Effective functioning of the parliament is of paramount importance to Democracy. Parliament is at the heart, soul and purpose of democracy where representatives discuss and formulate policies for the welfare of the people. How much elected representatives make use of this time reflects the commitment of our representatives towards. Through the following statistic we will arrive at how well our representatives have performed besides we will also ponder who takes the credit for a proper functioning of the house, is it the ruling party? the opposition? or both?
All the below mentioned data is from PRS Legislative Research
1.) In the incumbent Lok Sabha, it worked overtime recording 120% productivity, while Rajya Sabha recorded 84%.
2.) Lok Sabha had an unblemished record in conducting question hour so far with 100% productivity while question hour functioned 63% of the time in RS.
3.) In the budget session 2016 when LS functioned 121% of the time and RS for 96%, according to analysis
4.) The Lower House worked for 79.10 hours, though it had allocated 66 hours for this session. RS lost 16% of its time working for 54.58 hours instead of the 65 hours allocated.
The above numbers are significant given the dismal numbers of the previous Lok Sabha under UPA II 1.) The then Lok Sabha utilized only 61 per cent of the total time allocated, compared to 91 per cent and 87 per cent utilized by the 13th and 14th Lok Sabhas respectively.
2.) The Upper House, the Rajya Sabha, functioned for only 66 per cent of the allocated time.
3.) During the Winter Session of 2010 was a complete wash out. Lok Sabha worked for only 52 per cent of the allotted working hours and the Rajya Sabha for 55 per cent.
The corruption scandals ensured brought the opposition parties and the ruling dispensation at loggerheads which drastically reduced the normal functioning of both the houses of Parliament. Which leads to the question we wanted to ponder and debate on. Who takes the credits for a efficient functioning of the Parliament?
During UPA II, the opposition headed by the BJP was relentless in its stance and partly it was right given the scams which began to surface during UPA II. However the never give-in attitude resulted in Parliament not being allowed to function by the opposition. There is a consensus that the ruling party is there to legislate and the opposition as a check and balance to keep the ruling dispensation on their toes. However, that should not as a consequence mean an opposition which hinders the working of the Parliament as disruptive force as in the case of UPA II, the opposition need to strike a fine balance in opposing and debating. There is not definite line which can be drawn that defines what can be considered a constructive behavior and destructive behavior by the opposition parties. It is for the good for all that ruling parties and opposition maintain cordial ties. On those lines, both the ruling party and opposition party deserves to share the credit for the effective functioning of Parliament with a mild bias towards opposition parties.
Even at 76, Pradip Burman, the zestful chairman of Mobius Foundation radiates a contagious enthusiasm when he is talking about sustainability. The environmental crusader, better known to many as the great-grandson of Dabur founder Dr S.K.Burman, has devoted substantial attention towards promoting the concept of sustainability in all aspects of life. He refuses to conform to the convenience and comfort in today’s world which ultimately adds on to the adverse effects of climate change.
Talking to The Logical Indian, Burman emphasised why sustainability as a concept is indispensable for us. “We ought to be aware of what lies ahead of us. Soon we will finish the oil, iron, tin, and coal, and our next generations will be left with nothing. Recycling, banning plastics, stop felling trees for paper… This should become a part of everyone’s lifestyle,” he urges.
Traditional wisdom and modern research
A mechanical engineer from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, Burman had always nurtured a keen interest in helping the society, as evident from his graduation project of designing a sonic aid for the visually challenged, which detected obstacles in the way using ultrasonic wave signals.
As an executive for the nature-centric company Dabur, Burman has always opted for natural alternatives to solve his everyday problems like taking Ayurvedic medicine to cure his Arthritis. He later launched the veterinary wing for Dabur – Ayurvet – which provides nature-friendly solutions for animal health care.
A patron of the ancient scientific wisdom of India, Burman always hailed the confluence of “traditional knowledge and modern research”, which he advocated as the Ayurvet motto.
As part of the CSR initiative of Dabur, Pradip Burman founded SUNDESH (Sustainable Development Society) which has been tirelessly working for last 25 years in remote villages for uplifting the rural communities in an environmentally sustainable way.
An advocate of sustainability
Burman believes that sustainability is the indispensable mantra for the world at present. Due to uncontrolled utilisation of the planet’s resources by human beings, the world today stands at a juncture of destabilisation. Today the human race has reached the pinnacle of progress but the advancement is happening in a very unsustainable manner.
Through energy-efficient use of everyday essentials like transport, communication, altered habits of diet, clothing and daily living, some crusaders of sustainability try to reduce their carbon footprint. Pradip Burman’s Mobius Foundation is one of the forerunners toward sustainability goals.
Mobius Foundation aims to change the sustainability dynamics
In 2015, Burman paved the way for the start of Mobius Foundation, focused on sustainability. Named after 18th-century German mathematician August Ferdinand Mobius, the famous Mobius strip has an important philosophical significance. The extraordinary shape symbolises balance and union.
Similar is the essence of Mobius Foundation which wishes to enhance the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” principle to a widespread basis in India, helping generations to come.
Founder Pradip Burman wishes to achieve notable development in education, population stabilisation and renewable energy projects.
A dream school in the making
At Coorg, Pradip Burman’s Mobius Foundation is constructing the World Environment School, Coorg (WESc) where the curriculum will surpass the boundaries of books and classrooms, with a special focus on hands-on learning in close collaboration with the environment. Amidst the pristine natural beauty of Coorg, the school will nurture young minds to grow up into future green leaders. As of now, the school will be open to teenagers, welcoming students from standards 6 to 12.
Needless to say, World Environment School will be the first-of-its-kind not only in India but also in entire South Asia. The school is expected to start from March 2020.
The school promises to nurture the responsible behaviour of citizens of our future.
The Sustainability Conference of 2019
In 2019, the Mobius Foundation has planned an international conference, on the lines of the celebrated earth summits over the past decade. The 2019 International Conference on Sustainability Education (ICSE 2019) aims to bring together environmental activists, practitioners of sustainable development as well as climate change experts to help develop a sustainability-focused curriculum.
It is surmised that the conference will give a platform to innovative concepts of Sustainability Education including an essential change in the existing education system ensuring a wholesome personal development for a student.
The Sustainability crusader
The Mobius founder strongly believes that it is high time to sprout sustainability awareness among a society drowning in consumerism and unknowingly doing irreparable harm to the planet, every second. The best way to achieve this goal is through education which is available to all. At present, the education system is predominantly career-oriented, making the learners a victim of materialism, and thus, their dreams are also outlined in those colours.
Living beyond the limits
When asked about his wish to attain the age of hundred, he strongly asserts that more than becoming a centurion, he wishes his life and work continue to better the society even in his absence. “I have lived my life. I wish that whatever I start before I go, will continue – for the betterment of my country,” says Mr Pradip Burman.
He is also a trustee of the Climate Reality Project – India (affiliated to Mr. Al Gore of the Climate Reality Project Foundation, USA). Climate Reality Project, India, has been actively engaged igniting the spark and spreading the message of climate change amongst educators, policy makers and civil society. The India branch looks after more than 500 trained Climate Leaders, and more than 900 volunteers spread all over the country.
In his journey, Pradip Burman has been a beacon of hope for millions, motivating many to join the movement for sustainability. We wish he continues his tireless efforts for promoting sustainability awareness and inspire generations to come.