Rajya Sabha proceedings registered an average daily attendance of 78 percent members in the last seven sessions, a study conducted by the Rajya Sabha Secretariat showed. The analysis of attendance of Rajya Sabha MPs reveals that around 30 percent of members had a full presence in a session and only less than two percent had zero attendance, sources said.
The first-ever quantitative analysis of the extent of participation of Members of Parliament in the house proceedings was undertaken after Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu sought to know the pattern of attendance. The Rajya Sabha Secretariat analysed attendance data over the last seven sessions -- from 248th to 254th session -- having a total of 138 sittings.
With the ministers, Deputy Chairman, Leader of the House and Leader of the Opposition not required to sign the attendance register, about 225 Members marked their attendance daily as required under the Members of Parliament (Salary and Allowances) Act, according to the study. The highest daily attendance of 82.57 percent was reported during the 254th Session (last monsoon session), while a low of 72.88 percent was recorded during the preceding one, the study shows.
During this period, 29.14 percent reported full attendance while only 1.90 percent never attended the proceedings for various reasons and were granted leave of absence by the House, Rajya Sabha sources said. The analysis further revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic did not impact attendance during the last three sessions.
During the 252nd session, the first to be held following COVID-19 protocol, 99 members, accounting for 44.19 percent of the total, attended the proceedings during all the 10 sittings, while 98 members, accounting for 46 percent, did so during the 17 sittings of 254th Session. Session-wise, the number of Members with full attendance ranged from 34 (15.27 percent) during the 251st session to 98 (46 percent) during the 254th Session, the sources said.
There were two members during the 248th session who did not attend the proceedings at all and 21 during the 252nd session, the first to be held under Covid protocol. Under the statute, the members are required to sign the attendance register during every sitting of the House failing which the daily allowance of Rs 2,000 is not paid to them.
Among individual members' participation in the house proceedings, 75-year-old SR Balasubramaniam attended all the 138 sittings of these seven sessions. Five of the members -- Ashok Bajpai, D P Vats, Neeraj Shekhar, Vikas Mahatme and Ramkumar Verma -- fully attended six sessions, while seven members -- Rakesh Sinha, Sudhanshu Trivedi, Dr Kailash Soni, Naresh Gujral, Vishambar Prasad Nishad, Kumar Ketkar and Amee Yagnik -- had full attendance for five sessions, the sources said.