Rajya Sabha exploring session, MPs to be in the precincts to partake virtually

KV Prasad
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, July 3

The Rajya Sabha is working on a model of holding its session where members could take part though virtual participation but being physically present in the precincts of Parliament.

The MPs who cannot be accommodated inside the House, on account of physical distancing norm, can take part in the proceedings either from the Central Hall or the Balayogi Auditorium in the Library Building.

The proposed plan came up for discussion as Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu held meeting with Secretariat officials today amid repeated demands from opposition MPs to convene Parliament to discuss both COVID-19 and the situation in Ladakh region.  

Given the capacity constraints of existing NIC infrastructure this hybrid model is under consideration.

“The broad position that emerged was to enable seating of members of Rajya Sabha in the chamber and the galleries of the House in conformity with the norm of physical distancing and to enable virtual participation of other members from either the Central Hall or Balayogi Auditorium in the Parliament House premises,” sources in the Rajya Sabha said.

The chairman suggested that effort shall be to enable participation of the members in the proceedings from within the House to the extent possible through appropriate planning. 

The House including all galleries, except media, can accommodate 127 members.

Officials are to draw plans to seat MPs based on strength of various parties in the House or any other efficacious criteria.

The officials are to submit a detailed action report including logistics for consideration early next week, the sources said.

The Budget session of Parliament was truncated on March 23 and the next session is to be held within six months. The Monsoon session of Parliament is usually held during July-August each year for about four weeks.

Several countries have devised methods to hold Parliament session since April with hybrid model of physical plus virtual in the United Kingdom in place. 


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