Setting in motion parliamentary proceedings after 3 months, a meeting of the Home Committee has been convened for June 3, to discuss the coronavirus lockdown situation in India, and its response.
Anand Sharma, Chairman of the Department Related Standing Committee on Home Affairs has called for the meeting. The Home Secretary will brief the standing committee on the situation arising out of lockdown and its response by the Home Ministry.
Parliamentary standing committees which are considered to be the "mini parliament" will again be in action, questioning the government over its' actions and schemes.
There are 24 Department Related Standing Committees. Each has 31 members including 10 from the Rajya Sabha and 21 from the Lok Sabha.
The other Standing Committees of both Houses have lesser MP members.
Coronavirus and the resultant lockdown brought an abrupt end to the Budget session of the Parliament. The tradition of reviewing government schemes and its implementation by standing committees during the break was also put on hold.
No standing committee meeting took place after the lockdown as trains, planes and all movements were blocked.
The Opposition, led by Sonia Gandhi, even demanded a virtual meeting of the standing committees. But BJP MPs led by Dr Nishikant Dubey objected, saying that this would reduce the sanctity of the committees and compromise the secrecy of the meetings.
A week ahead of the conclusion of lockdown 4.0 on May 31 this month, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu held detailed discussions with Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, the Secretary Generals of both the Houses and other senior officials on May 23 to work out norms for subsequent meetings.
They discussed the availability of rooms and the guidelines to be followed amid coronavirus induced regulations.
The hour long meeting concluded with nine rooms being identified in the Parliament House and annexe for holding regular meetings of the committees.
Another six rooms were delegated to house other Committees of both the Houses.
Naidu and Om Birla directed officials to arrange for extra seating with microphones in the other rooms, to maintain physical distancing.
It was decided that the participation of officials from both the secretariats and ministries appearing before the Committees would be kept to a bare minimum.
The June 3 meeting will be crucial, as it will mark the beginning of functioning of Parliamentary system after the coronavirus lockdown, and will likely lead to a timely Monsoon session.