The Parliament of India
The Parliament is the highest federal legislature in India. It is located in the Parliament House on Sangsad Marg in New Delhi. The name is derived from the Sanskrit word Sangsad (i.e., Sabha or Parishad). To make a bill into law, it has to be passed in both the Houses of Parliament and approved by the President. The houses are used for the joint sitting of Parliament. The Parliament of India consists of a lower house called the Lok Sabha and an upper house called the Rajya Sabha.
|Name||The Parliament of India|
|Founded||26 January 1950|
245 members of Rajya Sabha
543 members of Lok Sabha
The Central Legislative Assembly of India is called the Parliament.
Parliament of India is a composition of the President, Lok Sabha (Lower House) and Rajya Sabha (Upper House).
Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker had designed the Parliament of India.
Article 79 of the Indian constitution describes the structure of Parliament.
The first parliament in independent India was formed in 1952.
There must be a presence of 1/10 of the members for a legitimate session in Rajya Sabha. This is called “Quorum” in a parliamentary term.
The chairman of Lok Sabha is – speaker. In the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker may preside over the Lok Sabha.
It is pertinent to note that with the 42nd amendment to the constitution, the duration of the Lok Sabha was extended for 6 years in 1976.
Sessions of Parliament
The Lok Sabha is convened at least twice a year. According to the Constitution, there shall be no interval of more than six months between the end of one session of the Lok Sabha and the commencement of the next session.
The President of India convenes the Parliament at regular intervals (Article 75). It is mandatory to convene at least two sessions per year. There are usually three types of parliamentary sittings every year. These are –
- Budget sessions (usually held between February and May).
- Monsoon session (usually held between July and September).
- Winter session (usually held between November and December).
The maximum interval for two sessions of Parliament shall not exceed six months.
The session of parliament starts at 11 am and ends at 4 pm. There are two phases of the session in the diary of the parliament –
- From morning (11 am) to noon (1 pm)
- From 2 pm to evening (6 pm).
Eligibility criteria to be a member of Parliament.
- Must be a citizen of India.
- Age should be 25 for Lok Sabha.
- Age should be 30 for Rajya Sabha.
- Should be a voter for any parliamentary constituency in India
- Should be a voter in a parliamentary constituency.
- Additional qualifications also needed prescribing by Parliament by law.
- If the court declares a person deranged or bankrupt, he will be disqualified from Parliament.
Comparison: Lok Sabha vs Rajya Sabha
|Lok Sabha||Rajya Sabha|
|The President appoints the Prime Minister as the leader of the majority party in accordance with Article 75 (1).|
According to Section 75 (3), the Union Cabinet is responsible to the Prime Minister.
The President convened the joint session in accordance with Article 104.
The Chairman of the Lok Sabha will look into whether a Bill is a Finance Bill (Section 110), or a Revenue Bill (Section 117).
With the permission of 1/10 of the members of the Legislature, arrangements can be made to discuss emergency matters.
|The Rajya Sabha may conduct a new all-India examination (in accordance with Article 312).|
If the Rajya Sabha adopts a motion with the support of two-thirds of the members present, the Parliament may enact legislation in the national interest on matters which are required to be enacted by the State [According to section 249 (1)].
The Rajya Sabha has the exclusive power to create an all-India service
To make arrangements for the enactment of parliamentary laws on state-listed matters..
Numbers of member in Lok Sabha (Lower House)
- The highest number of members in the Lok Sabha – 552.
- The highest elected members of the Lok Sabha are 550.
- 2 members were nominated by the President from the Angla Indian (Article 331).
- Out of 552 members, 524 from the state, 26 are from Union Territories and 2 are nominated by the President.
- The present member of Lok Sabha is 545.
- The number of current elected members – 543.
- Out of 545 members, 19 are from Union Territories, 524 are from the state, and 2 are nominated the President.
Numbers of member in Rajya Sabha (Upper House)
- The highest number of members in the Rajya Sabha – 250.
- Maximum number of elected members in Rajya sabha – 238
- The President can appoint 12 members from the fields such as literature, arts, science, social services, etc.
- Out of 250 members of Rajya sabha, 234 are from states, 4 from UT, and 12 are nominated by the president.
- The present numbers of members of Rajya sabha – 245.
- The present elected members – 233
- Out of 245 members, 229 are from states, 4 from UT, and 12 are nominated by the President.
Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha
- Articles 93 deals with the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
- The Speaker is the chief controller or director of the Lok sabha.
- The Speaker and Deputy Speaker are elected by the elected members of the Lok sabha.
- The Speaker controls the rules and regulations regarding the conduct of the meeting.
- The Speaker controls the privileges of the members.
- In the absence of the Speaker, the vice-Speaker conducts the meeting.
- The Speaker remains in his office until the dissolution of the Lok Sabha.
- The Speaker and Deputy Speaker may be removed by special notice of Parliament (14 days in advance).
- The Speaker may provide his adjudicating vote if it is equal in the case of voting for any subject in the Loke sabha.
- After the general election, the Speaker presided over the meeting with a quorum.
- The first session of Parliament was held on 13/5/1952.
- Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar was the first speaker of the Lakes Sabha (15/5/52 -27/2/56).
- Neelam Sanjeev Reddy was appointed twice as a speaker in Lok sabha (17/3/1967 – 19/7/1969) and (26/3/77. – 13/7/77).
- Current Lok Sabha – 17th
- Current Speaker – Om Birla (19.6.2019-present).
Glossary of Parliamentary Terms:
 Cut Motion: Three types of Cut Motion can be proposed as per the rules of the Lok Sabha
(1) Economy Cut
(2) Disapproval of Policy Cut
(3) Symbolic Token cut.
- Economy Cut: If the proposed budget allocation seems to be excessive, the economy cut may be proposed to reduce it.
- Disapproval of Policy Cut: Opponents may propose policy cuts to deny government spending in certain sectors. In this case, it is said that the demand for government expenditure will be reduced to a nominal amount.
- Symbolic Token cut: Usually 100 rupees are deducted from the amount demanded by the government for allocating unreasonable expenses.
 Question Hour: The proceedings of the Parliament begin with Question Hour. The first hour was spent questioning the working of the government. This is the episode of raising questions. At this time the members ask various questions to the minister of the concerned department and later the ministers of the concerned department give his answers. The hours are from 11 am to 12 pm.
 Hung Parliament: Hung Parliament ‘or Triangular Parliament means no party has a majority in any Parliament.
 Zero Hour: The Zero Hour begins as soon as the Question Hour ends and continues until the end of the parliamentary process. During this time the members discuss important issues. Therefore, prior permission of Parliament is not required.
 Guillotine: If there is a deadline or incomplete discussion on the issue of expenditure allocation, the Speaker of the House arranges for a decision without discussion. This method adopted on the last day of the budget session is called a guillotine.
 Votes on Account: Votes on Account is used as an interim measure after the budget and during the period of budget approval. From the date of commencement of the new financial year till the passage of the annual budget and disbursement law in Parliament, the Lok sabha allows the government to spend money before the commencement of the new financial year. This system is called ‘Votes on Account‘.
 Point of order: If any member raises questions about the functions of Parliament or if he thinks that Parliamentary functions are not being conducted in accordance with the rules of Parliament, he raises a point of order and the Speaker takes necessary action.
 Quorum: The presence of a certain number of members is desirable before the completion of the proceedings of Parliament. This is one-tenth (1/10) of the total membership. The quorum is considered complete in the presence of 1/10 members. If there is no quorum, the Speaker can suspend the Parliament or certain parliamentary work (article 100).
 Adjournment Motion: The Speaker of the Lower House may declare an adjournment of Parliament related to debates and discussions. The sittings of Parliament are temporarily adjourned and the date and schedule of the next sitting are fixed. This is called a “Adjournment Motion“.
Parliamentary Bills and its Functions:
Bills raised in the Indian Parliament can be divided into four parts. They are:
- Ordinary Bill
- Money Bill.
- Financial Bill
- Constitution Amendment Bill
1. Ordinary Bill
- Ordinary bills may be raised in any house of parliament.
- The Rajya Sabha has equal powers in passing general bills.
- Approval of both houses of parliament is required for passing the general bill.
- If there is a difference of opinion on the bill, the Lok Sabha or upper house may delegate more power or the President may convene a joint session with the permission of the Speaker.
- Ordinary bills cannot become law without the consent of the President.
- If the President does not consent, the bill becomes invalid.
- The president can send the bill back to parliament for approval.
- When reconsidered by Parliament, the President is obliged to consent or sign on return.
- Can be raised without the approval of the President.
- The Rajya Sabha can consider it as amendment and repeal.
- The Rajya Sabha can hold it for a maximum of 6 months.
- The removal of the bill in the Rajya Sabha does not require the approval of the Speaker.
- This bill can be raised by cabinet members.
2. Money bill:
- Article 110 of the Indian Constitution mentions the Money Bill.
- Money bills can only be raised in the Lok Sabha, not in the Rajya Sabha.
- The money bill is raised by the ministers.
- The Rajya Sabha cannot cancel or amend the budget but can withhold 14 days.
- The opinion of the Rajya Sabha is not acceptable in the case of money bills.
- The Lok Sabha may reject the Rajya Sabha’s recommendation.
- The approval of the Speaker is required before sending it to the Rajya Sabha.
- The President is obliged to consent to the Money Bill.
- A joint session cannot be convened in case of a stalemate over the money bill.
- Only with the consent of the President, it can be raised in the Lok sabha.
- The Speaker of the Lok sabha issues a certificate on whether the bill is a money bill or not.
The seven topics mentioned in Article 110 are known as money bills. E.g.-
- Tax collection, imposition, lamentation, change and control;
- The regulation or provision of loans, controls or amendments to financial laws adopted by the Government of India;
- The payment and withdrawal of India’s Reserve Expenditure Fund and Contingency Expenditure Fund;
- The appropriation of money out of the Consolidated Fund of India;
- Declaring any expenditure to be an expenditure incurred from the Consolidated Fund of India;
- The accumulation and disbursement of funds in Consolidated Fund of India or the supervision or disbursement of funds in the government account or the public accounts or the custody, or auditors of the Union and State Governments;
- 1 to 6 related topics.
3. Finance Bill
- Article 117 of the Constitution of India mentions the Financial Bill.
- The Financial Bill requires the credential of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
- In the case of tax and expenditure, additional matters are also included in the finance bill.
- The finance bill is the external part of the seven issues mentioned in the Money bill.
- The finance bill emphasizes on matters of revenue and expenditure issues.
- There are three types of Finance bills
- Money bill
- Finance Bill-1 [Article 117 (1)] or First Class Revenue Bill.
- Finance Bill-2 [Article 117 (3)] or second class revenue bill.
Note: All money bills are financial bills, but all financial bills are not money bills.
- Money bills and other matters are attached.
- Can only be raised in the Lok Sabha.
- Cannot be raised without the approval of the President.
- The Rajya Sabha can repeal and amend it.
- The President may call a joint session for disagreement with the bill.
- The President may consent or withhold or send it back to the relevant house for consideration.
- Concerning the accumulated funds under this Bill, which is not mentioned in Section 110
- It will not be passed in any house of the parliament without the consent of the President
- Any house can cancel or modify it
- The president may call a joint session because of the complexity of the bill.
- Once the bill is sent to the President, the President may consent or withhold it or send it back to the relevant house for reconsideration.
Constitution Amendment Bill:
- It can be raised in any house of Parliament.
- Related to an amendment of the constitution.
- It is mentioned in Article 368 of the Constitution.
- The President is obliged to sign the Constitution Amendment Bill. In this case, the President cannot use his veto.
Bill Passing Procedure in Parliament:
The bill is passed by three methods, they are:
First Reading of the Bill:
(A) Raising the bill
(B) The title of the bill is read.
(C) Determining the purpose and nature of the bill
(D) Publication of the bill in the official gazette.
Second Reading of the Bill:
(A) The bill will be considered in the house or sent to the select house for review or the bill will be sent to the joint session of both the house.
(B) Bill publicity – (1) Committee stage (2) Report stage.
(C) No amendment is acceptable.
(D) To consider the judgment (detailed and thorough).
Third Reading of the Bill:
(A) The Bill shall be passed by Parliament with the consent of both Houses.
(B) If received in one house, it will be sent to another.
(C) shall be sent for the consent of the President.
(D) Once signed by the President, the bill becomes law.
- Estimate Committee: Member of Lok Sabha is 30. Duration 1 year.
- Public Account Committee: Total number of members is 22. Member of Lok Sabha is 15, and in Rajya Sabha is 7. Duration 1 year.
- Committee on Business Advisory: Number of member 15. Speaker of Lok Sabha supervises this committee.
- Rules Committee: Established in 1948. Number of members is 15. Speaker of Lok Sabha supervises this committee.
- Committee on Petitions: Number of members 15. Speaker of Lok Sabha supervises this committee.
- Committee on Privilege: Established in 1953. Members 15.
- Committee on Government Assurances: Established in 1964. Members – 15.
- Committee on Public Undertaking: 15 members from Lok Sabha & 15 from Rajya Sabha.
- Select committee related to bill
- Joint Committee
- Search Committee
The Parliament of India – Notes GK
The Parliament of India – a comprehensive note for IAS UPSC, SSC, and other competitive government job examinations.