Gangtok: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said on Thursday that information technology should be used to improve efficiency in governance and for improving lives of people.
Birla made remarks after inaugurating the two-day 19th annual conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) India region zone-III at Sikkim Legislative Assembly in Gangtok.
Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh, Speakers, legislators and officials from various State Legislative Assemblies are attending the conference being held with three themes.
Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang, Speaker Arun Upreti, Lok Sabha MP Indra Hang, ministers and MLAs were also present along with Arunachal Pradesh Speaker Passang D. Sona, who is also the CPA zone-III chairman.
At the conference, deliberations are taking place on the given agendas of making Parliament and Assembly more accessible to the public; drug abuse and way forward; and cyber bullying.
Emphasising on discussion and dialogue and discussion, Birla observed that it is the biggest strength of democracy. He added that the legislature, as a forum to solve people’s problems, must be a centre of unhindered debate sans disruption which will increase peoples’ faith in democratic institutions, thereby strengthening the democracy.
Speaking on the varied subjects of the conference, the Lok Sabha Speaker said that cyber bullying is extremely relevant in today’s context, as a lot of people, especially teenagers and youth are getting affected by it. “It is our endeavour as lawmakers to discuss and to enact laws which aim to provide security and safety to all citizens, he said.
Information technology should be used to improve efficiency in governance and improving lives of people but at the same time safeguards should be taken to protect institutions and people from its demerits, added Birla. He hoped that the conclusions that emerge from the conference would lead improved solutions.
On the topic of ‘drug abuse and its solutions’, the Lok Sabha Speaker said that drug abuse is affecting the young generation across the country and referred to the detailed discussions held on this matter in Parliament on December 20-21, 2022. After a detailed and in-depth discussion on the topic, it emerged that members must conduct a comprehensive public awareness campaign across the country to educate the youth, he said.
Birla urged all to work with a collective spirit to end the growing problem of drug abuse in the nation and work towards a drug-free India. He expressed hope that public representatives would create awareness among the people in this direction and will work to provide the right direction to the youth.
On the agenda of making Parliament and Legislatures more accessible to the public/citizens, the Lok Sabha Speaker said that the manner in which active participation between legislatures and the public has increased through the use of IT is remarkable, but the lawmakers have to play a more active role.
Referring to ‘Digital Parliament’, Birla said that the work of the legislature is being taken to the public with the help of technology; social media has also emerged as an important tool for interaction. He called for greater participation of people in the law making process so that laws can be made as per the hopes and aspirations of people.
Speaking on the economic potential of the North Eastern states, he said that there are huge possibilities in the field of tourism, renewable energy, organic farming and handicrafts. He suggested that a strategy should be conceptualized in order to link the skills of the people of the North Eastern region with the national and global market to make sure that the whole region prospers.