My heart bleeds when the House (Rajya Sabha) does not function due to disruption: Vice President

New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha Day celebrations were organized on 29 April 2019 in GMC Balayogi Auditorium, Parliament Library Building, New Delhi to mark the Rajya Sabha Day which is observed on 3rd April every year in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat. It may be recalled that the Rajya Sabha was constituted for the first time on 3rd April 1952. Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Hon’ble Vice-President of India and Chairman, Rajya Sabha graced the occasion.

Referring to the eventful journey of the Rajya Sabha since its inception in 1952, the Vice President said, “Over the years, Rajya Sabha has emerged as a vibrant second Chamber of our Parliament, contributing to our tasks of nation building. Through the performance of its varied roles, the Rajya Sabha has lived up to the expectations of the Founding Fathers of our Constitution”.

Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu said that a Legislative Secretariat and a Legislature are complimentary to each other in sustaining the smooth and effective functioning of parliamentary democracy and as such while the Secretariat remains ever agile and active in providing requisite secretarial support to the House and the Members for enhancing legislative output, increasing disruption of the proceedings of our legislatures has impacted the legislative productivity and efficiency. My heart bleeds when the House does not function due to disruptions.

He referred to the valedictory remarks made by him at the conclusion of the last budget session when he had said that ‘people of the country want our House to be a performing House. The Members can alone make the august House a performing one or a dysfunctional one. The choice is of the Members. We should all keep in mind the expectations of the people and try to live up to their expectations’.

Appreciating the recent efforts in the Secretariat in terms of office automation and technological upgradation, he said that the Rajya Sabha Secretariat was keeping pace with the latest technology and for this, a number of steps are being taken to modernise the Secretariat in terms of ease and smoothness of work and the priority is being accorded to technology driven attendance system, work flow and e-office.

Reflecting on the multi ethnic and multi lingual character of the Parliament, the Vice President said that the path breaking efforts in the Rajya Sabha have been made such as making the interpretation facility available to the Members to speak in the House in all the 22 languages listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. He added that a Committee has been constituted to examine the existing rules and procedure to ensure smooth functioning of the House.

Shri Naidu applauded the Rajya Sabha Television (RSTV) for making rapid strides in terms of the appeal for its content and viewership since August 2017 when he took over as Chairman, Rajya Sabha. He said that in August, 2017, the YouTube subscriber base of RSTV was around 4 lakhs. It crossed one million mark in June last year and crossed the two million mark in February this year. The YouTube subscriber base of RSTV is now over 2.5 million and is far ahead other major channels. As such, YouTube subscriber base has increased by over 500% since August, 2017 which is a creditable achievement.

The Vice President appreciated the employees of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat for rendering non-partisan and objective secretarial assistance to the Presiding Officers, the Members, the House and the Parliamentary Committees which could sustain the progressive change in Parliament’s work profile, thus contributing to our democratic nation building.

The Welcome Address was delivered by Shri Desh Deepak Verma, Secretary-General, Rajya Sabha and the vote of thanks was given by Shri Mukul Pande, Additional Secretary, Rajya Sabha on this occasion. A cultural programme on the theme ‘Indradhanush’ a combination of different Indian classical dance forms by the artists from Kathak Dharohar, a renowned performing art institute was also organized.