The outcome rather than the output is the true measure of efficiency of legislature. Discuss, in context of the functioning of parliament of India.

Indian parliament consisting of an upper house & a lower house is the highest institution and embodiment of India’s deliberative and representative democracy.

Despite a large number of bills passed, the functioning of Indian parliament has recently been affected by several issues:

  • Decline in outcome/productivity over years. Decline in time given for deliberations due to reduced hours of session.
  • Increased disruption in parliament.
  • Decreased functioning of question hour.
  • Reduced no of bills referred to committees.
  • Misuse of anti-defection and money bill powers by the speaker.
  • Lack of constructive debates, frequent resort to rhetoric.
  • Reduced role of opposition, no private bill has been passed in more than 30 years.

Effects of focusing on output rather than outcome:

  • Reduced expert feedback.
  • Weakened representative and deliberative democracy.
  • Reduced acceptance of laws by public, e.g. Farm bills.
  • Weakened doctrine of checks & balances.
  • Reduced role of committees.

Measures needed:

  • Fix minimum sitting hours in Parliament.
  • Code of ethics for MPs and Ministers.
  • Compulsory reference of all important bills to committees.
  • Inner-party democracy to enhance deliberations on issues.
  • Follow international best practices. E.g. Shadow cabinet of UK to increase role of opposition.

15 point business reform charter as recommended by VP Venkaiah Naidu can act as the way forward to efficient parliamentary functioning.

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