Parliament to go Digital

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IN EACH session of Parliament, huge boxes filled with heap of papers related to various reports that have to be tabled can be seen in the premises of the law making institution. Each session of both the houses of parliament needs a huge sack of paper as each and every MP has to be handed over his/her respective copy of any report or issue. In this digital age, our Parliament still works with the hard copy of information or data, despite the fact that every member of the house teaches the masses to be environment friendly.

An initiative in this regard has been taken as democratic symbol of our country is going digital. Last month, Secretary General of the Lok Sabha informed that each MP will get an amount of Rs 50,000 to buy a tablet PC of his/her own choice. However, currently, each MP gets Rs 1.5 lakh to buy a desktop PC and other related devices.

Now let us look at paper consumption in Parliament. According to the committee on reduction in use of paper in parliament in the functioning of Rajya Sabha, headed by Mr. N C Joshi, there was an urgent need to reduce paper consumption in the house. The recommendation was supported by then Union Minister of state for Chemicals and Fertilizers Sri Kant Jena.

Outlining the need to reduce paper consumption in Rajya Sabha, Mr Jena in his letter in 2009 to the Chairman of the Lower house said, “usage of the paper in the government during the parliament session needs to be rationalized as through alternative IT solutions like email etc.”

He further said, “I was astonished to learn that production of every tone of paper that we consume lead to CO2 emission of approximately of 1.36 tonnes. It further leads to the consumption of 26,700 liters of water and creates 96 kg of land waste.”

He observed that for every starred or unstarred question asked in one house of the parliament, at least 400 copies of the same are to be provided in the house in English and Hindi, and further approx 500 copies need to be made available to the Press Information Bureau.

It is enough to know to what extent our lawmakers are unknowingly affecting the ecosystem of the country. This data regarding paper consumption in Parliament is only for the lower house so the figures need to be doubled to calculate the total consumption in both the houses.

The initiative is a good one, though it is yet to be observed how many MPs can actually make use of the gadget and reduce their part of paper consumption. Not many of them are tech savvy so the young parliamentarians need to start the trend.

However, the National Informatics Centre has developed applications for tablet as per the information requirement in Parliament and the members can get access to that information with a touch.

The fund that will be allocated is reported to be Rs 50,000 and is enough to buy a tablet PC as lots of user friendly and sophisticated devices are available in this price range. Let us see the options available for our lawmakers and their prices.

Apple I pad- the most efficient and user friendly with a backup of loads application by the company. The gadgets boasts of the finest touch screen interface and ease of use. Though it comes with expandable memory support but the internal memory options are quite sufficient as it comes in 16, 32 and 64 GB variants.

Samsung Galaxy- the best replacement for I-pad 2, comes with powerful 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor. The galaxy tab is also available in three variants like its apple opponent 16, 32 and 64 GB. An Excellent display option, armored with front and back cameras, the gadget is one of the recommended picks.

Blackberry Playbook- playbook is serious business, it’s functions are nowhere close to its name. It is a complete business solution power packed with blackberry tools.

Deals like Acer Iconia, Dell streak and many others can prove to be useful but these three rule the chart.

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