An Indian-origin man who was arrested and recently charged with extortion threats targeting South Asian businesses in Canada, has claimed his innocence, saying police are wrongly portraying him as a high-level gangster.
Underlining the role of technology in the functioning of legislatures, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has observed that technology has bridged the gap between democratic institutions and citizens.
Birla is leading the Indian Parliamentary Delegation to 65th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference being held in Halifax in Canada.
Addressing the workshop on ‘A People’s Parliament: Accessibility through Innovation’, Birla said that in a vast country like India, the IT revolution has played a significant role in empowering democracy.
He said through information technology, citizens can not only monitor the work of public representatives in Parliament, but also public participation in parliamentary democracy can be made more easy and accessible.
In this context, he mentioned Digital India Mission, Digital Sansad, Mobile App and Sansad TV.
The Lok Sabha Speaker said that information technology and mobile applications have increased the efficiency of Parliament and parliamentarians and the Digital Parliament App and Digital Library have increased transparency and accountability in the working of Parliament.
Observing that hopes and aspirations of people in a parliamentary democracy are expressed through Parliament, Birla opined that people see the Parliament as a medium of transformation in their socio-economic status.
“Therefore, as the supreme representative body, it is the responsibility of the Parliament to act according to the expectations and aspirations of the people,” the Lok Sabha Speaker said.
He urged delegates to build a prosperous, inclusive and enlightened society so that the benefits of development could reach the last person in the queue.
Speaking on the successful democratic system in India, Birla said that the people in India have consistently reposed their faith in democratic institutions through free and fair elections in the 75 years since independence.
The increasing voter turnout in the elections has proved that the people consider democracy as the best form of governance, he said.
Lauding the emergence of India on the global stage, Birla said: “We are celebrating this year as the Amrit Mahotsav of Independence to mark the successful journey of Indian democracy during the last 75 years. On this occasion, the people of India have also resolved to make our country the most developed in the comity of nations.”
The Lok Sabha Speaker suggested that the Parliaments of Commonwealth countries should interact regularly, share best practices and help each other to implement these best practices.