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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Monsoon session may see mix of virtual, physical participation

Sources said that the chambers face space constraint, given the physical distancing norms, and the National Informatics Centre (NIC) that provides cyber infrastructure for the Indian government cannot enable capacity for virtual participation of all members.

Monsoon session, Monsoon session coronavirus, virtual Monsoon session, Parliament session, Indian express On Tuesday, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla further reviewed options for the monsoon session. (File Photo)

Parliament may go for a hybrid monsoon session, with some members being physically present in the House and others attending on a virtual platform, sources said.

After assessing the physical and digital infrastructure for the options to conduct Parliament sessions amid the pandemic, secretaries-general of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha have reported to the presiding officers that the facilities are inadequate for a full virtual session or a physical session.

Sources said that the chambers face space constraint, given the physical distancing norms, and the National Informatics Centre (NIC) that provides cyber infrastructure for the Indian government cannot enable capacity for virtual participation of all members.

“As every MP has a right to participate in the session, choosing MPs for participation is ruled out. But neither the Central Hall nor Vigyan Bhavan have the seating capacity to accommodate all the MPs as per social distancing norms. So, as of now, the only option seems to be a hybrid session – with some members being physically present in the House and others attending on virtual platform,” said a source.

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“A completely virtual Parliament is also not possible as the NIC does not have the necessary capacity. It has only 500 dedicated lines,” the source added, “which makes a hybrid session inevitable”.

However, any change in the rules of conducting the session would require a motion to be carried in both Houses of Parliament.

On Tuesday, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla further reviewed options for the monsoon session. The presiding officers were briefed by secretaries-general of both Houses on the options that came up during a meeting last month.

First published on: 10-06-2020 at 01:39:57 am
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