Conclave seeks index to monitor disruptions in sessions

Conclave seeks index to monitor disruptions in sessions

The two-day conference is being attended by Speakers and Deputy Speakers of over a dozen states including Rajasthan, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat, West Bengal, Kerala, Odisha, Bihar, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Evolving a ‘Parliamentary Disruption Index’ as one of the measures to monitor disruptions in legislatures was one of the key suggestions that came up at the ‘Conference of Presiding Officers of Legislative Bodies’ inaugurated by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Wednesday in Dehradoon.

During the two-day conference on November 18 and November 19, which is also taking stock of the declining number of working days in various state assemblies and the defections of MLAs and roles of Speaker in such a scenario, speakers also batted for a 'code of conduct' for members of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, state Assemblies and Councils to minimise disruptions in the House, especially relating to suspension for entering and protesting in the well of the House. 

The two-day conference is being attended by Speakers and Deputy Speakers of over a dozen states including Rajasthan, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat, West Bengal, Kerala, Odisha, Bihar, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Initiating the discussion on the Agenda item 'Strengthening Parliamentary Democracy and Capacity Building through in-house devices including Zero Hour', Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Harivansh said that a Parliamentary Disruption Index may be evolved as a measure to monitor disruptions in the Chamber. 

It was felt that this may also help deter incidences of indiscipline and would lead to the availability of more time for debate and discussion on issues before the House.

A total of 11 Speakers shared their views on this issue and felt that measures like capacity building and training for members will lead to fewer disruptions and improve their functioning, besides increasing the quality of debates in the House. They also felt that efforts should be made for uniformity of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business.

One major take away from the discussions was that the sittings of the state legislatures need to be increased. It was noted that some of the state legislatures met for as less as just a week during an entire year while ideally, they should have at least 100 sittings every year. Speakers felt that the media should cover positive debates held on the floor of the House.

The conference will resume tomorrow with discussion on the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution that deals with the issue of defections and the Role of Speaker.

Earlier Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had in August held a marathon meeting of Assembly Speakers of 30 states and set up four committees to deliberate on how to ensure more productivity at state legislatures.

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