If the terms Zero Hour or The Left leave you foxed or you fail to understand why the tabling of the Lokpal Bill led to so much controversy, here’s a chance to get your queries resolved. Come October 2, and a mock Parliament called Model Indian Parliamentary Session (MIPS) organised by Rotary Mumbai and its youth wing, Rotaract, will be in session. It will allow 100 students to turn into their local MPs and understand how exactly parliamentary processes function, including learning to table bills and pass them.
“This is the second edition of MIPS. This time around, we will be having extensive orientation sessions on every Saturday to ensure that the students participating know what they are expected to do and say when in mock parliament,” says Savio Joseph, deputy DRR, Rotaract, who adds that students who participated last time are welcome to join in, but would prefer degree college students to register as they are the target audiemce. At this parliament session, the Lokpal Bill, Land Acquisition Bill and similar bills of national importance will be tabled. “These particular bills were chosen as the youth connect with them and will want to understand them better,” says Joseph. A leader of the house and an opposition leader too will be elected to ensure that the experience of being in parliament is actually felt. There will also a Zero Hour, where the new MPs can ask the government tough questions on issues of national importance.
The aim is to ensure that delegates get a sense of the complexities of real world parliamentary negotiation and place equal emphasis on cooperation and compromise. In this way, delegates get a chance to learn about affairs of state, represent one’s party/coalition, and also know how to stick to their position while working with members of other parties.
The website, www.mumbaivotes.com, allows Mumbaikars to keep track of their local MPs and MLAs through their base of newspaper articles, interviews and manifestos. Citizens can also compare their elected representative’s promises with actual performance and get details of their criminal records (if any) as well as legislative records. The group has also launched a book, The Promise Vs. Performance Report Card, that is a factual and comprehensive analysis of the deliverance on promises made by the six Members of Parliament from the city of Mumbai during the years 2009-2010. The book is available on www.flipkart.com.
To be discussedForeign Education Providers Bill, 2010
India’s stand on climate change - Copenhagen Summit 2009
Land Acquisition and R&R Bill, 2011
Lokpal Bill, 2011
Women’s Reservation Bill, 2008
Indo-US civil nuclear agreement
Various aspects of a day’s work in India’s Parliament
Functions and duties of elected representatives
A Walk Out
A Question Hour
How the bills are introduced and debated in Parliament
The democratic process of debate within a government, and political parties
Cultural backdrops of political parties