The Winter Session of the Parliament came to a close on Friday, December 23, a week ahead of schedule. The session, which began on December 7, saw 13 sittings totalling 62 hours and 42 minutes, and recorded a productivity of 97%.
In his closing remarks, Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairperson Jagdeep Dhankar emphasized the importance of taking necessary precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19. He also thanked the members for their cooperation in organizing the millets festival in the Parliament.
The session saw heated debates over China’s transgressions in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, with the Opposition taking the government to task over the lack of a discussion on the matter and deeming it a “national concern”.
Several bills were passed during the Winter Session, including the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021, the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2022, and the Anti-Maritime Piracy Bill, 2019. The Commerce Minister, Piyush Goyal, also introduced the Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill in the Lok Sabha, which aims to amend certain enactments to decriminalize minor offences.
The session saw its fair share of viral moments, with Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra famously asking “Who’s the Pappu now?” during a ruckus in the House. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya also briefed the Lok Sabha on the precautionary measures being taken in light of the rising number of Covid-19 cases globally.
Parliament sessions, also known as sittings, are called upon by the President from time to time and are typically held twice a year. There are three main sessions: the Budget session (February to May), the Monsoon session (July to September), and the Winter session (November to December). A session is the period between the commencement of the House sitting and prorogation, dissolution, or the end of the normal term. The maximum gap between two sittings should not be more than six months.
During a session, members of Parliament discuss and vote on various bills, debates, and other matters of national importance. The proceedings of the Parliament are open to the public and are often televised, allowing citizens to stay informed about the actions and decisions of their elected representatives.