Lok Sabha going Wi-Fi


2 May 2011
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NEW DELHI: Lok Sabha members would soon be able to use iPads in the house with a parliamentary panel clearing Wi-Fi connectivity in the lower house of parliament. The facility is already available in the Rajya Sabha.

According to Lok Sabha Secretary General T.K. Vishwanathan, the National Informatics Centre (NIC) has been asked to extend Wi-Fi facility to the lower house before the monsoon session, scheduled to begin in July. "We plan to install Wi-Fi at the earliest...we have asked the NIC to do the needful," Vishwanathan told IANS.

The move will help the Lok Sabha secretariat pursue its paperless office plan, which aims to reduce paper use in printing a large number of reports and documents and instead make them available on the website.

The Lok Sabha secretariat had approached the joint parliamentary committee (JPC) on security last year after the Intelligence Bureau raised some objections to extending the facility to the lower house.

Incidentally, no such permission from the IB was required when the facility was made available to the upper house, said officials.

Informed sources said the JPC on security, which had been pursuing the matter for about a year, resolved it with the IB last month.

The Wi-Fi facility is expected to help over 300 of the 543 Lok Sabha MPs who have purchased iPads under a scheme in accessing routine information like notices, bulletins, list of business, questions and answers and other reports during the session.

Under the scheme, MPs are provided Rs 50,000 to buy an Apple iPad or Android-based Samsung Galaxy Tab.

The paper used for such communication can be saved if the MPs start checking out this information in a digital format using iPads, officials said.

Congress MP Deepa Dasmunsi told IANS: "It is a good thing...Wi-Fi facility will help me get information quickly...we had asked for it in the lobby and the Central Hall area."

In order to persuade parliamentarians to use the iPads to access various documents supplied to them in hard copy, the Lok Sabha secretariat held a familiarisation workshop last year.

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