New Delhi: In a landmark move, all parliamentary debates from the first Lok Sabha to the present will be digitised by year-end, Speaker Om Birla has announced.
This would certainly open up a new vista and a vast world of research possibilities for scholars, journalists, historians and lawmakers.
“The digitisation of both Hindi and English versions of the debates is at advanced stages,” said Speaker Birla, who completed three years in office on June 19, Sunday.
The digitisation will be completed in two categories–names of MPs and debate subjects and will be ready for end users by the end of 2022.
The Speaker also noted that the digitisation of 20 million pages of Parliament library documents is starting this July, with the exercise expected to ‘cut costs’ besides helping the institution contribute its part in national climate change mitigation efforts.
Interacting with journalists in groups, Mr Birla also stated, “We are also ensuring uniform digital platforms to host the biographies of national icons Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel and others so that everything ever written about them is available.”
The Speaker said the new Parliament building would most likely be completed in time by October-November 2022, and the winter session may be held in the new setup.
“We are trying to hold the winter session this year in the new Parliament building,” he said.
Officials said eight sessions of the current Lok Sabha had clocked 106 per cent productivity.
Corresponding productivity of the first eight sessions was 86 per cent for the 14th Lok Sabha, 71 per cent for the 15th Lok Sabha and 95 per cent for the 16th Lok Sabha.
To a question on a debate on curtailment of MPs’ pensions, Birla said, “The pension amount members of parliament get is not much.”
Ex-MPs are entitled to Rs 20,000 monthly pension, and those who have served over five years get a Rs 1,500 additional amount every month.