From all Bills and others discussed during the 8th session of the 3rd parliament, the Gyalsuung Bill 2022 was the most significant
Every session of the National Assembly is important and significant. However, there are some sessions that stand out because of unprecedented important Bills discussed and passed and other reasons. The 8th session of the Third Parliament which is about to end has been special, as it was the session in which an urgent Bill from the Throne emanated for the first time after 15 years of democracy – The Gyalsuung Bill 2022. And it is and will remain a historic session.
Since 2008, about 294 bills have been passed by the Parliament. However, no bill reached the two houses on command of His Majesty, the King for 15 years. Article 2 (The Institution of Monarchy), Section 16 (d) of the Constitution of Bhutan states that The Druk Gyalpo, in exercise of His Royal Prerogatives, may: Command Bills and other measures to be introduced in Parliament. Additionally, His Majesty is also a part of the Parliament. Article 10, Section 2 (Parliament) of the Constitution states “There shall be a Parliament for Bhutan in which all legislative powers under this Constitution are vested and which shall consist of the Druk Gyalpo, the National Council and the National Assembly.”
The vision of the Gyalsung program was announced by His Majesty during the Royal Address of the 112th National Day in 2019. “One of our most important national objectives is to empower every single child in Bhutan for success. Bhutan’s future will be mirrored by the strength and capabilities of our youth. For our children to excel, they must adhere to the highest standards, and have capability, integrity, discipline, 21st century education, unity and solidarity.
The Gyalsung, or National Service, will provide direction and encourage our youth to be strong, independent thinkers, capable of serving the country. It will bring the youth of Bhutan together in a shared experience and act as a common rite of passage, irrespective of their economic or regional backgrounds,”His Majesty said, during the celebrations.
Envisioned by His Majesty The King, the Gyalsung program is to provide opportunities to the youth of Bhutan with knowledge, skills and values to actualize their potential in this rapidly changing world. It is to actualize innate potential of each and every Bhutanese youth and become productive and worthy citizens in the service of the Tsa-Wa-Sum.
The Bill was also welcomed by people from all walks of life in Bhutan and the youth, especially. The Gyalsuung program will create the platform for youth from different parts of the country to come together. There will be no distinction based on position and other facets. All will be treated the same during the 1-year training period.
Speaking to the paper earlier, Swayam Giri, a class 10 student from Peljorling Higher Secondary School in Samtse, said the Gyalsung program will provide a wide range of knowledge and skills that will benefit both youth and the country.
“I feel very fortunate to be a part of the Gyalsung program and to have a Gyalsung Academic close to my home,” he added.
The Gyalsung is envisioned as a one-year integrated training program mandatory for all youths attaining the age of 18 and if in school – upon completion of grade twelve.
The one-year training will include three months of basic military training followed by nine months of specialized training in various fields ranging from home construction technologies, computing and entrepreneurship to focused development of skills in agriculture.
The objective of the Gyalsung is to provide direction and encourage our youth to be strong, independent thinkers, capable of serving the country. It will bring the youth of Bhutan together in a shared experience and act as a rite of passage- irrespective of their economic or regional backgrounds. The program seeks to endow every young Bhutanese with the personal attributes/discipline and professional skills and capabilities needed to succeed in the 21st century and thereby contribute to nation-building.
Sangay Rabten from Thimphu