1997 Inter Parliamentary Union Conference – Men and women Partnership in Politics

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The Second Release of a commemorative coin in 1997. It is also amongst the most mysterious coin sets of India; comparable to the 1993 Inter Parliamentary or the 1994 Land Vital coin sets. Although there is a gazette notification giving out the details of the specifications of the coins, this was not release for general public. It is assumed that the mintage of the coin set is low although different numbers keep circulating. The number of sets that exchange hands every year is almost NIL. The coin also has a 2 diamond as mint mark, below the date. The significance of this is not clear as to whether this was done to symbolize the Men and women partnership and hence 2 diamond mint marks or it was struck privately and not by Mumbai [Bombay] Mint.

The details are as below;

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is an international organization established in 1889 by William Randal Cremer (United Kingdom) and Frédéric Passy (France). It was the first permanent forum for political multilateral negotiations. Initially, the organization was for individual parliamentarians, but has since transformed into an international organization of the parliaments of sovereign states. The national parliaments of 143 countries are members of the IPU, and seven regional parliamentary assemblies are associate members. The IPU has permanent observer status at the United Nations.
The organization’s initial objective was the arbitration of conflicts. The IPU played an important part in setting up the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. Over time, its mission has evolved towards the promotion of democracy and inter-parliamentary dialogue. The IPU has worked for establishment of institutions at the inter-governmental level, including the United Nations, an organization with which it cooperates and with which it has permanent observer status.
Numerous bodies have expressed interest in the possibility of transforming the IPU into a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, among them the Committee for a Democratic UN, the German Bundestag and the Socialist International. The Liberal International also considers this as an option.
The IPU Assembly (formerly known as the Inter-Parliamentary Conference) is the principal statutory body that expresses the views of the Inter-Parliamentary Union on political issues. It brings together parliamentarians to study international problems and make recommendations for action.
The Assembly works in accordance with its Rules. Participation of observers in IPU Assemblies is regulated by Practical modalities of the rights and responsibilities of observers. Most members are affiliated to one of the six geopolitical groups that are currently active in the IPU. Delegations attending IPU Assemblies customarily include MPs from all parties. The Assembly meets twice a year (in the spring and autumn) and is held each time in a different country, providing participants with an opportunity to see various national realities.
India joined the Inter-Parliamentary Union in the year 1949. Since then, India has been an active member of the Union and has participated in all its meetings/events. Indian Parliamentary Delegations representing the different political parties have been attending the IPU Conferences.
The Speaker, Lok Sabha is the President of the India Group of the IPU and under his directions, the Group carries out all its activities. 
So, far, India has had the privilege of playing host to the following International Conferences under the auspices of IPU:
1.        57th IPU Conference in New Delhi in October-November, 1969 
2.        89th IPU Conference in New Delhi in  April, 1993 
3.        Specialized IPU Conference on “Towards partnership between men and women in politics” in February, 1997
India has had the opportunity to preside over the three International Conferences held in India in the year 1969, 1993 and 1997. These three conferences were presided over by the then Speakers of Lok Sabha as under:                  
1.        Shri G.S. Dhillon  Speaker, Lok Sabha
57th IPU Conference  in 1969
2.        Shri Shivraj V. Patil  Speaker, Lok Sabha
 89th IPU Conference in   1993
3.        Shri P.A. Sangma Speaker, Lok Sabha
Specialised IPU Conference on “Towards partnership between men and women in politics” in  1997

India has had the proud privilege of being represented in the Executive Committee of IPU. The representation of the India Group on the Executive Committee of   the IPU has been as under:
President of Inter-Parliamentary Council and Ex-Officio Chairman of the Executive Committee                                                            
4.        Dr. G.S. Dhillon, MP, Speaker, Lok Sabha
 1973 to 1976
5.        Dr.(Smt) Najma Heptulla,  Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha
1999 to 2002

 Members of the Executive Committee
6.        Shri Mohan Lal Gautam MP         
1949 to 1953
7.        Shri H.N. Kunzru, MP
1959 to 1961 
8.        Dr. N. Sanjiva Reddy, MP, Speaker, Lok Sabha
1968 to 1970
9.        Dr. G.S. Dhillon, MP, Speaker, Lok Sabha
1971 to 1972
10.    Dr. Balram Jakhar, MP, Speaker, Lok Sabha
1983 to 1987
11.    Dr.(Smt.) Najma Heptulla, Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha 
1995 to 1999
The ASGP is an IPU Consultative body that brings together senior parliamentary officials to study parliamentary law and promote cooperation between the services of different parliaments. It is an autonomous self-managing body that meets during Inter-Parliamentary Conferences and works in conjunction with the IPU bodies responsible for the study of parliamentary institutions. The Secretary General of Lok Sabha and the Secretary General of Rajya Sabha from the Indian Parliament are members of this body.
 India’s representation to the Executive Committee of this Association has so far been as under:

Shri S.L. Shakdher         
Secretary General , Lok Sabha
Elected President of the Association in 1973-77
Shri G. C. Malhotra Secretary
General, Lok Sabha                                                            
Elected as a member of the Executive Committee in 2003 for a 3- year term.

·         Shri B.N. Banerjee, Secretary General, Rajya Sabha         
·         Smt. V.S. Rama Devi, Secretary General, Rajya Sabha

VIP Sets issued to dignataries

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Image Credit: Schon Catalogue

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