City : New Delhi
Venue : Constitution Club, New Delhi
Date : 3rd August, 2016
When was the last time you witnessed Parliament discussing issues that mattered to you? When was it that you witnessed Parliament responding to your needs? Elections in our country are widely regarded as a celebration of democracy because of a voter turnout of 60%. However, soon after the elections, the democratic fervor fades into apathy, turning enthusiastic voters into uninterested spectators of politics. However, did you know there exists a procedure by which YOUR voice can be heard directly in Parliament? Yes, the Parliament has a Committee of Petitions, to which any citizen of the country can file a petition. Filing a petition is as simple as writing a letter or Postcard addressed to the Petitions Committee. However, not many people are aware of it and even if they are, not many are willing to take up the pain of writing a petition and then filing it to the Committee. Therefore there is scope for improving the system further, by making the process easier and faster.
Parliament Direct is a step in that direction, with the aim of making the Parliament more accessible to citizens like you and me. As a start, we aim to achieve this by taking the system of petitions online, thus allowing citizens to file petitions while sitting at home! A forum called Ideas Conclave has been conceptualized to further engage citizens, prominent members of the civil society and public servants to ideate and discuss new avenues by which the Parliament can become more representative, accessible, relevant and sensitive to issues that matter to you and me.
A two time Member of Parliament, Varun Gandhi is known to be an active voice for farmers inside the Parliament. He is an active commentator on policy matters and has contributed to columns in various English newspapers.
A PhD. in Public Policy and Management from Wharton School, Pennsylvania, Rajeev Gowda is a former professor at the Indian Institution of Management, Bangalore. He is currently a member of the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka.
A fourth time Member of Parliament from Odisha, Tathagata Satpathy is the Chief Whip of the Biju Janata Dal in the Lok Sabha and is known as a libertarian voice in the Parliament.
Dr. G. Viswanathan is the Founder and Chancellor of VIT University. He served as a Member of Parliament and as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu. He is the President of the Education Promotion Society for India.
With a distinguished career in the field of genetics, Suman Sahai has been awarded the Padma Shri among many other prestigious awards. She works on issues related to food and nutrition through her organisation, Gene Campaign.
Currently the Head of news, politics and governance at Twitter India, Raheel Khursheed works towards expanding Twitters relationship with journalists, government officials and politicians, and increasing the active usage of Twitter among them.
A Senior Advocate in the Supreme Court, he is known for his use of Public Interest Litigations for causes like corruption, human rights and environmental protection. He is also the founder of Swaraj Abhiyan.
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Uddeshya, an NGO founded in 2011 by a group of like minded youngsters, is the driving force behind Parliament Direct. Driven by its motto of "Empowering Youth-Fueling Change", Uddeshya has grown to become a multifaceted organization that takes various initiatives with the ultimate aim of empowering the youth to become leaders and ambassadors of change through a system of leadership development initiatives, outreach programs, awareness campaigns, large scale national youth conferences and motivational sessions. At Uddeshya, we empower communities, encourage good citizenship, critique policies, tackle youth based issues such as Substance Abuse, HIV and Sexual Abuse, push for electoral integrity, and most important of all, give young change-makers a platform to lead.Learn More
This initiative is powered by VIT University, which is a progressive educational institute founded by Dr. G Viswanathan with the vision to impart futuristic technical education and instill high patterns of discipline through their dedicated staff, who shall set global standards, making their students technologically superior and ethically strong, who in turn shall improve the quality of life of the human race. The campus has a cosmopolitan atmosphere with students from all corners of the globe. Experienced and learned teachers are strongly encouraged to nurture the students. The global standards set at VIT in the field of teaching and research spur us on in their relentless pursuit of excellence. In fact, it has become a way of life for everyone part of this institute. The highly motivated youngsters on the campus are a constant source of pride and at present VIT’s population is comprising of around 25,000 students. Also, at present VIT is the topmost private Engineering institute of India.
Prateek Sibal is pursuing his Masters in Public Policy at Sciences Po, Paris as a Charpak Scholar.
He worked with Members of the Parliament as a LAMP fellow in 2015-2016.
Siddharth Sinha is the Founder and Chairman of Uddeshya. He is pursuing his Masters in Public Administration at the London School of Economics.
Kunal Joshi is the Founder and Executive Director of Envision India Skill Foundation. He also serves as a Director in the National Board of Uddeshya.
Somil is an ex SBI Youth for India fellow and currently serves as a Director in the National Board of Uddeshya.
Dhananjay Sahai is pursuing his LLB from Delhi University.
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