UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis | An Alarming Fall – Parliamentary Efficacy | 1st August 2022

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What is the article about?

  • The declining efficacy of Parliament as a deliberating legislative body.


  • GSII: Functioning of the Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies


  • The refrain that standards of parliamentary functioning have taken a beating in recent years is not without merit.
  • In terms of the time spent on deliberating legislation, the conduct of fruitful debates both in tone and tenor, and in the quality of discussion, the reliance and participation of expert opinion through the agency of standing and parliamentary committees besides other factors, parliamentary sessions have been found to be wanting.
  • Much of this deterioration is a consequence of representatives of political parties utilising Parliament more to showcase political spectacle than to use it as a forum for serious legislative functioning.
  • Political Parties are utilising the Houses more and more as arenas of protest. Disruption has become the norm, with the Opposition seeking to use the debates as a ploy to gain publicity, but nonetheless even more damaging to legislative business, with the ruling party choosing to pass Bills without adequate discussion.
  • The officials in charge of maintaining decorum and order meanwhile have chosen to take punitive actions in suspending 27 MPs.
  • Data from the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats showed that suspensions of MPs went up three times during the present government’s tenure in power compared to the previous eight years.

Way Forward:

  • Clearly, an attempt must be made by parliamentarians to tamp down on this hostility with the onus on doing so being more on the ruling party and its representatives.
  • A revocation of the suspensions and dialogue will go a long way in mending relations. As the farmers’ protests that raged on for more than a year showed, the lack of adequate parliamentary process in deliberating legislation of consequence can result in social conflict and a democratic deficit in outcomes.
  • There are enough tools, mechanisms, structures and precedents in India’s parliamentary history that can be relied upon by the current set of legislators to bring back useful deliberation.
  • Parliamentarians must realise that the bedrock of a functioning democracy is a flourishing legislature.

Read more about Parliamentary Reforms at: 15 Point Charter for Parliamentary Reforms

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