Both houses of Maharashtra legislature are slated to become paperless by the middle of the year, as the legislature secretariat (LS) will fit all desks with laptops, enabling legislators to access documents related to the proceedings via the intranet.
The LS has procured hybrid laptops for the legislative council, which will enable them to carry out business in the House, starting with the budget session, which commences on March 6.
A hybrid or convertible laptop is a portable device that can function as either a laptop or a tablet computer. The cost of each is around Rs1.5 lakh.
Confirming the development, Anant Kalse, principal secretary said conducting legislative business will now be a paper-free affair.
“We will start with the legislative council as a pilot project, as the Upper House has fewer members compared to the assembly,” Kalse said.
The legislative council has 78 members, while the strength of the state assembly is 288.
A senior official privy to the development said 88 laptops have been obtained - 78 for legislators and 10 for council officials involved in day-to-day business of the House.
“These are the state-of-the-art laptops with a 15-inch display. They have touch-screen keyboards with 8GB RAM and 1TB storage capacity. A dual camera, sim card slot and an expandable memory slot are some of the other specifications of the laptops. They cost Rs1.25 crore collectively,” said the official. High-speed WiFi is another feature of these devices.
Similar laptops will be made available to assembly legislators during the monsoon session, said an official. The monsoon session of the state legislature generally starts in July.
Significantly, the laptops can be used only in the House as they will be fixed to each legislator’s desk.
The laptops will contain documents such as the list of questions being asked by members, calling attention motions, bills and documents used by members to resolve an issue.
The administration will train the legislators to make effective use of the laptops. The first training session will be conducted this Monday, the first day of the budget session.