Since the first sitting of Lok Sabha in May 1952, there has been no session of Parliament which has begun under the shadow of so much apprehension, caution and fears as the monsoon session, 2020 which starts on Monday (September 14).
The coronavirus spread and the arrangements made to hold a session despite the risk of hosting the congregation of India’s top legislators, including the prime minister, has made this session unprecedented.
Perhaps the only time when there was such a shadow over the sitting of Parliament was the winter session in 2001 when terrorists had attacked India’s top legislative entity.
WHAT MAKES MONSOON SESSION 2020 UNPRECEDENTED
1. There are indications that attendance during the session may not exceed 50 per cent. The total strength of the two houses right now is around 780
2. As per new pandemic driven rules, even MPs and ministers will not be allowed inside Parliament without a coronavirus negative test report. Till late night, secretariats of the two Houses were busy calling every MP individually getting details of their “negative certificates”. Those who have failed to submit their certificates of test conducted not more than 72 hours before the start of the session will be stopped at the gate
3. Sources say Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi, Araku (Andhra Pradesh) MP Goddeti Madhavi, Nagaur (Rajasthan) MP Hanuman Beniwal, Buldhana (Maharashtra) MP Pratap Rao Jadhav, and Maharajganj (Bihar) MP Janardan Singh Sigriwal have tested positive for the coronavirus and would be skipping the monsoon session.
4. The test results of 33 members of Rajya Sabha is awaited. This includes nominated member Mary Kom who got her test conducted on Sunday
Workers clean the premises of Parliament ahead of the Monsoon Session (PTI)
5. Ahead of the session, over 4,000 people including MPs and staff have been tested for coronavirus at a special facility created by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)
6. A limited number of media persons, who have tested negative for the coronavirus, has been allowed entry. Media has been barred from interviewing MPs and ministers inside the Parliament premises. Photographers and cameramen from print and TV news channels have not been given permission
7. Most Parliamentary operations have been digitalised. The security drill includes scanning and not frisking. Entire premises have already been sanitised and doors have been made touch-free. Thermal scanning will also be touch-free. Hand sanitisers have been placed at 40 different locations inside the Parliament complex, and emergency medical teams and ambulances have been stationed
8. Sitting of the two Houses will take place in four-hour shifts till October 1 without a day off day. Barring the first day of the session, Rajya Sabha will convene in the morning from 9 am and work till 1 pm. Lok Sabha will work in the evening shift from 3 pm to 7 pm.
9. The members of each house will sit in the chambers of both Houses. To ensure social distancing, the Rajya Sabha chamber and its galleries, and the Lok Sabha chamber will be used to seat members during the session. Masks are compulsory
Parliament House canteen employees (PTI)
10. Usually the MPs have to stand up to address the chair. This time, however, the MPs will be allowed to sit and speak and wear their masks to minimise the risk of infection. As a measure of added caution, there will be ultraviolet germicidal irradiation in the air conditioning system six times every day to avoid any spread of the virus. All MPs will get multi-utility coronavirus kits containing 40 disposable masks, five N-95 masks, 20 bottles of sanitisers of 50 ml each, face shields, 40 pairs of gloves, a hook to open and close doors without touching them, herbal sanitation wipes and tea bags to enhance immunity. These kits have been provided by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
11. The health ministry has proposed unidirectional movement of MPs in the chambers of both the Houses to avoid face-to-face interface. Video clips providing information about the pandemic, it’s spread and the importance of social distancing would be provided to all the members
12. Ultraviolet boxes have been provided in all offices and entry points to ensure that every document in the building or files brought from outside are sanitised before they are handled by the presiding officers and members
13. Footwear, furniture, bags, trolleys and cars used by the members will be sanitised. Vehicles provided by Parliament Secretariats will have mats of stipulated dimensions soaked in Hypochloride gel placed in troughs
14. Central hall of Parliament has been declared a no go zone for the ex/members of Parliament and journalists with valid cards
Circles marked on floor to help maintain social distance (PTI)
HIGHEST EVER OBITUARY REFERENCES
On day one of the highest-ever number of obituary references, a total of 34 will be taken up by the two Houses. While there are 19 listed in the Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha will take up 15. Except for ex-President Pranab Mukherjee and noted vocalist Pandit Jasraj, there are three sitting members, 14 ex-members of Rajya Sabha and one sitting member and 12 ex-members of Rajya Sabha
As per recent precedence, the Houses are not likely to be adjourned for the day. For Pranab Mukherjee, the House may be adjourned for an hour.
Pranab Mukherjee died on August 31 (PTI)
THE OBITUARIES IN BOTH HOUSES
|OBITUARY REFERENCES IN RAJYA SABHA|
|Pranab Mukherjee, former President of India and ex-member|
|Beni Prasad Verma, sitting member|
|MP Veerendra Kumar, sitting member|
|Amar Singh, sitting member|
|MV Rajasekharan (ex-member)|
|Sanatan Bisi (ex-member)|
|Basant Kumar Das (ex-member)|
|RT Gopalan (ex-Member)|
|Bhabani Charan Pattanayak (ex-member)|
|Ajit PK Jogi (ex-member)|
|Shrimati Saroj Dubey (ex-member)|
|Shri Vishwa Bandhu Gupta (ex-member)|
|Bishnu Charan Das (ex-member)|
|Ram Awadesh Singh (ex-member)|
|Shyamal Chakraborty (ex-member)|
|Nandi Yellaiah (ex-member)|
|Narendra Kumar Swain (ex-member)|
|Pandit Jasraj, renowned Indian classical vocalist|
OBITUARY REFERENCES IN LOK SABHA
|Pranab Mukherjee (Former President of India and Member, 14th and 15th Lok Sabha)|
|H Vasanthakumar (sitting member)|
|Pandit Jasraj (eminent vocalist)|
|Gurdas Singh Badal (member, 15th Lok Sabha)|
|Nepal Singh (member, 16th Lok Sabha)|
|Ajit Jogi (member, 12th and 14th Lok Sabha)|
|P Namgyal (member, 7th, 8th and 11th Lok Sabha)|
|Paras Nath Yadav (member, 12th and 14th Lok Sabha)|
|Madhav Rao Patil (member, 12th Lok Sabha)|
|Haribhau Madhav Jawale (member, 14th and 15th Lok Sabha)|
|Saroj Dubey (member, 10th Lok Sabha)|
|Lalji Tandon (member, 15th Lok Sabha)|
|Kamal Rani (member, 11th and 12th Lok Sabha)|
|Chetan Chauhan (member, 10th and 12thTwelfth Lok Sabha)|
|Surendra Prakash Goel (member, 14th Lok Sabha)|
- The government has planned a huge legislative agenda in the short session. Rajya Sabha is expected take up the election of deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha on day one. If concluded, proceedings may include a brief address by the prime minister
- Health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan will make a statement in both Houses of Parliament regarding teh coronavirus pandemic and the steps taken by the government
- The government has lined up a total of 47 legislative items for the session
- 45 Bills and 2 financial items have been listed for the 18 sittings
- Eleven Bills to replace the ordinance issued after March 23 will be brought in for passing
The 11 Bills that are to replace ordinances: The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Prices Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Insolvency & Bankruptcy (Second) Amendment Bill, 2020, The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation of Certain Provisions) Bill, 2020, The Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Salary and Allowances of Ministers (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Salary, Allowances, and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2020
Some important bills likely to be taken up for passing are: The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Pesticides Management Bill, 2020, The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCIM) Bill, 2019 as passed by Rajya Sabha, The National Commission for Homoeopathy (NCH) Bill, 2019 as passed by Rajya Sabha, The Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Bill, 2020 as passed by Lok Sabha, The Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020 as passed by Lok Sabha and The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 as passed by Lok Sabha.
Bills pending clearance of one of the two houses include: The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2020 as passed by Lok Sabha, The Rashtriya Raksha University Bill, 2020, The National Forensic Science University Bill, 2020, The Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 as passed by Lok Sabha, The Code On Social Security and Welfare, 2019, The Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment), Bill, 2019 as passed by Lok Sabha, The Dam Safety Bill, 2019 as passed by Lok Sabha, The Major Port Authorities Bill 2020, The Occupational Safety, Health And Working Conditions Code, 2019 and The Industrial Relations Code Bill, 2019.
The question hour element has been truncated. Only started questions would be allowed. This entails questions and answers in written form.