Parliament disruption a matter of 'considerable concern': VP

Chennai: Vice President M Hamid Ansari Tuesday voiced concern over frequent disruptions in Parliament proceedings but expressed confidence that "collective wisdom" of the elected representatives would find a solution.

Interacting with students of BS Abdur Rahman University near here, Ansari, also the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, said the disruptions were of "considerable concern" and the MPs should find a way out.

"Disruptions are taking a lot of time. It is a matter of considerable concern. I am sure the collective wisdom of the elected representatives will find a solution, sooner or later," he said in his 45-minute interaction.

Responding to students' questions on the future of India in the context of power generation, he said that while nuclear power has a very important role to play, the potential of importing other sources like hydro-electric power should be explored.

Ansari, however, said nuclear power comprised only a 'miniscule' level of India's total power production presently and the country was not a match to certain European nations, including France, which met a bulk of their energy requirements through nuclear power.

"So it is an option to us and the government has identified it and has comprehensive plans for availing it," he said.

Ansari did not share a student's view that India had exhausted its hydro-electric power potential and said the possibility of its import like crude oil should also be explored.

Recently, he said, India and Bhutan had entered into an agreement wherein the hydro-power being produced in Bhutan was being sold to India, which benefited both. Such potential with other countries should also be explored.

On educational status of minorities, he said while the government was setting up facilities and providing funds, the members of the community should also develop an urge to seek knowledge.

The vice-president said collective efforts should be made to alleviate poverty and child labour. He also called for more investment and focus in Research and Development (R&D).

He said the government had set a target of increasing the percentage of those seeking higher education, from the present 11-12 percent to 20-22 percent.

To a question on brain-drain, Ansari recalled the words of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and said they (skilled people) were like 'fixed deposits' which could be withdrawn at a later point in time. He said, however, more people were now coming back to India, as there were a plenty of job opportunities in the country.