On 19th June 2020, Om Birla, Member of Parliament from Kota-Bundi constituency completed one successful year as Lok Sabha speaker.
During the last year, he came up with many radical changes and has set many records which were applauded by the country. Some of his greatest accomplishments were in the areas of increasing discipline & efficiency in the working of parliament. With his contribution, Hindi has become a major language of instruction in the lower house.
This is how he summed up past one year experience through a Facebook post
“गत एक वर्ष के दौरान सदन के प्रत्येक सदस्य का सहयोग मुझे प्राप्त हुआ। हमने वर्ष भर जनमानस की आकांक्षाओं व अपेक्षाओं के अनुरूप कार्य करने का प्रयास किया। नवाचारों से हम लोकसभा को देश के नागरिकों के प्रति अधिक जवाबदेह बनाने की राह पर आगे बढ़े। भविष्य में भी सभी दल संवैधानिक मूल्यों का पालन करते हुए सामूहिक प्रयासों से लोकतांत्रिक की परंपराओं को और मजबूत बनाएंगे।”
Let’s see some of his major accomplishments of past one year –
Ensuring discipline in Lok Sabha
He ensured discipline in Lok Sabha by asking MPs to maintain the decorum of the house. He once told two senior leaders, “If you two have to talk, please go to the gallery and do so. We have the responsibility of maintaining decorum of the house. House would not function like this. It may have functioned like this earlier but not any more.”Read more here
In order to make the Government more accountable, Om Birla changed various practices during question hours. He requested MPs to ask small questions and respective ministers to answer in brief. For the first time after 47 years, 20 starred questions could be discussed. Also double questions were discussed this time with the average rate of 6.68 as compared to 3.35 percent in the last 23 years.
Chance to Newly Elected Members
Om Birla also ensured that newly elected members should get the maximum chance to raise the topics of discussion. This resulted in 229 among 264 newly elected members could raise the issues related to the concerned areas.
Briefing Before Presentation of Bills
Birla incorporated the new practice of “Briefing Session” before presenting every bill in the house. This helped members to collect points for the effective discussion.
He also brought many radical changes by introducing an online reference system to generate efficiency among members. Parliamentary Research and Training institute is also established just within his first year in Parliament as a speaker.
CUT OFF IN EXPENSES
We can see his outstanding performance just in one year as he could cut off expenses and save 160 crores of Parliament by strategizing paperless work, use of digital mediums and deductions in travel expenses of members.
Om Birla started working very hard from the zero hour. He could even establish the record of passing maximum bills in the first session.
Various sources said that Om Birla’s name was proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself for the Lok Sabha speaker. He is considered to be close to both Modi and Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah. In years to come, we hope to see more reforms coming from his inspirational way of working.