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Central Hall in Parliament House where both Houses of the Indian Parliament meet together.

the Members present in the House about the time when the House will meet next. When a division takes place, the Secretary-General sets the process in motion, explains it if so directed by the Chairman and presents the totals of “Ayes” and “Noes” to the Chairman. The Secretary-General receives

called, he issues, on the basis of the Summoning Order of the President, a summons to each Member to attend the session. When the President arrives to address both Houses of Parliament assembled together, the Secretaries-General, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, along with the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Prime Minister and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, receive the President at the gate of Parliament House and escort him or her to the Central Hall in a procession. Similarly, the Secretaries- General join the procession when the President departs. After the conclusion of the

President’s Address, the Secretary- General lays on the Table of Rajya Sabha a copy each, duly authenticated by the President, of the Hindi and English versions of the Address. This is done so that the Address forms part of and is incorporated into the proceedings of the House. According to the Rules of

Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Council of States, the Secretary- General is responsible for the arrangement of government business in such order as the Chairman may

determine, in consultation with the Leader of the House. He prepares a List of Business for each day of the session. He circulates the List of Business, lists of admitted questions, notices, bulletins and other papers for the use of every Member. Every notice, such as the notice of a question, motion, resolution, Bill, amendment, question of privilege, calling-attention or short-duration discussion, et cetera, has to be given by Members in writing, addressed to the Secretary-General. He communicates direct with

the Minister and Secretaries of the Ministries and the departments of the government of India and Members in connection with the business of the House or any matter likely to come up in the House. He also causes to send to every Member a notice of the date for the election of the Deputy Chairman and receives notices which any Member may give proposing names for this office. In the event of a quorum not being

present at the commencement of a sitting, even after the quorum bell has been rung for quite some time, the Secretary-General brings the matter to the notice of the Presiding Officer and, under his orders, informs

194 | The Parliamentarian | 2012: Issue Three

petitions, documents and papers addressed to or intended for the House and reports to the House petitions, et cetera received by him and admitted by the Chairman. If a Member wants to present a petition, he has to give advance intimation thereof to the Secretary-General. A Minister wishing to correct any inaccuracy in the information given in answer to a starred, unstarred, short- notice or supplementary question or in a debate has to give notice to the Secretary-General of the intention to correct it, accompanied by a copy of the statement in that regard. For the elections to the offices

of the President and Vice-President of India, it has been the established practice that the Secretary-General of the Rajya Sabha/Lok Sabha is appointed as Returning Officer. The Secretary-General causes

to be prepared and published a full report of the proceedings of the House for each of its sittings, including bulletins, resumés of the business transacted and the Journal of the Rajya Sabha, apart from the complete text of the Debates of each session. The Secretary-General keeps a

roll of Members of the House which must be signed in his presence by every newly elected Member before taking his or her seat. The Secretary- General has the custody of all records, documents and papers of the House, committees and the Secretariat and does not permit any such paper to be taken from Parliament House without the permission of the Chairman.

Communicating outside the House The Secretary-General signs messages to be sent from the Rajya Sabha to the Lok Sabha, reports to the House messages received from

the Lok Sabha and also lays on the Table copies of the Bills received through such messages, if the House is in session, or otherwise, communicates such messages to Members through a bulletin. The Secretary-General also

certifies all Bills to be transmitted or returned to the Lok Sabha. In case of urgency, he authenticates Bills, in the absence of the Chairman, before they are presented to the President for assent and lays them on the Table of the House after they are assented to by the President or returned by him/her. Where prior sanction or recommendation of the President is required under the constitution for the introduction or consideration of a Bill or an amendment, the Minister or Member concerned has to communicate in writing to the Secretary-General the President’s sanction or recommendation. The Secretary-General also lays on the Table copies of the communication between the Prime Minister and the President regarding the resignation of the government. In the case of a Member resigning

from the House or where a seat is declared vacant by the House, the Secretary-General causes the information to be published in the Gazette and forwards a copy of the notification to the Election Commission to fill the vacancy. When it is considered necessary

to take evidence of a witness, the Secretary-General issues summons to the witness to appear before the House or a committee.

Orientation courses for New Members and the media The Secretary-General organizes orientation courses for the newly elected/nominated Members in the Rajya Sabha biennially to familiarize them with various aspects of parliamentary practice and procedure. The programme consists of discussions and lectures on specific topics conducted by eminent Parliamentarians. Orientation sessions on specific topics, such as use of computers and iPads, question

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