November 26, 2015 1:45:25 am
When the Winter Session opens on Thursday, Parliament will go paperless and its corridors will no longer be filled with huge bundles of annual reports and question papers.
From this session onwards, annual reports from the ministries, committee reports, private members’ bills, unstarred questions and bulletin -1 will be uploaded on Parliament website.
At the all-party meeting held on Wednesday evening, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan informed leaders that a copy of the annual report will be sent to each party office. “If anyone wants a printed version, they will have the option for some more time. But once the training programme for the MPs is over, everyone will have to use the digital version,” said a source in Parliament.
The MPs are entitled to purchase an iPad, whose cost will be reimbursed by Parliament.
“Parliament website has been redone and all the reports will be uploaded immediately after they are tabled in Parliament,” added the source. Officials from the National Informatics Centre (NIC) have been working overtime to make this digitisation possible.
“Online messaging system will also be made more effective so that paper slips can be completely avoided. MPs will be given unique and simple mail IDs also,” he said.
While Wi-fi facility is already available inside both Houses, the Central Hall and the residences of MPs, upgrading Parliament’s internet facility to 4G is also on the cards.
Sources said that the process of digitisation has been in the works for some time to make the services fast and transparent. Even the training programme for MPs, which was conducted by the NIC in coordination with the Bureau of Parliamentary Studies and Training, was aimed at introducing members to features of the Lok Sabha website and other government websites. In another initiative, experts from the Department of Electronics and Information Technology trained MPs in e-signing and operating digital lockers.
Sources claimed that the move towards a paperless Parliament was also pushed by the security concerns surrounding bundles of reports getting piled up in corridors and stair cases.
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