ASSOCIATION OF PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARIANS

OF ASIA AND THE PACIFIC (APLAP)

 

 

 

 

EIGHTH BIENNIAL CONFERENCE

NEW DELHI, INDIA

(18-22 JANUARY, 2005)

 

 

 

 

INAUGURAL SESSION

 

 

 

HELD AT 1100 HOURS

ON

TUESDAY, 18 JANUARY, 2005

 

 

 

VERBATIM PROCEEDINGS

 

 

 

 

LOK SABHA SECRETARIAT
 

NEW DELHI

 

EIGHTH BIENNIAL CONFERENCE OF THE ASSOCIATION OF PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARIANS OF ASIA AND THE PACIFIC (APLAP) NEW DELHI

 

 

Tuesday, 18th January, 2005

 

C O N T E N T S P A G E S

 

OBSERVANCE OF  SILENCE IN MEMORY

OF THOSE WHO LOST THEIR LIVES IN

 THE TSUNAMI DEVASTATION                        1

WELCOME ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT,

APLAP                        2-4

ADDRESS BY THE SECRETARY GENERAL,

LOK SABHA                        5-9

ADDRESS BY HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER,

LOK SABHA AND CHAIRMAN, LIBRARY

COMMITTEE                        10-14

INAUGURAL ADDRESS BY HON. SPEAKER

LOK SABHA                        15-20

VOTE OF THANKS BY THE SECRETARY, APLAP                        21-22

 

XXXXX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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The Conference met at 1101 hours.

(Mr. Ramesh Chander Ahuja, President of APLAP in the Chair)

 

OBSERVANCE OF SILENCE IN MEMORY OF THOSE WHO LOST

THEIR LIVES IN THE TSUNAMI DEVASTATION

 

MR. RAMESH CHANDER AHUJA, JOINT SECRETARY, LOK SABHA SECRETARIAT AND PRESIDENT OF APLAP:  Before we begin the proceedings, we may observe silence for one minute in memory of those who lost their lives in the recent tsunami devastation.  All are requested to rise in their seats.

(The Delegates then stood in silence for one minute.)

 


MR. RAMESH CHANDER AHUJA:  Hon. Speaker, Lok Sabha, hon. Deputy-Speaker, Lok Sabha, hon. Members of the Library Committee of Parliament, Respected Secretary-General, Lok Sabha, Respected Secretary-General, Rajya Sabha, other distinguished invitees, distinguished delegates and observers from foreign and Indian Legislatures, learned colleagues from the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Secretariats, ladies and gentlemen,  it is indeed a matter of great honour for me to welcome you all to the inaugural function of the Eighth Biennial Conference of the Association of Parliamentary Librarians of Asia and the Pacific (APLAP), being hosted by the Parliament of India for the first time.

            At the outset, I would like to extend a hearty welcome to the hon. Speaker  Lok Sabha, esteemed Shri Somnath Chatterjee and express our profound gratitude to him for his benign presence and for having consented to inaugurate the Conference.  We are also extremely grateful to him for his kind and full support in organizing this Conference.  Hon. Speaker is an outstanding parliamentarian of long standing and also a highly respected leader of scholarship and learning.  Information Management in Parliament Library is a subject very close to his heart.  The fact that in spite of his very busy schedule, he found time to address us, speaks of the importance that he attaches to this Conference.  We are deeply beholden to him for having agreed to inaugurate this Conference and grace this function.

            I also warmly welcome hon. Deputy-Speaker, Lok Sabha, Sardar Charnjit Singh Atwal.  The hon. Deputy-Speaker is associated with the activities of our Parliament Library in very many ways being the Chairman of the Library Committee of our Parliament and the Committee on Provision of Computers to Members of Lok Sabha. They have been giving us valuable guidance in modernising our Parliament Library and further improving its service for the benefit of our hon. Members.

            In this context, it is encouraging to note that Shri Rajesh Verma, hon. Member of one of these Committees is also present with us to encourage us.

            I also welcome the learned Secretary-General of Lok Sabha, Shri G.C. Malhotra, under whose able guidance and supervision we are organizing this Conference.  The respected Secretary-General has a very long association with all the services of the Lok Sabha Secretariat including the Library and Reference, Research, Documentation and Information Service.  He has been closely associated with the APLAP fraternity as well.

            I also heartily welcome all the distinguished Secretary-General of Rajya Sabha, Dr. Yogendra Narain who made it convenient to be amidst us on this occasion.  We are thankful to him for his help and support in organizing this Conference.

            I also extend a warm welcome to all the distinguished Delegates and Observers from the Asia-Pacific Region and other distinguished invitees.  We are grateful to each one of you for having made it possible to attend this Conference. 

            Turning to the Conference, I may say that in the present day world marked by revolutionary advances in communication and information technology, Parliamentary Libraries have a challenging responsibility in modernising their operating techniques and ensuring efficient information management and dissemination.  To help the Legislative Libraries of member countries in this onerous task, APLAP provides a valuable forum where they can share their experiences and expertise and learn from the practices and methods being followed in other Parliaments.

            APLAP is also committed to the objective of encouraging mutual understanding and co-operation and exchange of information among the Parliamentary Libraries and Research and Information Services in the Asia-Pacific Region and enriching parliamentary services by promoting excellence among professional staff.  Accordingly, the theme of the Eighth Biennial Conference has been set as the “Changing Dimensions of Parliamentary Library and Information Services in the Third Millennium’. 

            I hope and trust that the deliberations of the Conference will carry forward the ideals and objectives of APLAP and will be fruitful for all the participants enabling them to serve their Members of Parliament in a more efficient manner.

            With these words, I once again extend a hearty welcome to all of you.

                                                                                                                        (ends)


SECRETARY-GENERAL, LOK SABHA (MR. G.C. MALHOTRA):  Hon. Speaker, Lok Sabha, esteemed Shri Somnath Chatterjee; hon. Deputy-Speaker, Lok Sabha, Sardar Charnjit Singh Atwal; hon. Members of Parliament, my colleague Secretary-General, Rajya Sabha, Dr. Yogendra Narain; President of APLAP, Shri R.C. Ahuja, Ms. Roslynn Membrey, Secretary of APLAP, Mr. Karl-Min Ku, former President of APLAP, distinguished delegates and observers, representatives of the media and colleague officers of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Secretariats, I feel deeply honoured to have been associated with the inaugural function of the Eighth Biennial Conference of the Association of Parliamentary Librarians of Asia and the Pacific[bru1] .

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            At the outset, I take this opportunity to extend my warm welcome to all the distinguished participants to our capital city, New Delhi.  The Parliament of India is hosting the APLAP Conference for the first time.  And this has been possible because of the invaluable blessings and support given by the hon. Speaker of Lok Sabha, Shri Somnath Chatterjee sahib.  We are extremely beholden to you, Sir, for your constant encouragement in this regard.  We also greatly value the guidance received from our hon. Deputy-Speaker of Lok Sabha, Sardar Charnjit Singh Atwalji, who is also the Chairman of our Parliament Library Committee. I am confident that this Conference will provide you ample opportunities to exchange ideas and share professional experiences in rendering information services to the Members of the supreme representative institutions in your respective countries.

            The APLAP has been doing a pioneering work in fostering understanding and cooperation among the parliamentary libraries and information centres attached to the parliaments in the Asia-Pacific region.  Ever since its inception in 1990, the APLAP has already met seven times, consistently endeavouring to develop new methods and new techniques for bringing about functional improvements in the working of parliamentary libraries in this region.  Going by the themes of all the past APLAP Conferences and the contents of the discussions there, one finds that notwithstanding the dissimilarities in the growth and development of parliamentary libraries of different countries of this region, almost every APLAP member is a complementary partner in sharing the management techniques and professional expertise in catering to the information needs of the parliamentarians.

            As my colleague, Mr. Ahuja said, I have been associated with APLAP for quite some time.  I have nostalgic memories of my participation in the Bangkok APLAP Conference held in 1994.  Our deliberations there were focused on resources and information sharing.  We learnt a lot from one another's experiences and the formal and informal discussions we had there, greatly helped us to further intensify our efforts in technologically upgrading the functioning of our parliamentary libraries.

            The role and responsibilities of a parliamentary librarian are intrinsically linked with the functioning of the legislature he serves.  As the chief parliamentary information provider, a parliamentary librarian must have a clear understanding of the changing needs of the parliamentarians as well as the needs for methodical and technological upgradation of the library, he heads.  The institutional mechanism, we have in the form of the APLAP, is relentlessly striving to address the matters of common concerns to the parliamentary librarians in this region.

            Apart from APLAP, we have the International Federation of Library Associations, known with the popular acronym, IFLA to represent the interests of the library and information services and their users.  Its separate section on Library and Research Services for parliaments provides us a global forum to exchange ideas and to discuss matters of common concern.  The annual IFLA Conferences, held in different parts of the world, help promote cooperation amongst us in all areas of library activities and information services.

            Having made remarkable strides and reaping the fruits of industrial revolution, humanity has now moved on to an era of information revolution where information has a prime role to play in all developmental activities.  Today, we live in a knowledge-based society.  The advances in the information and communication technologies have influenced all facets of our societies.  Once centralised, the societies are now configuring themselves as networks.  Development of any kind in any society is now geared to the availability of the relevant information. In fact, the knowledge and information are now being viewed as the backbone of a modern democracy.

            In the pursuit of democracy and good governance, the parliamentarians have to be accountable to the electorate.  Besides discharging their mandatory parliamentary duties on the floor of the House, they have to carry out a number of other obligations.  They have to nurse their constituencies and deal with the incessant demands emanating from their constituents.  To be able to effectively participate in the proceedings of the House, to speak at different fora on behalf of their constituents and to question the decisions of the Governments, the parliamentarians need right information at the right time.  However, the very nature of their duties makes it difficult for them to spare time and energy in search of information on varied and complex public issues.  In the absence of authentic information, they often find it difficult to challenge the Executive actions and articulate their points in parliament effectively.

            The changing national and international situations including greater democratisation in the early years of the Third Millennium have added new dimensions to the information needs of the legislatures and their Members.  Today, the people's representatives as well as the representative institutions, are increasingly becoming the subject of closer public scrutiny and focus of many kinds of pressure groups in the society.  The increasing volume and complexity of legislations, the expanding public policy fields and greater exposure to media are today the factors behind the parliamentarians' increasing demand for quality information on a variety of subjects.

            Information technology has added a new dimension to the working of parliamentary libraries.  Even a small parliamentary library is today looking beyond its walls to provide its users with global information resources.  But the challenges for the parliamentary libraries that arise from the advent of computer and also due to proliferation of more efficient means of accessing and processing of data are wide-ranging.  Today, they have to provide greater information access and improved levels of services, while at the same time, coping with the pace of technological changes and ever-increasing budgetary pressure.

            When there is an information explosion, the information management system has a very crucial role to play.  It is an intermediary between the generators of information and its users.  A well-planned and efficiently-run information system ensures quick and easy communication of information and also provides every user, timely access to the information he needs.  The fast technological advancement in the areas of information and communication, coupled with the explosion of information of all kinds, has made it imperative for us to transform all our parliamentary libraries into specialized information centres.

            We are fast integrating in the present era of globalization.  Sharing of knowledge and technology is crucial for our very existence as well as for our progress.  With the application of modern technology, there is enormous possibility for the APLAP fraternity to share and exchange all kinds of parliamentary knowledge and information.  We can exchange our resources in terms of both the staff and the material.  But effective resource-sharing amongst us will depend upon the state of technological development in each of our countries.  We know, the stage and level of automation of each of our parliamentary libraries is not identical.  Differences exist because of the variations in the availability of budgetary resources.   Apart from this, all our parliamentary libraries may not have the same degree of financial support from our respective parliamentary budgets.  The remedy, however, lies in the pooling of our resources.  By using the advanced information technologies, we can accelerate the pace of resource-sharing in our region.  In fact, the need of the hour is to build an effective "Asia-Pacific Information Services Network", to be commonly used by us in the service of our supreme legislative bodies.

            Many issues of mutual interest have been included in the Agenda of this Conference.  The professional interactions during the next four days would help you to benefit from one another's experiences and expertise in different areas, including building and sharing information resources, formulating research and analysis policies and applying modern technologies.  I am sure, the deliberations here would go a long way in enriching our capabilities in becoming reliable parliamentary information managers.   I hope, this Conference will prove to be a milestone in the history of the APLAP.  I wish the Conference every success.

            Thank you very much.

(ends)

 

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Hon'ble Deputy-Speaker, who is the Chairman of the Library Committee, will now kindly deliver his Address.


MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER, LOK SABHA: Hon'ble Speaker, Lok Sabha, Shri Somnath Chatterjee, Secretary-General, Lok Sabha, Shri Malhotraji, Secretary-General, Rajya Sabha, Dr. Yogendra Narainji, Delegates and Ladies and Gentlemen:

            I have great pleasure in associating myself with the inaugural function of the Eighth Biennial Conference of the Association of Parliamentary Librarians of Asia and the Pacific.

            May I, at the outset, extend a hearty welcome to all the delegates and observers who have gathered here to attend this meeting of Parliamentary Librarians of the Asia-Pacific region - a region which is emerging as an important entity of an increasingly integrated and rapidly changing world.  Your brief sojourn in India, I am sure, would bring us closer to each other and help us better understand each other's perspectives on vital issues pertaining to the application of information technology in the parliamentary libraries of our region.

            Friends, I understand that ever since its inception in 1990, the APLAP has been promoting information exchange and cooperation among the parliamentary libraries in the region.  The Conferences of APLAP provide parliamentary librarians a unique platform to share their experiences and coordinate their efforts towards sharing of information resources, especially in our region.  In the coming days, you will have an opportunity to share your experiences with learned participants on various aspects of the theme of this Eighth Biennial Conference, 'Changing Dimensions of Parliamentary Library and Information Services in the Third Millennium'. I am confident you all will stand to benefit from the meaningful deliberations at the Conference.

            Friends, you are all aware of the vital role information plays in steering all human endeavours towards progress and development.  Easy access to information and knowledge is indispensable for individual advancement as well as for overall national development.  The timely availability of correct information helps in improving the ability of an individual, an institution, a government agency, in taking informed decisions and achieving the desired goals.

            As you all know, the amazing technological and scientific developments of recent decades have resulted in spectacular advancements in information and communication systems.  The introduction of personal computers, super computers, CD-ROM and multimedia technologies have drastically changed the very nature of our present day world.  The greatest advantage of the new technologies is that they have given an impetus to research and development activities, and led to what is referred to as an information explosion; they have also significantly improved the process of storage, retrieval and dissemination of information.

            Libraries, as you all know, are important social institutions which work for the diffusion of knowledge.  The wealth of knowledge as well as intellectual, scholarly and research resources in libraries, information centres and information systems of a country is one of the greatest strengths of that nation.  In the wake of the knowledge explosion and the consequent free flow of information, no library in the world can afford to develop a fully comprehensive information base and be self-sufficient in all respects.  I am of the view that libraries of different countries should evolve a mechanism of cooperating and exchanging information with one another so that information on various dimensions of the developmental process is easily accessible to all.

            As I have said earlier, information technology has highly revolutionized the field of library and information science.  The development of information and communication technologies has resulted in resource sharing, networking and on-line information retrieval from databases.  With the introduction of new information technologies, libraries are now in a position to disseminate a vast quantum of information more quickly and in greater volume than ever before.


            I would particularly like to mention here that these technological developments have vastly impacted the functioning of Parliaments and also posed a new challenge in information management.  Legislatures are the supreme deliberative bodies of a country, where a wide range of national and international issues are discussed.  In order to make an effective contribution to the deliberations of the House, legislators must have access to the latest information on topical issues.  The availability of quick and relevant information has thus become vital for a legislator to perform his duty efficiently.

            As representative institutions the world over are faced with complex and challenging problems, legislators cutting across national boundaries should share and learn from each other's experiences so as to find realistic solutions to problems, general or area-specific.  As such, I strongly believe that exchange of information among Parliaments needs to be accorded utmost importance.  Vital linkages and interaction among parliamentarians across the world can be established by having recourse to modern technology.

            Friends, Parliaments the world over have developed well-organised information management systems to cater to the multifarious information requirements of its members.  In the Parliament of India, this task is assigned to the Parliament Library and Reference, Research, Documentation and Information Service.  Our Parliament Library has grown from a scratch since its inception in 1921 to become one of the finest and richest repositories of knowledge and information in the country today.  It was only in July 2002 that we shifted our Library from the Parliament House to the newly constructed Sansadiya Gyanpeeth which is a modular and utilitarian building, having stacking space for about three million publications.


            Our endeavour has been to provide the most modern facilities and prompt services to the members of both Houses of Parliament.  Our Library is supported by an efficient research and reference service that keeps the members well informed about the latest developments in various fields[r4] .

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In order to keep pace with the advances in information technology, we started a computer-based information service named PARLIS in 1985. Since then, we have come a long way and presently almost all the activities of the Lok Sabha Secretariat have been automated. Needless to say, the growing use of computers, generation of electronic database and introduction of networking technologies have facilitated easy availability of information to our Members. In all these endeavours, we have received  unstinted cooperation from successive Speakers of Lok Sabha. We have also benefited from the valuable guidance from the Library Committee and the Committees of the two Houses for the Provision of Computers to Members of Parliament, Offices of Political Parties and Officers of the two Secretariats.

            As one of the important segments of LARRDIS, the Press and Public Relations Wing has been maintaining a continuous liaison with the Press, various governmental publicity organisations and other media for the publicity of the parliamentary proceedings and other activities of the Lok Sabha. We have also taken several steps to telecast/broadcast the proceedings of Parliament, thus bringing it nearer to the people. The launching of two separate dedicated satellite channels for telecasting live the entire proceedings of the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha nationwide on 14th December, 2004 by the hon. Chairman, Rajya Sabha and the hon. Speaker, Lok Sabha respectively, has, indeed, been a landmark development in the history of telecasting of our parliamentary proceedings.


            Friends, effective communication, instant availability of appropriate and quality information and inter-linkages of databases are essential components of a successful democracy. The Legislatures of the Asia-Pacific region should, therefore, make vigorous and earnest efforts in developing and using new technologies that provide better access to information. There is also a pressing need to set up linkages among the various libraries of the region. Exchange of information and cooperation among the information managers of the Asia-Pacific region, I am sure, would go a long way in further bridging the information gap among the parliamentary fraternity.

            I extend my best wishes to all of you for a fruitful Conference and memorable stay in our country.

            With these words, I thank you.

                                                                                                                        (ends)

SECRETARY-GENERAL, LOK SABHA:  The hon. Speaker,  Lok Sabha would now deliver his Inaugural Address and inaugurate the Conference.


HON. SPEAKER, LOK SABHA:  Hon. Deputy-Speaker, Lok Sabha, Shri Charnjit Singh Atwalji, Secretaries-General, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, the President and Officer Bearers of the Association of Parliamentary Librarians of Asia and the Pacific, Delegates from the APLAP member countries and Ladies and Gentlemen:

            It is a matter of great pleasure for me to be here today and to have the opportunity to associate myself with this Conference. I extend a hearty welcome to you all, particularly to our friends from other countries, to New  Delhi and to this Conference here. I am happy to note that a large number of professionals associated with information management in the Libraries of their respective Parliaments have assembled here to deliberate on important issues pertinent to their field of work.

            Friends, one of the most remarkable developments of the last quarter of the previous century was the emergence of democracy as the most preferred and accepted system of governance across the world. Another equally remarkable development of this period was the revolutionary growth in the field of Information and Communications Technologies, known as ICTs. The immediate impact of the developments in the ICTs is in the information explosion and the resultant evolution of an information-driven world order. Information is seen as the greatest source of power in today’s world. This is all the more so for people involved in managing public affairs, especially for people’s representatives.

            It is said that knowledge  begets ideas and ideas beget change.  In a parliamentary democracy,  parliamentarians, as leaders of the society are also  the agents of change.  The quality of change is inevitably linked to the extent and the quality of information the  harbingers of change are endowed with. The crucial input that goes into the formulation of policies and into any effective legislation is the quantum and the quality of knowledge on which such policy or legislation is based.

            Easy access to objective and quality information is thus an essential requirement for the representative institutions to function in a purposive manner. In this task, information managers in the Parliament  Libraries have an important role to play. I understand that the APLAP was founded with the prime object of sharing professional expertise and experience of personnel working in the field of information management in the Parliaments of the Asia-Pacific region.

            Friends, Parliament today stands at the centre of the entire spectrum of democratic processes, addressing various issues and striving to meet effectively the democratic aspirations of the people. As the supreme legislative and representative body and as a multifunctional  institution, Parliament is responsible for legislation, overseeing of administration, passing of budget, ventilation  of public grievances and deliberating on national and international issues, particularly developmental issues. To deliberate and discuss meaningfully and to take informed decisions, parliamentarians must have unrestrained access to authentic, objective, balanced and non-partisan information. An informed parliamentarian can be of immense help in the emergence of an informed democracy. Similarly, an informed electorate can strengthen the edifice of democracy. The right to know and the right to information thus become crucial factors in a successful democratic system.

            It is in this context that the Library and Information Management Centres of Parliaments can play a crucial role in the dissemination of information to the Parliament and its Members as also in the dissemination of information about Parliament to the people at large. Only a focussed, research-oriented and specialized Library with a commitment to the cause of democracy can cater to the needs of the parliamentarians effectively in today’s information-driven society. It is, therefore, essential that the Legislature should develop its own independent mechanisms for intelligent collect, safe storage, expeditious retrieval and timely dissemination of information. These activities have to be necessarily centred around a well-organised and professionally-managed Library.

            Being the repositories of knowledge and wisdom, Libraries, especially Parliament Libraries, have to become integral parts of democratic societies. If properly utilized, they can be turned into great assets to the citizens by helping their  representatives to participate more effectively in the democratic processes and in making informed decisions on matters of policy and administration. Libraries should be able to supply unbiased and objective material representing all the points of view on a given topic[R6] .

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            The revolutionary breakthroughs in the field of information and communication technologies have impacted our lives in many ways, touching upon virtually all aspects of human activity.  The ICT revolution has also influenced the way information is stored, processed, managed, retrieved and disseminated.  A great quantum of information is generated every moment on virtually every conceivable subject today.  The ability to collect, store and disseminate such information has become a vital tool and a basis of power, especially for decision-makers and opinion leaders.  The telecommunication network, the advent of computerization, the advancements in satellite communication and the onset of the Internet have all led to a virtual collapse of territorial boundaries and geographical barriers today.  This has also contributed significantly in popularizing democratic ideals and in transforming many non-democratic regimes into democracy.

            Friends, today, information has become the most vital and the basic resource for the advancement of society.  To access accurate, exhaustive and objective information within the shortest possible time, we need to rely on the latest available technologies in this area.  These technologies have made their impact on Parliaments too in the context of information management.  Since libraries are mostly concerned with the storage and retrieval of information, the ICTs have influenced their working also in a substantial way.  Libraries are increasingly getting centred around the use of Internet and other networks and the possibility of a library without walls is not a distant dream but a virtual reality today.  The age of ‘Paperless libraries’ does not appear to be too far!  The focus today should be on the networking of the library and the professional excellence of the information managers and access to information rather than on the traditional method of acquisition and collection of the sources which contained such information.

            In this context, it is of utmost importance that the Parliament Libraries are well connected and resources are shared.  Such sharing will also help us to know how other Parliaments work, the procedures followed in different Legislatures, how the Committees function, how the Committee reports are prepared and above all, how executive accountability to the Legislatures is ensured.

            Friends, as information and library specialists, you are aware that, today, a vast array of literature is available on each and every subject.  In the case of a Parliament Library, the quantity of information available and managed is enormous as these are considered to be institutions of national importance, serving a large number of members of Parliament in effectively discharging their responsibilities as elected representatives.  It is the role and responsibility of the personnel of the Parliament Library, both as professionals and as citizens in a democracy, to provide unbiased, objective, factual and analytical information to the members of Parliament at short notice.  On occasions, members may not find time to go through the catalogue, go to the racks or sit at the computers to access information, as they always have a large constituency to attend to, many routine letters to answer, several public functions to attend and many other responsibilities.  That being so, it is important that a member of Parliament must be served by the Parliament Library in the most efficient manner.

            A library or a research official should be able to provide him with the latest and the most relevant information on any subject expeditiously.  In addition, libraries and research services should always keep a vigil on the latest developments in all fields and bring out well-documented research studies on important topics, even without a formal request from a member.  With the help of such documents, along with their personal understanding of issues and grass root experience, members will be able to function more effectively in discharging their varied responsibilities in the Parliament, in its Committees and in their Constituencies.  The Library has to paly a proactive role in the dissemination of authentic information to the members.  It should have sufficient number of subject and area specialists who can give the correct lead and valuable research support to the members on a continuous basis.

            It will also be helpful if Parliamentary Libraries can conduct seminars, workshops and symposia on topics of interest to the members.  This can help them in sharing ideas and in understanding issues from a broader perspective.  Such efforts will also help in augmenting the knowledge and skills of the people who manage the library and research services.  Members will then be able to take full advantage of the vast resources in the library and the expertise and knowledge base of the officers of the library.

            Friends, from the detailed agenda of the Conference, I understand that you will be deliberating on important subjects of professional interest relating to information management in the Parliament Libraries.  This kind of interaction would help the experts in sharing their experience and expertise.  It will also help all of you to serve the institution you work for more effectively and contribute towards strengthening the democratic fabric in your respective countries.  I congratulate the APLAP for providing this forum for the benefit of the member Parliaments of the Asia-Pacific region.


            With these words, I have great pleasure in inaugurating this Conference.  I am sure, the deliberations of this Conference would go a long way in enabling the Library and the information managers to assist the Parliaments and the parliamentarians to function more effectively and thereby help in strengthening democracy in the Asia-Pacific region.  I extend my best wishes for the success of the Conference.

            Thank you very much.

(ends)

SECRETARY-GENERAL, LOK SABHA : Now, I would request the Secretary, APLAP to give the Vote of Thanks.


MS. ROSLYNN MEMBREY: Hon. Speaker, Lok Sabha; Hon. Deputy-Speaker, Lok Sabha; Secretary-General, Lok Sabha; Fellow Members of the Executive of APLAP; Delegates and Observers to the Eighth Biennial Conference of APLAP; and Ladies and Gentlemen:

            I want to thank each of the previous speakers for their kind words and the way they have revealed their intimate understanding and respect for the work of APLAP, Parliamentary Librarians and the delegates who are here today.  I do not want to repeat many of the words they have said because I could not use those words as well as the way they have said.  What I do want to say is that we have two purposes in being here today. 

Our first purpose is to ensure information and to learn from each other to develop as to what the Secretary-General, Lok Sabha called – Asia-Pacific Information Service Network – which is a wonderful thing, which we might adopt in future conferences.  We will do all these things.  It would be a very busy period for the next three or four days when we will have formal and information discussions, when we will learn from each other, we listen to words of advice, to words of assistance, to words of support, to words of encouragement, and it is all going to be proved to be a better APLAP and better working world for us when we go home.

Our second purpose is to learn a lot more about India.  One of the reasons why APLAP arranges meetings in different countries each time is to allow all the members to learn more about our members, to learn to respect parliamentary system, to learn to respect culture and traditions of other nations.  That would help us to provide better information services again when we go back home.


Sir, I want to thank all the speakers for the kind words of encouragement and their welcome.  I would ask my colleagues to assist us in acknowledging that in the normal way.

Thank you very much.

SHRI R.C. AHUJA: I would cordially invite all of you for a cup of tea in the Banquet Hall.

 

The Conference then adjourned for the day.

      

 


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