With the objective to strengthen the roots of democracy, inculcate healthy habits of discipline, tolerance of views of others and to enable the student community to understand the working of the parliamentary institution and parliamentary procedures followed in Indian parliament, the Department of Students Welfare, university of Jammu, organised a very impressive 13th National Youth Parliament competition on 19 September under the aegis of the Union ministry of parliamentary affairs.

Member of Parliament Shamsher Singh Manhas was the chief guest while professor Pradeep K Sharma, vice-chancellor of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agriculture, Science and Technology in Jammu was the chief jury member, Dr SP  Singh; registrar of Chanakya Law University, was group coordinator and Dr Savita Nayyar, senior assistant professor, Department of Law, University of Jammu was the coordinator of the competition which was again evaluated by a team comprising of the former three members as well.

India has adopted parliamentary democracy and to further strengthen it youth parliament in educational institutions was conceived many years ago, however the first competition of the sort was held between1966-67. Since then, every year competitions are held in many institutions under the guidance and monitoring of Union ministry of parliamentary affairs.

This year, 56 institutes of higher education are participating in this competition and eight institutes are competing in each group. Jammu university is contending against Delhi university, Central University of Himachal Pradesh, University of Kashmir, DAV College Jullandhar, Shaheed Rajguru college of Applied Sciences for Women, Delhi, Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry and Central University of Punjab.

“In the University of Jammu, a team of 55 students was selected department of law, history, political science, English, environmental science, computer science and information technology, business school, Sanskrit and others. After a lot of research and deliberations, most recent and relevant topics for different items were selected,” informed Nayar. She planned, organised and coordinated the entire event that included formation of teams, research and selection of topics, preparation of script and dialogue delivery of the participants. “The competition is usually held in two stages — first, at group level, where the institutions are divided into various groups and next at national level where winners of various groups compete”, she added.

For those who are unaware of the proceedings, here is a quick summary. The total duration of the proceeding is 55 minutes which incorporates oath taking, obituary reference, introduction of new ministers, question hour, breach of privilege, papers laid, and message from upper chamber, welcoming foreign delegates, calling attention motion and legislative business — all of which were very effectively presented by the students within the stipulated time.

In the question hour session, issues were raised by the opposition on relevant topics like curtailment of power, electrification of villages and launch of new schemes like distribution of Led bulbs for the conservation of energy. Subsequent replies were given by the Union power minister. In sports, there were some questions on poor performance of Indian players in recently held Rio Olympics and measures taken by the government to improve performance of the players in future competitions. Questions were also posed to the Union minister of external affairs on plight of Indian workers in Emigration Check Required countries. Issues of bringing back black money was also raised in the question hour.

Manhas complimented the students on successfully portraying the replica of Parliament and provided an insight about the proceedings. Professor Satnam Kour, dean students welfare apprised the gathering. She also happens to be the first women dean students’ welfare in the past 47 years of history of Jammu University.

Professor Arvind Jasrotia, chairman of campus cultural committee who heads the law department at the university explained the purpose of the event, elucidating how knowledge of parliamentary procedures and decorum is essential for making discussion purposeful and consequently taking appropriate decisions, which in turn contribute to the enactment of good laws that effectively govern the country.

Six students who got selected for the awards are Deepika Badyal, Puneet Kour, Kartika Bakshi, Vanshika Jamwal, Nitin Sharma and Deepak Sharma.