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    Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu attends Rajya Sabha mock-drill

    Synopsis

    Sources said Naidu went through the drill in respect of various elements of the proceedings including members trying to raise issues from various locations by raising their hand, making a point of order, participating in a voice vote and division of votes.

    Agencies
    New Delhi: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu attended a 45-minute mock drill in Parliament House to familiarise himself with the preparations for the forthcoming monsoon session starting September 14. The special arrangements in keeping with social distancing norms due to the Covid pandemic includes a hotline between the two chambers of Parliament to communicate in case of a technical emergency.

    Sources said Naidu went through the drill in respect of various elements of the proceedings including members trying to raise issues from various locations by raising their hand, making a point of order, participating in a voice vote and division of votes. Other than the Rajya Sabha where senior members, union ministers and former Prime Ministers will be seated, the Lok Sabha chamber and four galleries will also be occupied by the lawmakers from the Upper House.

    Secretariat officials were seated in these locations for the mock drill held on Thursday. Naidu also checked the sound system which had posed some problems in the previous drills.

    According to sources, a hotline between the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha chambers has been set up as a back-up and will be used in case there is any technical glitch.

    Optical fibre cables, measuring almost half a kilometre, as well as audio-video cables have been laid to connect all locations where members will be seated.

    Attendance registers for members will be placed at six locations, instead of one as is the regular practice, during the 18-day session which will see sittings even on weekends.

    The Rajya Sabha is likely to hold sittings in the first half (except on September 14) while the Lok Sabha will meet in the post-lunch session. Each House will run for four hours. There will be no Question Hour to save time for legislative work and debates on important issues including the Covid pandemic fightback, the state of the economy, and the stand-off with China in Eastern Ladakh. The monsoon session will end on October 1.

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