Parliament panels may soon hire private talent as interns


LATEST NEWS – Marking a step up for democracy, Parliament may soon rope in bright young scholars who would get an opportunity to work with the standing committees.

Taking a leaf from the US, Canada and the UK, where students and research scholars get to work with Parliamentary panels, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan is pushing for induction of interns in the Parliamentary standing committees.

She held a meeting on January 31 with around 16 of the 24 panel heads who supported the idea, but were wary about maintaining secrecy of the proceedings or of the documents available with the panel.

“It is a good idea but secrecy is a concern,” said a panel chairman, who did not wish to be named.

Sources said a way out could be that these interns are attached to the offices of the panel chairpersons, who may ask them to prepare background reports on specific topics, while keeping them away from the proceedings.

The whole idea, said sources, is to make private sector talent available to the Parliamentary system and give exposure of Parliamentary democracy to the students.

The subject-specific panels are critical to the smooth functioning of Parliament and act like a mini-House comprising members from various political parties. Since the meet in camera, the panel meetings are hardly disrupted by the members and are considered to be more efficient than the main Houses Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, where partisan politics often weighs over national interest. READ MORE


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