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Uttar Pradesh: Proceedings in House set to go digital

The first budget session of the second term of the Yogi Adityanath government in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly from May 23 is likely to be different from the past in many respects.

Under “E-vidhan” (digitalisation/digitisation of legislatures) initiative, the MLAs will have electronic tablets installed on their desks at the Assembly to continually update them about the proceedings of the House, the questions undertaken and their answers, agenda of the day, notices, etc. Also, the Assembly will have fixed seats for each of the 403 members. Earlier, only the Leader of the House and the Leader of Opposition had fixed seats.

According to Speaker Satish Mahana, the members will be allowed to speak in the House only from the seats allocated to them.
In an effort to go paperless, the state government had allocated tablets to the members in the past, too, and had decided to share the budget documents digitally instead of printing. However, giving tablets to the members did not yield the desired result, said sources. Thus, the decision to fix tablets on the desk of each member was taken to provide them with all required information and give some relief from carrying paper files with them.

A special training session for the newly-elected MLAs will take place at the Vidhan Sabha on May 20 and 21 to make them well versed with the new system before the budget session kicks off. “The central government is implementing E-vidhan as a single platform by connecting all state assemblies in the country with all their database. The step will make the House proceedings paperless. At the later stage, we are planning to digitise all dealings of the Legislature with all departments of the government as well,” said Mahana.

The state Assembly is, meanwhile, undergoing a renovation before the budget session. According to Mahana, the number of seats in the Assembly will also be increased from 397 to 415. “The state assembly has been functioning with 397 seats even before Uttrakhand was carved out of Uttar Pradesh. But, under the new system where each member will have a fixed seat, we are increasing the number of seats,” he said.

The Assembly has 403 members, but there are ministers who are members of the Upper House (UP Legislative Council) and, at times, they are required to attend the Assembly, thus additional 12 seats have been added for them.

Mahana held an all-party meeting to make representatives aware of the new system and seek their opinion. The Speaker said after a discussion with the members, he had decided to take a maximum of two supplementary questions to one question so that he could take more questions. “I have informed the members that notices of only those members will be accepted who are present in the House,” said Mahana. Informing about the further initiatives to digitise the proceedings, he said, “The Assembly proceedings goes live on Doordarshan. Now, it has been decided that from the upcoming session, the proceedings will be made available on various digital media platforms.”

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