From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : State Assemblies for 2021 Report
Mains level : States Legislature efficiency
Kerala, which slipped to the eighth slot in holding Assembly sittings during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, returned to the top spot in 2021, with its House sitting for 61 days, the highest in the country.
State Assemblies for 2021 Report
- The report on the functioning of State Assemblies for 2021 is published by the PRS Legislative Research (PRS), a New Delhi-based think tank.
How did other states fare?
- Odisha followed Kerala with 43 sitting days; Karnataka 40, and Tamil Nadu 34 days.
- But for the top three States, the average number of sittings of State legislatures would have been far lower than the present figure of 21 days.
- Of the 28 State Assemblies and one Union Territory’s legislature, 17 met for less than 20 days.
- Of them, five — Andhra Pradesh, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and Delhi — met for less than 10 days.
- The figures for Uttar Pradesh, Manipur and Punjab were 17, 16 and 11, respectively.
- Andhra Pradesh with 20 ordinances and Maharashtra with 15 followed Kerala.
Why is this ranking significant?
- The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (2000-02), headed by former Chief Justice of India M.N. Venkatachaliah, had prescribed the standards for working of legislatures.
- The Houses of State (/Union Territory) legislatures with less than 70 members, for example, Puducherry, should meet for at least 50 days a year and other Houses (Tamil Nadu), at least 90 days.
- The Presiding Officers’ conference, held in Gandhinagar in January 2016, suggested State legislatures hold a minimum of 60 days of sittings in a year.
- Between 2016 and 2021, the PRS points out, 23 State Assemblies met for an average of 25 days.
- As for the ordinance route, which should be, according to the Supreme Court, used under exceptional circumstances, 21 out of 28 States promulgated ordinances last year.