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Halifax/New Delhi; 25 August, 2022: Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla, who is leading Indian Parliamentary Delegation to 65th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference being held in Halifax in Canada, addressed the workshop on ''A People's Parliament: Accessibility through Innovation''.

Observing that hopes and aspirations of people in a parliamentary democracy are expressed through the Parliament, Shri Birla opined that People see the Parliament as a medium of transformation in their socio-economic status. Therefore, as the supreme representative body, it is the responsibility of the Parliament to act according to the expectations and aspirations of the people. He urged delegates to build a prosperous, inclusive and enlightened society, so that the benefits of development could reach the last person in the queue. Speaking on the successful democratic system in India, Shri Birla said that the people in India have consistently reposed their faith in democratic institutions through free and fair elections in the 75 years since independence. The increasing voter turnout in the elections has proved that the people consider democracy as the best form of governance.

Lauding the emergence of India at global stage, Shri Birla said that we are celebrating this year as the Amrit Mahotsav of Independence to mark the successful journey of Indian democracy during the last 75 years. On this occasion, the people of India have also resolved to make our country the most developed in the comity of nations.

Underlining the role of technology in functioning of legislatures, Shri Birla observed that technology has bridged the gap between democratic institutions and citizens. In a vast country like India, the IT revolution has played a significant role in empowering democracy. Through information technology, citizens can not only monitor the work of public representatives in Parliament, but public participation in parliamentary democracy can be made more easy and accessible. In this context, he mentioned about Digital India Mission, Digital Sansad, Mobile App and Sansad TV. He said that Information technology and mobile applications have increased the efficiency of Parliament and parliamentarians and the Digital Parliament App and Digital Library have increased transparency and accountability in the working of Parliament.

Shri Birla suggested that the Parliaments of Commonwealth countries should interact regularly, share best practices and help each other to implement these best practices.

Later in the day, Shri Birla met Speaker of the Senate, Canada H.E. Mr. George J. Furey. Mentioning about Presidential & Vice-Presidential elections in India, Shri Birla apprised Mr. Furey that a tribal woman has been elected as President of the largest democracy in the world. He also shared thoughts on strategies towards strengthening role of parliamentary committees in ensuring accountability of Executive, exchange of ideas, sharing of best practices between the two Parliaments, celebration of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsava in Canada and several other issues of mutual interest.

Shri Birla also met Speaker, House of Commons, Canada H.E. Mr. Anthony Rota on sidelines of the Conference and congratulated him for his election as Speaker.  The two leaders had an insightful discussion on shared perspective between India & Canada on socio-economic development & people-to-people contact. They also discussed about enhancing bilateral ties in trade, economic and cultural relations. Shri Birla further stressed on the role of India-Canada Friendship Group in enhancing parliamentary cooperation between the two countries and discussed other issues of mutual interest.



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