Sample Material of Our IAS Mains GS Online Coaching Programme
Subject: General Studies (Paper 2 - Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)
Topic: Parliament and State Legislatures - structure,
functioning, conduct of business
Parliament and State Legislatures - structure,
functioning, conduct of business
Parliament:-Article 79 declares: “There shall be a
Parliament for the union which shall consist of the President and two Houses
known as the Council of States and the House of the People”.
It has to be noted that the Council of States is also
referred to as “Rajya Sabha” or the Upper House” or “House of Elders”. And, the
House of People is referred to as Lok Sabha” or the “Lower House”. While Rajya
Sabha represents the States, Lok Sabha represents the People The foregoing
establish that the Indian Parliament is Bicameral.Further, the point that the
President of India is an integral part of Parliament needs no reiteration.
Difference between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha
Members of Lok Sabha are directly elected by the eligible
voters. Members of Rajya Sabha are elected by the elected members of State
Legislative Assemblies in accordance with the system of proportional
representation by means of single transferable vote.
The normal life of every Lok Sabha is 5 years only while
Rajya Sabha is a permanent body.
Lok Sabha is the House to which the Council of Ministers
is responsible under the Constitution. Money Bills can only be introduced in
Lok Sabha. Also it is Lok Sabha which grants the money for running the
administration of the country.
Rajya Sabha has special powers to declare that it is
necessary and expedient in the national interest that Parliament may make
laws with respect to a matter in the State List or to create by law one or
more all-India services common to the Union and the States.
Composition of Rajya Sabha: [Art.80 to be read with
Fourth Schedule wherein the first column mentions the name of the State or union
Territory and the second specifies the number of seats allotted.]
a) Rajya Sabha shall consist of Twelve Members nominated by the President from
amongst citizens possessing special knowledge or practical expenicace in the
areas of Literature, science, Art or social Service The object underlying this
provision is to utilize the expertise, experience of eminent men and women, and
b) not more than Two Hundred and Thirty Eight Representatives of States and
Representatives of States in the Rajya Sabha shall be elected
by the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the States in accordance
with the System of Proportional Representation by means of the Single
Transferable Vote.Representatives of Union Territories shall be chosen as
prescribed in the law enacted by Parliament.A State’s population determines the
number of Representatives it can send to Rajya Sabha. Consequently, States that
are small cannot be represented by a large number of its Representatives in the
Lok Sabha’s composition is as under:(Art.81):
a) Not more then Five Hundred and Thirty Members chosen
through direct election from the territorial constituencies of the States,
b) Not more than Twenty Members to represent Union Territories who shall be
chosen in such manner as prescribed in a Parliamentary Legislation.
Elections to Lok Sabha and to the State Legislative
Assemblies are on the basis of adult franchise/suffrage. That is, an Indian
citizen who is not less than eighteen years of age and who does not suffer from
any disqualification under the Constitution or law made by State Legislatures on
the ground of non-residence, unsoundness of mind, crime or corrupt or illegal
Practice can get registered as a voter & vote. Voting will be by Secret Ballot
at the General Elections.
Further, the President on forming an opinion that the
Anglo-Indian Community is inadequately represented in the Lok Sabha can nominate
not more than two Members of that community to Lok Sabha.
Qualification for Membership of Parliament:
i) Should be a Citizen of India;
ii) Should subscribe to Oath…set out in Schedule Three of the
iii) Should possess such other qualifications as Parliament
may prescribe by law;
iv) For a seat in Rajya Sabha, should not be less than thirty
years of age.
v) For a seat in Lok Sabha, should not be less than twenty
five years of age.
A Citizen cannot become a Member of either House,
i) if he holds any office of profit under Government of India
or State(Please note” Local or other Authority” not mentioned.
ii) if he is of unsound mind and a court of competent
jurisdiction has so declared;
iii) if he is an undischarged insolvent;
iv) if has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a foreign
State or “acknowledges allegiance or adherence to a foreign State”…
v) if he is disqualified by or under any law made by
Oath of Office and Secrecy:
Every Member of Parliament shall before taking his seat in
the House make an oath or solemnly affirm as conforming to the format set out in
the Third Schedule.
Decision on Disqualification: Decision on the question whether a
member of Parliament suffers from any disqualification has to be arrived at by
the President and it shall be final. But, before giving his decision, the
President shall obtain the opinton of the Election Commission and shall act
according to such opinion.
Duration of House of Parliament (Art.83): Rajya sabha
is a permanent body and, therefore, is not subject to dissolution, That is, it
cannot be dissolved. Nearly one-third of its Members retire on the expiration of
every second year as per provisions in the law made by Parliament.