Indian PM endorses IIT camera to catch inattentive MPs in Parliament

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 56th Convocation of IIT Madras in Chennai on 30 September 2019IANS

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi endorsed a camera developed by students of the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras (IIT-M).
  • The camera can detect when people are not paying attention.
  • Modi wants to employ these cameras in Parliament to catch napping MPs.
It’s not uncommon to see members of parliament (MPs) zone out during parliamentary sessions — some even take short naps.

A new camera developed by students at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) could be a solution to this problem, said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"I especially like the solution for the camera to detect who is paying attention. Now what will happen you know, I will talk to my Speaker in Parliament and I am sure it will be very useful to Parliament," Modi said during the prize distribution ceremony at the Singapore-India Hackathon Event.

The famous dozing MPs

Napping in parliament has become a fairly common occurrence with at least one politician grabbing the limelight every season.

HD Deve Gowda became infamous in his short stint as Prime Minister for regularly dozing off during Parliamentary sessions.

But he was not the only one. Since then, everyone from the former President Pranab Mukherjee to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, have been caught on camera sleeping in the background as other MPs go about their unending speeches.

Smriti Irani, India’s former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and Santosh Gangwar are among the many others have also been spotted catching a quick nap in the Lok Sabha.

Back in 2011, Lalu Prasad Yadav’s catnaps became common enough for the Lok Sabha speaker to issue an order to wake him up, as he snoozed off in the very first row.

Others may not necessarily nod off, but they are seen zoned out of the conversation as they rub eyes, and fight off fatigue.

Not just India

India isn’t the only country fighting against his phenomenon. Many MPs in the British House of Commons has been seen dozing off too. So much so that more than one petition has been endorsed by the public to bring in consequences for MPs found to be asleep — like cutting off their salaries, which are funded by taxpayer money.

The UK Parliament always rejected these petitions saying that MPs are not employed by the Parliament, and do not fall under the responsibility of the UK government.
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