Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday said there is a need to inculcate legislative temper in politicians as the purpose of a legislator is to legislate, discuss, debate and decide and not disrupt.
His remarks at an event came after the Winter session of Parliament concluded a day ahead of schedule and witnessed repeated disruptions by opposition parties over various issues.
Speaking at the inauguration of celebrations of birth centenaries of inspirational scientists by Vigyan Prasar, Naidu said on one side ”we are making progress and on the other some of our selected representatives are making mockery of the institutions”.
”We should not only develop a scientific temper but I feel now we must inculcate legislative temper in our politicians, this is the need of the hour. As I am presiding over the upper house I see what is happening…. VijayRaghavan (Principal Scientific Advisor) should come up with some scientific invention to help our politicians with legislative temper,” he said.
Naidu said the purpose of legislators is to legislate and ”discuss, debate and decide, not disrupt”. ”This should be a guide, principle. On one side we are making progress and on the other some of our selected representatives are making mockery of the institutions. This has to be corrected at the earliest and this has to be done by the political leaders and also the opinion creators. People who perform better should be appreciated, reported and supported. People who damn the system need to be damned,” Naidu said.
The Winter session was a stormy one as it witnessed several disruptions by members of opposition parties, including they trooping into the Well of the House, carrying placards, over the suspension of 12 MPs for their ”unruly” conduct in the previous session in August. Opposition members also protested on the Special Investigation Team’s report regarding the October 3 Lakhimpur Kheri violence in Uttar Pradesh and farmers’ issues, among others.
Before Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die, Naidu said he was not happy to share with members that the House functioned ”much below its potential”.
Naidu, at the event, said a key concern that needs to be addressed in the STEM ecosystem is the lack of diversity. ”While India has a significant share of female graduates in STEM (more than 42 per cent), better than some of the developed nations, only 16.6 per cent women researchers are directly engaged in R & D activities. Diversity in STEM is absolutely necessary and the need of the hour is to bridge the gender divide in employment,” he said.
Naidu said from hardly a handful of women in science, the country has come a long way today.
”We pay homage to pioneering women like Janaki Ammal, Rajeshwari Chatterjee, Anna Mani and Sunanda Bai for their path-breaking contribution and breaking the glass ceiling. But we must not stop here and create an enabling environment so that more girls can take up careers in mathematics and science,” he said.
He also stressed on the need for more programmes that explain basic scientific concepts to people in people’s mother tongues.
”This would also contribute towards inculcating a scientific temper among people. Steps must also be taken to popularize science through books, periodicals, television shows, documentary programmes, and radio broadcasts in regional languages. We must bring in publications in as many languages as possible and focus should be Indian languages, national languages,” he said.
Principal Scientific Adviser K VijayRaghavan said, ”We must celebrate, analyze and implement the government’s National Education Policy that has not only opened up ideas for us to implement at the primary school level at the high school level, in terms of the college’s professional courses and so, but also highlights the importance of independent interdisciplinary opportunities and thinking for everyone and access to research for that context.”