Training Day

The two days orientation programme for Legislators of Nagaland beginning today at Kohima is an important learning exercise especially for the MLAs. Hopefully at the end of the progamme, legislators would be better equipped to function as active and effective participants both inside and outside the Assembly as agents of socio-economic change. Recognizing the urgent need to advance democratic values, practices and institutions, MLAs in Nagaland have as much responsibility to help mould the Legislature and their own roles should be harnessed to meet the objectives thereto. 

However, in order to remain effective, legislators themselves have to be provided with the necessary information and technical know-how on the entire gamut of issues related to the development of the Legislature. As such, the orientation programmes under the initiative of the Speaker Nagaland Legislative Assembly needs to be appreciated. Knowing fully well that most MLAs elected on party tickets usually have only a general idea on the working of the Legislature and also the fact that some could be making their maiden entry into the Assembly, it is worth suggesting that such orientation programme should be organized on a more regular basis especially for a State like Nagaland that requires further strengthening of the legislative process. 

One area of concern here in Nagaland is, the legislative assembly hardly sits and even if it does, deliberation remains awfully short not going beyond 4-5 days at the most. Further, more often than not the entire legislative exercise is government centric with almost all legislation been initiated by the executive and easily passed by the legislature. Since law making and policy formulation is often seen as the primary function of the legislature, the failure at critical examination, to defeat, modify or affect legislation is itself a reflection of the growing impotence of the legislature and also the MLAs who sit there. Whether it is plain dereliction of duty or the fact that MLAs are incapacitated by sheer ignorance, both are matters of concern and needs proper correction in the context of Nagaland.  

For the legislature to develop into a competent, accountable, transparent, and responsive institution, it is essential for members to be well conversant with the Rules and Procedure of the House regarding conduct of business. The two days of training will hopefully provide the much needed assistance to the Legislators to develop the traditions and best practices as a prerequisite first step towards making the Legislature of a high order befitting their status as people’s institution. And it goes without saying that to remain an effective legislator, it is critical that MLAs must be trained and inculcated the necessary skills to perform and remain as effective representatives of the people.