AIR Spotlight Summary on “E-Sansad & E-Vidhaan”
- The 18thAll India Whips’ Conference rolled out e-Sansad and e-Vidhan in Parliament and State Legislatures to digitize and make their functioning paperless. The crucial issue of Efficient Functioning of Legislatures was deliberated by the Whips of Parliament and Legislatures and the Ministers of Parliamentary Affairs of various States during the Conference.
- E-Sansad and e-Vidhan are mission mode projects of Government of India under Digital India, to make the functioning of Parliament and State Legislatures paperless. Union Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (MoPA) is the Nodal Ministry for implementation of both the projects.
Role of technology in effective Governance
- Since the inception of democracy, it’s the scientific revolution which led to its institutionalisation. As technology changes society, so is the process of legislation. In the present context of the conference, 4 points are important: E-registration of voters, formation of new political parties, provision of information about candidates and the programmes and services that improves the effectiveness of representativeness in the state legislatures and parliament.
- The developmental role the members input in the legislation process in a developing economy like India becomes very crucial. The magnitude of the problem is enormous. When the E-system of governance becomes part of the parliamentary process, the credibility and the effectiveness of governance will improve many folds.
- The government want to make parliament and state legislatures more participative, responsive, transparent, productive and accountable to the public and make the entire Legislative process more efficient. Further, this environment friendly initiative is in line with the ‘Go Green’ initiative of the Government. Now by moving the public database which is largely paper base into electronic database, the objective of more participative, responsive, transparent, productive and accountable parliament and state legislatures can be achieved.
- In India the parliamentary and legislative constituencies are very large and so are the voters. If there is to be a communication between the representatives and other players and with the electorate, the technology will bring about a sea change in the context of citizen participation. With India’s size and diversity, there are situations where the local problems remain locally in many constituencies. There are many hilly, dry areas, areas with water and flooding problems. The E-governance will try to eliminate citizen alienation, and the legislative members will be able to perform their duties effectively.
- Parliamentary Affairs Minister said that this is going to help parliamentarians, ministers, and departments of the government, media, legal professionals, researchers, academicians, historians and activists. It will improve participation, better legislation, demand more information from the government and the depth of understanding will improve.
- In India there is huge colonial backlog and many of the legislations are interpreted differently and that leads to piling of cases in the court. With increased use of technology, the process will become smoother and disposable of cases will be quicker. The process of legislation will be such that the lacunas will be much less. The healthy debate will be based on the data and that will improve the climate of democracy in our country. With the availability of huge digital database, the legislation making process will improve; will be enlightened and comprehensive as the purpose of parliament is to build unity of the past, present and future. The participation will improve and the quality of governance will improve. So it is a qualitative change.
- By looking at the complexities and limited resources in India, we may not be in a position like the US where the state supports to each member of senate or House of Representatives enormously. By using the technology properly, we can become the best functioning democracy.
- Since India is multilingual, the technological advancement must not be only in English, it must incorporate all the important Indian languages, and then the effect will be much quicker. The deliberations of the parliament have to be available in all the languages.
- There is lot of fake news or false news percolating, but once the digital database is institutionalised and has credibility, it will deepen the democracy. The grievance redressal of the citizens will also be taken note of. Technological development not only uplifts the life of every citizen, but also leads to the upliftment of the nation. The nation gains by building up the social capital which is the primary ingredient for nations’ development.