New Delhi: Lok Sabha Speaker and Chairperson, AIPOC Shri Om Birla told the media persons that the All India Presiding Officers’ Conference (AIPOC), the apex body of the Legislatures in India, is celebrating its hundred years in 2021. To commemorate the centennial year of AIPOC, the 82nd edition of Conference will be held in Shimla on 17 and 18 November.
The Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi will inaugurate the on 17 November. The Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Shri Jairam Thakur, will also grace the Inaugural Function and address the distinguished gathering. Speaker, Himachal Pradesh Assembly and other dignitaries will attend the Conference.
He further mentioned that the first Conference was also held in Shimla in 1921. Shri Birla was happy to note that the AIPOC is being held in Shimla for the seventh time. Earlier, the Conferences were held in Shimla in 1921, 1926, 1933, 1939, 1976 and 1997.
Lok Sabha Speaker informed the Press that the AIPOC will discuss the following Topics: (i) Journey of a Century – Evaluation and the way forward; and (ii) Responsibility of Presiding Officers towards the Constitution, the House and the People.
Shri Birla said that the Governor of Himachal Pradesh Shri Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar will grace the Valedictory Session on 18 November and address the distinguished gathering.
Shri Birla observed that the gradual decay in the discipline and decorum in the legislatures is a matter of concern and Shimla Conference would ponder over that. Referring to the discussions on this subject matter in the Presiding Officers Conference in 2001 and 2019 and several other such Conferences, Shri Birla emphasized on the roles and responsibilities of the Members in the House in smooth conduct of the Business. Regarding Anti-Defection Law, the Speaker said that a Committee was constituted on this subject matter during the Presiding Officers’ Conference in 2019 and it is likely that a detailed discussion on this report will be held in Shimla.
Shri Birla emphasized that there was an urgent need to rationalize the powers and jurisdictions of Presiding Officers for putting in place a robust system for the implementation of Anti Defection Law. Shri Birla also spoke about the important role being played by Parliamentary Committees in strengthening the accountability mechanism with regard to the Executive and referred to various path-breaking discussions in AIPOC to give a definite shape to the functioning and role of Parliamentary Committees.
Speaking on the financial autonomy of the State Legislatures, Shri Birla informed that this matter assumes great significance in the functioning of legislative bodies and AIPOC has discussed the matter on several occasions. The Speaker also lauded the role of AIPOC in promoting the use of e-governance and technology in improving functioning of State legislatures. Shri Birla further observed that the AIPOC has played a key role on different other aspects of functioning of legislative bodies in India, including uniformity of rules and procedures, live telecast, powers of Presiding Officers, financial autonomy of State legislatures, etc. Shri Birla hoped that the Shimla Conference would lead to purposive discussions and recommendations which would further strengthen parliamentary democracy