From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Standing Committees and their functions
Mains level : Paper 2- No virtual meetings of Standing Committees
Confidential nature of meeting not possible in virtual meetings
- Days after the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha wrote to Chairman to allow virtual meetings of parliamentary standing committees, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat has turned down his plea.
- Requests to allow virtual meetings of the standing committees were turned down last year as well by Rajya Sabha Chairman and Lok Sabha Speaker.
- The request was turned down on grounds that virtual meetings would violate the confidential nature of such meetings and that any change to the norms require approval by Parliament.
Matter referred to Committee on Rules
- The letter by the Rajya Sabha Secretariat points out that the Chairman and Speaker had decided last year, during the first wave of the pandemic, to refer the issue of allowing virtual meetings of parliamentary panels to the Committee on Rules in both Houses.
- The Committee on Rules, however, did not take up the matter for discussion since Committees started physical meetings as the lockdown restrictions gradually eased in the second half of last year.