Orientation Program will be a milestone in the direction of strengthening parliamentary practices, says Rana KP Singh

 ·        Special Orientation Program for Members of Punjab Vidhan Sabha to conclude today at MGSIPA

 Chandigarh, November 20:Speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha Rana KP Singh today said that the two day Special orientation program being conducted by the Punjab Assembly for the legislators in collaboration with Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration (MGSIPA) would proved to be a milestone in the direction of strengthening parliamentary practices.  The orientation program started today with an opening session here at Punjab Vidhan sabha will conclude on Tuesday at the campus of MGSIPA.

 Revealing this while providing the detail about this Special Orientation Program, an official spokesman of the Vidhan Sabha said Rana KP Singh opined that this program will benefit most of the legislators as they will get important information about assembly proceedings, parliamentarian procedures and various other aspects having utmost importance for legislators. He said that discussions on Salient Features of the Constitution of India, Parliamentary Terminology and Committees of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha took place on the opening day of program.

Giving details about the schedule for the second day of this program, spokesman said that on November 21 the first session would begin at 9:30 am with discussions on the ‘Role of Hon’ble Speaker and his Ruling in the House'by Dr.D. Bhalla, IAS, Secretary, BPST, New Delhi and Mr. Devinder Singh, Additional Secretary (Retd.), BPST, New Delhi followed by discussions on ‘Privileges and Immunities of Legislators’ by Mr. G.C. Malhotra, Former Secretary General, LokSabha and Dr.Sanjeev Chaddha from MGSIPA.

 He said that in the second session Dr. P.S. Jaiswal, VC, Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala and Dr. R. K. Sharma from MGSIPA would discuss ‘Law relating to Office of Profit’ followed by discussion on ‘Parliamentary Procedures, Customs and Conventions’ by Prof. Pam Rajput, Department of Public Administration, Panjab University, Chandigarh and Mr.Prabhjot Singh from MGSIPA.

 In the third and last session, Prof.V.K.Bansal, Former Chairman, Department of Law and DSUI, Panjab University, Chandigarh and Dr. P. V. Rao, MGSIPA would discuss ‘Anti-defection Laws’ followed by discussions on ‘Role of MLAs in election to the office of the Hon'ble President of India & Members of the Rajya Sabha’ by Mr. Tejinder Bir Singh, Addl. Session Judge & Faculty, Judicial Academy, Chandigarh and Ms. Shweta Kaushik from MGSIPA.

He said that the Orientation Program would conclude with the thanksgivingspeech of Speaker of the Punjab Legislative Assembly, Rana K.P.  Singh.



 Chandigarh, November 20: The Principal of the Government Meritorious School, Ghabdan, District Sangrur, has been removed from the post after being indicted of charges of sexual harassment in a report submitted to the Chief Minister’s Office.

Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had directed Deputy Commissioner Sangrur to investigate the charges against Wing Commander C. Deepak Dogra (Retd). In his report, the DC found evidence to support the molestation allegations leveled against the Principal by two Class XII girls.

Following the submission of the report, and acting on the Chief Minister’s directive, the Society for Promotion of Quality Education for Poor and Meritorious Students of Punjab has divested Dogra of the charge of Principal with immediate effect.

He has been asked to hand over charge to the Vice Principal, Ms Deepika Rani, and report to the office of Project Director, Society for Promotion of Quality Education for Poor and Meritorious Students.

The erring Principal has been booked under Section 354-A (sexual harassment) of the IPC and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).




 Chandigarh, November 20: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has welcomed the proposed elevation of Rahul Gandhi as Congress president, describing it as a step in the right direction to revive the party’s fortunes ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Talking to mediapersons here, the Chief Minister said the party elections announced today and Rahul’s elevation were long overdue. It was time to pass on the baton of the party affairs into the able hands of Rahul, who was mature and competent enough to lead the Congress into the next Parliamentary elections.

Responding to a question, Captain Amarinder said he was completely in favour of promoting youth, in whose hands lay the future of the party and the country. Pointing out that the Congress in Punjab had fielded the maximum number of youth in the last Assembly polls, the Chief Minister said it was in national interest to infuse young blood into the polity.

Captain Amarinder pointed out that he had always been in favour of Rahul taking over the party’s reins in order to inject the much-needed dynamism into it. Rahul had all the qualifications needed to provide strong and visionary leadership to the Congress, he added.

To a question on the Padmavati controversy, the Chief Minister said nobody had the right to distort history. He had himself studied history and even been to Chittoor, said Captain Amarinder, adding that cinematic license did not give anyone the right to twist historical facts. Those feeling hurt by distortion of facts had the right to protest, he said, adding that protests were a justified recourse in a democratic system.

On the farm debt waiver issue, the Chief Minister said the process was in full swing and he had directed the DCs to submit lists of eligible farmers from their respective districts. The waiver process would be rolled out soon, he added.

Reiterating his government’s commitment to farm loan waiver as per the notification issued last month, the Chief Minister said around 10.25 lakh debt-ridden farmers would get benefit of Rs 9500 crore under the scheme.

Under the notification, farmers owing money to cooperative, public sector and private banks, till March 31, 2017, will be benefitted. Farmers paying installments to banks will also benefit under the scheme. The state government has announced waiver of crop loans up to Rs 2 lakh for small and marginal farmers who own up to five acres in the state, and Rs 2 lakh relief for other marginal farmers irrespective of their loan amount.




 Chandigarh, November 20-Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday said while his government welcomed healthy criticism, the opposition should refrain from criticism for the sake of criticism, and all members should follow the basic etiquettes and courtesies of the legislative procedures in the House.

            Addressing the Punjab Vidhan Sabha legislators at the start of the two-day Special Orientation Programme, organised by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha in collaboration with Mahatma Gandhi State Institute for Public Administration, the Chief Minister appealed to the members of the opposition to play a constructive and positive role in the larger public interest. Constructive opposition of the government’s policies and programmes would help achieve better results in implementing its pro-people initiatives efficaciously.

            All members should follow etiquettes and legislative procedures, traditions and conventions laid down for discussion in the House, said the Chief Minister, calling upon the MLAs to treat the august house with the respect it deserves.

            Stressing the government’s approach of working in collaboration with all stakeholders in the interest of the state’s welfare, Captain Amarinder expressed the hope that the Opposition would also make full use of the opportunity, along with the ruling party members. 

            Pointing out that the sessions, to be addressed by several specialists and experts, would be of special benefit to first timers to acquaint them with the rules and conduct of business in the House, the Chief Minister said it would also help educate them about the proper legislative procedures and the correct manner of raising issues relating to their constituency in the House.

            The discussions will be useful in imbuing discipline in the members and teach them how to make optimum use of time in the interest of the people, he said, adding that these will also help MLAs become aware of their rights during the question hour, zero hour besides routine Legislative Business. 

            The Chief Minister called for a collective value-based ethical approach by members while raising public concerns of their respective assembly constituencies, and Punjab as a whole. He stressed the need for the members to imbibe the legislative skills, basic etiquettes and courtesies of the legislative procedures, traditions and conventions of the House while taking up crucial issues in public interest.

            He exhorted the members to participate actively in the programme and ask a lot of questions to get better clarity on all issues governing legislative business. The Chief Minister also urged the Speaker, being the custodian of the House, to chalk out the session agenda in consultation with the members so that the legislative business could be transacted more meaningfully, in the larger interest of the people.

            Recalling his experience as Member of Parliament, the Chief Minister said late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi used to hold regular orientation programmes for MPs, and remembered participating in one such session in Surajkund. He said he gained immensely from the experience.

            Earlier, formally welcoming the Chief Minister, the leader of the House, and all members, Speaker Rana K P Singh said the initiative, mooted by Captain Amarinder, was aimed at transference of knowledge on legislative traditions and practices to the new members. The programme, he said, would help equip the members to fulfill their roles and responsibilities in the interest of the people – the real custodians of Parliamentary democracy.

            Amid the changing parliamentary scenario, such programmes are critical to the development of the House not only as a forum for debate but also as an agent of change, said Singh. He underlined the importance of the ruling and opposition members working in tandem to ensure that the Speaker is able to discharge his duties efficiently and the House runs smoothly.

            Exhorting the members to take full advantage of the programme, the Speaker said it would go a long way in creating a congenial atmosphere for healthy discussion and debate in the House.

            Welcoming the initiative, Leader of the Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira said it would strengthen the legislature, considered to be the strongest pillar of democracy. It would be particularly helpful for first-time legislators, he added. Khaira stressed the need to hold sufficient number of sittings of the House to allow members to raise the issues concerning their respective constituencies.

            Addressing the members, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Brahm Mohindra said such programmes were vital to nurturing the spirit of parliamentary democracy. Recalling that in the last session of the Assembly, a first-time MLA had crossed the floor of the House in a wrong manner, he said it was imperative to provide them with the necessary training in the etiquettes and procedures of the House.

            Mohindra urged the members to go through the Vidhan Sabha handbook carefully and also called upon them to take matters related to the various Vidhan Sabha Committees seriously. He also underlined the need for the civil and police administration to give due respect to the MLAs, who were even higher in protocol than the chief secretary.