Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to chair 81st All India Presiding Officers' Conference today
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla will on Wednesday chair the 81st All India Presiding Officers' Conference (AIPOC) via video-conferencing. According to an official statement, the conference will deliberate on the ‘Role of Legislature in fostering effective and meaningful democracy’. Notably, the summit comes in the backdrop of the International Day of Democracy, which is observed on September 15 every year.
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The AIPOC held its very first session on this very date a century ago at Shimla in Himachal Pradesh; thus, the 81st session today assumes another special signficance in light of this historical backdrop. The presiding officers of legislative bodies in India will attend the conference.
The previous session of the AIPOC, the 80th conference, was held over two days on November 25-26 last year. As 2020 was the centennial year of the Presiding Officers' Conference, the session was celebrated as a ‘festival of democracy’, according to a government release. Addressing a press conference following the concluding session, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had said that all the presiding officers have taken a pledge to strengthen the democratic institutions of India so that they can work together for the welfare of society and democracy. They also expressed their views on how to strengthen the democratic process and make the institutions more accountable, he said.
The presiding officers had also, in the last session, decided to make the people of India more aware of the fundamentals rights and duties stated in the Constitution. “The Parliament and the state legislatures will work jointly for this purpose,” Om Birla said, adding that he had also requested all state and Union territory governments to make readings of the preamble in all schools and colleges a ‘compulsory daily activity’ and urged state assemblies to coordinate with the administration to work for making every person and, especially, youth, aware about the fundamental rights and duties as enshrined in the Constitution.