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Rajya Sabha secretariat resumes normal functioning amid safeguards against COVID-19

As partial relaxations came into effect, Rajya Sabha Secretary General Desh Deepak Verma firmed up plans of work agenda.

The Rajya Sabha secretariat was shut in the last week of March due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Sanitisation of all vehicles entering the Parliament House complex, including the annexe, temperature screening of all employees and checking number of incumbents in each vehicle were among the safeguards undertaken on the first day of resumption of work.

According to the RS secretariat, this will continue as a norm till the lockdown restrictions are in force.

All officials and staff attended office wearing masks and many even wore gloves, besides carrying their own water bottles and lunch boxes. They stood in earmarked circles waiting for lifts to maintain social distancing.

Rajya Sabha Secretary General Desh Deepak Verma firmed up the agenda of work for the lockdown period through video conferencing with 17 senior officials of the rank of joint secretary and above.

He also prepared a plan of action for reducing expenditure in the Upper House.

The issues discussed included oath-taking by newly-elected members of Rajya Sabha, orientation programme for such members, including preparation of 10 updated booklets in this regard for use of members, payment of salaries to members and employees of the secretariat, finalising retirement benefits for those superannuating, firming up action plans further to decisions taken earlier regarding major issues.

He asked senior officials to make maximum use of e-office in view of rational deployment of manpower.

Verma directed that all the norms regarding ensuring social distancing and other safeguards like sanitation shall be done during the lockdown period, besides deployment of manpower based on the need for transacting essential business.

About 100 of the total 1,300 personnel of the Rajya Sabha secretariat attended office on Monday as per the deployment plan on rotation drawn up by the concerned divisional heads.

As required, all officers of the rank of joint secretary and above attended office.

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