Lok Sabha goes Wi-Fi; MPs to be armed with iPads

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New Delhi, Jun 5: When the world and especially India is embracing innovations and technologies, the politicians have also jumped into the bandwagon with the Parliamentary panel clearing Wi-Fi connectivity in the Lok Sabha. The Lok Sabha members will now be able to use their iPad in the house. The facility has already been provided in Rajya Sabha.

Lok Sabha Secretary General TK Vishwanathan stated that the National Informatics Centre (NIC) was asked to extend the facility to the Lower House before the monsoon session of Parliament that is scheduled to kick-start from July. He has been quoted as saying, "We plan to install Wi-Fi at the earliest... we have asked the NIC to do the needful."

The move is expected to reduce the usage of paper substantially by the Lok Sabha secretariat and make it virtually paperless. It will also help in avoiding the printing of large number of paper and reports, instead making them available online. The Lok Sabha secretariat had approached the joint parliamentary committee (JPC) on security after the Intelligence Bureau had raised reservations on providing the facility to the Lower House. The officials cited that no objections were raised when giving the go ahead for the facility in the Rajya Sabha.

The news comes as a welcome move to the Lok Sabha MPs who have purchased iPads under the scheme in accessing routine information like notices, bulletins, list of business, questions and answers and other reports during the session. A total of 300 of the 543 Lok Sabha MPs have the iPads.

The scheme also allows MPs to buy an Apple iPad or Android-based Samsung Galaxy Tab for which they are provided Rs 50,000. Officials commented that the MPs should start using these for communicating and avoid paper.

Congress MP Deepa Dasmunsi has been quoted as saying, "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." The Lok Sabha secretariat had earlier conducted a familiarisation workshop for the MPs last year.

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