The Vice President of India and Chairman, Rajya Sabha Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, completed four years in office today. On this occasion, the Vice President’s Secretariat released a flip book presenting an overview of his engagements during the last one year.
The e-book, released in multiple languages, states that the Vice President attended 133 events (virtual and physical both) across the country covering ten States and two Union Territories, out of which, 22 were inaugural events. During the past one year, Shri Naidu delivered 53 lectures, released 23 books, visited over 21 institutions, addressed 7 convocations, attended 4 award ceremonies and laid foundation stones of 3 projects.
The year gone by has been a difficult one with the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting lives and livelihoods across the world. Reflecting on this health crisis, the Vice President spread a message of hope and resilience by writing Facebook posts and articles reassuring citizens amid this unprecedented health crisis. He commended the contribution of all frontline COVID warriors in multiple articles and posts on various social media platforms and constantly appealed to the public to follow COVID safety protocols. Shri Naidu was among the first to get himself vaccinated and also urged people to shed vaccine hesitancy. During his visit to Bharat Biotech facility in Hyderabad, he hailed the efforts of the scientists on developing indigenous COVID vaccine.
Recollecting the inspirational tales of courage and confidence, the Vice President wrote a series of Facebook posts on 26 unsung women freedom fighters and lesser known stories of 10 freedom fighters incarcerated in Cellular Jail in Andamans. In April this year, he also addressed the closing ceremony of 25-day long commemorative Dandi Padayatra organised as part of ‘Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ at Dandi recalling the latent collective strength within our country.
The Vice President is known to be an ardent supporter of promoting Indian languages. Over the last one year, he used every platform to raise this important topic. On International Mother Language Day, he tweeted in 22 Indian languages, wrote articles in 24 vernacular papers on the importance of mother tongue and also sent letters to all MPs in their mother tongues urging them to work for its promotion and preservation. In a new initiative, the Vice President sent greetings to all MPs in their mother tongues on traditional Indian New year. When AICTE decided to offer professional courses in Indian languages, he lauded this decision and wrote articles in 33 vernacular papers in 24 Indian languages highlighting the need for professional courses in Indian languages.
Emphasising the need for reconnecting our innate strengths, the Vice President underscored the importance of agriculture in the national economy and praised Indian farmers for achieving record food grain production despite COVID-19 pandemic. He visited several scientific institutions including CREST, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Missile Complex, CCMB and IIT Madras and apprised himself of new developments in R&D. He also addressed the valedictory session of the India International Science Festival-2020.
As part of his diplomatic engagements, the Vice President Chaired the 19th meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Heads of Government which was held virtually in New Delhi. He also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain, H.E. Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani and the President of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), H. E. Duarte Pacheco at Upa-Rashtrapati Nivas.
As the Chairman, Rajya Sabha, Shri Naidu has been constantly striving towards strengthening parliamentary democracy in the country. He along with the Lok Sabha Speaker made special arrangements for the functioning of the Parliament amid COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the productivity of Rajya Sabha rose to 95.82% during 2020-21 (till the Budget Session of 2021) from 48.17% during 2017-18. During the year 2020-21, 44 Bills were passed by Rajya Sabha, the highest in the last four years and eight Rajya Sabha Committees submitted 74 reports, again the highest in the last four years.
The official channel of Rajya Sabha, RSTV touched new heights under the leadership of Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu with its YouTube subscriber base increasing from 5 lakhs to 59 lakhs over the past four year. Also, subsequent to a committee formed by Chairman Rajya Sabha, a new channel, Sansad TV is taking shape by merging RSTV and LSTV.
On the occasion of completion of his four years in office, the Vice President also did tree plantation at Parliament Lawns today.