MR. CHAIRMAN: Now, let us take up the next item - Motion of Thanks on the President's Address.
SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL (LATUR): Sir, I think, we have switched over to the discussion on the President's Address.
Yesterday, I was given an opportunity to speak on the points which were mentioned in the President's Address.
Today also I will seek your permission to mention some of the points which are mentioned in the President's Address and later on, to mention the points which are not mentioned in the President's Address. I do not know how much time is available to me. If enough time is available, I can cover these points in greater detail and if not, then, ..
MR. CHAIRMAN: You have already taken 34 minutes.
SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL (LATUR): That is right. I am conscious of the fact and I will abide by your directions.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay.
SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL (LATUR): I was on science and technology development in our country. I think more funds are required for this purpose. It would be necessary for us to provide more funds for development of science and technology. The Government of India has been providing funds. It is not sufficient; it is not enough; we shall have to have funds from the State Governments also. It should be possible for us to discuss this matter with the State Governments, in the Planning Commission and persuade the State Governments to set aside certain amount of money for the development of science and technology which is relevant to the States. The public sector undertakings also can find more funds. If they are manufacturing certain things and if certain kind of science and technology can be developed by them, they should also be persuaded to find some funds for this purpose. Certainly, the private sector also can be asked to find more funds.
19.12 hrs (Mr. Speaker in the Chair)
I know that we have given certain concessions to the private sector. If the private sector invests money on science and technology certain relief is given in Income Tax Act and other Acts. This matter can be gone into in great detail and we can find more funds.
Second suggestion with respect to this is that the development of science and technology in India can be made in a mission-mode approach. We can select certain missions; they can be provided with funds and we can ask them to produce the results in the given time. This will be really helpful.
My fourth suggestion with respect to development of science and technology is that it is not possible for India or for that matter, any other country to carry on research and development in all areas. So, we shall have to be very selective and we can select areas in which we can really produce results. What are the areas in which India can produce results?
Genetics is one of the areas. India is very rich genetically. Genetic wealth is here. If we develop genetic science and genetic technology, it will be very useful. Electronics is another area, specially, software, a part of electronics in which we can do a lot. The third area is materials. Materials are going to be very very important. Silicon, many other materials and alloys are going to be very important. Solar energy is the area in which we can do a lot. And the resource of the ocean can also be developed by us. Ocean water can be turned into potable water. Technology is available; we can develop it and we can use. So, we can do these things in a selective manner.
One more suggestion with respect to development of science and technology is that we are getting certain sophisticated equipment from foreign countries. When we contract for the sophisticated equipment from foreign countries, generally we try to have a clause in the contract saying that the technology will also be transferred along with equipments which we get. But I would like the Government of India or our country to go a step forward and to have a clause in the contract saying that it is not enough to transfer technology, but the Indian scientists and the Indian technologists should be allowed to work in the laboratories along with their scientists and technologists at the drawing board level so that the technology which is developed by them becomes automatically available.
Now, this is the area which is very important. The future depends on our scientific, technological and spiritual strengths. Scientific and technological strengths have to be developed and we shall have to pay enough attention to this aspect.
President's Address mentions about judicial reforms. The Congress Manifesto talks about appointment of National Judicial Reforms Commission. When we appoint a National Judicial Reforms Commission, it would be possible for us to discuss this matter with the members of the judiciary. Without discussing this matter with the members of the judiciary, we may not be able to bring about judicial reforms in a proper manner. We should discuss this with the members of the legal profession. We should discuss this matter with others also. This is mentioned in the Congress Manifesto and in the President's Address also. We are very happy about it.
There is a suggestion that delays should be reduced; expenses should be reduced; and correct justice should be done. To reduce the delays, it would be necessary for us to have more courts and more judges. The vacancies should not be kept vacant. All the vacancies should be filled up. The courts should be modernised. Now, they are taking down the evidence manually. It is possible for us to take down the evidence mechanically, using cameras and machines. It would certainly reduce the delays. This is not the time or the place where we can go into the details. But the Commission can go into all details.
I am very happy to find that the President's Address mentions that the laws should be reformed. The laws should be such that they can be easily understood. This fact has been mentioned in the Congress Manifesto also. The time has come when we require different kinds of laws -- laws which are relevant to our activities in the oceans, in the space and in the intellectual area. There are many other areas where new legislation would be required. So, it would be beneficial for us to have a look at the laws which which we are implementing and enforcing now. The laws should be simple, unambiguous and futuristic. The laws should be such that they do a sort of social engineering. The new definition of law is: "It is a machinery for social engineering".
In the society people have interests and their interests clash. It is the duty of the judiciar and the legislatares to see that these contradictory interests are managed in such a manner that the maximum results are produced which is called social engineering. This aspect should also be seen by us.
There is a mention about the reservation for women. This has been mentioned in the Congress Manifesto also. One observation I would like to make with respect to this point is that we shall have to be really very sincere. If we mention it just because it helps us in election, that is not going to help us ultimately. Now, there are interests clashing here, the interests of the men and those of the women. Sometimes, women come forward and say that in the men's world, this will not be easily done. We are compelled to see sometimes that this is exactly what is happening in the legislatures and here also. But human ingenuity is not weak; it is powerful enough and it should be possible for us to provide thirty per cent reservation in the Lok Sabha, in the Rajya Sabha, in the Legislative Assemblies and in the Legislative Councils by inventing and devising some methods.
There are ways and means which can certainly be considered by us to see that the interests of all the Parties are met and this is done, if we are for social justice. There are people who talk about social justice. The charity should start from the home itself. We shall have to do social justice to the members of our families, to our mothers, sisters, daughters and wives also. It is not good if we just keep on talking about it and do not do it. Those who are opposed to it should be a little magnanimous. They should allow all of us here to invent methods which can be used to see that 30 per cent reservation is given to ladies. Though they are going to be satisfied with it, I would say that it is not a just reservation. They should be given 50 per cent reservation. But we are not even ready to give them 30 per cent reservation. We are putting forth certain pleas which are going to be of divisive nature. This is not good for us. I think the Government has come with this proposal and the enlightened Members of this House should join hands to see that justice is done to women by doing the needfull.
In the President's Address, there is a mention about the WTO also. Well, I am told that I cannot speak for long.
MR. SPEAKER: The time allotted to the Congress Party is 58 minutes.
SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL : If the time of the House is extended, a portion of the extended time will be available to us also.
WTO has come to stay. It is not going to disappear. India was a Member of GATT. India is a Member of WTO. China wants to be a Member of WTO. China wanted to be a Member of GATT and wants to be a Member of WTO. A suggestion was made that the Government should withdraw from WTO. I do not think that suggestion is seriously given and that is not going to be easily accepted. But the fact is, WTO is an organisation which has been created to bring down the barriers for the smooth flow of commodities, goods, services, intellectual properties and all such things from one country to another. This organisation is being used by certain countries in a very intelligent manner, that is to protect their interests. Sometimes, it is being used to see that they get extra advantage also. The skill lies in understanding this organisation as also its charter which is given to create to this organisation. We should see that this organisation is used in such a manner that our interests are protected. While trying to protect our interests, our enlightened interest is also there in seeing that there is cooperation between different countries and injoining the mainstream internationally. On the one hand every care has to be taken to see that our interests are protected and on the other hand we shall have to see that we join the international stream in an enlightened, cautious, balanced and scientific manner.
I will now go into the foreign policy which has been mentioned in the President's Address and then I will touch three or four more points briefly. We are very happy to read in the President's Address that the Government thinks that we should have good relations with our immediate neighbours, other countries of the world and the international organisations. There can be no doubt that we all want that there should be good relations with our neighbours. Please allow me to say that while seeing this we shall have to be very careful in making the statements. We cannot have good relations with other countries by saying that a particular country is our enemy number one and a particular other country is enemy number two. Such statements are coming from those who are holding responsible posts. This creates problem for us.
It is not only in the interest of the Government but it is in the interest of the country to see that these kinds of statements are not made. If they are made and if they are contradicted, well it can create a little bit different situation. But it is better if these kinds of statements are avoided.
The second caution which we would like to express on the floor of the House is that international relations have to be forged in a very careful manner. If we take one good step, let us not be euphoric about it and let us not say that that has removed all the barriers for good relations between the countries. If we are euphoric and if we are attaching too much of importance to it, we will be mistaken and we will be in a situation in which we will suffer and others also will suffer. If we go to our neighbouring country in a bus, it is good and we should be happy about it. But if you say that that is going to solve all the problems, that would not help us. Within one or two months, we ourselves are compelled to say that when we were meeting, the intruders were entering our territory. This kind of a thing is not good for us. That is why, let us not say that one country or the other country is an enemy. At the same time, let us not be too much euphoric about our relations and about the steps which are taken. That is what is really required and that is the matured way of dealing with international relations. I am sure it should not be difficult for us if a mistake is committed here and a mistake is committed there. But it should not be repeated. That is why, we are mentioning this.
Sir, the administrative reforms are necessary. This is a point which has not been mentioned in the President's Address. But the time has come when we shall have to look at the administration of the country. The law, the rules, the procedures, the equipments used and our public relations, everything has to be looked into. We have said in our Manifesto that the Administrative Reforms Commission should be appointed. For good governance, administrative reforms are necessary and I hope that the Government would take note of these requirements.
I am very happy that while discussing the disaster which we are encountering in four States, many Members have suggested that there should be a permanent machinery for disaster management. Firstly, there should be a policy evolved; secondly, there should be a machinery available to deal with the disaster in the country; thirdly, there should be funds available for this purpose; and fourthly, the information should be easily available. I am sure that the Government will pay attention to this.
The third suggestion which I would like to make and which is not in the Address is that fortunately, we have Human Rights Commission at the national level. Should it not be possible for us to have Human Rights Commission at the State level also? It is not for the Government of India to have Human Rights Commission at the State level but certainly this matter can be discussed with the State Government and we can persuade them to have Human Rights Commission at the State level.
One more point which is very important from the point of view of Congress Members is that the Jain Commission Report was given and we had discussed it. The hon. Home Minister gave a reply which satisfied many of us at that time. Fortunately for us, he is there now. We would urge that the suggestions given in the Jain Commission Report to reach at the root of the conspiracy behind the assassination of our beloved leader, late Rajiv Gandhi should be taken to the logical conclusion. The delay will not be good and people will not appreciate it. So, expeditious action should be taken in this respect.
The last point I would like to make is that we have read this Address very carefully. This is an Address prepared by the Government, presented to the Parliament and the people through our respected President. This is a policy document. This document is going to be relevant not only, in my opinion, for this year but for the rest of the years of this Parliament also.
So, this document has a special significance. We have found that many of the points mentioned here are mentioned in the Congress Party's manifesto also. Not that they have taken them from us, but it seems independently they have come to the conclusions to which we have also come and mentioned them in our manifesto. That is why we think we are in a time when people thinking independently also can come to certain conclusions which are of identical nature. There is convergence of ideas. If there is a convergence of ideas, we should be happy rather than be unhappy. We should cooperate to see that those ideas are implemented.
When we talk about cooperation, people criticise those who say that they would cooperate. When we talk of opposition, there are people to say that we are opposing all the time. The task of the Government is to propose and the task of the opposition party is to examine it. If it is acceptable to the opposition party, they would accept it. If they have different views, they would express their different views and if necessary they would oppose also. They say that the opposition is meant for opposing and deposing also. I would not go to that extent of saying it, but there would be time when cooperation can help us and there would be time when the opposition would be necessary. There are people who do not appreciate cooperation. There are people who do not appreciate opposition also.
The Congress Party is here as a responsible opposition party. The Congress Party will cooperate with all the parties in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha in the interest of the people and in the interest of the country where there is identity of views. Where there is no identity of views, they would express their views openly. I think that in a democracy we shall have to cooperate and we shall have to criticise also. Criticism and cooperation are a part of democracy and we, as a responsible opposition party, will certainly try to play all the game by rules of democracy and the rules of parliamentary system.
But, at the same time, please allow me to say that if we expect cooperation from other parties, we shall have to behave in such a fashion that it is easier for other parties to cooperate also. If those who are holding the reins of power use the machinery for political purpose which hurts the feelings and emotions of others, which gives an impression that certain steps are taken for political reasons, politically motivated steps are taken and not legally, correctly and justly taken, then it becomes very difficult to create an atmosphere in which extending cooperation would be very easy. So, it is a road of two-way traffic. It is a two-way road. The opposition has to cooperate and the ruling parties also have to conduct themselves in a fashion which will help other parties to cooperate with them. If a doubt is created in the minds of the people who are sitting not on the ruling benches, but on other benches that actions taken could have been avoided, but were not avoided and were taken only to see that political mileage is achieved, it becomes difficult to extend the hand of cooperation.