What we do

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PRS tracks the functioning of the Indian Parliament and works with MPs from the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha across political parties and MLAs from various states. PRS provides a comprehensive and credible resource base to access Parliament-specific data, background information on Parliamentary and governance processes and analysis of key legislative and policy issues.

Support for Legislators

The Indian Parliament has about 790 members from over 40 political parties. Each MP represents close to two million citizens. Parliament passes 60 Bills a year on average. However, MPs do not have trained and high quality research staff or structured institutional support to help them navigate the complexities of various legislations and assess their implications. Structured institutional support would help support preparation of MPs for debates in Parliament.

PRS aims to deepen and broaden the legislative process by providing MPs with the necessary data and analysis for debates in Parliament. This is done by synthesising feedback from a range of stakeholders to provide MPs with comprehensive information on an issue. The aim is to complement the knowledge base and expertise that already exists in the government, citizen’s groups, businesses, and other research institutions.

PRS publishes concise analysis of Bills introduced in Parliament, background research notes on issues of national importance, statistics, graphs and data analysis on Parliament activity and legislation. Besides this PRS holds interactive sessions for the exchange of ideas on key policy issues between MPs and an expert in the field during Parliamentary session.

Given that MLAs across states face similar constraints, PRS aims to strengthen the legislative process through research support, policy updates and workshops for MLAs to interact with policy experts and academics and exchange policy ideas and best practices. The Laws of India website is a searchable web based public database created by PRS of all laws passed by the legislatures of different state/UT in India.

Citizen Engagement

PRS aims to increase public engagement in the legislative process and on issues of national importance. This is done by providing information on policy issues, legislative analysis and parliamentary processes in the public domain and through collaborative activities with citizens groups and the media.  The PRS Legislative Assistants to Members of Parliament (LAMP) Fellowship is a platform for young Indians to have a high-impact engagement with the policy-making process at the national level by working with MPs.

The website is updated daily on Parliament’s activities and legislative news. Engagement with citizens is facilitated through the PRS Blog, Twitter and Facebook pages. Workshops are held for journalists on tracking the activities of MPs and MLAs. In addition, PRS provides inputs to the press and electronic media on the legislative agenda in Parliament, as well as data on legislative performance. Members of the PRS team are often approached to contribute columns to provide a perspective on various key Bills.

Objectives

PRS Legislative Research (PRS) seeks to strengthen the legislative process by making it better informed, more transparent and participatory. Through its work, PRS seeks:

  • To provide independent and non-partisan, research support to Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) across party lines on all legislation and policy debates in the legislature
  • Track the functioning of legislatures and legislators by releasing detailed data and analysis
  • Devise means by which citizens are more aware and engaged in the policy making process.

PRS was founded in 2005 as an independent research initiative. The initiative was incubated in the Centre for Policy Research (CPR), New Delhi, which is a leading Indian think tank. With the intellectual and institutional support of CPR, PRS has been able to build and deepen its engagement with legislators, media and citizen groups to strengthen the legislative process. Recently, the initiative has been institutionalised as a not-for-profit Section 25 Company, the Institute for Policy Research Studies.

The work of PRS was initiated with a grant from Ford Foundation, and subsequently by Google.org. Currently, the work of PRS is supported by a number of Indian institutions and individuals. PRS gratefully acknowledges support from AV Venkatraman, Ajay Piramal, Amit Chandra, Avantha Foundation, Bharti and Sushil Ramola, India Value Fund Advisors, Jalaj Dani, Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation, Mahesh Krishnamurthy, Mahindra & Mahindra, Meher Pudumjee, Nemish Shah, Paresh Sukthankar, Pirojsha Godrej Foundation, Praveen Chakravarty, Puneet Dalmia, RK Damani, Rajiv Sahni, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, Rohini Nilekani, SK Shelgikar, Shasun Pharmaceuticals, Tata Sons and Vikram Lal.