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For paperless Parliament, MPs to get tablets

delhi Updated: Jun 26, 2011 00:34 IST
Varghese K George
Varghese K George
Hindustan Times
Varghese K George

The communists may find it hard to disown the legacy of having opposed computers when the technology made its Indian foray in the early 1980s, but CPI-M leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sitaram Yechury recently became the proud owner of a sleek Apple iPad-2.

Yechury is the first MP to hop on to a new scheme - not yet formally launched - that gives House members Rs 50,000 to get a tablet PC.

"We hope to roll out the scheme in the next fortnight. MPs can order it through the Parliament secretariat or get the cost reimbursed," said K Rahman Khan, deputy chairman, Rajya Sabha.

Khan said the aim is to make Parliament paperless. During sessions, members get huge amounts of printed material comprising House business, reports and debates.

"We will discontinue this soon," he said.

"Tablets will replace paper and MPs will make better use of the literature as it can be carried, unlike voluminous paper reports."

"We are waiting for Rajya Sabha to roll out the scheme and will follow suit," said TK Viswanathan, secretary general, Lok Sabha.

The National Informatics Centre has developed applications compatible with Samsung and Apple tablets, "keeping in mind the information requirements of Parliament", Khan said.

"For instance, just by a touch, members will be able to see what the starred questions listed for the day are."

Parliament's central hall and lobby are wi-fi enabled. And all MPs will be trained in the use of the gadgets.

Currently, each MP gets Rs 1.5 lakh to buy computers and peripherals.

"The cost of a tablet will be less than the money spent on paper for each MP over his tenure," said Yechury.