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Composition of Parliament of India.

The Parliament has two Houses-Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. Rajya Sabha is upper House and represents the States of India while the Lok...




The Parliament has two Houses-Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. Rajya Sabha is upper House and represents the States of India while the Lok Sabha is lower House. It is also called popular House because it represents the people of India.


The President is an integral part of the Parliament though he is not a member of either House. As an integral part of Parliament, the President has been assigned certain powers and functions, which you have read in the last lesson. In this lesson you will study about the two Houses in details.


Rajya Sabha: Membership and Election

Rajya Sabha or the Upper House of the Parliament is a permanent body as it cannot be dissolved, The membership of the Rajya Sabha cannot exceed 250. Out of these, the President nominates 12 members on the basis of their excellence in literature, science, art and social service and the rest are elected. At present, its total membership is 245.


Rajya Sabha is the body representing States in Indian Union. The elected members of the States' Legislative Assemblies elect the members of the Rajya Sabha on the basis of proportional representation through the single transferable vote system. But all the States do not send an equal number of members to the Rajya Sabha. Their representation is decided on the basis of population of respective States.


Thus the bigger State gets bigger representation and the smaller ones have lesser representation. While the big State like UP has been assigned 31 seats, the smaller states like Sikkim and Tripura send only one member each. Delhi Assembly elects three members of Rajya Sabha and Pondicherry sends one member. Other Union Territories are not represented in the Rajya Sabha.


Qualifications

The qualifications for becoming a Rajya Sabha member are as follows:

  1. He/she should be a citizen of India and at least 30 years of age.
  2. He/she should make an oath or affirmation stating that he will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India.
  3. Thus according to the Representation of the People Act 1951, he/she should be registered as a voter in the State from which he is seeking election to the Rajya Sabha. But in 2003 two provieio provisions have been made regarding the elections to Rajya Sabha-

(i) Any Indian citizens can contest the Rajya Sabha elections irrespective of the State in which he resides;
(ii) elections are to be conducted through open voting system.

Every member of Rajya Sabha enjoys a safe tenure retire after every two years. They are entitled to contest again for the membership. But a member elected against a mid-term vacancy serves the remaining period only. This system of election ensures continuity in the working of Rajya Sabha.


Officials of Rajya Sabha

The Vice-President of India is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. He/she presides over the meetings of Rajya Sabha. In his absence the Deputy Chairman, who is elected by its members from amongst themselves, presides over the meeting of the House. The Deputy Chairman can be removed by a majority of all the members of Rajya Sabha. But the Chairman (Vice-President) can only be removed from his office by a resolution passed by a majority of all the members of Rajya Sabha and agreed to by the Lok Sabha.


As the Vice-President is an ex-officio Chairman and not a member of Rajya Sabha, he/ she is normally not entitled to vote. He/she can vote only in case of a tie.

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Teacher Notes: Composition of Parliament of India.
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