As we all know, our India is one of the most developing countries in the world and the government of India have also taken a wide step called “digital India” where it made the citizens to reach government of India from one Place in one touch. The Government of India have also been focusing on transparency of Indian Government. One of the most important organs of the Indian Government is Parliament which is divided into two houses called Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. The proceedings or debates or voting’s happening in Parliament are always beenmaintained as secret under section 8 of Right to information act, 2005. Now, parliament proceedings are also made transparent to Indian citizens through “Digital Sansad App”.
DIGITAL SANSAD APP
The word Sansad or Sangsad was derived from the root of Sanskrit, called assembly, association, council or parliament” in various Indo-Aryan languages. Digital Sansad App was introduced on January 27, 2022 by the parliament speaker OM Birla. “In a sovereign democratic republic, it is the duty of the Parliament to uphold the highest standards of transparency. Digital Sansad App is an empowering realisation of Parliament’s holistic and continuous efforts to keep progressing towards that goal”.
Digital Sansad App was brought with the aim to provide parliamentary proceedings accessible to parliament members and to the citizens of India. This app telecasts live discussions and debates held in parliament of India and also it was brought with the motive to help parliamentary members to log in to mark attendance and also to access personal updates like the status of their notices, House bulletins, and more. This app also provides previous data of parliamentary proceedings since 1947 and name of the parliament members, budget speeches etc., from 12th Lok Sabha to 17th Lok Sabha. Digital Sansad App is available in both android and IOS platform.
TRANSPARENCY IN INDIA
The word transparency means “see through of anything”. In legal aspect, transparency means transparent view or see through of Indian Government and/or administration. In transparent governance, citizens have the right to be informed about government budget details, have the rights to access documents and proceedings of the government, etc., but there are certain restrictions also given. Any rules or acts or bills passed by the Indian Government must be informed to the citizens after passing such act. It is not necessary to provide details before the enforcement of any act in consideration of misuse of information or cause of any anti-Indian terrorism, manipulation, misconduct, etc., Before 1947 that is, during British rule there was no absolute transparency of Government was given to people nor people had right to information. After Independence, on 12th October, 2005, parliament of India has passed Right to Information act, 2005 to make Indian Government transparent, responsible and accountable. On 1st July, 2015, Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi have launched a flagship programme called Digital India where any information related to Indian government or reach of citizens to Indian government is made easy via online portal from one place in one touch.
PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS AND RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005
Parliamentary proceeding was always been protected by the law from common public. There was no transparency between parliament and citizens. Although there was no transparency, citizens were given rights to be informed by public authority about any law or rules that is passed in the country. In a parliamentary debate on an RTI bill, Shri Varkala Radhakrishnan, MP said, “There must be transparency in public life. There must be transparency in administration and people must have a right to know what has actually transpired in the secretariat of the State as well as the Union Ministry. A citizen will have a right because it will be safe to prevent corruption…. It cannot be hidden from the knowledge of others. It must be divulged. But before taking a final decision, the Cabinet papers can be kept secret”. Therefore, this statement gives a clear idea that any information about Government shall only be protected until its enforcement. Rights of the citizens to be informed by public authority is given under section 2 (h) of rights to information act, 2005 with certain exemptions. Any sensitive details regarding Government shall be protected from citizens under Section 8 of Right to Information Act,2005. They are,
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen,
(a) information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence;
(b) information which has been expressly forbidden to be published by any court of law or tribunal or the disclosure of which may constitute contempt of court;
(c) information, the disclosure of which would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature;
(d) information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information;
(e) information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information;
(f) information received in confidence from foreign Government;
(g) information, the disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person or identify the source of information or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes;
(h) information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders;
(i) cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers:
Provided that the decisions of Council of Ministers, the reasons thereof, and the material on the basis of which the decisions were taken shall be made public after the decision has been taken, and the matter is complete, or over.
Since the excitement and literacy rate of our developing Nation is growing higher, citizens are also wanting to know about what is happening in India? What are we up to do? And, what’s going on with Indian government? Moreover, India is said to be a republic country where the citizens of India have every right to be informed about all these questions mentioned above. Therefore, in this 2022government of India have taken step to make complete transparency of parliament of India trough live telecast on Digital Sansad App. This app not only helps citizens and members of it to know about the information but it also helps us to take a look around parliament of India on how it looks like. This is one of the greatest steps taken by the government of India.
Author(s) Name: Sherin Sneha R. (VISTAS)