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AMN / Bengaluru

Lok Sabha Speaker Mr Om Birla Mr Birla today said that that the smooth and orderly functioning of all the democratic institutions was necessary to facilitate elected public representatives to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of the people. He noted that there was  a need for an intensive discussion and dialogue on public issues so that the concerns of the people can be addressed.

Interacting with the Media on the second day of his two day visit to Karnataka, Mr Birla said that elected legislative bodies should keep an effective watch on the Executive to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of the people. He added that in order to ensure this, the process of issuing a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is currently underway. Mr Birla further added that this SOP will be made available to all democratic institutions across the country. He also informed that this SOP will be in the nature of an advisory, which can be adopted as per the requirements of legislative bodies.

Mr Birla informed that active efforts are being made to ensure participation of citizens, especially women and youth, in the democratic process. He added that in this regard, efforts are underway to organise training and capacity building programmes for various stakeholders.

Speaking about the centenary year celebrations of the Public Accounts Committee which is going to complete hundred years this year, Mr Birla informed that a Conference will be organized on 4-5 December in New Delhi. He added that in this event, public representatives from India as well as from other democratic countries have been invited

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Mr Birla also spoke about the Parliament Library which is also going to complete 100 years this year. Mr Birla informed that the Parliament Library is a rich repository of knowledge and information where a large number of rare books and documents are available. He added that the process of digitizing this library is currently underway. Mr Birla also said that very soon Parliament Library create suitable metadata to provide access to this digital library to the Members of State legislatures.

Mr Birla expressed concern about the diminishing standard of discipline, decorum and decency in legislatures.  He said that such unruly scenes not only lower the dignity of these institutions, but also lead to loss of faith in the very idea of democracy.  He informed that a Conference of Presiding Officers will discuss this subject soon, which would also see participation from Chief Ministers and other stakeholders.

Mr Birla observed that the proceedings of the House should be carried out with discipline and dignity and according to the sentiments of the common people.  He added that a comprehensive action plan to improve the efficacy and credibility of parliamentary democracy will be prepared in Presiding Officers’ Conference. Expressing concern on repeated cases of disrespect to the Chair, Mr Birla emphasized that the Chair is custodian of all stakeholders in the House and its dignity should be preserved at all time.  Speaker of Karnataka Legislative Assembly Mr Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri and Secretary-General of Lok Sabha Mr Utpal Kumar Singh, were also present on the occasion.