Assembly of West Bengal had allotted money for all MLA towards the purchase of a computer in a move to make the most of technology to improve the quality of sessions.
The step towards growth was taken back in 2007 where the House had allowed all the MLA's a grant of Rs 50,000 which could be used to purchase a laptop, a desktop or an iPad. Additionally a charge of Rs 500 per month for the internet services and Rs 10,000 for the maintenance was also allowed. Though seemingly utilitarian, there has been no real impact on most MLA's as they struggle to utilize the facilities for the most basic functions such as sending emails or browsing the internet.
Making efforts to utilize the technology that they have acquired, they are seeking help from junior party members who are more skilled in the technical side, friends and relatives. Few others have started taking classes on the use of the computers.
This pathetic state of affairs of the MLA's who are computer ignorant has prompted Biman Upadhyay the Speaker of the Assembly to consider offering comprehensive training classes for the legislators.
The Trinamool Congress leader in the assembly Shobhandeb Chatterjee had purchased a desktop and had been taking help from grandchildren in using the gadget. He said that he was visibly poor at handling it blaming his lack of skill on the age factor. He said, "I"m 68 years old. I can"t pick up things as fast as my grandchildren. I"ve just about got the hang of Google search. I"m yet to learn how to send an email".
The scenario is the same with most others who are taking classes from party members, or tutorials. A few other tech-savvy legislators however are utilizing the facilities in the best possible way reading news online on the go, organizing their speeches before a meeting and so on.