Doha, Apr 10 : In today’s globalised world, a sound education system can change the fortunes of a nation as education contributes to overall economic growth, improved health, gender equality and strengthens social cohesion, besides mitigating inequity and reducing poverty, Rajya Sabha Deputy chairman Harivansh said on Wednesday. Participating in the debate on "Parliaments as platforms to enhance education for peace, security and the rule of the law" at the Governing Council of the IPU Assembly and the General Assembly, Mr Harivansh, observing that quality education empowers youth for self-sustainability, said that parliamentarians in India are conscious of the fact that education opens the window to the world and integrates nations into one universal family.
‘’As such, Parliament, being bestowed with the responsibility of discussing and deciding national development plans and budgets, and holding the Government to account for an effective implementation of what it approves, has always paid great attention to the progress of education as a means of social engineering in the country,’’ said Mr Harivansh, who is leading the Indian Parliamentary Delegation at the 140th Assembly of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Doha (Qatar).
During the debate, Mr Harivansh also mentioned about various schemes of the Government of India viz. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Samagra Shiksha, Swayam Prabha, Saransh, etc which are inter-alia aimed to universalize the elementary education to enhance the effectiveness of schools, provide equal educational opportunity to all and enhance the use of digital technology in education.
He emphasized that Parliamentarians have great responsibility to facilitate the benefits of modern education such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math-based) to percolate down to various sections of people, especially the marginalized and vulnerable sections such as the minorities and women.
Referring to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s initiative ie Speaker’s Research Initiative (SRI), Mr Harivansh said that SRI makes available critical knowledge inputs and expertise to members of both the Houses of Parliament of India for capacity building, information dissemination and knowledge sharing.
As such, the members utilize SRI inputs in the debates in the House and in the Committees. They also carry such inputs to their respective constituencies spread across the country.
Mr Harivansh further observed that the globalized nature of social media has created many challenges and parliamentarians have to find a way to make social media to accept responsibility to identify and prevent illegal campaigning activity and to take responsibility for the way their platforms are being used.
He also participated in the debate on the emergency item titled 'Cal for urgent international action to support Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe hit by Cyclone Idai'. During the debate, several countries including Seychelles, Lesotho, Kenya appreciated the relief operations conducted by India which was the first country to extend help during the natural calamity.
Dr. Sonal Mansingh, MP, attended the debate of the third Standing Committee of IPU on Democracy and Human Rights with regard to the follow-up to previous IPU resolution on 'democracy in the digital era, use of media for citizen engagement, freedom of expression'.
Mrs. Snehlata Shrivastava, Secretary-General, Lok Sabha and Dr. P.P.K. Ramacharyulu, Secretary, Rajya Sabha, attended the ASGP meeting. Secretary-General, Lok Sabha made a powerpoint presentation and presented a paper on 'Use of ICT in Lok Sabha' during the meeting.