Parliament and state legislature available on a single platform.
According to the Speaker, the “progressive use” of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) tools like e-Parliament and e-Office had helped in the functioning of Parliament through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It has significantly helped MPs fulfil their obligations in an effective manner.
“I am sure that the use of virtual platforms, e-notice, Members Portal and other such facilities will help in bridging the digital divide and create a people-centric, sustainable and development-oriented society,” he said.
Congratulating the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly for holding its session in November despite COVID-19, he said it indicated that our legislative institutions are discharging their constitutional responsibilities with utmost sincerity.
As part of his visit, Birla also inspected the construction site of the new Meghalaya Legislative Building at Mawdiangdiang here.
On Friday, he will be inaugurating the ‘Outreach and Familiarisation Programme for the Local Bodies of the State of Meghalaya and the other North Eastern States’.
Part of an initiative undertaken by Birla for the country’s Panchayati Raj Institutions, the programme aims at “enhancing participatory democracy through greater awareness of the procedures and processes followed by democratic institutions functioning at various levels from the grassroots to the apex level”.