Parliament to see several firsts during Monsoon Session

Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu (left), Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla (centre) and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal at the Central Hall of Parliament on May 13, 2020 during the 68th anniversary of the first sitting of the Rajya Sabha.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Monsoon session of Parliament will be marked by several firsts, including the use of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation system and polycarbonate separators, with the arrangements being in compliance with the social distancing norm under the COVID-19 induced restrictions. 

Use of the chambers and the galleries of both the Houses for holding the session will be the first in the history of Indian Parliament since 1952. Parliament has to meet by September 23.

Also read: Norms planned for Parliament’s monsoon session

Transmission of audio-visual signals

Four large display screens in the chamber of the Rajya Sabha, six small screens in its four galleries, audio consoles in the galleries, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, special cables connecting the two Houses for transmission of audio-visual signals and polycarbonate sheet separating the official gallery from the chamber of the House are being installed.

Rajya Sabha Chairman M.V enkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had held a meeting on July 17, after detailed examination of various options for holding the session. They decided that chambers and galleries of both the Houses would be used for conducting the session.

Also read: Parliament monsoon session may see both physical, virtual participation

Mr. Naidu has directed full preparedness by the third week of August. The work is in progress at a fast pace for ensuring several additional installations. 

As per the arrangements, the Rajya Sabha chamber, its galleries and the Lok Sabha chamber will be used for seating the members. This includes 60 members in the chamber and 51 in the galleries of the Rajya Sabha, leaving out the first row, and the remaining 132 (including bypolls for two seats) in the chamber of the Lok Sabha.

Also read: Coronavirus | Next session of Parliament depends on ground situation, says Venkaiah Naidu

Political parties will be allotted seats in the Rajya Sabha chamber and galleries based on their respective strength and the remaining will be seated in the Lok Sabha chamber in the two blocks meant for ruling parties and the others. 

Seats for Prime Minister, ex-Prime Ministers

In the Rajya Sabha chamber, seats will be earmarked for the Prime Minister, Leader of the House, Leader of the Opposition and leaders of other parties. Former Prime Ministers and former Leaders of the House, including Manmohan Singh and H.D. Deve Gowda, besides Ramvilas Paswan and Ramdas Atshawale, being Ministers and members of the House, will have designated seats in the chamber. Other Ministers will get the seats meant for the ruling party.

Also read: Functioning of Parliamentary Standing Committees | Om Birla asks Lok Sabha Secretariat to hold review

All the seats in the galleries are being fitted with consoles to enable participation of members in the proceedings. Placards will indicate the parties accommodated in each gallery of the Rajya Sabha. 

Use of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation in the air conditioning system of the Rajya Sabha for killing the bacteria and virus in air supply is also being considered.

Social distancing norm will also be observed in the seating arrangement in the officials’ gallery and the press gallery, each accommodating 15, while a limited number of Secretariat officials will be allowed at the Table of the House. The reporters for taking verbatim notes of the proceedings will be seated in the special box meant for foreign dignitaries.

Also read: Venkaiah Naidu, Om Birla take the initiative on panels’ ‘virtual’ meetings

Three interpretation booths of the Rajya Sabha will be integrated with audio systems for simultaneous interpretation for the members seated in both the Houses. 

Live telecast

The Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha TV channels will live telecast the proceedings of the two Houses, apart from displaying the proceedings of each of House on the screens in the other. 

The Rajya Sabha Chairman has also directed the Secretariat officials to minimise the need for the members to physically handle various documents. 

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2021 4:30:04 PM |

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