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Rajya Sabha
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HANDBOOK FOR MEMBERS OF RAJYA SABHA

Contents

60.Reprography Service

The Reprography Service, set up in 1975, caters to the urgent official needs of Members of Parliament, Officers and Branches of the Lok Sabha Secretariat for photocopying of important press clippings, parliamentary questions and debates, articles from the periodicals and newspapers and extracts from books and other documents.

The Reprography Service has three distinct units, viz. Members' Reprography Unit, Reference Reprography Unit and Typing Unit.

The Members' Reprography Unit is set up in the Central Hall Lounge of Parliament House from where MPs, Ex-MPs, Press Correspondents and bona fide research scholars can get their documents photocopied against nominal payment of Re.1/- per copy.  Photocopies of papers relating to the day-to-day parliamentary work required by members are, however, supplied to them, free of cost, by Members' Reference Service.

The Reference Reprography Unit operating from Room No.104, Parliament House, exclusively caters to the needs of the Branches, officers of the Secretariat and Chairmen of the parliamentary committees.

The Typing Unit of the Reprography Service in the Central Hall Lounge provides facilities for typing (in Hindi and English) of personal correspondence/documents of Members of Parliament on nominal charges @ Rs.6/- per page for single space and Rs.5/- for double space.  Additional copy per page of the typed document is charged @ Re. 1/- only.

In order to ensure prompt and efficient service to members, two PCs have been installed in the Typing Unit.

61.Microfilming

The Microfilming Unit, set up in 1987, maintains documents in micrographic form for archival preservation and usage.¬† The Unit has prepared microfilm rolls of all legislative and parliamentary debates (1858 onwards), reports of various parliamentary committees, Government Bills, Decisions/Observations from the Chair, Directions by the Speaker, Presiding Officers Conferences (Proceedings, etc.), all souvenirs of ‚ÄúParliament of India‚ÄĚ and rare books and historical documents.¬† Duplicate copies of the microfilm rolls are available in the Parliament Library (Ground Floor) for viewing on the microfilm reader by members.

There is also a Computer Assisted Retrieval (CAR) System for the retrieval of microfilmed documents.  Microfilm reader-cum-printer facilities enable the members to obtain the documents or part thereof in printed form.

62.Press Clipping Service

The Press Clipping Service as a part of Parliament Library was started on a modest scale in 1956 with the objective of speedy disposal of information requirements of the Members of Parliament on topical issues.  Over the years, the scope of the Service has considerably increased, and consequently it has been organized more systematically.  It collects relevant and up-to-date news items, editorial comments and articles on important developments in legislative, political, economic, socio-cultural and scientific and technological fields, from seventeen English and nine Hindi newspapers, for reference and use by members, officers of the Secretariat and research scholars.  The English newspapers being scrutinised for clipping purpose are: The Asian Age, The Hindu Business Line, The Hindustan Times, The Indian Express, The Times of India, The Economic Times, The Financial Express, Business Standard, National Herald, The Pioneer, The Statesman(all from New Delhi); The Hindu (Chennai); Deccan Herald (Bangalore); The Free Press Journal (Mumbai); Central Chronicle* (Bhopal); The Telegraph (Calcutta) and Tribune(Chandigarh).  The Hindi newspapers from which clippings are taken include: Dainik Jagran, Hindustan, Navbharat Times, Rashtriya Sahara, Janasatta (all from New Delhi); Rajasthan Patrika (Jaipur); Nai  Dunia (Indore); Punjab Kesari (Jalandhar) and Aaj (Varanasi).  Apart from newspaper clippings, release of Press Information Bureau (PIB) and Indian News and Feature Alliance (INFA) and Daily Digest of News and Views on matters of current interest are also scanned in order to enrich the press clipping holdings.

All clippings are classified according to a subject classification scheme which has been specially devised from Dewey Decimal Classification system used for classification of books in the Parliament Library.  There are at present about two thousand subject headings and sub-headings.  The Press clippings are maintained chronologically in subject folders and stacked in proper sequence according to the classification scheme in separate rooms.  These folders are not issued out and may be consulted in the Press Clipping Section itself.  However, folders required for consultation by Members of Parliament are made available to them in Library reading rooms in the Ground and First Floors of Parliament House.

Press clippings of topical national and international interest are submitted for the perusal of the Hon'ble Speaker, Hon'ble Deputy Speaker and Secretary-General every day.  During Hon'ble Speaker's visits abroad, important press clippings are faxed to him daily.

The press clippings are being extensively used by members and the Research and Reference staff for answering queries and references from Members of Parliament, preparing draft speeches, Fact Sheets, Information Bulletins, Background Notes, etc.  Besides, various Branches of the Secretariat, particularly the Committee Branches consult the press clippings on the subject which are under examination by them.

Ordinarily, press clippings are retained for five years.  However, the scrutiny of obsolete press clippings is carried out regularly.  Important press clippings of lasting value and interest and those having bearing on constitutional, parliamentary and legal subjects are, however, retained permanently.

In line with the on-going process of computerisation of various activities of the Lok Sabha Secretariat, important selected press clippings are being fed into the computer, using an imaging technology system.  When fully functional, it would be possible to retrieve the desired clippings through Intranet.

63.Audio-Visual and Telecasting

In the light of advancement made in the electronic media and need to make the citizens aware of the deliberations in Parliament, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha Secretariats have taken several steps to record the proceedings and telecast/broadcast important proceedings either directly or subsequently  in a capsule form with the help of Doordarshan/All India Radio.

A beginning was made in this direction, when for the first time the President’s Address to members of both Houses of Parliament was telecast live on 20 December 1989.

Subsequently, an Audio-Visual Library was set up in 1992 for viewing and keeping the available records of the proceedings   in cassettes and CDs form.

The proceedings of Rajya Sabha were recorded live on U-matic cassettes till 29.7.1998.  With the commencement of TV coverage through the robotic camera from 30.7.1998, the proceedings are being recorded on Betacam cassettes. The proceedings recorded on Betacam cassettes are transferred to Video-CDs for supply to desiring Members, on payment basis.

Members desiring to obtain copies of the Video CDs containing their speeches, may contact the Lobby Office which processes such requests from Members.  Members may, however, please note that the copy of the video film should be utilized strictly for personal use.

The Service has mainly two Units: -  (I) Audio-Visual Unit and (II) Telecasting Unit.

I.          Audio-Visual Unit

An Audio-Visual Unit with a viewing room comprising four small cabins was set up in 1992 in Room No. 46, Parliament Library (Ground Floor). Facilities for viewing/listening to video records of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha debates, proceedings of international parliamentary conferences/seminars, parliamentary films and linguaphone courses are available to Members of Parliament. The proceedings of Lok Sabha and parliamentary films are also shown to dignitaries from India as well as abroad. The Unit preserves video cassettes  (U-matic, Betacam and VHS), Video Compact Discs (VCDs) and audio cassettes of parliamentary proceedings and other parliamentary functions/events like conferences, seminars, symposia, workshops and telefilms on different aspects of parliamentary practice and procedure. Arrangements have also been made for dubbing of speeches of Members of Parliament and parliamentary functions/events and activities into VHS cassettes on payment basis.  The Unit is looking after the work of selection and collection of materials, accession, classification and preservation of cassettes.

The linguaphone courses (audio and video cassettes) available in the Unit include the following:

Audio-Cassettes

(i)         Linguaphone courses in Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil  and Telugu through English;

(ii)        Hindi language course through commentaries in Assamese, Bengali, English, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya, Tamil and Telugu;

(iii)       Linguaphone courses in twenty-three foreign languages, viz. Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French,  German, Greek, Hebrew, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian,  Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Persian,  Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbo-Croation, Spanish and Swedish through English;

(iv)       Linguaphone courses in Hindi language through English;

(v)        Linguaphone courses in English language through Hindi.

Video Cassettes

Linguaphone course in four foreign languages viz. French, German, Italian and Spanish through English.

Video CDs

In view of demands from MPs and preservation value of CDs, the Audio-Visual Library is in the process of acquiring the recordings of Rajya Sabha proceedings in CD format. Till now the Unit has acquired the CDs of Rajya Sabha proceedings from 162nd Session to 189th Session in its collection. The Unit has also started transferring recordings of Lok Sabha proceedings in CD format.

The Audio-Visual Unit is also equipped with modern VHS cameras and editing equipment for recording/editing of parliamentary functions/ events and calls on by foreign delegates, etc.

II.        Telecasting Unit

This Unit looks after all the coordination work relating to televising and broadcasting of parliamentary proceedings. The President’s Address to the members was telecast live by Doordarshan for the first time on 20 December 1989. This practice is being followed since then. In November 1991, it was decided in a joint meeting of the General Purposes Committees of the two Houses that on an experimental basis, the Question Hour in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha be telefilmed and telecast by Doordarshan the next morning after adding to the recording the text of the question and after superimposing the names of the members and the Ministers.  A beginning was made with the telefilming of the Question Hour of  Lok Sabha on 2 December, 1991 and the recording was telecast the next morning (3 December, 1991).  Similarly, the Question Hour of Rajya Sabha was telefilmed for the first time on 9 December, 1991 and the recording was telecast the following morning.

Live telecast of the Question Hour of Parliament on the National Network of Doordarshan began from 7 December 1994, with the Question Hour of Rajya Sabha being telecast live on that day.  Since then live telecast of the Question Hour of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha during alternate weeks has been continuing on the National Network of Doordarshan.

Live telecast of the proceedings of Lok Sabha (Question Hour and post-lunch proceedings) through a Low Power Transmitter of Doordarshan began on 25 August, 1994.  Similarly, live telecast of the entire proceedings of Rajya Sabha (except Zero Hour submissions and Special Mentions) commenced on an experimental basis on 7 December, 1994.

Live telecast of the entire proceedings of Rajya Sabha, including Zero Hour submissions and Special Mentions, commenced on 21.2.1997.  The live telecast of Rajya Sabha proceedings is done through LPT channel 9 and is available within a radius of about 15 Kms. from Parliament House.

The Presentation of the Railway Budget and the General Budget were telecast live for the first time on 25 February 1992 and 29 February 1992, respectively and this practice continues till date.

In addition, important debates of Lok Sabha like motion of confidence in the Council of Ministers and important functions/events in Parliament are also telecast live on the National Channel of Doordarshan.

In order to telefilm and telecast live complete proceedings of Parliament in a better manner, a sophisticated modern robotic camera system and studio have been set up in Parliament House. The system has become operational from the Winter Session of Parliament in 1997. From Budget Session 2000, televising the proceedings of Parliament is properly captioned/titled through C-DAC system. Efforts are being made to telecast parliamentary proceedings live throughout the nation through dedicated satellite channels for both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

As an extension of telefilming and televising of parliamentary proceedings, video films are being prepared on different parliamentary practices and procedures and related parliamentary  topics for new Members of Parliament and State Legislatures. These films also facilitate in educating students, media persons    and others about various facets of the functioning of Parliament.

Six parliamentary films which have been prepared so far, are: (i) ‚ÄúPrivate Members‚Äô Bill‚ÄĚ; (ii)¬† ‚ÄúParliamentary Questions‚ÄĚ; (iii) ‚ÄúParliamentary Etiquette and Manners‚ÄĚ; (iv) ‚ÄúFinancial Committees‚ÄĚ; (v) ‚ÄúEnriching the Debates in Legislatures‚ÄĚ; and (vi) ‚ÄúHow to be an Effective Parliamentarian‚ÄĚ?¬† In addition, the Unit is in the process of preparing some more informative and educative films on the functioning of Parliament by constituting a ‚ÄúCommittee to Advise on Televising of the Parliamentary Proceedings and on Production of Short Films on Parliamentary Subjects‚ÄĚ.

The Unit also looks after the work relating¬† to the Committee of Presiding Officers of Legislative Bodies on ‚ÄúTelecasting of the Proceedings of Legislatures‚ÄĚ for assessing the feasibility of telecasting the proceedings of Legislative Bodies, live or pre-recorded.

64.Press and Public Relations Wing

The Press and Public Relations Wing, a constituent unit of LARRDIS was set up in April 1956 to (i) cater to the needs of the press and provide facilities to enable them to cover the proceedings of Lok Sabha, and (ii) establish better liaison with the parliamentary correspondents and the various Government and private publicity organisations and communications media for the publicity of parliamentary and other activities of Lok Sabha.  It also deals with all matters concerning the Press Gallery of the Lok Sabha (with a seating capacity of 120) including the issue of Press Gallery passes and provision of facilities to correspondents covering the proceedings of the House.

The facilities provided to media representatives by the Press and Public Relations (PPR) Wing include supply of parliamentary papers, daily agenda, committee reports, other papers laid on the Table of the House, etc., to all accredited correspondents who are now provided photo-laminated passes for a year by the Secretariat.  Photocopying and local fax facilities are also available to media persons free of cost on demand.  They can also consult books, periodicals, reports and other literature available in Parliament Library.  Facilities available to MPs for viewing the recordings of parliamentary proceedings in the Audio-Visual Unit, have also been extended to them.  Three well-furnished Press Rooms have been provided to the representatives of media in the Parliament House near the Press Gallery, Lok Sabha.  The facility regarding simultaneous interpretation of the proceedings of Parliament is also available to the correspondents of mass media in the Press Gallery.  Large screen television sets have also been kept in the Press Gallery as well as in the Press Rooms to enable the journalists to watch the proceedings of the House which are now being telecast live through Low Power Transmitters installed in Parliament House. Canteen facilities are provided to media persons in Room No. 54, Parliament House.

In the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, a Press Counter manned by the Table Office functions adjacent to the Press Gallery during session time.  Copies of the List of Business of the day, Starred and Unstarred Question Lists and the replies to these questions are kept at the Press Counter.  Debates and Parliamentary Bulletins of the previous days and such other papers which may be related to the business of the House are also made available at the Counter for reference by the representatives of the Press.  A few copies of all the papers, statements and reports of Parliamentary Committees after they have been laid on the Table are also made available to them through this Counter.

Admission cards to Press Gallery of Rajya Sabha are issued by Notice Office, Rajya Sabha Secretariat to the representatives/correspondents of the Press and the news media like radio, television, news agencies, etc.¬† Permanent photo identity cards on yearly basis to the Press Gallery are issued to only those correspondents representing the newspaper/agency who fulfil certain criteria of circulation, adherence to the norms of journalism, faithful reporting and percentage of coverage given by them to parliamentary proceedings, etc.¬† Such correspondents should however be accredited by the Press Information Bureau of the Government of India.¬† Correspondents belonging to ‚Äėlong and Distinguished Service‚Äô category are issued permanent Press Gallery Cards for duration of two years.¬† Temporary Press Gallery Cards are issued on sessional as well as on day-to-day basis to Press correspondents.¬† To be eligible, a correspondent should be sponsored by at least two accredited correspondents already covering the proceedings of Rajya Sabha on Permanent Cards.

Press releases on all matters connected with the Sessions and meetings of the parliamentary committees, various parliamentary conferences, visits of foreign parliamentary delegations to India and of Indian delegations to other countries and national and international parliamentary functions taking place in Parliament House/Parliament House Annexe are also issued by the Press and Public Relations Wing.  Special arrangements are made for wider coverage of important parliamentary conferences by setting up of media centres, catering to the needs of the print as well as electronic media.

With the objective of wider dissemination of knowledge about the working of parliamentary institutions, small and handy information folder on important parliamentary activities and various aspects of parliamentary practice and procedure are also brought out and sets of these are distributed to Members of Parliament, Press correspondents, visiting dignitaries from India and abroad and others.

(i)         Research Fellowships

Two annual Research Fellowships, one each in Hindi and English have been instituted by the Lok Sabha Secretariat with a view to promoting original studies on matters of parliamentary interest.  A Fellowship Committee appointed by the Speaker invites applications, scrutinizes them and makes recommendations for the award of fellowship.  The Committee is assisted in all its work by the Press and Public Relations Wing.

(ii)        Teleprinter Service

In order to keep members posted with the latest developments in the country and abroad, particularly during the Sessions of Parliament, English, Hindi and Urdu teleprinters, fed by national news agencies, have been installed in Parliament House.  Important news items received on these teleprinters are collected, scanned and brought to the notice of Secretary-General/Secretary to Hon’ble Speaker immediately by the PPR Wing.  The news items are also displayed on a News Display Board located near the Ground Floor Library at regular intervals through

*Earlier called MP Chronicle