Large screens, social distancing and more: Stage set for Monsoon Session of Parliament under Covid-19 shadow

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Updated: Aug 17, 2020 11:44 AM

The Monsoon Session of Parliament will be held on a fully physical model and is likely to meet in September.

Stage set for Monsoon Session of Parliament under Covid-19 shadow

The stage is set for the Monsoon Session of Parliament with several changes and new rules in place in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. According to a report in The Indian Express, the Monsoon Session will be held on a fully physical model and is likely to meet in September.

Both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are taking several measures to cut the threat and are likely to work either as morning and evening shifts, or alternate days.

At the Rajya Sabha, there will be additional installations — large display screens, audio consoles in the galleries, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, special cables connecting the two Houses for transmission of audio-visual signal inside the chamber and in the galleries.

The Rajya Sabha secretariat is working overtime for the last two weeks to ensure all arrangements in place when the session begins. Before the commencement of the session, a testing, rehearsal and final inspection will be done next week.

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has directed that all the required installations should be in place by early this week.

The IE report said in order to enable MPs to watch the House proceedings, four large display screens of 85-inch size each in the chamber and another six of 40-inch size each are being installed in the four galleries of the House.

Also, all the seats in the galleries are being fitted with consoles to allow members to participate in the proceedings from their seats. New placards will indicate the parties accommodated in each gallery of the Rajya Sabha.

Regarding Lok Sabha, the IE report said that 168 MPs will sit in the Lower House chamber while others will be distributed across its galleries, the Rajya Sabha and its galleries. The Lok Sabha has a current strength of 542.

In the Rajya Sabha, the members will be spread across the chambers of the Upper and Lower Houses. The Rajya Sabha has a current strength of 241 members.

The IE report said that the Prime Minister, Leader of the House, Leader of the Opposition and leaders of other parties will have their seats in the Rajya Sabha chamber. Former Prime Ministers and former Leaders of the House Manmohan Singh and HD Deve Gowda will also have seats there. Besides, Union Ministers Ramvilas Paswan and Ramdas Athawale will also be accommodated in the Rajya Sabha chamber.

While ministers will be accommodated in the seats meant for the ruling party, other parties will be allotted seats in the chamber and galleries based on their strength.

All the seating arrangements are being done in compliance with the social distancing norms to minimise the spread of coronavirus.

Also, social distancing norms will be followed in the official and press galleries. Each gallery will accommodate 15 members. A limited number of officials will be seated at the Table of the House.

The Budget session of the Parliament was curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned sine die on March 23, nearly two weeks before schedule. As per the rule, there cannot be a gap of more than six months between two sessions of Parliament.

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