Identifying Promising Parliamentarians: Child and Adolescent Welfare

Detailed Methodology

Parliamentary Engagement

Parliamentarians can be an active voice in catalyzing change within their constituency or state, through their continued presence and active participation in the Parliament. They can create impact through their actions on two levels, namely, the policy and the developmental level. At the policy front, MPs can be instrumental in setting Government priorities by performing their Parliamentary duties. At the developmental front, on the other hand, they can use the available Government machinery to ensure impact. In order to quantify the policy level performance of MPs, the following indicators have been identified:

 

Metric

Impact

Experience

Limitation of the Metric

Attendance

·             It is indicative of the MPs’ general interest towards their duties.

·             MPs who attend the Parliament regularly are more likely to be aware of the policy level developments, priority sectors and institutional mechanisms available to them to catalyze change in their constituencies.

·             Regular attendance in the Parliament does not necessarily ensure interest of the MP in working towards development.

Debates: [Calling Attention (Motion 197), Matters of Urgent Importance (Motion 377)] for Lok Sabha and Debates  [(Matters raised with Permission, Special Mentions and Calling Attention)] for Rajya Sabha from Session 244* to 239

 

·             This is indicative of MPs’ active involvement with child and adolescent welfare related issues. This metric comprises of particular instances where Parliamentarians have raised concerns specifically over child and adolescent welfare related issues, indicating a demonstrable interest towards the issue.

 

·             Official debates serve as a platform for MPs to raise issues of urgent importance in the Parliament and contribute towards setting Government priorities. These debates facilitate the process of calling attention of Ministers and the Parliament to certain issues that need to be highlighted.

 

·             Although the metric contributes greatly towards bringing attention regarding pressing issues, it is difficult to directly attribute Government action towards child and adolescent to official debates since there is no existing mechanism to follow-up on the suggestion of these motions.

Child and Adolescent Welfare related specific Questions

·             This is indicative of MPs’ general interest in child and adolescent (boys and girls) welfare related issues. This metric includes a count of questions covering different aspects of child welfare across concerned ministries such as Health and Family Welfare, Social Justice and Empowerment, Labour and Employment, Women and Child Development, Human Resource Development, External Affairs, Drinking Water and Sanitation, and Home Affairs.

 

·             Parliamentary questions serve as a medium for MPs to garner reliable information regarding issues that they want to address at the level of their constituencies and promote evidence-based actions.

·             Mr Rajkumar Dhoot, MP, Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra, is actively vocal about child welfare related. He has one of the highest numbers of questions asked in the Parliament around child welfare.

·             The platform for questions sometimes fails to be used to its full potential when requested information is readily available on Government websites. Moreover, since questions do not allow for a dialogue between the Ministry and the MP, the answers sometimes tend to deviate and fail to provide the actual information required.

Private Member Bills

·             Private Member Bills are raised by independent MPs on topics of general interest. They indicate discernible interest of MPs on topics they choose to raise the bills on.

 

·             Despite low probability of these bills getting passed, MPs who care deeply about certain issues choose to bring them up through the bill and initiate legislative debate.

·             Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal, MP, Lok Sabha   from West Champaran, Bihar, has been instrumental in bringing about child health related change in his constituency. He has introduced 1 private member bills in the Parliament focused on ‘The Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment)Bill, 2016, requesting amendment of section 2, etc. on 05.08.2016.

·             These bills do not necessarily ensure translation of interest in to appropriate action. 

Note: * Data for debates were available till Session 244 in Rajya Sabha

 

Form and Data Sources of Metrics

 

S. No

Metric

Form of Metric

Data Source

Lok Sabha

Rajya Sabha

Lok Sabha

Rajya Sabha

1

Attendance in Parliament

% Attendance excluding the duration of holding office as minister

% Attendance excluding the duration of holding office as minister

www.loksabha.nic.in

www.rajyasabha.nic.in

2

Debates: Motion 197 & 377 on Child welfare (LS) and General debates (RS)

# total debates in the 16th Lok Sabha

# total debates in the Rajya Sabha from session no. 239 to 244*

www.loksabha.nic.in

www.rajyasabha.nic.in

3

Child and Adolescent Welfare related specific Questions

# of questions in the 16th Lok Sabha

# of questions from session no. 239 to 246

www.loksabha.nic.in

www.rajyasabha.nic.in

4

Private Member Bills

# of private member bills in the 16th Lok Sabha

# of private member bills from session no. 239 to 244*

www.loksabha.nic.in

www.rajyasabha.nic.in

Note: * Data for debates were available till Session 244 in Rajya Sabha