Normalcy returns to RS, Question Hour, Zero Hour conducted smoothly

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New Delhi : After repeated adjournments last week over the Assam NRC issue, normalcy returned to the Rajya Sabha on Monday with the smooth conduct of the Zero Hour and Question Hour.

Soon after the House met, Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu sought the members' cooperation, saying only four working days were left and businesses including some bills were pending.

He said the House will extend the duration of business hours.

The Samajwadi Party's (SP) Javed Ali Khan raised the issue of vacant seats in minority education institutions, urging the government to do away with discrimination against them.

"There is neither a chairman nor members in the National Commission for Minority Education Institutions. In the last four years, the commission has been retired. More than 7,000 requests are pending," he said, alleging that the Centre gives slogans like "sabka saath, sabka Vikas" (development for all) but doesn't care for the minorities.

Naidu said the government should take note of it.

Trinamool Congress's (TMC) Manish Gupta raised the issue of shortage of anti-rabies vaccines and urged the government to improve its supply.

Ashok Vajpayee of the Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP) expressed concern over the country's rising population and urged the Centre to find a method to control it.

"If you don't control the population, development would have no meaning," he said.

BJP's Vijay Pal Singh Tomar and many other members of the treasury and opposition benches also shared their concern on the issue.

SP's Ravi Prakash Verma spoke of the discrepancies in the distribution of Mudra scheme and sought to form a special committee for its effective monitoring.

Senior Congress member Moti Lal Bora talked about human trafficking and said that tribals from West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand were being sold off by placement agencies.

Ram Vichar Netam of BJP asked the government to control the unfair pricing of food and other items at airports.

Hussain Dalawai of Congress raised the issue of Maratha quota agitation while Santiuse Kujur spoke of the plight of tea garden workers in Assam.

TMC's Derek O'Brian raised the issue of the UIDAI helpline number which popped up on Android phones causing a big controversy.

"The UIDAI is getting involved in controversy almost every week. Now Google has come and said something. Whenever we are giving out our data we are getting alerts. My wife lives in America, she gets mails from the Prime Minister. How they got the ID we don't know," he said.

"Please guard our data so that 'Big Brother' is not watching you and do not make the Aadhaar compulsory..."

During Question Hour the members sought answers pertaining to defence procurement, Delhi's air pollution and derecognisition of sports federations.