Programmes for Parliamentarians/Legislators
Orientation Programmes for Newly Elected Parliamentarians/Legislators
A democratic polity offers equal opportunity to all its citizens to get elected to the Legislature, if he/she fulfils the criteria laid down for the purpose. It is likely that a member of Parliament or of a State Legislature elected, for the first time, may not be very familiar with the intricacies of the parliamentary law, practice and procedure. With a view to familiarizing the newly elected members with the working of the Parliament, the Bureau organizes Orientation Programmes of about a week's duration soon after the constitution of a new Lok Sabha after the General Elections.
These Orientation Programmes are aimed at promoting a deeper understanding and appreciation of the constitutional role and position of the Parliament as the supreme representative institution, familiarizing the members more closely with the operational mechanisms, parliamentary traditions, conventions and etiquette.
The Orientation Programmes consist of interactive discussion sessions on themes of parliamentary and procedural interest where important topics relating to parliamentary processes and procedures are deliberated. The topics generally covered in such Orientation Programmes include: "Problems faced by New Members"; "How to be an Effective Legislator?"; "Parliamentary Customs, Conventions and Etiquette;" "Privileges of Legislatures and their Members;" “Parliamentary Committees, with special reference to Departmentally Related Standing Committees”; “Financial Committees”; “Parliament Questions”; “Procedural Devices available to Members to raise Matters of Urgent Public Importance on the Floor of the House”; “Legislative Process”;” Budgetary Process”; “Amenities and Facilities available to Members”, etc. Subjects of topical interest having a direct bearing on the Parliament and its members such as economic issues; Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme: Panchayati Raj institutions, etc. are also covered in such Orientation Programmes.
During the Orientation Programmes, eminent parliamentarians, senior parliamentary officials and experts interact with the newly elected members on various aspects of the working of our parliamentary institutions. The panelists introduce the subject and then respond to queries and questions from the participants. As the discussion sessions are interactive in nature, members can freely exchange views with the Faculty who share their experiences and ideas. Scripts on topics under discussion are prepared and distributed among the participants in advance. The Bureau not only provides the necessary background material but also makes available the required secretarial, organizational and research assistance for organizing these Programmes.
The Bureau also organizes similar Orientation Programmes for newly elected members of State Legislatures in India either at New Delhi or at the Capital of the State concerned as per the request of the Legislature.
Lecture Series for Members
Since 17 August 2005, the Bureau has been organizing a series of Lectures by experts on subjects of topical interest for the benefit of Members of Parliament. The main objective of this Lecture Series is to help the members gain valuable insights into the subjects under discussion. The Lectures are organized on contemporaneous themes, which help members in comprehending the problems in a more effective way. Experts from diverse fields, including from various international bodies, have shared their views with the elected representatives under the Lecture Series which has been very well received by the Members of Parliament. The Bureau has organized the following Lectures/Talks (till 31 March 2009):
q " Water Conservation" by
Ms. Sunita Narain, Director, Center for Science and Environment, New Delhi (17
q" Need for Having a Value Added Tax System" by Dr. Parthasarathi Shome, Advisor to the Union Minister of Finance (24 August 2005)
q" Effective Water Conservation Techniques - Grass Roots’ Experience" by Shri Rajendra Singh, President, Tarun Bharat Sangh
(1 December 2005)
q" Children’s Development: Challenges Facing India" by Ms. Ann Venemann, Executive Director, UNICEF (9 December 2005)
q" Right to Information as an Instrument for Rural Development" by Smt. Aruna Roy, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (15 December 2005)
q Screening of the documentary film titled " Water" by Ms. Urmi Chakraborty (9 March 2006)
q" Issues pertaining to the Rights of Girl Child" by Ms. Razia Sultan Ismail Abbasi, Co-Convener, India Alliance for Child Rights (23 May 2006)
q" India’s Challenges to meet the Millennium Development Goals " by Prof. Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director, Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York, USA (3 August 2006)
q" Artificial Recharge to Ground Water and Rain Water Harvesting" by Dr. D. K. Dutt, Ex-Chairman, Central Ground Water Board
(23 August 2006)
q" Regenerating North-East India" by Shri B.G. Verghese, (24 August 2006)
q" Issues Relating to Water Conservation and Management" by Dr. K. Kasturirangan, MP (7 December 2006)
q" Globalization and Democracy" by Lord Meghnad Desai, Professor Emeritus, London School of Economics (14 December 2006)
q" National Knowledge Commission" by Shri Sam Pitroda, Chairman, National Knowledge Commission (14 March 2007)
q" Perspectives on the 1857 Uprising" by Prof. Irfan Habib, Head of the Department of History (Retd.), Aligarh Muslim University
(9 May 2007)
q" Crises in the Indian Agriculture" by Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, MP, (17 May 2007)
q" Role of Parliamentarians in Advancing Children’s Rights" by Ms. Marta Santos Pais, Director, Innocenti Research Centre, Florence, Italy(23 August 2007)
q" The Spirit and Form of Indian Unity: Lessons for Today from the Freedom Struggle" by Prof. Sugata Bose, Gardiner Professor of History, Harvard University, USA (30 August 2007)
q" Farm Crisis: Why have over one lakh farmers killed themselves during the last decade?" by Shri P. Sainath, Rural Editor, The Hindu
(6 September 2007)
q" How to make Parliament Accountable?" by Shri Kuldip Nayar (30 November 2007)
q Global Conscience and the Human Right to Peace: by Douglas Roche, Chairman, Middle Power Initiative (13 March 2008)
q" Climate Change" by Mr. Al Gore, Nobel Laureate and former Vice-President of USA (14 March 2008)
q" Water and Sanitation in the Context of the International Year of Sanitation" by Ms. Lizette Burgers, Chief, Child Environment Programme, UNICEF, and Shri Alok Kumar, Senior Sanitation Specialist, UNICEF (23 April 2008)
q" Climate Change: Implications for India" by Dr. R.K. Pachauri, Chairman, Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change and Director-General, TERI (25 April 2008)
q" Leading with Courage and Compassion" by Hon’ble Thich Nhat Hanh (17 October 2008)
q" Terrorism: Mumbai and After" by Dr. Shashi Tharoor (11 December 2008)
q" India's Foreign Policy: Challenges and Opportunities " by Shri Shivshankar Menon, Foreign Secretary (21 July 2009)
q" Monsoon Management and Agricultural Progress in an Era of Climate Change " by Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, MP (28 July 2009)
q" International Financial Crisis and its Impact on India" by Dr. C. Rangarajan, MP (6 August 2009)
q" The Unique Identification Project: Issues and Challenges" by Shri Nandan Nilekani, Chairperson, Unique Identification Authority of India (16 December 2009)
Seminars and Workshops
The Bureau organizes Seminars and specialized Workshops for parliamentarians as well as parliamentary officials on various topics of parliamentary interest with a view to promoting better appreciation of the subject. Seminars on topics of current importance in areas of political, economic and social development, which will help the legislators in acquiring a deeper and broader understanding of complex national and global issues, are organized from time to time. In the past, the Bureau has organized Seminars/Workshops on various topics, viz. Social Legislation and Problems of its Implementation; Privileges of the Legislatures and their Members; Legislature and Planning; Role and Functions of Legislators inside and outside the Legislature; Financial Accountability of the Executive to the Legislature, etc.
Prof. Hiren Mukerjee Memorial Annual Parliamentary Lecture
Prof. Hiren Mukerjee, a parliamentarian par excellence, was a member of the Lok Sabha for five consecutive terms from 1952 to 1977. An eminent historian, a prolific writer and a brilliant orator, Prof. Mukerjee used the floor of the House as an effective channel of communication to give eloquent expression to his profound thinking on very many issues of critical concern to the nation. His perception and perspectives reflected the profundity of learning and his depth of scholarship. He was also the first Honorary Adviser of the BPST.
As a humble tribute to Prof. Hiren Mukerjee, whose profound perspectives and commitment to parliamentary democracy are highly inspiring to every conscientious parliamentarian and citizen, the Prof. Hiren Mukerjee Memorial Annual Parliamentary Lecture, the first of its kind in the history of our Parliament, was instituted by the Hon’ble Speaker of Lok Sabha in 2008. The Inaugural Lecture was delivered by Nobel Laureate, Prof. Amartya Sen, on Demands of Social Justice on 11 August 2008 in the Central Hall of Parliament House.
The 2nd Prof. Hiren Mukerjee Memorial Annual Parliamentary lecture was delivered by Nobel Laureate and Founder/Managing Director of the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, Professor Muhammad Yunus, on 9 December 2009 on the theme Social Business: A Step Toward Creating a New economic and Social Order.
Round Table Discussions
Round Table Discussions are organized by the BPST from time to time on issues of parliamentary relevance involving various stakeholders. Two such Round Table Discussions on “Strengthening Parliamentary Democracy” were held on 4 September 2008 and 1 November 2008 in which parliamentarians, jurists, academics, media persons, captains of industry, civil society activists and others shared their perspectives on the theme.
Computer Awareness Programmes
Remarkable advancements in Information and Communication Technologies have come to impact the role and functions of the Parliament and its members as well. In order to assist the parliamentarians in discharging effectively their duties such as constituency management functions, office automation activities, personal information management, communication with State Legislatures and other organizations, access of Internet and e-mail, etc., Computer Awareness Programmes are organized by the Bureau to enable them to make the optimum use of computer facilities which are provided to them by the Secretariat. Professionals from the National Informatics Centre (NIC) and other experts in the field of Information and Communication Technologies are associated with imparting computer skills to the members. The Bureau has state-of-the-art facilities in its Computer Lab where members and their personal staff are given hands-on training. Officers and Staff of the Lok Sabha Secretariat are also provided computer training at the Bureau for effective disposal of official work.