Parliament of India
|Parliament of India|
245 Members of Rajya Sabha
545 Member of parliament
Rajya Sabha political groups
Lok Sabha political groups
Rajya Sabha voting system
|Single transferable vote|
Lok Sabha voting system
|First past the post|
Lok Sabha last election
|Indian general election, 2014|
|Sansad Bhavan, New Delhi, India|
The Parliament of India is the supreme legislative body of the Republic of India. The Parliament is composed of the President of India and the houses. It is bicameral with two houses: Rajya Sabha (Council of States) and the Lok Sabha (House of the People). The President in his role as head of legislature has full powers to summon and prorogue either house of Parliament or to dissolve Lok Sabha. The president can exercise these powers only upon the advice of the Prime Minister and his Council of Ministers.
Those elected or nominated (by the President) to either house of Parliament are referred to as members of parliament (MP). The Member of parliament, Lok Sabha are directly elected by the Indian public voting in single member districts and the members of Rajya Sabha are elected by the members of the State Legislative Assemblies by proportional representation. The Parliament has a sanctioned strength of 543 in Lok Sabha excluding the 2 nominees from the Anglo-Indians if so the president of India felt desirable and 245 in Rajya Sabha including the 12 nominees from the expertise of different fields of science, culture, art and history. The Parliament meets at Sansad Bhavan in New Delhi.
President of India
The President of India, the Head of State are a component of Parliament. Under Article 60 and Article 111, President's responsibility is to scrutinise that bills/laws passed by the parliament are in accordance with constitutional mandate and stipulated procedure is followed before according his/her approval to the bills. The President of India is elected by the members of the Parliament of India and the state legislatures and serves for a term of five years.
Lok Sabha (House of the People) or the lower house has members from 545 representing parliamentary constituencies across the country. 543 members are directly elected by citizens of India on the basis of universal adult franchise and two are appointed by the President of India. Every citizen of India who is over 18 years of age, irrespective of gender, caste, religion or race, who is otherwise not disqualified, is eligible to vote for the lok sabha.The Constitution provides that the maximum strength of the House be 552 members. It has a term of five years. To be eligible for membership in the Lok Sabha, a person must be a citizen of India and must be 25 years of age or older, mentally sound, should not be bankrupt and should not be criminally convicted. The total elective membership is distributed among the States in such a way that the ratio between the number of seats allotted to each State and the population of the State is, so far as practicable, the same for all States.
The Rajya Sabha (Council of States) or the upper house is a permanent body not subject to dissolution. One third of the members retire every second year, being 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 Rajya Sabha can have a maximum of 250 members. It currently has a sanctioned strength of 245 with 233 members are to be elected from States and Union Territories(SUT) and 12 are nominated by the President of India. The number of members from a state depends on the population of the state. The minimum age for a person to become a member of Rajya Sabha is 30 years.
The Sansad Bhavan (Parliament House) is located in New Delhi. It was designed by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker, who were responsible for planning and construction of New Delhi. The construction of buildings took six years and the opening ceremony was performed on 18 January 1927 by the then Governor-General of India, Irwin. The construction costs for the building were ₹8.3 million (US$120,000). The parliament is 570 feet (170 m) in diameter and covers an area of 6 acres (2.4 ha). The Central hall consists of the chambers of Lok sabha, Rajya Sabha and the Library hall. Surrounding these three chambers is the four storied circular structure providing accommodations for members and houses Parliamentary committees, offices and the ministry of Parliamentary affairs.
Session of parliament
The period during which the House meets to conduct its business is called a session. The Constitution empowers the president to summon each House at such intervals that there should not be more than a six-month gap between the two sessions. Hence the Parliament must meet at least twice a year. In India, the parliament conducts three sessions each year:
- Budget session: February to May
- Monsoon session: July to September
- Winter session: November to December
Legislative proposals are brought before either house of the Parliament in the form of a bill. A bill is the draft of a legislative proposal, which, when passed by both houses of Parliament and assented to by the President, becomes an Act of Parliament. Money bills must originate in the Lok Sabha. The council of states can only make recommendations over the bills to the House, within a period of fourteen days.
Parliamentary committees are formed to deliberate specific matters at length. The public is directly or indirectly associated and studies are conducted to help committees arrive at the conclusions. Parliamentary committees are of two kinds: ad hoc committees and the standing committees.
Standing committees are permanent committees constituted from time to time in pursuance of the provisions of an act of Parliament or rules of procedure and conduct of business in Parliament. The work of these committees is of a continuing nature. Adhoc committees are appointed for a specific purpose and they cease to exist when they finish the task assigned to them and submit a report.
On 13 December 2001, Indian Parliament was attacked by a terrorist organisation. The perpetrators were Lashkar-e-Taiba (Let) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists. The attack led to the deaths of five terrorists, six Delhi Police personnel, two Parliament Security Service personnel and a gardener, which totalled 14 fatalities. It also led to increased tensions between India and Pakistan, resulting in the 2001-2002 India-Pakistan standoff.
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