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Improving parliamentary efficiency: PM Modi’s radical solution is tough to beat

Inefficient Members of Parliament may no longer manage to get away if Prime Minister Narendra Modis radical solution to improving productivity in Parliament is put into action. Although the Rajya Sabha, as well as the Lok Sabha, have registered exemplary performances in the past few sessions, several MPs have been found wanting in terms of their active participation in debates held in both Houses on issues of national importance. Not one to shy away from springing surprises, PM Modi has sounded a warning to all errant MPs to mend their habits, albeit on a light note. The Prime Minister, who is in Chennai to attend the 56th convocation ceremony of IIT Madras as the chief guest, also participated in the prize distribution ceremony of Singapore-India Hackathon 2019 at the prestigious institution. Speaking at the event, he made sure to praise the innovative solutions and offered a witty take, particularly on one solution which involved a camera which can read who is paying attention. The Prime Minister said he was impressed with the innovation and said it could prove to very useful in the Parliament. Now what will happen, you know? I will talk to my Speaker in the Parliament. I am sure it will be very useful to Parliament, the Prime Minister said, much to the amusement of the gathering. #WATCH My young friends here solved many problems today. I specially like the solution about camera to detect who is paying attention. I will talk to my Speaker in the Parliament. I am sure it will be very useful to Parliament, says PM at Singapore-India Hackathon at IIT-Madras pic.twitter.com\/mheXdLaPGo PM Modi has time and again spoken to his MPs seeking greater accountability in parliament and has also tried to usher in a culture of ensuring that all parliamentarians from his party are present in their respective Houses. The PMs efforts came in the backdrop of frequent disruptions which had severely hampered the Parliaments functioning and its ability to discuss and pass laws of importance. READ ALSO | According to data put out by PRS India, frequent disruptions of parliamentary proceedings resulted in the Lok Sabha working for 61 percent and Rajya Sabha for 66 percent of its scheduled time. During this tenure of the UPA-II government, which was largely disrupted by the Opposition on issues like 2G and coal scam, the Lok Sabha passed 179 Bills of the 328 to be considered and passed, the lowest ever by a full five-year term of the lower house. The 16th Lok Sabha, which was when the BJP was in power, saw little to cheer. The 16th Lok Sabha worked for a total number of 1,615 hours, 20 percent more than the 15th Lok Sabha but 40 percent lower than the average of all full-term Lok Sabhas, PRS India data showed. There was also a general decline in the number of sitting days which stood at 331 days, much lower than the average of 468 days for full-term Lok Sabhas.