Chapter 22: PARLIAMENT OF INDIA
Parliament consists of:
- Council of state [ Rajya Sabha or upper
- House of people [Lok Sabha or lower house]
Houses of Parliament
It has a strength of maximum 250 out of which
maximum 238 are members of states and UT’s elected
indirectly and 12 are nominated by the president.
Representatives of states in the Rajya Sabha
are elected by only the elected members of state
legislative assemblies. Proportional representation
is the system of election and seats are allocated on basis
of population. For UT’s a special electoral college elects
the representatives by indirect election. Proportional
system of election is used.
Only Delhi and Puducherry have representation
in the Rajya Sabha.
12 members to Rajya Sabha are nominated by
president having special knowledge in field of arts,
science, social service and literature.
Features of Rajya Sabha:
It is a permanent body and can’t be
dissolved. Every two years one third of its members retire
and at beginning of every third year their seats are
filled by presidential nominations and re-elections.
A person can be re-elected and renominated
any number of times.
The constitution has left to parliament to
decide the term of office of a Rajya Sabha MP and the
order of retirement of MP’s.
Special powers of the Rajya Sabha:
- It allows the parliament to make laws on
matters in the state list.
- It allows parliament to create a new all
India service common to centre and states.
It can have maximum 550 elected and 2
nominated members. Out of which 530 are from states and 20
from UT’s. These are elected on universal adult franchise.
The voting age was reduced from 21 to 18 yrs
by 61st amendment. Constitution has empowered
parliament to decide how the representatives of UT can be
chosen [election or otherwise].
But the parliament chose direct election. Lok
Sabha automatically dissolves after 5 years from the date
of its first sitting in normal circumstances.
Features of the Lok Sabha:
The constitution wants to ensure uniformity
of representation between different states and within a
state between different constituencies. After every census
delimitation exercise id done to decide representation to
each state and territorial constituencies in each state.
However the allocation of seats for states
were frozen till the year 2026
[census: 1971] for encouraging population control
measures. Currently 2001 census is used for delimitation but the numbers of seats of
states aren’t altered. Only the numbers
SC and ST seats in a state are changed in accordance with
Qualifications to become an MP:
citizen of India
not less than 30 yrs in case of Rajya Sabha
and 25 yrs in case of Lok Sabha
any other qualification as prescribed by
he must be registered as a voter in any
He must be a member of SC/ST in any state or
UT if he wishes to contest in reserved seats. However he
can also contest from unreserved seats too.
holds an office of profit under union or
state government only [not local]
unsound mind, undischarged insolvent and not
a citizen of India
been found guilty of electoral offences and
corrupt practices in elections
sentenced for more than 2 yrs imprisonment
for a crime
holds an office of profit in a company where
govt holding is 25% and above
has interest in government contracts, works
Has been convicted of preaching social crimes
like untouchability, dowry and sati.
doesn’t lodge election expense on time
has been convicted of promoting enmity
between groups or bribery
Has been dismissed from government service
for disloyalty to state or corruption.
President decision on disqualification on
these matters is final but he has to obtain advice of
election commission on this matters.
Tenth Schedule – Anti defection
The speaker of Lok Sabha or chairman of Rajya
Sabha decides on matters of disqualification of MP’s if.
he resigns from membership of party on whose
ticket he contested elections
he votes or abstains from voting contrary to
directions given by party
independently elected member joins any party
nominated member joins any party after expiry
of 6 months of the period on which he joined.
(a) If a member goes out of his party as a
result of a merger of the party with another party. A
merger takes place when two-thirds of the members of the
party have agreed to such merger.
(b) If a member, after being elected as the
presiding officer of the House,voluntarily gives up the
Membership of his party or rejoins it after he ceases to
hold that office. This exemption has been provided in view
of the dignity and impartiality of this office.
Rules against double membership
Double membership isn’t allowed so if a
person is elected to both houses he must tell which house
he wants to serve otherwise his seat in RS becomes
If a member of one house is elected to second
house his seat in first house becomes vacant. If a person
is elected to two seats in the house he must resign from
one or else his both seats become vacant.
A person if elected to parliament and state
legislature then he must decide in 14 days where to serve
else his seat in parliament is vacated.
An MP can resign in writing anytime to the
chairman of RS or speaker of LS depending on his
membership. Matters regarding election of disqualified
persons to parliament are handled by the H.C.
A person is liable for a penalty of Rs.500
per day if he sits and votes in house proceeding without
taking an oath.
Q. The main advantage of the parliamentary form of government is that (UPSC CSAT 2017)
the executive and legislature work independently.
it provides continuity of policy and is more efficient.
the executive remains responsible to the legislature
the head of the government cannot be changed without election
Ans . C
It provides for collective responsibility of the executive to the legislature.
Q. Out of the following statements, choose the one that brings out the principle underlying the Cabinet form of Government: (UPSC CSAT 2017)
An arrangement for minimizing the criticism against the Government whose responsibilities are complex and hard to carry out to the satisfaction of all.
A mechanism for speeding up the activities of the Government whose responsibilities are increasing day by day.
A mechanism of parliamentary democracy for ensuring collective responsibility of the Government to the people.
A device for strengthening the hands of the head of the Government whose hold over the people is in a state of decline
Ans . C
Collectively responsible to the parliament
Q. The Parliament of India exercises control over the functions of the Council of Ministers through
1. Adjournment motion
2. Question hour
3. Supplementary questions
Select the correct answer using the code given below: (UPSC CSAT 2017)
2 and 3 only
1 and 3 only
1, 2 and 3
Ans . D
The Parliament exercises control over the ministers through various devices like question hour, discussions, adjournment motion, no confidence motion
Q.Which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. A Bill pending in the Lok Sabha lapses on its prorogation.
2. A Bill pending in the Rajya Sabha, which has not been passed by the Lok Sabha, shall not lapse on dissolution of the Lok Sabha.
Select the correct answer using the code given below. (UPSC CSAT 2016)
Both 1 and 2
Neither 1 nor 2
Ans . B
Prorogation doesn’t affect the bills of any other business pending before the house.A bill pending in the Rajya Sabha but not passed by the Lok Sabha does not lapse
Q.The Parliament of India acquires the power to legislate on any item in the State List in the national interest if a resolution to that effect is passed by the (UPSC CSAT 2016)
Lok Sabha by a simple majority of its total membership
Lok Sabha by a majority of not less than two-thirds of its total membership
Rajya Sabha by a simple majority of its total membership
Rajya Sabha by a majority of not less than two-thirds of its members present and voting
Ans . D
When Rajya Sabha Passes a Resolution If the Rajya Sabha declares that it is necessary in the national interest that Parliament should make laws on a matter in the State List, then the Parliament becomes competent to make laws on that matter. Such a resolution must be supported by two-thirds of the members present and voting
Q.There is a Parliamentary System of Government in India because the (UPSC CSAT 2015)
Lok Sabha is elected directly by the people
Parliament can amend the constitution
Rajya Sabha cannot be dissolved
Council of Ministers is responsible to the Lok Sabha
Ans . D
Option A points to a democratic system. It does not necessarily mean a Parliamentary Democratic system. For e.g. in USA the Congress is also elected, but it is a Presidential Democracy.
Option D is correct because “Collective responsibility” of the council of ministers to the Lok Sabha (Article 75) lies at the heart of a Parliamentary democracy.
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