Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Thursday said that the IT revolution has played a significant role in empowering democracy in a vast country like India.
He made this remark while addressing the workshop on "A People's Parliament: Accessibility through Innovation".
Om Birla is leading the Indian Parliamentary delegation to the 65th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference being held in Halifax in Canada.
Observing that the hopes and aspirations of people in a parliamentary democracy are expressed through the Parliament, Mr Birla opined that people see the Parliament as a medium of transformation in their socio-economic status.
"Therefore, as the supreme representative body, it is the responsibility of the Parliament to act according to the expectations and aspirations of the people," he said.
Mr Birla urged delegates to build a prosperous, inclusive and enlightened society so that the benefits of development could reach the last person in the queue.
Speaking on the successful democratic system in India, Birla said, "The people in India have consistently reposed their faith in democratic institutions through free and fair elections in the 75 years since independence. The increasing voter turnout in the elections has proved that the people consider democracy as the best form of governance."
Lauding the emergence of India at the global stage, the Lok Sabha Speaker said that we are celebrating this year as the Amrit Mahotsav of Independence to mark the successful journey of Indian democracy during the last 75 years.
"On this occasion, the people of India have also resolved to make our country the most developed in the comity of nations," he added.
Underlining the role of technology in the functioning of legislatures, Mr Birla observed that technology has bridged the gap between democratic institutions and citizens.
"In a vast country like India, the IT revolution has played a significant role in empowering democracy. Through information technology, citizens can not only monitor the work of public representatives in Parliament but public participation in a parliamentary democracy can be made more easy and accessible." In this context, he mentioned about Digital India Mission, Digital Sansad, Mobile App and Sansad TV.
He said that Information Technology and mobile applications have increased the efficiency of Parliament and parliamentarians and the Digital Parliament App and Digital Library have increased transparency and accountability in the working of Parliament.
Mr Birla suggested that the Parliaments of Commonwealth countries should interact regularly, share best practices and help each other to implement these best practices.
Later in the day, Birla met Speaker of the Senate of Canada George J Furey.
Mentioning about Presidential and Vice-Presidential elections in India, Birla apprised Mr Furey that a tribal woman has been elected as President of the largest democracy in the world.
He also shared thoughts on strategies towards strengthening the role of parliamentary committees in ensuring accountability of the Executive, exchange of ideas, sharing of best practices between the two Parliaments, the celebration of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav in Canada and several other issues of mutual interest.
Om Birla also met Speaker, House of Commons, Canada, Anthony Rota on the sidelines of the Conference and congratulated him for his election as Speaker.
The two leaders had an insightful discussion on the shared perspectives between India and Canada on socio-economic development and people-to-people contact.
They also discussed about enhancing bilateral ties in trade, economic and cultural relations. Birla further stressed on the role of the India-Canada Friendship Group in enhancing parliamentary cooperation between the two countries and discussed other issues of mutual interest.
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