Parliament's Monsoon Session to convene soon: Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha to sit on alternate days
Indian Parliament's Monsoon session is likely to convene soon at the central hall while following the social distancing protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus. The two houses of the Parliament, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are likely to sit on alternate days.
The government is planning to begin the session at the end of August, delaying it slightly in the wake of coronavirus outbreak. The Monsoon session of the Parliament is generally held at the end of July. The government has taken the decision to hold the parliament session despite daily spike in the number of coronavirus positive cases.
• The government is planning to hold the parliamentary sessions in the central hall of the Indian Parliament.
• The central hall has the seating capacity to house 776 members of the two houses of the Parliament.
• Both the houses of the parliament are likely to conducting their sessions on alternate days to follow the social distancing norms.
MPs to attend parliament sessions online?
While the government is readying the parliament for the future session and taking all necessary steps to ensure the safety of the officials and the MPS, there is a possibility that the government will consider online participation of MPs in the parliamentary proceedings. The MPs may be allowed to watch the proceedings live and participate in the discussion online. The government is looking to develop a software to help them in remote attendance.
The centre is also expected to put into place various safety measures including regular checking of temperature of officials and MPs through hand-held devices.
Why is it important to conduct parliamentary sessions during crisis?
As per the Indian constitution, the Parliament has to be convened once in at least six months. The Indian Parliament's budget session was suspended early on March 23 as a preventive measure following the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus. The Indian government has time till September 23 to hold the monsoon session. Conducting the parliament session is important otherwise as well, as it will help address the questions and concerns of the Members of the Parliament amidst the challenging health and economic crisis that has gripped the nation.
The two houses of the Parliment- Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were adjourned early on March 23, 2020 before their scheduled adjournment date of April 3 due to the imposition of nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
The Indian Government is looking to follow the path of UK House of Commons, which reopened in April. However, the number of MPs physically present in the UK house is a bare minimum, as majority attend from their homes.