New Delhi, Aug 20 : Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Thursday said that Parliaments need to ensure public participation in parliamentary oversight and improve governance in this age of information.
Birla expressed his views while participating in a virtual panel discussion on the theme ‘Improving governance by bridging the gap between Parliaments and the people’ during the fifth World Conference of Speakers of Parliaments.
He mentioned that the Parliament of India, representing the aspirations of 1.35 billion people, plays a proactive role in ensuring engagement with them.
Birla said that this involves the usage of the five ‘Is’ in the process: ‘Interact’ – involving the interaction of parliamentarians with the public and thereby adopting information and feedback in the working of the House; ‘Inform’ – involving the usage of means of information and communication and social media to continuously enlighten the public about the programmes and policies of the government; ‘Involve’ – which includes ensuring participation of the public in the development process; ‘Imbibe’ – involving the internalisation of feedback received from the public in the administrative process; and ‘Improve’ – which includes bringing out the desired progress in the administrative schemes and processes.
Observing that the Indian Parliament is the highest legislative institution of the nation, Birla said that “our Parliament is fully engaged with the people and always reinforces transparency and good governance.” He mentioned that even during the Covid-19 pandemic, India’s Parliament maintained round-the-clock connect between parliamentarians and the general public to ensure that the needy and the underprivileged are provided necessary relief and assistance without delay.
Birla observed that our strong Parliamentary Committee system works to ensure public participation in legislative oversight work.
Further, through the direct telecast of proceedings of Parliament on the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha television channels, dedicated websites and social media platforms, it has been ensured that Parliament reaches every house of the country.
During the two-day conference, the participants shared their experiences and views on a number of issues, such as gender equality, participation of youth in the political process, climate change, human mobility and terrorism.
Lok Sabha MPs Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Meenakshi Lekhi, and Snehlata Shrivastava, Secretary General, Lok Sabha also attended the panel discussion on Thursday.
The fifth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament was organised jointly by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Geneva, and the Parliament of Austria on August 19 and 20 with the support of the United Nations (UN). This was the first time that an international parliamentary conference of such magnitude was organised in virtual mode.
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