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National Emblem crowned on India’s new Parliament

  • Published
    12th Jul, 2022

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the National Emblem cast on the roof of the new Parliament building.


The National Emblem

  • Cast at the top of the Central Foyer of the new Parliament building, the 6.5-metre-high National Emblem is made of bronze, and weighs 9,500 kg.
  • A supporting structure of steel weighing around 6,500 kg has been constructed to support the Emblem.

National Emblem:

  • It is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion Capitol of Ashoka.
  • Carved out of a single block of polished sandstone, the Capitol is crowned by the Wheel of the Law (Dharma Chakra).
  • In the original, there are four lions, mounted back to back, on a circular abacus, which itself rests on a bell-shaped lotus.
  • The frieze of the abacus has sculptures in high relief of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull and a lion separated by intervening Dharma Chakras.
  • The profile of the Lion Capital showing three lions mounted on the abacus with a Dharma Chakra in the centre, a bull on the right and a galloping horse on the left, and outlines of Dharma Chakras on the extreme right and left was adopted as the State Emblem of India on January 26, 1950.
    • The bell-shaped lotus was omitted.
  • The words Satyameva Jayate from Mundaka Upanishad, meaning ‘Truth Alone Triumphs’, are inscribed below the abacus in Devanagari script.

The building’s interiors

  • The new building will have six granite statues of important personalities, four galleries each for the two Houses of Parliament, three ceremonial foyers, three India galleries, and one Constitution gallery.
  • Each wall in the building will have a dominant theme — dedicated, for instance, to the contribution of tribal leaders, or to showcasing the contribution of women.
  • Displays including a mix of portraits, illustrative arts, installations, sculptures, and decorative art will frame storylines.

Architectural style

  • Bimal Patel of HCP Designs, Ahmedabad, is the architect in charge of the building, which is triangular in shape, and incorporates architectural styles from around India.
    • The building is coming up adjacent to the existing Parliament complex, and is of almost the same size.
  • Seating capacity: The new Parliament House will have a seating arrangement of 888 members in the Lok Sabha. At present, India has 543 Lok Sabha seats.
    • Similarly, 384 members will be able to sit in the Rajya Sabha of the new Parliament House, which currently has 245 seats.
    • When a joint meeting of the two houses is convened at the new Parliament House, the hall earmarked for it will have a seating arrangement of 1,272 members. At present, the joint meeting of the two Houses is held at the Centre Hall with only 430 seats.
    • The new Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha halls will have increased seating capacities (888 and 384 seats, respectively) in anticipation of an expanded Parliament; a 25-year-old freeze on increasing state-wise distribution of seats ends in 2026.
  • The building will have an open-sky area of 2,000 sq metres for a banyan tree.

Cost of the project

  • The new Parliament building project was awarded to Tata Projects for Rs 971 crore.
    • The estimated project cost has shot up by nearly 24 per cent to about Rs 1,200 crore due to additional works, changes in construction plan, and pandemic-related delays.
  • The building is part of the Central Vista Project, which also includes a joint central secretariat, revamp of the Rajpath, a new Prime Minister’s residence, a new Prime Minister’s Office, and a new Vice-President’s enclave.

The current Parliament building

  • The present Parliament House was inaugurated on January 18, 1927. Its architectural work was entrusted to Sir Herbert Baker.
  • The giant circular building with its 144 sandstone columns was designed by Sir Edward Lutyens, who also designed the heart of Delhi – from the seat of the government in the North Block to the iconic Connaught Place.
    • Sir Herbert Baker wanted the Parliament House to be triangle-shaped. A central hall should be built in between.
  • But then British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens opposed it. He had suggested shaping it round in his proposal. Ignoring Herbert Baker's suggestion, the British had accepted Edwin Lutyens' proposal.
  • The existing Parliament building will be conserved as an archaeological asset of the nation.
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