In the 75th year of Independence, in May, PM Modi inaugurated the new Parliament building, and installed the ‘Sengol’ near Lok Sabha Speaker’s chair.

It is part of the Central Vista Project.


  • The avenue is part of the larger Central Vista project, where a new triangular Parliament Building, along with the Central Secretariat and several other Government offices are being rebuilt.
  • Called Kingsway during British rule, it was built as a ceremonial boulevard by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker, the architects of New Delhi, in around 1920.
  • Running from Rashtrapati Bhavan on Raisina Hill through Vijay Chowk and India Gate, the avenue is lined on both sides by huge lawns, canals and rows of trees.


  • The construction work for the Central Vista Redevelopment Project started in February 2021, with the new Parliament building and redevelopment of central vista avenue as its first phase.


  • The parliament building’s construction took six years – from 1921 to 1927.
  • In the 1919 plan for the construction of the Parliament, it was decided to have a council house, comprising:
    • Legislative Assembly Chamber (which later became the Lok Sabha),
    • Council of States Chamber (which is now the Rajya Sabha) and
    • Chamber of Princes (later became Library Hall).
  • Architecture
    • In 1919, Lutyens and Baker settled on a circular shape for the Parliament.
    • They felt it would be reminiscent of the Colosseum, the Roman historical monument.
      • It is also popularly believed that the circular shape of the Chausath Yogini temple at Mitawali village in Madhya Pradesh’s Morena provided inspiration for the Council House design. However, there is no historical evidence to back this up.
    • A few Indian elements, such as jaalis (a latticed carving depicting objects like flowers and other patterns) and chhatris (a domed roof atop a pavilion-like structure) were added.
  • Goal of the architecture
    • The goal of the architecture was to project the strength of British imperialism and rule over India.
    • Hence, both the architects agreed to highlight the superiority of European classicism, upon which Indian traditions had to be based.
  • Material used
    • The circular building has 144 cream sandstone pillars, each measuring 27 feet.
  • Foundation and inauguration
    • The foundation for the existing Parliament was laid by the Duke of Connaught on February 12, 1921.
    • It was inaugurated in January 18, 1927, by then Governor General of India Lord Irwin.
      • Sir Bhupendra Nath Mitra, a member of the Governor-General’s Executive Council and in charge of the Department of Industries and Labour, invited Viceroy to inaugurate the building.

What will happen to the old parliament building now?

The building will not be demolished and will be converted into a ‘Museum of Democracy’ after the new Parliament House becomes operational.


  • In 2019, the central government announced the redevelopment project to give a new identity to the ‘power corridor’ of India.
    • This project is known as Central Vista redevelopment project.
  • The plan includes:
    • The construction of a new parliament,
    • Prime minister and vice-president’s residences along with 10 building blocks that will accommodate all government ministries and departments.
  • Piloted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, the plan aims to change the face of the Lutyens’ Delhi.
    • Lutyens’ Delhi shows off India’s iconic buildings such as South and North blocks of Central Secretariat, Parliament House, and Rashtrapati Bhavan.


  • Current building is 96-years-old
    • As per the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, the current building is 96-years-old and poses structural safety concerns.
  • Seating space for MPs
    • The present building was never designed to accommodate a bicameral legislature for a full-fledged democracy.
    • The number of Lok Sabha seats is likely to increase significantly from the current 545 after 2026, when the freeze on the total number of seats lifts.
    • The Central Hall has seating capacity only for 440 persons.
    • When the Joint Sessions are held, the problem of limited seats amplifies.
  • Distressed infrastructure:
    • The addition of services like water supply and sewer lines, fire fighting equipment, CCTV cameras, etc., have led to seepage of water at several places.
    • Fire safety is a major concern at the building.
  • Obsolete communication structures:
    • Communications infrastructure and technology is antiquated in the existing Parliament, and the acoustics of all the halls need improvement.
  • Safety concerns:
    • The current Parliament building was built when Delhi was in Seismic Zone-II; currently it is in Seismic Zone-IV. This raises structural safety concerns.


A historical sceptre from Tamil Nadu ‘Sengol’ is installed at the new Parliament building inaugurated by by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 28.


  • It was used on August 14, 1947, by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru when the transfer of power took place from the British. It was kept in a museum in Allahabad.
  • The word Sengol is derived from the Tamil word ‘Semmai’, meaning ‘Righteousness’. It is a civilisational practice from the Chola kingdom, which was among the leading kingdoms in the Indian sub-continent for centuries.
  • Symbolic:
    • According to Tamil tradition, a high priest presents a sceptre to a newly crowned king as a symbolic gesture of power transition.
    • The one accorded the ‘Sengol’ is expected to impart a just and impartial rule. C Rajagopalachari, the last Governor General of India, suggested that this tradition, observed by the Chola dynasty, could serve as a significant symbol of India’s freedom from British rule.
  • Features:
    • The ‘Sengol’ was crafted by a renowned jeweller in Madras Vummidi Bangaru Chetty. This impressive sceptre measures five feet in length and features a ‘Nandi’ bull at the top, representing the concept of justice.