We need your ideas and inputs. Ideas on how we can inform many more people who are interested in policy about what they can access on the PRS website. The mission of PRS is to strengthen the legislative process by making it better informed, more transparent and participatory. The statement has three important components: (a) Better informed: This implies that legislators and citizens need to be better informed about the implications of legislation. For us in PRS, this implies producing easy-to-understand non-partisan analysis that can be made available to MPs and citizens. This also includes our continual efforts to personally brief MPs and political parties on the details and implications of each Bill. (b) Transparent: We mean that all proceedings of Parliament and the work of MPs in Parliament should be easily accessible to citizens. In an operational sense, this includes the effort we put into creating the Bill Track section on our website where every Bill that is pending in Parliament can be accessed, and the current status of the Bill can be tracked. It also includes the MP Track section in which we have up-to-date information about the engagement levels of MPs in Parliament. We also have a twitter page www.twitter.com/prslegislative and a Facebook presence. (c) Participatory: Which simply means that once citizens know the information, and would like to articulate a point of view, they should reach out to policy makers and get their point of view across to them. To promote this, we have had a number of workshops with NGOs and have produced a primer on "Engaging with Policy Makers". These are just some examples of what we are doing in each of these three areas. Our website has much more information. But we are increasingly of the view that we need to reach out many more people who are interested in policy -- even if it is sector specific. We would be grateful for any ideas that you might have, which you can post as responses to this post. If you also have specific ideas on what you like on our website and what can be better, do let us know. Thanks, in advance.
Discussion on the first no-confidence motion of the 17th Lok Sabha began today. No-confidence motions and confidence motions are trust votes, used to test or demonstrate the support of Lok Sabha for the government in power. Article 75(3) of the Constitution states that the government is collectively responsible to Lok Sabha. This means that the government must always enjoy the support of a majority of the members of Lok Sabha. Trust votes are used to examine this support. The government resigns if a majority of members support a no-confidence motion, or reject a confidence motion.
So far, 28 no-confidence motions (including the one being discussed today) and 11 confidence motions have been discussed. Over the years, the number of such motions has reduced. The mid-1960s and mid-1970s saw more no-confidence motions, whereas the 1990s saw more confidence motions.
Figure 1: Trust votes in Parliament
Note: *Term shorter than 5 years; **6-year term.
Source: Statistical Handbook 2021, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs; PRS.
The no-confidence motion being discussed today was moved on July 26, 2023. A motion of no-confidence is moved with the support of at least 50 members. The Speaker has the discretion to allot time for discussion of the motion. The Rules of Procedure state that the motion must be discussed within 10 days of being introduced. This year, the no-confidence motion was discussed 13 calendar days after introduction. Since the introduction of the no-confidence motion on July 26, 12 Bills have been introduced and 18 Bills have been passed by Lok Sabha. In the past, on four occasions, the discussion on no-confidence motions began seven days after their introduction. On these occasions, Bills and other important issues were debated before the discussion on the no-confidence motion began.
Figure 2: Members rise in support of the motion of no-confidence in Lok Sabha