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Venkaiah Naidu urges RS members to work together to take India to new heights

New Delhi: Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday appealed to all the members of the House to give their best performance to make this Parliament Monsoon Session a memorable one and to ensure to work together for the next 25 years of 'Amrit Kaal' to take India to new heights by the time our nation rejoices in the centenary year of its independence. "We are all coming together after over three months since the Budget Session that concluded on April 7 this year. I have always cherished such coming together in our collective quest for doing our bit for making an India of the dreams and aspirations of about 140 crore people," he said while extending a warm welcome to all the Members of the House to this Monsoon Session during his opening remarks. He expected that the Session will set the right tone for the functioning of this august House over the next 25 years of 'Amrit Kaal' which is a critical period to take India to an entirely new plane by the time our nation rejoices in the centenary year of its independence. "I would expect all of you to be propelled by the spirit of "New India@100" so that our nation makes up for the missed time and opportunities. This spirit shall also inspire all other stakeholders. Particularly so, as our nation is set to become the most populous in the world, overtaking China in the first year of 'Amrit Kaal', as projected by the United Nations Population Division last week," he said. Highlighting the fact that the population of the country will increase by about 20 crores when independent India turns 100 years, Naidu said, "The challenges and opportunities that come with it need to be addressed with a long-term vision and imagination. The Parliament of India has to play a pivotal role in shaping a bright future. Members of Parliament need to rise to the occasion." Recalling that this will be his last Parliament session, the Rajya Sabha Chairman said that the journey of five years has been quite a learning experience for him. "Such a coming together this time is of particular significance for me as it is the last such privilege. Since my assumption of office five years ago, we have so far gathered together for 13 full sessions and this is the 14th such occasion. This journey of five years has been quite a learning experience for me," he said. Naidu further said that dealing with about 245 Members of this august House from over 30 political parties with different minds, inclinations and political ideologies is quite revealing and even a testing experience. "I tried to the best of my ability to draw the best out of all of you as a collective since the underlying unifying force was the interests of the nation and to fulfill the aspirations of the people and also the federal interests of the States that this Council of States was required to sub-serve. The credit for the positives if any, would go to all of you. And if my best efforts were short of your expectations, I would not hesitate to take responsibility for the same," he added. I would like to give you all a detailed factual account in perspective of the functioning of this august House during the last five years on the tenth of next month, my last day in office. I would, however, like to mention one statistics today for all of you to think over. Further mentioning the statistics of the House, he said during the last 13 sessions, 141 of the 248 scheduled full sittings, accounting for 57 per cent of the total sittings were disrupted partly or fully."All of you would agree that this could have been better given our mission for the nation. Better late than never. It is time now to be different and better," he said. He also reminded everyone that this is the last session in the 75th Year of hard-fought Independence that is being celebrated across the country. "I would like to remind all of you that this is the last session in the 75th Year of our hard-fought Independence that is being celebrated across the country. As in the case of all the last thirteen sessions that I presided over, I would like to fervently appeal to all of you to give out your best performance to make this Session a memorable one, particularly, in the context of its significance," said Naidu. Pointing out the fact that the Parliament functions throughout the year through its Committees, Naidu said during the inter-session period since the last Budget Session, seven of the eight Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committees of Rajya Sabha have held a total of 29 meetings. "I am happy to share that the average duration of these meetings has been over two hours and the average attendance being over 46 per cent. I am happy to note the improving performance of these Committees. The Committee on Education has clocked the highest average duration of 03 hours 22 minutes for five of its meetings," he said. He said that the Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances & Law and Justice has reported substantial improvement having met for 02 hours 15 minutes per each of the five meetings. The Committee on Health and Family Welfare has also clocked about two hours per each of its six meetings. However, the Committees on Transport, Tourism & Culture besides Education and Science & Technology have reported an average attendance of more than 50 per cent per meeting. On behalf of all the members, the Chairman felicitated 71 Members of this House who have been either re-elected or elected in the recent elections. "I am glad to know that 14 Members of the House have been re-elected while 57 have entered this august House for the first time. While the re-elected seniors provide continuity, the new Members bring in fresh perspectives and dynamism. We also welcome the four nominated Members namely; PT Usha, Ilayaraaja, Vijayendra Prasad and Veerendra Heggade," he said. He said that they symbolize the steady pursuit of breaking the barriers, harmony of different notes, offering new narratives and commitment to serve the people, respectively. Expressing happiness over achieving the milestone of administering 200 Covid-19 vaccinations across the country, the Chairman said, "It is a matter of immense pride for all of us to know that our country created history yesterday by reaching the milestone of administering 200 Covid-19 vaccinations across the country. This amounts to 97 per cent of first dose coverage and 90 per cent of the adult population receiving both doses. This is a remarkable achievement." He also urged all the members to follow Covid-19 protocol as a precautionary measure to enable a safe and productive Monsoon Session.

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