The Winter Session of Parliament began on Wednesday, 7 December. Here's all that you need to know.
How long is the session? Beginning on 7 December, it will continue till 29 December, with 17 sittings over a span of 23 days.
What has the prime minister said? Speaking to reporters ahead of the session, PM Narendra Modi urged leaders across parties to work towards making Parliament's winter session more productive. He claimed that MPs have raised concerns about the continuous disruption in Parliament, which not only makes the institution inefficient, but also denies younger MPs a chance to learn.
He also urged that first-time MPs be given a chance to participate in the debates.
While addressing the Rajya Sabha, he said: "Our Parliament will be the torch bearer of the world in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with ease and responsibility. Rajya Sabha is the biggest strength of the country. Many of our Prime Ministers have worked as members of Rajya Sabha," he was quoted as saying by ANI.
How many bills are on the government's agenda? The agenda of the central government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party includes 16 new bills, seven pending ones and two finance Bills.
Some of the new bills include:
Trade Marks (Amendment) Bill, 2022
The North East Water Management Authority Bill, 2022
The Repealing and Amending Bill, 2022
What is the opposition planning to bring up in the first session? Ahead of the first session, opposition parties met and decided to raise issues such as inflation, price rise, unemployment, misuse of agencies, and Chinese incursions in both Houses of Parliament, news agency ANI reported.
What did PM Modi say about the G20 presidency? Talking about the handover of the G20 (Group of 20) presidency from Indonesia, PM Modi said that the "G20 Summit isn’t just a diplomatic event, it’s an opportunity to display India’s capability before the world. Such a large country, mother of democracy, such diversity, such capability – it’s an opportunity for the world to know India and for India to show its capability to the world."
Who is the new Rajya Sabha chairman? Vice President Jadeep Dhankhar has officially taken over as the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, succeeding the previous VP, M Venkaiah Naidu. On Dhankhar, PM Modi said, "You've reached this stage while going ahead in life amid struggles, it's an inspiration for several people in the country." He added that Dhankhar will uphold democratic values as the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
On the other hand, on behalf of the opposition, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge Wednesday congratulated Dhankhar, saying, "Today we have got the opportunity to welcome you as Speaker of Rajya Sabha. Rajya Sabha is called the chamber of ideas."