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Rajya Sabha

RAJYA SABHA

Performance profile of the House and its Secretariat
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Committees – mini legislatures

Parliamentary work is transacted not in the House alone, a great deal of it is done in the Committees as well.  Parliamentary Committees are, in fact, mini legislatures.  There are at present 12 Standing Committees, members of which are nominated by the Chairman of Rajya Sabha.  With a view to streamline the committee system and to make the parliamentary scrutiny of the executive wider and effective, the number of Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committees was increased from 17 to 24 in July 2004, out of which 8 function under the control and direction of the Chairman, Rajya Sabha and 16 function under the direction and control of the Speaker, Lok Sabha.The membership of these Committees was also reduced from 45 to 31, out of which 10 members are from Rajya Sabha and 21 members are from Lok Sabha.

During the year 2006, out of the total of 100 reports presented by the Committees of Rajya Sabha including Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committees, 82 were presented by the eight Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committees which are serviced by the Rajya Sabha Secretariat.  The details of the reports presented by the Committees are given in the Table below:

Reports presented by the Committees of Rajya Sabha during the year 2006

No of Reports

Subjects

Committee o

Committee on Subordinate Legislation                 (Total: 5)

162nd

Laying of Statutory Orders on the Table of Rajya Sabha

(206th Session)

163rd

Report on certain Rules and Regulations  examined by the Committee.

(i) The Kandla Port Trust (Authorisation of Pilots) Regulations, 1964

(ii) The Kandla Port Employees’ (Study Leave) Regulations, 1964

(iii) The Export of Milk Products (Quality Control, Inspection & Monitoring) Rules, 2000

(iv) The Airports Authority of India (Lost Property) Regulations, 2003

(v) The Export-Import Bank of India General Regulations, 1982

13/03/2006

164th

(i) The Oil Mines Regulations, 1984 – Implementation of the One Hundred and Nineteenth Report of the Committee on Subordinate Legislation, Rajya Sabha

(ii) The Rules framed under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 – Implementation of the One Hundred and Fifty-first Report of the Committee

(iii) The Railways Claims Tribunal (Procedure) Rules, 1989 –Implementation of the One Hundred and Twenty-third Report of the Committee on Subordinate Legislation, Rajya Sabha

(iv)  The Railways (Opening for Public Carriage of Passengers) Rules, 2000-Implementation of the One Hundred and Forty-ninth Report of the Committee on Subordinate Legislation, Rajya Sabha

(v) The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughter House) Rules, 2001

165th

Laying of Statutory Orders on the Table of Rajya Sabha

(207th Session)

166th

Laying of Statutory Orders on the Table of Rajya Sabha

(208th Session)

Committee on Petitions                                    (Total: 3)

127th

Action Taken Report by the Ministry of Environment and Forests on the recommendations/observations contained in the One Hundred and Twenty-first Report of the Committee on Petitions on the petition praying for measures to check pollution of river Brahmani and other water bodies in Orissa

128th

Petition praying for extension of CGHS facilities to the retired/retiring employees of Employees’ Provident Fund Organization

129th

Petition inter alia praying for institutionalisation of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme by converting it into a regular Department under the Ministry of Human Resource Development and regularization of services of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers as employees of that Department

Committee on Government Assurances            (Total: 1)

>

60th

Report on implementation of assurances laid during the 206th, 207th

and 208th Sessions/requests for dropping and extension of time, study visits of the Committee, etc.

Committee on Papers Laid on the Table            (Total: 6)

100th   

Non-laying of Annual Reports and Audited Accounts of the Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India ), New Delhi on the Table of Rajya Sabha; and Indian Airlines Limited and Alliance Air, New Delhi

101st

(i)         Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy, New Delhi ;

(ii)        Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy, New Delhi ;

(iii)      All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi ; and

(iv)  National Board of Examination, New Delhi

102nd

(i)            Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi ;

(ii)           Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi ;

(iii)         Indian Council of Philosophical Research, New Delhi ;

(iv)         Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, New Delhi ; and

(v)     Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, New Delhi

103rd

Government Notifications/Orders and Annual Reports and Audited Accounts of Government Companies/Organizations laid on the Table of Rajya Sabha during the 205th Session

104th 

Government Notifications/Orders and Annual Reports and Audited Accounts of Government Companies/Organizations laid on the Table of Rajya Sabha during the 206th Session

105th 

Government Notifications/Orders and Annual Reports and Audited Accounts of Government Companies/Organizations laid on the Table of Rajya Sabha during the 207th Session

Committee on Rules                                     (Total: 1)

>

11th

Amendments to Rule 252 (Ringing of the division bell) and Rule 241 (Personal Explanation)

Committee of Privileges                                (Total: 1)

>

47th

Attack on Shri N.K. Premachandran, M.P in Thiruvananthapuram by Kerala Police

House Committee                    

NIL

> >

Committee on Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS)         

 

NIL

Committee on Ethics                                                    (Total: 1)                   

8th

Report on the conduct of some Members of Rajya Sabha as shown in a programme entitled “Operation Chakravyuh” telecast by a private channel

Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce                                                                      (Total: 4)

                                                                          

77th to 78th

Demands for Grants (2006-07)

79th

Action Taken Report on the recommendations/observations of the Committee contained in the Seventy-second Report on the Problems of Coffee Growers

80th

Functioning of the Spices Board

Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home

 Affairs                                                                               (Total: 5)

118th

The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2005

119th  to 120th

Demands for Grants (2006-07)

121st

Examination of Administration of Union Territories (Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Pondicherry and Chandigarh )

122nd

The Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill, 2005

Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development                        (Total: 15)

172nd         

University and Higher Education

173rd to 176th  

Demands for Grants (2006-07)

177th                                        The Central Institute of English and Foreign                                                        w:st="on">Languages University Bill, 2006

The Central Institute of w:st="on">English and Foreign                                     w:st="on">Languages University Bill, 2006

178th

The National Institutes of Technology Bill, 2006

179th

The w:st="on">Sikkim University Bill, 2006

180th

The w:st="on">Tripura University Bill, 2006

181st

Rajiv Gandhi     University Bill, 2006

182nd

The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2006

                                                

183rd

Major issues concerning Kendriya Vidyalayas

184th

Major issues concerning Navodaya Vidyalayas

185th

Promotion of Sports in India

186th

The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Bill, 2006

Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Industry                                  (Total: 16)

178th

Report on Unlocking of surplus assets of CPSEs to generate resources for revival and the status of ancillary units of CPSEs: A case study of HMT Ltd.

179th to 181st

Action Taken Report on Demands for Grants (2005-06)

182nd

Action Taken Report on the recommendations contained in the One Hundred and Sixtieth Report on tax proposals affecting the various segments of industries (Ministry of Small Scale Industries) 

183rd to 184th

Action Taken Report on Demands for Grants (2005-06)

185th

Action Taken Report on the recommendations contained in the One Hundred and Seventy-third Report on Inter- Sectoral Strategic        Co-operation to Promote Small Scale Industries (Ministry of Small Scale Industries) 

186th

Action Taken Report on the recommendations contained in the One Hundred and Seventy-fourth Report on Operational Effectiveness of PMRY, REGP and KVI Schemes in Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Maharashtra (Ministry of Agro and Rural Industries)

187th

Action Taken Report on recommendations contained in the One Hundred and Seventy-fifth Report on key concern areas of small scale industries in select States (Ministry of Small Scale Industries)

188th to 191st

Demands for Grants (2006-07)

192nd

Report on the Dalmia Dadri Cement Ltd. (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Amendment Bill, 2006

193rd

Action Taken Report on the One Hundred and Seventy-eighth Report on the Unlocking of Surplus Assets of CPSEs to generate resources for revival and the status of ancillary Units of CPSEs: A case study of HMT Ltd.

Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests       (Total: 17)       

153rd

Action Taken Report on the recommendations contained in the One Hundred and Forty-sixth Report on Demands for Grants (2005-2006) of the Ministry of Environment & Forests

154th

Report on the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2005

155th to 161st

Demands for Grants (2006-07)

162nd

Report on Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Research Programme including Herbal Medicines

163rd to  169th

Action Taken Reports on Demands for Grants (2006-07)

Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture                         (Total: 17)                                           

92nd to 96th

Action Taken Reports on Demands for Grants (2005-06)

97th

Action Taken Report on the recommendations/observations contained in the Ninetieth Report on the Development of Airport Sector with special emphasis on new modern airports

98th

Action Taken Report on the recommendations/observations  contained in the Eighty-third Report on the Functioning of the Commission of Railway Safety

99th

The Admiralty Bill, 2005

100th

The Inland Vessels (Amendment) Bill, 2005

101st

The Carriage By Road Bill, 2005

102nd to 106th

Demands for Grants (2006-07)

107th

Action Taken Report on the recommendations/observations contained in the Ninety-first Report on functioning of the Archaeological Survey of India

108th

Functioning and performance of India Tourism Development Corporation Limited (ITDC)

Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee of Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice       (Total: 4)                              

              

14th to 15th

Demands for Grants (2006-07)

16th

The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2006

17th

The Administrative Tribunals (Amendment) Bill, 2006

Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare                                              (Total: 4)

16th to 17th

Demands for Grants (2006-07)

18th

The Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy Pharmacy Bill, 2005

19th

The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2005

 Probity in public life – Committee on Ethics:

            The Committee on Ethics in its Eighth Report presented to Rajya Sabha on 24 February 2006 examined the conduct of two Members of Rajya Sabha, namely, Shri Isam Singh and Dr. Swami Sakshi Ji Maharaj  who were  shown allegedly succumbing to inducements  of payment of commission for sanctioning  funds for various projects/other works under the Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) in a programme entitled “Operation Chakravyuh  telecast by a private TV channel on the 19 December, 2005.  The matter was referred to the Committee by the Chairman of Rajya Sabha on 20 December, 2005 for examination and report.  The Committee after considering the written and oral submissions of both the members, the oral submissions of the representatives of the Dedicated Investigative Guild (DIG)  which conducted the “Operation Chakravyuh” and the Star News  which telecast the programme and viewing the unedited and telecast versions of the programme recorded  the following findings: 

                The Committee came to the conclusion that the charges of ethical misconduct  and breach of the Code of Conduct by Shri Isam Singh could not be sustained as the member  had neither  asked for nor accepted  any commission despite repeated inducements  by the representatives of the investigative team.  The Committee found that actions both of the investigative agency which shot the programme and the channel which broadcast the episode amounted to tarnishing the image of the member in the public eye without adequate cause and had done incalculable damage to the member’s reputation. Committee, therefore, was of the view that both the agency (Dedicated Investigative Guild) and the broadcaster (Star News) might have committed breach of privilege and contempt of the House and its members.  The Committee further noted that as it did not have the mandate to examine   questions of breach of privilege, it therefore, recommended that the Hon’ble Chairman, Rajya Sabha may consider referring  the complaint of Shri Isam Singh to the Committee of Privilege for further examination and report.  However, in the case of Dr. Swami Sakshi Ji Maharaj, the Committee after detailed examination, observed that the facts and circumstances of the case  leave no doubt that the member  had not only committed  gross misdemeanour by his conduct,  he had also compromised the dignity of the House and its members  and had acted in a manner  which was inconsistent with the standards which the House is entitled  to expect of its Members. It concluded that the conduct of the member had brought the House and its members into disrepute and had contravened the Code of Conduct for Members. The Committee, therefore, recommended the expulsion of the Member from  membership of the House.  After adoption of a motion by the House agreeing with the recommendation of the Committee on Ethics contained in its Eighth Report  on 21 March 2006 the member was expelled from the House.  

The Committee in its Eighth Report, while dealing with the cases of Shri Isam Singh and Dr. Swami Sakshi Ji Maharaj, inter alia, made following observations/recommendations.  

            The Committee expressed grave concern over the nexus  between corrupt middlemen/contacts  and Members of Parliament and felt duty bound to contribute in exposing  this nexus  so that corruption in the political arena could be effectively curbed. Though Committee sought the cooperation of the DIG and the Star News in disclosing the ‘contacts’, they, however, declined to share this information with the Committee.  The Committee, expressed the view that by not disclosing information to it, the DIG and the Star News  seem to have  committed contempt of the House and accordingly recommended that the Chairman, Rajya Sabha  may consider referring this aspect to the Committee of Privileges for further examination. In regard to the role of the middlemen/contacts in the case of Shri Isam Singh where the middlemen responsible  for facilitating  the meeting of the team with the member had been identified, the Committee reiterated  about the need to proceed against them expeditiously  under the law of the land or else, this evil will continue to plague our polity. While reiterating its commitment to protecting the freedom of speech and expression as enshrined in the Constitution, the Committee emphasized the need to bring about some kind of regulatory mechanism for under-cover operations which have the potential  of encroaching upon the right to privacy of an individual.  The Committee in this context noted that the time had perhaps come for Parliament to consider the broad question of regulating sting operations.  The Committee, therefore, reiterated the urgency of enacting a suitable law for this purpose expressing at the same time the hope that the electronic media would also consider putting in place a self regulatory mechanism to ensure justice and fair play in their functioning.