Increase number of sittings of legislatures, say whips

Chandigarh, Feb 11 (Calcutta Tube) The 15th All India Whips’ Conference, which concluded here Thursday, expressed concern over the shrinking number of sittings in legislatures across the country, including parliament, and recommended the number of sessions and sittings be increased.

‘During this conference, we have given recommendations to increase the number of sessions and sittings so that we can discuss and debate on a wide range of subjects,’ union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal told reporters here after the conference ended.

He said this also depends on the size of the assembly. If it has more members, it requires more sittings than a smaller one.

The two-day conference also stressed the need to provide training to the members of legislatures so as to improve the quality of debates and to maintain decorum in the house.

‘There are many subjects like climate change and biotechnology with which all members are not very comfortable. Therefore, we have given recommendations to impart training to our members on a wide range of subjects in different institutes like IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management) and Indian Council of Agricultural Research,’ Bansal said.

‘To give them (legislators) more exposure and experience, we emphasised the need for study visits within the country and abroad. Research scholars should be assigned with each member to provide them assistance in different fields in order to raise the quality of the debates,’ he added.

Ministerial status was also demanded for chief whips and whips.

‘Many states have already adopted this and today again we have suggested that chief whip should be given a status of minister and whips should be given status of the minister of state,’ Bansal said.

He stressed the need to make youth from various fields aware about the working of parliament.

‘We have a system of youth parliaments. Till date, youth parliaments were conducted in all schools of Delhi and in Kendriya Vidyalyas. Now we have recommended to also extend them to Navodya Vidyalyas,’ Bansal said.

‘We would also extend the provision of youth parliament to rural youths from non-formal education background through youth clubs, panchayats (village councils) and farmer clubs,’ he added.

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