The crucial issue of Efficient Functioning of Legislatures will be deliberated by the Whips of Parliament and Legislatures and the Ministers of Parliamentary Affairs of various States during a two-day Conference beginning on Monday, January 8, 2018 in Udaipur, Rajasthan. Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Chemicals & Fertilizers, Shri Ananthkumar will inaugurate the 18th All India Whips’ Conference, which will also consider, inter alia, the rolling out of e-Sansad and e-Vidhan in Parliament and State Legislatures to digitize and make their functioning paperless. This Conference is being organized by the Union Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (MoPA) and the Government of Rajasthan. Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Smt. Vasundhara Raje Scindia would be the Chief Guest for the Inaugural Session of the Conference.
Shri Vijay Goel, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Statistics and Programme Implementation and Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, would also grace the Inaugural session and chair different deliberation sessions during the Conference.
e-Sansad and e-Vidhan are mission mode projects of Government of India under Digital India, to make the functioning of Parliament and State Legislatures paperless. MoPA is the Nodal Ministry for implementation of both the projects. According to the agenda prepared by MoPA for the Conference, these projects would make the functioning of Parliament and State Legislatures participative, responsive, transparent, productive and more accountable to the public and make the entire Legislative process more efficient. Further, this environment friendly initiative is in line with the ‘Go Green’ initiative of the Government.
Some States have made good progress in the field of automation of their Legislatures, yet consumption of huge volume of papers is still going on in these States. In order to address this issue and economize the entire Legislative process, e-Vidhan is proposed to be implemented in all the States/ UTs with Legislatures. For rolling out e-Vidhan in the State legislatures, funding to the maximum extent would be provided by the MoPA. The Delegates of the Whips’ Conference would deliberate on the issue and make suggestions/ recommendations for making the rolling out of e-Vidhan a success.
Other agenda items for deliberation during the Conference would include steps to be taken to ensure Efficient Functioning of Legislatures, while the States and Union territories will present Action-Taken Reports on recommendation of the 16th and 17th Whips’ conferences held in Goa in 2014 and Visakhapatnam in 2015, respectively.
Further, the Whips’ Conference would make other recommendations for smooth and efficient working of Parliament and the State Legislatures in the light of the experience gained by the Whips. The Union Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs would then forward these recommendations to the (i) the State Chief Ministers; (ii) Ministers-in-charge of Department of Parliamentary Affairs in the State Governments; and (iii) Presiding Officers of the State Legislatures and all the invitees to the conference, for information and necessary action.
A whip is an important member of a political party’s parliamentary body, having a central role in ‘Floor Management’ in both the Houses of Parliament and is responsible for discipline within the party. Their main job is ensuring that their members in Parliament and legislature vote in line with the party’s official policy on important issues and make sure that the members turn out for important votes. Such an importance of Whips in the Parliamentary system had been acknowledged by organizing the First All India Whips Conference at Indore in 1952, in the very first year of general elections to the First Lok Sabha.
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