Video Policy Brief IV: The utility of knowledge partnerships between parliaments and academia | Ravindra Garimella
In this CPI / IAPS policy brief I will talk about the utility of knowledge partnerships between parliaments and academia.
My name is Ravindra Garimella, I am Joint Secretary in Lok Sabha Secretariat, Parliament of India. I am in charge of the Legislative Division of Lok Sabha (House of People). The post of Joint Secretary (Legislation) which I am holding is somewhat equivalent to Deputy Clark of House of Commons or House of Lords.
I am presently on Visiting Fellowship at School of Politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham for two weeks. My Visiting Fellowship is a part of a UK Economic and Social Research Council funded project relating to the Parliament of India and co-ordinated by Dr Carole Spary, Assistant Professor in the School of Politics and International Relations and Deputy Director of the Institute of Asia and Pacific Studies.
My work in the parliament includes, in brief, handling of entire day to day proceedings of the House, various parliamentary devices, Agenda of Business of House, House Proceedings, chamber and Lobby. Further I also look after work regarding Government Bills and Resolutions, Motions, Private Members’ Bills and Resolutions, Parliamentary Privileges, Ethics related matters. I am also Officer at the Table.
Spanning over 30 years I have Administrative, managerial and Supervisional experience in Legislative Service. In a nutshell this experience covers legislative and House related matters pertaining to Table of the House and various Parliamentary Committees. I was also an Assistant Returning Officer for the recently held Presidential Elections, 2017. I was also Private Secretary to Union Cabinet Minister of Tribal Affairs & Panchayati Raj (Local Governance) on deputation from 2011 to 2014.This gave me an insight into the working of the Executive. I also have participated in various international fora such as Commonwealth Parliamentary Conferences and Workshops.
As Officer at the Table for 3 decades I have had the opportunity to actually witness Parliament at work in all its hues and dimensions.
Carole and I have had very meaningful interactions at various intervals for past seven years now. It was in 2010 that I first met Professor Shirin Rai, University of Warwick, whom Carole was working with at the time. Carole met with me to gain insights into working of Parliament. One of subjects Carole was working on at the time was managing disruptions by members in the chamber of the Indian parliament. Our interactions were so fruitful that it ushered in long term association between us.
In 2011, they invited me to attend their project’s closing conference in House of Lords, Westminster. We subsequently met in Delhi and again in UK when I was on a visiting fellowship at Warwick, I went to York to meet Carole where we discussed disruptions again, which eventually became a collaborative publication in the journal Democratization, as well as a collaborative paper on ceremonies and rituals in the Indian parliament, which was published in the Parliamentarian.
In recent years we had detailed deliberations on prevailing Committee system in Indian Parliament, and also the role of women Parliamentarians related to Carole and Shirin’s book project. Conversations have also led to a comparative study of Confidence Motions in 1999 and 2008; I was present at the table of the House during both of these debates.
There has been a good synergy between Carole’s rich academic work and my practical and real time experience and insight as a parliamentary officer.
In furtherance of these collaborative efforts, I am here as a Visiting Fellow at University of Nottingham University. This gives me an excellent opportunity to give concrete shape to our ongoing collaborative work and to do substantial work on Committee system, Gender Neutral Rules/Laws taking it beyond Parliamentary Rules of Procedure. While I am here, I am also looking forward to participating in the India at 70 one day workshop organised by Institute of Asia and Pacific Studies.
My present visit and working in close cohesion in the University gives me greater insight vis-a-vis academic research work which Carole and her colleagues have done. This also provides me an opportunity to relate my practical exposure and experience vis-a-vis working of Indian Parliament – with interesting views, suggestions and proposals which have emerged from Carole’s research. Our respective experiences can lead to really meaningful interactions and this convergence can form a sound basis for informed inputs for better assistance to Parliamentarians and academics as well.
Ravindra Garimella, is the Joint Secretary of the Legislative Division in the Lok Sabha Secretariat, Parliament of India. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Asia and Pacific Studies (IAPS) at the University of Nottingham.