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Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha officials are signing up for French lessons at secretariat

Lok Sabha secretariat is conducting a beginners' programme for officials since many of them communicate with foreign delegates. German, Spanish and Russian are also on the agenda.

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New Delhi: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla Tuesday inaugurated a beginners French language programme for Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha officials in the secretariat.

Speaker Birla said that the endeavour was to make the Lok Sabha secretariat an inspiration for other institutions of the country. “Therefore it is necessary that our quality and efficiency is improved. We have started working in this direction.”

He also tweeted saying the knowledge of foreign languages will help officials in connecting with foreign parliaments in an effective and efficient manner. “If officers of Parliament acquire proficiency in other languages along with their language, it will increase our efficiency & quality,” he posted, and added that other languages will also be added to this initiative soon.

“In today’s rapidly changing world, it is necessary to constantly improve ourselves and our work,” he said.


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Bridging communication gap

According to an officer in the Speaker’s office who asked not to be named, the initiative was taken to fill the communication gap between various foreign parliamentary delegations and Indian delegations during international visits and parliamentary meetings.

Indian parliamentary delegations often visit foreign countries on goodwill missions as well as other parliament-related work purposes. Foreign delegations also visit India for the same.

The initiative began with French as many officials indicated that as their first preference if given a chance to learn a new language, according to the officer.

“Honourable Speaker wants to inculcate all the other major international languages, but the beginner course has started in French since a majority of officials chose it,” the officer said.

So far, 57 officials have registered themselves for the beginners French programme. It is being organised by the Parliamentary Research and Training Institute for Democracies (PRIDE), which provides systematic training in the various disciplines of parliamentary institutions, processes and procedures.

The secretariat is planning to begin courses in three other foreign languages — German, Spanish and Russian, the official added.


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