Q. Standing committees form a vital part of Parliament’s role in the debate. But recently their role has been diminishing and this calls for an introspection, in order to utilise the full potential of these ‘mini-Parliaments’ as a deliberative and consensus building body. Analyse.
Why the question:
Ahead of the reconstitution of the 24 Department-Related Standing Committees (DRSC), Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu sent a detailed record of participation by the members in committee meetings over the past year to the political parties, calling them to nominate members only based on their participation and interest.
Key Demand of the question:
To write about the importance of standing committees, the decline in their performance and steps need to utilise their full potential.
Analyse – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary.
Structure of the answer:
Begin by write about standing committees, their mandate and their functioning.
In the first part of the body, write about the importance of the standing committees – discuss laws and policies by analysing them in-depth, non-partisanship, track government expenditure, scrutinise policies and bills and seek expert advice, consensus-building among parties etc.
Next, write about their diminished role – reduced sitting, pandemic, less attendance, partisanship etc – cite stats to substantiate your points.
Suggest steps to utilise their full potential.
Conclude with a way forward.