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Importance Of Parliamentary Standing Committee – Free PDF Download

 

Q) Consider the following statements. Which among them is/are NOT true?

  • I Standing Committees are the permanent committees that are constituted on a regular basis
  • II Ad hoc committees are temporary committees that are dissolved when the task is completed.
  • III Committee of Agriculture is an ad-hoc committee.
  • IV Committee on Soft drink pesticide issue is a standing committee.
  1. Only II and IV
  2. Only I and II
  3. Only I and III
  4. Only III and IV

WHAT’S THE MATTER?

  • Recently number of Bills have been passed by the government.
  • This has made the 1st session of the 17th Lok Sabha the most productive session so far in the history of the lower house.
  • According to data released by PRS, Lok Sabha’s productivity till July 16 is at 128% which is the highest for any session in the past 20 years.

  • But these Bills have been passed without scrutiny by parliamentary standing committees

REASON

  • After the formation of the 17th Lok Sabha, parliamentary standing committees have not been constituted as consultations among parties are still under way.
  • Partly as a result of this, the Bills were passed without committee scrutiny.
  • They were discussed in Parliament over durations ranging between two and five hours.
  • Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the government on several occasions in the past brought bills to the House without prior notice. “If such trends continue, the dignity of the House will be hurt.”
  • The Speaker said that he has already given a ruling that at least two days prior notice should be given to the MPs before introduction of any bill from the next session.
  •  With this, TMC leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay said the way the government is bringing in the bills, no bill will be left for the next session.

ORIGIN OF PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES

  • The first Parliamentary Committee was constituted in 1571 in Britain.
  • In India, the first Public Accounts Committee was constituted in 1921 under the provisions of the Government of India Act of 1919.

CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS

  • There is no specific provisions regarding their composition, tenure, functions, etc.
  • Parliamentary committees draw their authority from-
  • Article 105 (on privileges of Parliament members).
  • Article 118 (on Parliament’s authority to make rules for regulating its procedure and conduct of business).

WHY WE NEED THESE COMMITTEES?

  • The Parliament is too unwieldy a body to deliberate effectively the issues that come up before it.
  • Moreover, it has neither the adequate time nor necessary expertise to make a detailed scrutiny of all legislative measures and other matters.
  • Therefore, it is assisted by a number of committees in the discharge of its duties.
  • They are set up not only to take care of crucial tasks but also to provide necessary guidance and suggestions to the government while formulating long-term policies.

 AD HOC COMMITTEES

  • The Ad Hoc Committees are set up to work for a specific task and are dissolved once it’s completed.
  • The Select and Joint Committees on Bills are considered the main committees under this category.
  • Select committees are bill specific.
  • They are constituted if there is logjam on particular bill.
  • It can be house select committee or a joint select committee.
  • JPC is formed only when motion is adopted by one house and supported by the other.
  • In JPC Lok Sabha members are double compared to Rajya Sabha.
  • The first JPC was formed in August 1987 to investigate the Bofors scandal.
  • The latest one was formed to probe VVIP Chopper scam (2013).

CAN A BILL GO BACK TO A COMMITTEE?

  •  The House concerned or both Houses will consider the report of the select committee or the joint committee.
  •  They can re-commit the Bill to the same committee or to a new committee with the concurrence of the other House.

STANDING COMMITTEES

  • Unlike the Ad Hoc committees, the standing committees are permanent and regular in nature.
  • Most Bills, after their introduction, get referred to department-related standing committees.
  • There are 24 standing committees, each dealing with specific subjects such as commerce, home affairs, HRD, defence, health etc.
  • Out of the 24 Committees, 8 are within the administrative jurisdiction of Chairman of Rajya Sabha and rest are administered by the Lok Sabha Speaker.
  • Each standing committee has 31 members — 21 from the Lok Sabha and 10 from the Rajya Sabha — nominated by the Speaker and the Chairman.
  • It was back in 1993, when 17 department related standing committees were constituted.
  • In July 2004, seven more such committees were added, taking the total to 24.
  • All the ministries and departments of Indian government come under the jurisdiction of these committees.

ADVANTAGES OF PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES

  • Detailed scrutiny of the bills.
  • Obtaining public feedback and building political consensus.
  • Committees perform their functions without the cloud of political positioning.
  • Function through the year.
  • Increase the efficiency and expertise of Parliament.

WAY FORWARD

  • Mandatory scrutiny of all bills by parliamentary committees.
  • Research support should be provided to parliamentary committees.
  • Full-time, sector-specific research staff to make the committee’s work more effective

Q) Consider the following statements. Which among them is/are NOT true?

  • I Standing Committees are the permanent committees that are constituted on a regular basis
  • II Ad hoc committees are temporary committees that are dissolved when the task is completed.
  • III Committee of Agriculture is an ad-hoc committee.
  • IV Committee on Soft drink pesticide issue is a standing committee.
  1. Only II and IV
  2. Only I and II
  3. Only I and III
  4. Only III and IV

 

 

 

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