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INDIAN PARLIAMENT

Parliament

Parliament or Sansad  is the supreme legislative body of India. The Indian parliament is bicameral. The Indian Parliament is consist of the President and the two Houses-Lok Sabha (House of the People) or Lower House and Rajya Sabha (Council of States) or Upper House. The two Houses meet in separate chambers in the Sansad Bhavan (located on the Sansad Marg), in New Delhi. The Members of both houses are called  Members of Parliament or MP. The MPs of Lok Sabha are elected by direct election and the MPs of Rajya Sabha are elected by the members of the State Legislative Assemblies and Union territories of Delhi and Pondicherry only in accordance with proportional voting. The first general elections under the new Constitution were held during the year 1951-52 and the first elected Parliament came into being in April, 1952. 

Sr. No.  of Lok Sabha

Beginning of the Term

First  Lok Sabha

April, 1952

Second Lok Sabha

April, 1957

Third Lok Sabha

April, 1962

Fourth Lok Sabha

March, 1967

Fifth Lok Sabha

March, 1971

Sixth Lok Sabha

March, 1977

Seventh Lok Sabha

January, 1980

Eighth Lok Sabha

December, 1984

Ninth Lok Sabha

December, 1989

Tenth Lok Sabha

June, 1991

Eleventh Lok Sabha

May, 1996

Twelfth Lok Sabha

March, 1998

Thirteenth Lok Sabha

October, 1999

Fourteenth Lok Sabha

May, 2004

Fifteenth Lok Sabha

April, 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Houses of the Parliament

There are two houses of the Parliament i.e

  1. Lok Sabha
  2. Rajya Sabha

 

Lok Sabha

Parliamentary institutions in India, with all their modern ramifications, owe their origin to India's British connections. Until 1853, there was no legislative body distinct from the Executive. The Charter Act of 1853, for the first time provided some sort of a legislature in the form of a 12 member Legislative Council. The Indian Independence Act, 1947 declared the Constituent Assembly of India to be a full sovereign body. Apart from being a Constitution drafting body, it also assumed full powers for the governance of the country. With the coming into force of the Constitution on 26 January, 1950, the Constituent Assembly functioned as the Provisional Parliament until the first Lok Sabha, then known as the House of People, and was constituted following General Elections in 1952. Lok Sabha, the Hindi nomenclature was adopted on 14 May, 1954. Lok Sabha is also known as the "House of the People" or the lower house. All of its members are directly elected by citizens of India on the basis of Universal Adult Suffrage, except two who are appointed by President of India.

The Lok Sabha is composed of representatives of people chosen by direct election on the basis of Universal Adult Suffrage. The Constitution provides that the maximum strength of the House be 552 members - 530 members to represent the States, 20 members to represent the Union Territories, and 2 members to be nominated by the President from the Anglo-Indian Community. At present, the strength of the Lok Sabha is 545 members.

The term of the Lok Sabha is five years from the date appointed for its first meeting. However, while a proclamation of emergency is in operation, this period may be extended by Parliament by law for a period not exceeding one year at a time and not extending in any case, beyond a period of six months after the proclamation has ceased to operate.

Rajya Sabha

The Rajya Sabha is also known as "Council of States" or the upper house. Rajya Sabha is a permanent body and is not subject to dissolution. However, one third of the members retire every second year, and are replaced by newly elected members. Each member is elected for a term of six years. Its members are indirectly elected by members of legislative bodies of the States.

The Vice President of India is the ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha. The House also elects a Deputy Chairman from among its members. Besides, there is also a panel of "Vice Chairmen" in the Rajya Sabha. The senior most Minister, who is a member of Rajya Sabha, is appointed by the Prime Minister as Leader of the House.

 

 

The Rajya Sabha is to consist of not more than 250 members - 238 members representing the States and Union Territories .12 members of the Rajya Sabha  are to be nominated by President of India from the various fields such as  namely literature, science, art and social service.

Representatives of States are elected by the elected members of the Legislative Assembly of the State in accordance with system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote.

Representatives of Union Territories are indirectly elected by members of an electoral college for that territory in accordance with system of proportional representation.

The Council of States is designed to maintain the federal character of the country. The number of members from a state depends on the population of the state (e.g. 31 from Uttar Pradesh and one from Nagaland).

Difference between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha

  1. 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.
  2. The normal life of every Lok Sabha is 5 years only while Rajya Sabha is a permanent body.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Functions and Powers of the Parliament

  1. The cardinal functions of the Legislature include overseeing of administration, passing of budget, ventilation of public grievances, and discussing various subjects like development plans, international relations, and national policies.
  2. The Parliament can, under certain circumstances, assume legislative power with respect to a subject falling within the sphere, exclusively reserved for the states.
  3. The Parliament is also vested with powers to impeach the President, remove judges of Supreme and High Courts, the Chief Election Commissioner, and Comptroller and Auditor General in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Constitution.
  4. All legislation requires the consent of both Houses of Parliament.
  5.  In the case of Money Bills, the will of the Lok Sabha prevails.
  6. The Parliament is also vested with the power to initiate amendments in the Constitution.



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