INDIAN PARLIAMENTARY GROUP
The Indian Parliamentary Group is an autonomous body formed in the year 1949 in pursuance of a Motion adoptedby the Constituent Assembly (Legislative) on 16 August, 1948.
Membership of the Indian Parliamentary Group is open to all Members of Parliament and ex-Members of Parliament. A Member of Parliament can become a life Member of the Group on payment of life subscription of Rs. 500/-. Members of Parliament desirous of joining the Group may send an application together with the life subscription to the Secretary-General of Lok Sabha (who is ex-officio Secretary-General of the Group), Parliament House, New Delhi in the prescribed form available in Parliamentary Notice Offices of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and also in the Conference Branch of the Lok Sabha Secretariat.
Aims and Objects
The aims and objects of the Indian Parliamentary Group are:—
(i) to promote personal contacts between Members of Parliament;
(ii) to study questions of public importance that are likely to come up before Parliament and arrange Seminars and discussions and orientation courses and bring out publications for the dissemination of information to the Members of the Indian Parliamentary Group;
(iii) to arrange lectures on political, defence, economic, social and educational problems by Members of Parliament and distinguished persons; and
(iv) to arrange visits to foreign countries with a view to develop contacts with Members of other Parliaments.
The management and control of the affairs of the Group are vested in the Executive Committee consisting of the President, two Vice-Presidents, the Treasurer and 16 Members. The Speaker of Lok Sabha is the ex-officio President of the Group and the Executive Committee. The Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha and the Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha are ex-officio Vice-Presidents of the Group. The Treasurer and Members of the Executive Committee are elected at the Annual General Meeting from amongst the Life Members of the Group.
The Group acts as a link between the Parliament of India and the various Parliaments of the world. This link is maintained through exchange of delegations, goodwill missions, correspondence, documents etc. with foreign Parliaments. The Indian Parliamentary Group functions as the (a) National Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union1, and (b) Main Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association* in India. Addresses to Members of Parliament by the visiting Heads of States and Governments of foreign countries and talks by eminent persons are arranged under the auspices of the Group. Seminars and Symposia on Parliamentary subjects of topical interest are organised periodically at national as well as international level. Members of the Group when visiting abroad are given letters of introduction to the Secretaries of the National Groups of the IPU and Secretaries of the CPA Branches. The Indian Missions in the countries of visit are also suitably informed so as to enable them to get assistance and usual courtesies. As per decision of the Executive Committee of the Indian Parliamentary Group, only those Members of Parliament who are Members of the Group of at least six months standing at the time of the composition of the Delegation may be included in the Indian Parliamentary Delegations to foreign countries.
An uninterrupted flow of information to Members regarding the activities of the Group is maintained through IPG Newsletter brought out every quarter. It is sent regularly to all Members of the Group including Associate Members.
Outstanding Parliamentarian Award
An award for Outstanding Parliamentarian was instituted by the Indian Parliamentary Group in the year 1995. The First and Second awards for the years 1995 and 1996 were conferred on Shri Chandrashekhar and Shri Somnath Chatterjee respectively. The Third and Fourth awards for the years 1997 and 1998 were conferred on Shri Pranab Mukherjee and Shri S. Jaipal Reddy respectively. The Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth awards for the years 1999, 2000, 001 and 2002 were conferred on Shri L. K. Advani, Shri Arjun Singh, Shri Jaswant Singh and Dr. Manmohan Singh respectively.
Parliamentary Friendship Groups
To encourage bilateral relations, IPG has decided to constitute Parliamentary Friendship Groups with other Countries in the Parliament. Each Friendship Group shall consist of at least twenty two sitting Members of Parliament (15 from Lok Sabha and 7 from Rajya Sabha) in proportion to the strength of Parties in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. The Aims and Objectives of the Group are, to maintain political, social and cultural contacts between the two countries and to assist in having exchanges of information and experiences on issues relating to Parliamentary activities.
Advantages of Membership of the IPG
The main advantage of membership of the Indian Parliamentary Group, insofar as it functions as the Main Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in India, are as follows:—
(a) Travel facilities and concession: In some countries of the Commonwealth train fares at reduced rates are available to visiting members of the Association and in some cases, to their families also.
(b) Introductions and hospitality: Every CPA Branch uses its best endeavours to ensure that visiting members, especially when carrying letters of introduction from their Branches, shall be warmly received and shall enjoy parliamentary privileges and other facilities during their visit.
(c) Preferential Treatment: The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association has arranged that its members, when visiting a Commonwealth country shall receive preferential treatment as parliamentarians. A visiting member is granted access to galleries, lobbies, dining and smoking rooms of the Parliament of the host Branch, so that he may hear debates and meet fellow members of the Association.
(d) Free supply of periodicals: The Parliamentarian, which is a periodical published by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, London, is supplied free to the members of the Indian Parliamentary Group on request made in the prescribed form available in the Conference Branch of Lok Sabha Secretariat.
1 The IPU is an Association of Parliamentary Groups constituted within the National Parliaments with the object to promote personal contacts betweenMembers of all Parliaments and to unite them in common action to secure participation of their respective States in the establishment and development of Parliamentary Institutions and towards international peace and cooperation, particularly by supporting the UN objectives. The Union meets in Conference twice a year to be hosted by member countries. India hosted IPU Conferences in New Delhi in October-November, 1969 and in April, 1993.
* The CPA is an Association of Commonwealth Parliamentarians with the aim of encouraging understanding and cooperation between them and to promote the study of and respect for Parliamentary Institutions. The Association meets in Conference annually and also assists in holding Seminars on Parliamentary Practice and Procedure at regional levels. India hosted CPA Conferences in New Delhi in 1957, 1975 and in 1991.