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Council of States
A maximum of 250 allowed in the constitution
Unaligned parties (94)
Nominated (10) Vacant (1)
|Single transferable vote|
|Chamber of Rajya Sabha, Sansad Bhavan,
New Delhi, India
The Rajya Sabha or Council of States is the upper house of the Parliament of India. Membership is limited to 250 members, 12 of whom are nominated by the President of India for their contributions to art, literature, science, and social services. The remainder of the body is elected by the state and territorial legislatures. Members sit for six-year terms, with one third of the members retiring every two years.
The Rajya Sabha meets in continuous sessions, and unlike the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament, is not subject to dissolution. The Rajya Sabha has equal footing in all areas of legislation with Lok Sabha, except in the area of supply, where the Lok Sabha has overriding powers. In the case of conflicting legislation, a joint sitting of the two houses is held. However, since the Lok Sabha has twice as many members as the Rajya Sabha, the former would normally hold the greater power. Only three such joint-sessions have been held; the latest one for the passage of the 2002 Prevention of Terrorism Act.
The Vice President of India (currently, Hamid Ansari) is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, who presides over its sessions. The Deputy Chairman, who is elected from amongst the RS's members, takes care of the day-to-day matters of the house in the absence of the Chairman. The Rajya Sabha held its first sitting on 13 May 1952. The salary and other benefits for a member of Rajya Sabha are same as for a member of Lok Sabha.
Article 84 of the Constitution lays down the qualifications for membership of Parliament. Members of the Rajya Sabha must:
- Be the citizens of India
- Make and subscribe before some person authorized in that behalf by the Election Commission an oath or affirmation according to the form set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule to the Constitution;
- Be at least 30 years old;
- Possess such other qualifications as may be prescribed in that behalf by or under any law made by Parliament.
- Be elected by the Legislative Assembly of States and Union territories by means of Single transferable vote through Proportional representation.
In addition, twelve members are nominated by the President of India having special knowledge in various areas like Arts, Science etc. However they are not entitled to vote in Presidential elections as per Article 55 of Indian Constitution.
There are certain limitations, which makes Lok Sabha more powerful than Rajya Sabha.
In the case of Money bills, if the Rajya Sabha return the bill to Lok Sabha, opposing the bill, it is deemed to have passed. Though the Rajya Sabha can send recommendations to the Lok Sabha, it is not binding on the Lok Sabha to act on it. Also, the house cannot exercise Pocket Veto; if the house does not pass the bill within 14 days, it is again deemed to have been passed by the house.
Unlike Lok Sabha, it cannot pass motion of no confidence against the government.
The number of members of Lok Sabha is 545, that is more than twice the members of Rajya Sabha. As a result, in case a non-financial bill is rejected by the Rajya Sabha, if passed by the Lok Sabha, then in the joint-session of the parliament, the bill is likely to be passed. So, in general, the Lok Sabha has more power than Rajya Sabha in matters of legislation as the government is accountable to Lok Sabha, and Money bills can be introduced only in Lok Sabha.
Membership and composition
|Name of State||No. of Seats|
|Jammu & Kashmir||4|
|National Capital Territory (Delhi)||3|
See also List of members of the Rajya Sabha
Membership by party
Members by Party Source: Rajya Sabha Secretariat (as of 17 March 2015)
|United Progressive Alliance
|Indian National Congress||68|
|Kerala Congress (Mani)||1|
|Rashtriya Janata Dal||1|
|National Democratic Alliance
|Bharatiya Janata Party||47|
|Telugu Desam Party||6|
|Shiromani Akali Dal||3|
|Jammu and Kashmir People's Democratic Party||2|
|Nagaland People's Front||1|
|Republican Party of India (Athvale)||1|
|All India Trinamool Congress||12|
|Janata Dal (United)||12|
|All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam||11|
|Bahujan Samaj Party||10|
|Communist Party of India (Marxist)||9|
|Biju Janata Dal||7|
|Nationalist Congress Party||6|
|Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam||4|
|Communist Party of India||2|
|Bodoland People's Front||1|
|Indian National Lok Dal||1|
|Janata Dal (Secular)||1|
|Jharkhand Mukti Morcha||1|
|Sikkim Democratic Front||1|
|Telangana Rashtra Samithi||1|
Leader of the House
Besides the Chairman (Vice-President of India) and the Deputy Chairman, there is also a function called Leader of the House. This is a cabinet minister - the prime minister if he is a member of the House, or another nominated minister. The Leader has a seat next to the Chairman, in the front row.
The following people have been the Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha:
|1||Shri N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar||May 1952||Feb. 1953|
|2||Shri Charu Chandra Biswas||Feb. 1953||Nov. 1954|
|3||Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri||Nov. 1954||March 1955|
|4||Shri Govind Ballabh Pant||March 1955||Feb. 1961|
|5||Shri Hafiz Mohammad Ibrahim||Feb. 1961||Aug. 1963|
|6||Shri Yashwantrao Chavan||Aug. 1963||Dec. 1963|
|7||Shri Jaisukhlal Hathi||Feb. 1964||March 1964|
|8||Shri Mahomadali Currim Chagla||March 1964||Nov. 1967|
|9||Shri Jaisukhlal Hathi||Nov. 1967||Nov. 1969|
|10||Shri Kodradas Kalidas Shah||Nov. 1969||May 1971|
|11||Shri Uma Shankar Dikshit||May 1971||Dec. 1975|
|12||Shri Kamlapati Tripathi||Dec. 1975||March 1977|
|13||Shri L. K. Advani||March 1977||Aug. 1979|
|14||Shri K.C. Pant||Aug. 1979||Jan. 1980|
|15||Shri Pranab Mukherjee||Jan. 1980||Dec. 1984|
|16||Shri V. P. Singh||Dec. 1984||April 1987|
|17||Shri Narayan Dutt Tiwari||April 1987||June 1988|
|18||Shri P. Shiv Shankar||July 1988||Dec. 1989|
|19||Shri M. S. Gurupadaswamy||Dec. 1989||Nov. 1990|
|20||Shri Yashwant Sinha||Dec. 1990||June 1991|
|21||Shri Shankarrao Chavan||July 1991||April 1996|
|22||Shri Sikander Bakht||20 May 1996||31 May 1996|
|23||Shri Inder Kumar Gujral||June 1996||Nov. 1996|
|24||Shri H.D. Deve Gowda||Nov. 1996||April 1997|
|25||Shri Inder Kumar Gujral||April 1997||March 1998|
|26||Shri Sikander Bakht||March 1998||Oct. 1999|
|27||Shri Jaswant Singh||Oct. 1999||May 2004|
|28||Dr. Manmohan Singh||June 2004||May 2014|
|29||Shri Arun Jaitley||June 2014||Present|
Leader of the Opposition (LOP)
Besides the Leader of the House, who is leading the majority, there is also a Leader of the Opposition - leading the minority parties. The function was only recognized in the Salary and Allowances of Leaders of the Opposition in Parliament Act 1977. This is commonly the leader of the largest minority party, and is recognized as such by the Chairman.
The following people have been the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha:
|1||Shri Shyam Nandan Mishra||December 1969||March 1971|
|2||Shri M. S. Gurupadaswamy||March 1971||April 1972|
|3||Shri Kamlapati Tripathi||30.3.1977||15.2.1978|
|4||Shri Bhola Paswan Shastri||24.2.1978||23.3.1978|
|5||Shri Kamlapati Tripathi||23.3.1978||2.4.1978|
|6||Shri Kamlapati Tripathi||18.4.1978||8.1.1980|
|7||Shri Lal Krishna Advani||21.1.1980||7.4.1980|
|8||Shri P. Shiv Shanker||18.12.1989||2.1.1991|
|9||Shri M. S. Gurupadaswamy||28.6.1991||21.7.1991|
|10||Shri S. Jaipal Reddy||22.7.1991||29.6.1992|
|11||Shri Sikander Bakht||7.7.1992||10.4.1996|
|12||Shri Sikander Bakht||10.4.1996||23.5.1996|
|13||Shri S. B. Chavan||23.5.1996||1.6.1996|
|14||Shri Sikander Bakht||1.6.1996||19.3.1998|
|15||Dr. Manmohan Singh||21.3.1998||21.5.2004|
|16||Shri Jaswant Singh||3.6.2004||4.7.2004|
|17||Shri Jaswant Singh||5.7.2004||16.5.2009|
|18||Shri Arun Jaitley||3.6.2009||20.5.2014|
|19||Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad||6.5.2014||Present|
The Secretariat of Rajya Sabha was set up pursuant to the provisions contained in Article 98 of the Constitution. The said Article, which provides for a separate secretarial staff for each House of Parliament, reads as follows:- 98. Secretariat of Parliament -Each House of Parliament shall have a separate secretarial staff: Provided that nothing in this clause shall be construed as preventing the creation of posts common to both Houses of Parliament. (2) Parliament may by law regulate the recruitment and the conditions of service of persons appointed to the secretarial staff of either House of Parliament.
The Rajya Sabha Secretariat functions under the overall guidance and control of the Chairman. The main activities of the Secretariat inter alia include the following :-
- (i) providing secretarial assistance and support to the effective functioning of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha)ssible to Members of Rajya Sabha;
- (iv) servicing the various Parliamentary Committees;
- (v) preparing research and reference material and bringing out various publications;
- (vi) recruitment of manpower in the Sabha Secretariat and attending to personnel matters; and
- (vii) preparing and publishing a record of the day-to-day proceedings of the Rajya Sabha and bringing out such other publications, as may be required concerning the functioning of the Rajya Sabha and its Committees.
In the discharge of his constitutional and statutory responsibilities, the Chairman, Rajya Sabha is assisted by the Secretary-General, who holds the rank equivalent to the Cabinet Secretary to the Government of India. The Secretary-General, in turn, is assisted by senior functionaries at the level of Secretary, Additional Secretary, Joint Secretary and other officers and staff of the Secretariat.
Rajya Sabha Television (RSTV) is a 24*7 parliamentary TV channel fully owned and operated by the Rajya Sabha. The channel is aimed at providing in-depth coverage and analysis of parliamentary affairs especially the functioning of and developments related to Rajya Sabha. During sessions of Parliament, apart from telecasting live coverage of the proceedings of Rajya Sabha, RSTV presents incisive analysis of the proceedings of the House as well as other day-to-day parliamentary events and developments.
- "Hon'ble Chairman, Rajya Sabha, Parliament of India". rajyasabha.nic.in. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
- "Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha, Parliament of India". Retrieved 19 August 2011.
- "RAJYA SABHA - AN INTRODUCTION". rajyasabha.nic.in.
- "Council of States (Rajya Sabha) - rajyasabha.in".
- "OUR PARLIAMENT". Indian Parliament. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
- "FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT RAJYA SABHA". Indian Parliament. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- Rajya Sabha party strength
- "Rajya Sabha Introduction".
- "About Rajya Sabha TV". Rajya Sabha. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
- The Nominated Members of India's Council of States: A Study of Role-Definition J. H. Proctor, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Vol. 10, No. 1, Feb 1985, pp. 53–70.
- Alistair, McMillan. "Constitution 91st Amendment Bill: A Constitutional Fraud?". nuff.ox.ac.uk. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
- Rajya Sabha homepage hosted by the Indian government
- Rajya Sabha FAQ page hosted by the Indian government
- 37 Rajya Sabha members have criminal background: Study - analysis by the Association for Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch
- Nominated members list
- State wise list
- Rajya Sabha Telivision
- MEMBERS OF RAJYA SABHA (STATE WISE LIST) TN