E-Sansad and E-Vidhaan
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TOPIC: General Studies 2
- Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
- Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive
In news: An 18th All India Whips’ Conference, 2018 was conducted where all the parliamentary affairs ministers and chief whips of political parties, recognized opposition parties in the parliament and state legislature were present. It was an important day in the history of digital India as its agenda was e-sansad and e-vidhan– a forum to discuss how to completely digitize the public database of parliament and legislators.
Since inception of democracy, it is the scientific revolution that has led to institutionalization. Technology changes the society and so does the process of legislation. In the context of the present conference, 4 imp points were contemplated upon
- E-registration of voters which is an important component of entire process
- Formation of new political parties
- Provision of information about candidates
- Programme and services that improve the effectiveness of the representatives in legislature and parliament.
Critical role of Parliament
The major function of parliament is legislation. In the context of this, the representatives are importantly divided into categorization of treasury benches and opposition where opposition is also a part of government. Also, 15% of legislative members are ministers. In this way, there is co-relationship in the Westminster model followed between the legislature and the legislation and legislation and executive.
The developmental role of members’ input in the legislative process in a developing economy has been critical in evolvement of the nation. In last 70 years of experiment with democracy, many different situations have been faced and the magnitude of public problem has been enormous.
Parliament and legislatures have to be made more participative, more responsive, transparent, productive and accountable by moving the public database into the electronic platform which is accessible through computers, smartphones and other electronic devices.
Role of technology in legislation
Parliamentary constitution is very large. The communication between the representative and others becomes difficult due to the length and breadth of the nation and its unique issues. The technology will bring a sea change in the context of citizen participation and have a first hand information of problems of each constituency. For instance, the local problems remain local in nature in many constituencies. There are hilly areas, dry areas, areas with drought and flood problems. So in the context of this when similar challenges are experienced and solutions shared, the particular database will lead to
- Citizen alienation will diminish
- People who are active in politics will be able to perform their duties better.
If the e-system of governance also becomes the e-system of the parliamentary process, then the credibility and effectiveness of governance will improve manifold.
- With technology and better supply of electricity, internet is spreading quite fast. There is digital literacy found in school across India- government schools as well as school in remote areas. There is a general awareness of what is happening and what is expected. So there is a balance between realty and the perceived reality.
- There is a parliamentary research service and the basic data is provided. The input will improve the quality of legislation. For instance, the information will be at fingertip and the depth of understanding will improve.
- The legislation has a problem of colonial backlog. Many of the legislations are interpreted differently. This leads to piling of cases in the courts. If there is an increased use of it, the process will become smoother and disposable of cases will be quicker.
- Most important input will be that the process of legislation will have less lacuna. There will be healthy debate on the basis of data and it will improve the climate of democracy.
- Because of lacunae, there are many cases happening in courts, and bitter litigation going on. With this kind of enormous database available in future, legislation making will become more improved, enlightened, or comprehensive.
Technological outreach– India is multilingual, in the context of vernacular spread and also the spread of hindi, the technological revolution should not be restricted to English. There should be incorporation of main languages and then the effect will be much quicker. In the context of, if India can digitalise it, the essence of legislation will have a quantum jump. The judgements derived out of it will be near fool proof. Thus there is larger legitimisation process of democracy. The purpose of the parliament is to build the unity of the past present and future. So there can be better planning with required information access.
The citizen redressal of the grievances will be taken note of. It is a holistic change coming in and not just technological topic. It changes the life of individuals and lead to upliftment of the nation.
Social capital– if there are larger exchange of ideas and look up to criticism as confidence building up, then the nation gains in building up the social capital which is a primary ingredient for nation’s development.
Homi bhabha said that India has missed industrial revolution, but it cannot afford to miss the atomic revolution. India has the technology and technology upgradation skill and talent. If this is used technology properly, then India will become best functioning democracy.
Connecting the dots:
- India’s democracy is the suitable example of ‘changing with times, but keeping the soul intact’. Explain in terms of new digitalization proposal in its legislature.