Special Parliament session: Employees will wear uniforms with Indian touch

**EDS: VIDEO GRAB** New Delhi: Parliamentarians in Lok Sabha during the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. (LSTV/PTI Photo)(PTI20-09-2020_000128B)

New Delhi Staff inside and outside both Houses of Parliament will wear new uniforms when moving into the new Parliament building next week, Lok Sabha officials familiar with the matter said. The new uniform will have an “Indian” touch, he said on condition of anonymity.

The new uniform will include Manipuri headgear for marshals of both Houses and lotus motif shirts (which also adorn the carpets of the Rajya Sabha in the new building) for officials of the table office, notice office and parliamentary reporting sections. Officials said all women officers will get newly designed sarees.

Of course, the lotus is the national flower of India, but this proposal could give rise to political controversy as it is also the election symbol of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

According to officials, all 18 National Institutes of Fashion Technology (NIFT) were asked to suggest new designs for the uniform. “An expert committee finalized the new uniform from those proposals,” an official said.

Officers from all five major branches of the Parliament Secretariat – reporting, table office, notice office, legislative branch and security – like the marshals, will wear the new uniform this session. “These branches deal with MPs [Members of Parliament] and other visitors. In many ways he is the face of the Parliament Secretariat. Their uniforms add dignity and grace to the Indian Parliament,” one second? Official added.

Also read: Congress leader Sonia Gandhi writes letter to PM Modi, lists issues for special Parliament session

The marshals, who stand beside the Speaker and assist the presiding officers, will now wear cream-coloured kurta pajama instead of safari suits. They will also wear Manipuri cap instead of turban.

Officials from the five departments will also give up their light blue safari suits and sport button-down shirts with lotus motifs. They will wear cream colored jackets and light white trousers. This will be a significant change from the current range of safari suits in blue, fawn, Prussian blue and charcoal colours, depending on the section.

The Table Office handles the full range of paperwork for the House and sorts questions for Question Time. The Parliament Security Branch, headed by an IPS officer, is responsible for maintaining the internal security of the complex. The government has deployed paramilitary forces for external security of the complex.

The reporting branch, which sits in the well in front of the Speaker’s chair, takes verbatim notes of all discussions inside the House and parliamentary committees. The legislative branch acts as a secretariat to introduce bills.

In 2000, Parliament officers from these five sections were also given an allowance of up to ₹17,000 for women and ₹16,000 for men for purchasing uniforms; The allowance was payable every two years.

The five-day special session of Parliament, scheduled from September 18 to 22, will be partly held in the new Parliament building, people familiar with the matter said. While the first day of the session will be held in the old building, the remaining part of the session will be held in the new building which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 28.

Lok Sabha officials said the new building is all set to host the special session, the agenda of which has not been disclosed yet by the central government.