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generations, would create in the decades ahead. The President envisaged an

India where unity of purpose would propel the common good; where Centre and State were driven by the single vision of good governance; where every revolution was green; where democracy was not merely the right to vote once in five years but to speak always in the citizen’s interest; where knowledge became wisdom; where the young poured their phenomenal energy and talent into the collective cause. He was confident that what

had brought India thus far, would take the country further ahead. India’s true story was the partnership of the people. India’s wealth had been created by farmers and workers, industrialists and service- providers, soldiers and civilians and its social harmony was the sublime co-existence of temple, mosque, church, gurudwara and synagogue; they were symbols of India’s unity in diversity. The veteran leader took an

said that India had been on the frontlines of this war long before many others could recognize its vicious depth or poisonous consequences. The president called corruption an evil that could depress the nation’s mood and sap its progress. He affirmed that the greed of a few could not be allowed to hijack the progress of the nation. Shri Mukherjee said that the country had achieved much in the field of agriculture, industry and social infrastructure, but it was nothing compared to what India, led by the coming

oath to a thunderous applause and thumping of desks by those in the packed Central Hall that included Shri Ansari, Speaker Kumar, Dr Singh and outgoing president, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil. Afterwards he was offered a 21 gun salute marking the assumption of office of the highest constitutional post in the country. The President of India by virtue of the office is also the supreme commander of the defense forces. Shri Mukherjee was the

candidate of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and defeated the Opposition NDA- backed candidate and the former Speaker of Lok Sabha, Shri P.A. Sangma in the elections held on 19 July. The election result was

declared on 21 July. The President of India is elected by an electoral college consisting of the elected

members of both Houses of Parliament and the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the States. Born on 11 December 1935,

Shri Mukherjee was first elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1969 and became a Deputy Minister in January 1973, becoming Minister of State later that year. He was re-elected to Rajya Sabha (2nd term) in July 1975 and became Union Minister in December. In 1980, he became the Union Minister, Commerce and Steel and Mines. He was elected to that House again in 1981 (third term), 1993 (fourth term) and in 1999 (fifth term). Shri Mukherjee was elected

to the Lok Sabha for the first time in 2004 and re-elected in 2009. During this long period as a member of Parliament, he held several portfolios as a Minister and was also the Deputy Leader, Congress Party, Rajya Sabha, Leader of the House, Rajya Sabha, Leader of the House, Lok Sabha and Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission. Shri Mukherjee had resigned the office of the Union Minister of Finance on 26 June 2012 to contest the presidential elections.

New parliamentary committee constituted A new Committee of both the Houses, called the Committee for Welfare of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) was constituted in June 2012. It consists of 30 members, 20

from the Lok Sabha and ten from the Rajya Sabha. The members of the Committee are elected in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote. A Minister is not eligible for

election as a member of the Committee and if a member after his election to the Committee is appointed a Minister, he shall cease to be a member

thereof from the date of such appointment. The Chairman of the Committee is appointed by the Speaker from amongst the members of the Committee. The members of the Committee shall hold office for a period of one year from the date of the first meeting of the Committee which shall be reconstituted thereafter for one year at a time. The Committee has the

mandate to consider the reports submitted by the National Commission for Backward Classes set up under the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 and to report to both the Houses as to the measures that should be taken by the Union Government in respect of matters within the purview of the Union Government including the Administrations of the Union Territories. The Committee is also to

report to both the Houses on the action taken by the Union Government and the Administrations of the Union Territories on the measures proposed by the Committee; to examine the measures taken by the Union Government to secure due representation of the OBCs, particularly the most Backward Classes, in services and posts under its control (including appointments in the public sector undertakings, statutory and semi- Government Bodies and in the Union Territories) having regard to the provisions of the constitution. The Committee will report to both Houses on the working of the welfare programmes for the OBCs in the Union Territories. They will also consider and report to both the Houses on all matters concerning the welfare of the OBCs which fall within the purview of Union Government including the Administrations of Union Territories; and also examine such of matters as may deem fit to the Committee or are specifically referred to it by the House or the Speaker.

The Parliamentarian | 2012: Issue Three | 215

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