Vice President reviews preparedness for holding regular parliamentary panel meetings
The Rajya Sabha chairman directed the Parliamentary officials to draw up a schedule for the oath-taking ceremony of the 37 new RS members after the end of Lockdown 4.0 on May 31.
Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman, M Venkaiah Naidu on May 23, 2020 reviewed the preparedness of the secretariats of both Parliamentary Houses to hold regular parliamentary panel meetings.
The RS Chairman held detailed discussions with Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and secretary generals of both the Houses and other senior officials over the availability of rooms.
The Rajya Sabha chairman also held discussions on the norms to be followed amid regulations imposed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The move comes as the nation adopts return to normalcy route with both air and rail travel initiated in a graded manner.
• During the hour-long review preparedness meeting with the RS Chairman and LS speaker, nine rooms were identified in the Parliament House and its annex building for holding regular meetings of the 24 departments related to parliamentary standing committees and another six rooms for other committees of both the Houses.
• Both Naidu and Birla directed the officials to arrange for extra seating with microphone facilities in other rooms to maintain social distancing.
• Each department-related standing committee has 31 members including 10 RS MPs and 21 LS MPs. The other standing committees of both the Houses have lesser MPs.
• It was decided that participation of officials from both the secretariats and ministries in the parliamentary committee meetings will be kept to a bare minimum to comply with social distancing norms.
• The Rajya Sabha chairman also directed the officials of the secretariat to draw up a schedule for the oath-taking ceremony of the 37 new RS members after the end of the fourth phase of the lockdown on May 31. The members were elected unopposed.
• The Rajya Sabha chairman also spoke to the Election Commission of India about the elections for 18 vacant seats in seven states that were postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Election Commission is currently examining the matter.
• There are currently 18 vacancies in the Rajya Sacha, four each in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, three each in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, two in Jharkhand and one each in Manipur and Meghalaya.
The Indian Vice President, Venkaiah Naidu is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. He presides over the upper House sessions. The Deputy Chairman elected from amongst the members of the house takes care of the day-to-day matters of the house in the absence of the Chairman.