Vice President Naidu completes four years in office
Vice President and Rajya Sabha chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu completed four years in office on Wednesday. To mark the occasion, the Vice President’s Secretariat released a flip book presenting an overview of his engagements during the last one year, an official statement said.
The e-book, released in multiple languages, notes that as Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Naidu has been constantly striving towards strengthening parliamentary democracy in the country.
He, along with Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, made special arrangements for the functioning of Parliament amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the productivity of Rajya Sabha rose to 95.82 per cent during 2020-21 (till the Budget Session of 2021) from 48.17 per cent during 2017-18, the statement said.
During 2020-21, 44 bills were passed by Rajya Sabha, the highest in the last four years and eight Rajya Sabha committees submitted 74 reports, again the highest in the last four years, it said.
The vice president attended 133 events -- both virtual and physical -- across the country covering 10 states and two Union Territories. Twenty-two of these were inaugural events, it said.
During the last one year, Naidu delivered 53 lectures, released 23 books, visited over 21 institutions, addressed seven convocations, attended four award ceremonies and laid foundation stones of three projects, the statement said.
The year gone by has been a difficult one with the Covid pandemic disrupting lives and livelihoods across the world. Reflecting on this health crisis, the vice president spread a message of hope and resilience by writing Facebook posts and articles reassuring citizens amid the unprecedented health crisis, it said.
He commended the contribution of all frontline Covid warriors in multiple articles and posts on various social media platforms and constantly appealed to the public to follow safety protocols, it said.
Naidu was among the first to get himself vaccinated and also urged people to shed vaccine hesitancy, the statement said.
During his visit to Bharat Biotech facility in Hyderabad, he hailed the efforts of the scientists on developing indigenous Covid vaccine, it said.
Recollecting the inspirational tales of courage and confidence, the vice president wrote a series of Facebook posts on 26 unsung women freedom fighters and lesser known stories of 10 freedom fighters incarcerated in Cellular Jail in Andamans, the statement said.
In April this year, he also addressed the closing ceremony of 25-day long commemorative Dandi Padayatra organised as part of ‘Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ at Dandi recalling the latent collective strength within the country, it said.
"The vice president is known to be an ardent supporter of promoting Indian languages. Over the last one year, he used every platform to raise this important topic," the statement said.
"On International Mother Language Day, he tweeted in 22 Indian languages, wrote articles in 24 vernacular newspapers on the importance of mother tongue and also sent letters to all MPs in their mother tongues urging them to work for its promotion and preservation," it said.
In a new initiative, the vice president sent greetings to all MPs in their mother tongues on traditional Indian new year.
When AICTE decided to offer professional courses in Indian languages, he lauded this decision and wrote articles in 33 vernacular newspapers in 24 Indian languages, highlighting the need for professional courses in Indian languages.
Emphasising on the need for reconnecting India''s innate strengths, the vice president underscored the importance of agriculture in the national economy and praised Indian farmers for achieving record food grain production despite the pandemic.
He visited several scientific institutions and apprised himself of new developments in research and development.
As part of his diplomatic engagements, the vice president chaired the 19th meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Heads of Government which was held virtually in the national capital.
He also met the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani and the President of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Duarte Pacheco at Upa-Rashtrapati Nivas.
The official channel of Rajya Sabha, RSTV touched new heights under the leadership of Naidu with its YouTube subscriber base increasing from five lakh to 59 lakh over the past four year, the statement said.
Also, subsequent to a committee formed by Chairman Rajya Sabha, a new channel, Sansad TV is taking shape by merging RSTV and LSTV, it said.