Meetings of parliamentary standing committees have resumed after they were suspended following adjournment of both Houses of Parliament due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a panel on welfare of other backward classes meeting on Monday, sources said.
In its meeting, the Committee on Welfare of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) made recommendations to various ministries on implementation of reservation, they said.
The meeting assumes significance as it was held with members physically present for it. Previously, chairmen of various parliamentary panels had sought virtual meetings but were denied.
This was the first meeting of any parliamentary standing committee after the Parliament's Budget Session was adjourned before its schedule on March 23, in wake of COVID-19. After this, Parliament operations were also suspended during the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
The Committee on Welfare of Other Backward Classes chaired by BJP MP Ganesh Singh met on Monday and out of its 26 members, 11 members were present in the meeting held at the Parliament's annexe building, sources said.
Members from opposition parties, including the Samajwadi Party, were also present in the full day meeting which started at 11 am and ended at 5 pm.
In between, the meeting was briefly adjourned for lunch, but no food was served as a precaution in view of the COVID-19 outbreak. Serving of lunch is customary during parliament panel meetings, the sources said.
The members, who attended the meeting, took lunch at their residences, they said.
Top officials from the health ministry, human resource development ministry and power ministry were called by the panel to discuss the implementation of OBC quota in their respective ministries and related departments and institutions.
As per the Lok Sabha website, the next meeting of a parliamentary committee is of the Public Accounts Committee chaired by Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, scheduled for July 10.