New Delhi: An 18-day monsoon session of parliament that is being held amid unprecedented precautionary measures against COVID-19 is set to witness many firsts, including no question hour, restricted zero hour, the use polycarbonate separators among others.Also Read - Amidst Sloganeering And Protests By Opposition, Lok Sabha Adjourned For The Day
As per the standard operating procedures finalised for holding the session till October 1, the MPs and staff of secretariats of both houses, as also the media personnel covering the proceedings, will be asked to undergo COVID-19 test, not more than 72 hours before the start of the session. Also Read - After Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha Passes Farm Laws Repeal Bill 2021 Amid Uproar from Opposition
For making the entire Parliament complex a safe zone in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu had held a series of extensive discussions with officials of the Home Ministry, Health Ministry, ICMR and the DRDO. Also Read - After Centre’s Assurance, Protesting Farmers Defer Proposed Tractor Rally To Parliament On Nov 29
Check out the list of many first the parliament is going to witness this monsoon session
Use of chambers and galleries: In the history of parliament since May 1952, it will be the first time that the chambers and the galleries of both the Houses will be used for holding the session.
New seating arrangements: A new seating arrangement following social distancing guidelines has been prepared by both houses for their respective members. The MPs will also be allowed to address the Chair while seated. Their chairs will be separated with poly-carbon sheets in the House so that the risk of infection might be minimised. It has also been decided that air of air conditioners will be exchanged six times every day to avoid any possible infection. The DRDO will also provide multi-utility COVID-19 kits to all MPs.
Two different shifts: The first-of-its-kind Monsoon Session will see Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha sitting in two different shifts. The Lok Sabha would sit from 9 AM to 1 PM on Monday — day one of the session — while the Rajya Sabha will function from 3 PM to 7 PM. On all other days, the Rajya Sabha would function from 9 AM to 1 PM and the Lok Sabha would function from 3 PM to 7 PM, including on Saturdays and Sundays.
No cooking in Parliament: Parliament’s much-publicised canteen will not prepare mouth-watering dishes inside the premises in the Monsoon Session beginning on Monday, with only packed breakfast, sweets, lunch, combo meals and other items to be served. Except non-vegetarian dishes, other dishes and snacks to be served in the Parliament during the session will be outsourced by the Northern Railway through its Bengal Sweets vendor in the national capital.
Use of mobile banned: Use of mobile phones by media persons for live telecast or taking bytes of Ministers and lawmakers has been strictly prohibited within Parliament House Complex to contain the spread of COVID-19. “As informed earlier, media persons shall not use their mobile phones for taking bytes of Ministers and Members of Parliament anywhere in Parliament House Complex,” the order issued on Sunday read.
No question hour: The Narendra Modi-led government has scrapped the question Hour in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. The Congress has alleged that the Modi government ‘does not want to answer on the brazen transgressions by China in the Indian Territory. “It does not want to answer about the plunder of the Indian economy and the free fall of GDP. The Centre also does not want to answer as to why, for the first time in 73 years, GDP has fallen by minus 24 per cent”, the Opposition claimed.