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Push for paperless: UP Assembly to kick off budget session with tablets for members

Come May 23 and members of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly would be able to access documents being tabled in the House on tablets installed in front of their seats. As part of its efforts to go paperless, the state government has installed tablets on 416 seats in the Assembly under the National E-Vidhan Application project.

The digital initiative will be inaugurated by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Friday. He would also launch a new app for the Assembly.

On Thursday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Assembly Speaker Satish Mahana inspected the ongoing work of tablet installation. The chief minister also inaugurated a round of renovations at the Vidhan Bhawan.

While each member would have a fixed seat in the 403-seat House, the tablets have been installed on 416 seats to accommodate MLCs who sometimes also attend Assembly sessions. The tablets would enable the MLAs and MLCs to stay updated about the proceedings of the House, the questions undertaken and their answers, the agenda of the day and other notices during the budget session, which starts on May 23.

“While the Nagaland Assembly has also installed a similar paperless system but it is for the first time that tablets have been installed in an Assembly on such a large scale as our numbers are much higher,” said a senior official at the Vidhan Sabha secretariat.

“All questions, answers and the Assembly agenda would be available for the members on these tablets. The device would also provide details about the members speaking in the Assembly,” said a senior official while adding that the tablets have been installed in such a manner that members can read from them while sitting or standing.

On May 21, a special training programme will be organised for members to help them become well-versed with the new system. The training sessions would be conducted by experts from National Informatics Centre.

Meanwhile, a special programme “Prabodhan” will also be organised on Friday for the newly elected members of the Assembly, with Birla as the chief guest.

Senior members of the House including former Leader of Opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Khanna, and former Uttar Pradesh Assembly Speaker Hriday Narayan Dixit would be among the speakers who would talk about the functioning of the House during the event.

Sources said that while the idea is to have the entirely paperless sessions, some hard copies of documents would also be kept for reference for those who might take time to adapt to the new system.

While the budget was presented digitally in the Assembly last year too, but with tablets installed all proceedings would be paperless from this year’s budget session.

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