This year the Parliament of India completed 60 years since its first sitting. The Indian Parliament is the highest law-making body in India composed of 780 Members from over 40 political parties. Each Member of Parliament (MP) represents about two million citizens.
In recent years there has been much public scrutiny of the functioning of the Indian Parliament and MPs. This Tiffin Talk will present how the institution has evolved over the years as seen in the changing profile of MPs and the trends in the working of Parliament over the past 60 years.
Clearly, a well functioning Parliament requires several institutional mechanisms and processes so that MPs can debate a range of national policy issues in an effective and informed manner. Contrasting practice and procedures of the Indian Parliament, with that of Australia, this talk will also suggest how the legislative system in India can be strengthened to enable the institution to perform its role more effectively.
Dr Mandira Kala heads the legislative engagement and support function at PRS Legislative Research, New Delhi, India. PRS is an independent non-partisan research institute providing research support to all Members of Parliament on legislative and policy matters. Mandira completed her PhD in Public Policy from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She was awarded the UNDP Asia-Pacific Human Development Academic Fellowship in 2008. Mandira is currently an Emerging Leaders Fellow at the Australia India Institute.