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Rajya Sabha

Rajya Sabha
Type
Type
Term limits
6 years
Leadership
Droupadi Murmu, BJP
since 25 July 2022
Harivansh Narayan Singh, JD(U)
since 9 August 2018
Vacant
since 04 June 2024
Vacant
since 04 June 2024
Mallikarjun Kharge, INC
since 16 February 2021
Pramod Tiwari, INC
since 13 March 2023
Pramod Chandra Mody
since 12 November 2021
Structure
Seats245 (233 Elected + 12 Nominated)
Rajya Sabha
Political groups
Government (113)
  NDA (113)

Official Opposition (88)

  INDIA (88)

Other opposition (29)

  YSRCP (11)
  BJD (9)
  BRS (4)
  AIADMK (3)
  BSP (1)
  MNF (1)

Vacant (15)

  Vacant (15)
Elections
238 members by single transferable vote by state legislatures,
12 appointed by the President
Last election
February 2024
Next election
2025
Meeting place
Rajya Sabha Chamber, Sansad Bhavan,
118, Rafi Marg New Delhi, India - 110 001
Website
sansad.in/rs
Constitution
Constitution of India
Rules
The Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) (English)

28°37′0″N 77°12′30″E / 28.61667°N 77.20833°E / 28.61667; 77.20833 The Rajya Sabha, constitutionally the Council of States, is the upper house of the bicameral Parliament of India. As of 2023, it has a maximum membership of 250, of which 238 are elected by the legislatures of the states and union territories using single transferable votes through open ballots, while the president can appoint 12 members for their contributions to art, literature, science, and social service.[1] The total allowed capacity is 250 (238 elected, 12 appointed) according to article 80 of the Indian Constitution.[2] The current potential seating capacity of the Rajya Sabha is 245 (233 elected, 12 appointed), after the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganisation) Act. The maximum seats of 250 members can be filled up at the discretion and requirements of the house of Rajya Sabha.

Members sit for staggered terms lasting six years, with about a third of the 238 designates up for election every two years, in even-numbered years.[3] Unlike the Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha is a continuing chamber and hence not subject to dissolution. However, the Rajya Sabha, like the Lok Sabha, can be prorogued by the president.

The Rajya Sabha has equal footing in legislation with the Lok Sabha, except in the area of supply, where the latter has overriding powers. In the case of conflicting legislation, a joint sitting of the two houses can be held, where the Lok Sabha would hold a greater influence because of its larger membership. The vice president of India (currently, Jagdeep Dhankhar) is the ex-officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha, who presides over its sessions. The deputy chairman, who is elected from amongst the house'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.[4]

The Rajya Sabha meets in the eponymous chamber in Parliament House in New Delhi. Since 18 July 2018, the Rajya Sabha has the facility for simultaneous interpretation in all the 22 scheduled languages of India.[5] The Rajya Sabha proceedings are televised live on channel Sansad TV, headquartered within the premises of Parliament.[6]

Qualifications

Article 84 of the Constitution lays down the qualifications for membership of Parliament. A member of the Rajya Sabha must:[7][8]

  • Be a citizen 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.
  • Be elected by the Legislative Assembly of States and Union territories by means of single transferable vote through proportional representation.[9]
  • Not be a proclaimed criminal.
  • Not be a subject of insolvency, i.e. they should not be in debt that they are not capable of repaying in a current manner and should have the ability to meet their financial expenses.
  • Not hold any other office of profit under the Government of India.
  • Not be of unsound mind.
  • Possess such other qualifications as may be prescribed in that behalf by or under any law made by Parliament.

In addition, twelve members are nominated by the president of India having special knowledge in various areas like arts and science. However, they are not entitled to vote in presidential elections as per Article 55 of the Constitution.

Limitations

The Constitution of India places some restrictions on the Rajya Sabha, and the Lok Sabha (the lower house, House of the People) is more powerful in certain areas.

Money bills

The definition of a money bill is given in Article 110 of the Constitution of India. A money bill can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha by a minister and only on the recommendation of the president of India. When the Lok Sabha passes a money bill then the Lok Sabha sends the money bill to the Rajya Sabha for 14 days during which it can make recommendations. Even if the Rajya Sabha fails to return the money bill in 14 days to the Lok Sabha, that bill is deemed to have passed by both houses. Also, if the Lok Sabha rejects any (or all) of the amendments proposed by the Rajya Sabha, the bill is deemed to have been passed by both houses of Parliament in the form the Lok Sabha finally passes it. Hence, the Rajya Sabha can only give recommendations for a money bill, but the Rajya Sabha cannot amend a money bill. This is to ensure that the Rajya Sabha must not add any non-money matters to the money bill. There is no joint sitting of both the houses for money bills, because all final decisions are taken by the Lok Sabha.[10][11]

Joint Sitting of the Parliament

Article 108 provides for a joint sitting of the two houses of Parliament in certain cases. A joint sitting can be convened by the president of India when one house has either rejected a bill passed by the other house, has not taken any action on a bill transmitted to it by the other house for six months, or has disagreed with the amendments proposed by the Lok Sabha on a bill passed by it. Considering that the numerical strength of the Lok Sabha is more than twice that of the Rajya Sabha, the Lok Sabha tends to have a greater influence in a joint sitting of Parliament. A joint session is chaired by the speaker of the Lok Sabha. Also, because the joint session is convened by the president on the advice of the government, which already has a majority in the Lok Sabha, the joint session is usually convened to get bills passed through a Rajya Sabha in which the government has a minority.[12]

Joint sessions of Parliament are a rarity, and have been convened three times in the last 71 years, for passage of a specific legislative act, the latest time being in 2002:

No-confidence motion

Unlike the Lok Sabha, members of the Rajya Sabha cannot bring to the house a no-confidence motion against the government.[citation needed]

Powers

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In the Indian quasi-federal structure, the Rajya Sabha is representative of the States and Union territories in the union legislature (hence the name, Council of States). For this reason, the Rajya Sabha has powers that protect the rights of States against the Union government.

Union-State relations

The Constitution empowers the Parliament of India to make laws on the matters reserved for States. However, this can only be done if the Rajya Sabha first passes a resolution by a two-third majority granting such a power to the Union Parliament. The Union government cannot make a law on a matter reserved for States without any authorisation from the Rajya Sabha.

The Union government reserves the power to make laws directly affecting the citizens across all the States whereas, a single state in itself reserves the power to make rules and governing laws of their region. The Rajya Sabha plays a vital role in protecting the States' culture and interests.

Creation of All-India services

The Rajya Sabha, by a two-thirds supermajority, can pass a resolution empowering the Indian government to create more all-India services common to both the union and the states.

Membership by party

Members of the Rajya Sabha by their political party (as of 19 April 2024):

Alliance Party MPs Floor leader
NDA
Seats: 119
BJP 97 Piyush Goyal
JD(U) 4 Ram Nath Thakur
JD(S) 1 H. D. Deve Gowda
SHS 1 Milind Deora
RLD 1 Jayant Chaudhary
PMK 1 Anbumani R.
AGP 1 B.P Baishya
TMC(M) 1 G. K. Vasan
NPP 1 W. Kharlukhi
RPI(A) 1 Ramdas Athawale
UPPL 1 Rwngwra Narzary
IND 2
NOM 7 None
I.N.D.I.A
Seats: 92
INC 29 M. Kharge
AITC 13 Derek O'Brien
AAP 10 Sanjay Singh
DMK 10 Tiruchi Siva
RJD 6 P.C. Gupta
CPI(M) 5 Elamaram Kareem
SP 4 Ram Gopal Yadav
JMM 3 Shibu Soren
NCP(SP) 2 Sharad Pawar
SS(UBT) 2 Sanjay Raut
CPI 2 Binoy Viswam
IUML 2 P.V. Abdul Wahab
MDMK 1 Vaiko
AGM 1 Ajit Kumar Bhuyan
KC(M) 1 Jose K. Mani
IND 1 Kapil Sibal
Unalligned
Seats: 29
YSRCP 11 V.Vijayasai Reddy
BJD 9 Sasmit Patra
BRS 4 K.Keshava Rao
AIADMK 3 M.Thambidurai
BSP 1 Ramji Gautam
MNF 1 K. Vanlalvena
Vacant 5
Total 245

Composition

Seats are allotted in proportion to the population of each state or union territory. Certain states may even have more representatives than states more populous than them, because in past they too had high population. For example, Tamil Nadu has 18 representatives for 72 million inhabitants (in 2011) whereas Bihar (104 million) and West Bengal (91 million) only have 16. As the members are elected by the state legislature, some small union territories, those without legislatures, cannot have representation. Hence, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Ladakh and Lakshadweep do not send any representatives. Twelve members are nominated by the president.[13][14]

As per the Fourth Schedule to the Constitution of India on 26 January 1950, the Rajya Sabha was to consist of 216 members, of which 12 members were to be nominated by the president and the remaining 204 elected to represent the states.[14] The present sanctioned strength of the Rajya Sabha in the Constitution of India is 250, which can be increased by constitutional amendment. However, the present strength is 245 members according to the Representation of People Act, 1951, which can be increased up to 250 by amending the act itself, of whom 233 are representatives of the states and union territories and 12 are nominated by the president.[14] The 12 nominated members of the Rajya Sabha are persons who are eminent in particular fields and are well-known contributors in the particular field.

Number of members by state/union territory

State/ UT Largest Party NDA I.N.D.I.A. Others Vacancy Election Cycle
Andhra Pradesh[15] 11 YSRCP 11 YSRCP 11 26 (4)

28 (4)

Arunachal Pradesh 1 BJP 1 BJP 1 26 (1)
Assam 7 BJP 4 BJP 4 AGM 1 25 (2)

26 (3) 28 (2)

AGP 1
UPPL 1
Bihar 16 RJD 6 BJP 4 INC 1 24 (4)

26 (4) 28 (4)

JD(U) 5
Chhattisgarh 5 INC 4 BJP 1 INC 4 24 (1)

26 (2) 28 (2)

Delhi 3 AAP 3 AAP 3 30 (3)
Goa 1 BJP 1 BJP 1 29 (1)
Gujarat 11 BJP 8 BJP 8 INC 3 24 (4)

26 (4) 29 (3)

Haryana 5 BJP 3 IND 1 INC 1 24 (1)

26 (2) 28 (2)

Himachal Pradesh 3 BJP 3 BJP 3 24 (1)

26 (1) 28 (1)

Jammu and Kashmir 4 4
Jharkhand 6 BJP 3 BJP 3 JMM 2 24 (2)

26 (2) 28 (2)

Karnataka 12 BJP 6 BJP 6 INC 5 24 (4)

26 (4) 28 (4)

JD(S) 1
Kerala 9 CPIM 4 INC 1 24 (3)

27 (3) 28 (3)

CPI(M) 4
IUML 1
CPI 2
KC(M) 1
Madhya Pradesh 11 BJP 8 BJP 8 INC 3 24 (5)

26 (3) 28 (3)

Maharashtra 19 BJP 8 BJP 8 INC 3 24 (6)

26 (7) 28 (6)

RPI(A) 1 NCP(SP) 3
NCP 1 SS(UBT) 3
Manipur 1 BJP 1 BJP 1 26 (1)
Meghalaya 1 NPEP 1 NPP 1 26 (1)
Mizoram 1 MNF 1 MNF 1 26 (1)
Nagaland 1 BJP 1 BJP 1 28 (1)
Odisha 10 BJD 9 BJP 1 BJD 9 24 (3)

26 (4) 28 (3)

Puducherry 1 BJP 1 BJP 1 27 (1)
Punjab 7 AAP 7 AAP 7 28 (7)
Rajasthan 10 INC 6 BJP 4 INC 6 24 (3)

26 (3) 28 (4)

Sikkim 1 BJP 1 BJP 1 30 (1)
Tamil Nadu 18 DMK 10 IND 1 DMK 10 AIADMK 3 25 (6)

26 (6) 28 (6)

PMK 1 MDMK 1 TMC(M) 1
INC 1
Telangana 7 BRS 7 BRS 7 24 (3)

26 (2) 28 (2)

Tripura 1 BJP 1 BJP 1 28 (1)
Uttar Pradesh 31 BJP 25 BJP 25 SP 3 BSP 1 24 (10)

26 (10) 28 (11)

RLD 1
IND 1
Uttarakhand 3 BJP 3 BJP 3 24 (1)

26 (1) 28 (1)

West Bengal 16 TMC 13 BJP 2 INC 0 24 (5)

26 (5) 29 (6)

AITC 13
CPI(M) 1
Presidential nominees 10 BJP 5 NOM 5 2 24(4)

26(1) 28(5)

Total 245 BJP 95 116 92 Others Vac. 24 (69)

25 (08) 26 (73) 27 (04) 28 (75) 29 (10)

33
116 92 33 6

Officers

Leader of the House

Besides the chairman (vice-president of India) and the deputy chairman, there is also a position called leader of the House. This is a cabinet minister – the prime minister if they are a member of the House or another nominated minister. The leader has a seat next to the chairman, in the front row.

Leader of the Opposition

Besides the leader of the House, who is the government's chief representative in the House, there is also a leader of the opposition (LOP) – leading the opposition 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 non-government party and is recognized as such by the chairman.

Secretariat

The Secretariat of the Rajya Sabha was set up under 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.[16]

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); (ii) providing amenities as admissible to Members of Rajya Sabha; (iii) servicing the various Parliamentary Committees; (iv) preparing research and reference material and bringing out various publications; (v) recruitment of manpower in the Sabha Secretariat and attending to personnel matters; and (vi) 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.[16]

In the discharge of their constitutional and statutory responsibilities, the chairman of the 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. The present secretary-general is Pramod Chandra Mody.[17][18] In the winter 2019 session, uniforms of Rajya Sabha marshals were restyled from traditional Indian attire comprising turbans to dark navy blue and olive green military-style outfits with caps.[19][20]

Media

Sansad TV (STV) is a 24-hour parliamentary television channel owned and operated jointly by both houses of Indian Parliament. The channel aims to provide in-depth coverage and analysis of parliamentary affairs, especially its functioning and policy development. During sessions, Sansad TV provides live coverage and presents an analysis of the proceedings of the house as well as other day-to-day parliamentary events and developments.

Earlier both houses of parliament had their own channels named Rajya Sabha TV and Lok Sabha TV Respectively.[21]

See also

References

  1. ^ Centre, National Informatics. "Digital Sansad". Digital Sansad. Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  2. ^ "Rajya Sabha Introduction". rajyasabha.gov.in. Archived from the original on 15 August 2020. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  3. ^ Deshmukh, Yashwant (11 June 2016). "Crucial polls today: A guide to calculus of Rajya Sabha for dummies". Firstpost. Archived from the original on 19 June 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  4. ^ "OUR PARLIAMENT". Indian Parliament. Archived from the original on 17 May 2011. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  5. ^ "Rajya Sabha MPs can now speak in 22 Indian languages in House". The Times of India. 18 July 2018. Archived from the original on 8 October 2018. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  6. ^ "SansadTV Live". SansadTV. Archived from the original on 24 June 2023. Retrieved 24 June 2023.
  7. ^ "Council of States (Rajya Sabha) – rajyasabha.in". Archived from the original on 18 June 2012.
  8. ^ Sinha, Yashita (26 March 2023). "What is the eligibility criteria for an MP?- Know about their responsibilities and disqualification grounds". Jagran Josh. Jagran Prakashan. Archived from the original on 27 November 2023. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
  9. ^ "Handbook for Returning Officers – for Elections to the Council of States and State Legislative Councils" (PDF). Election Commission of India. 1992. pp. 400–426. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 January 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  10. ^ "Website of the Rajya Sabha – Legislation". Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  11. ^ Khan, Khadija (4 August 2023). "Money Bills vs Finance Bills: What are the differences, what the court has ruled". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 27 November 2023. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
  12. ^ "SUMMONING AND PROROGATION OF BOTH HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT AND DISSOLUTION OF LOK SABHA" (PDF). Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
  13. ^ "Frequently asked questions about Rajya Sabha". Indian Parliament. Archived from the original on 11 December 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  14. ^ a b c "Composition of Rajya Sabha – Rajya Sabha At Work" (PDF). rajyasabha.nic.in. Rajya Sabha Secretariat, New Delhi. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  15. ^ "Rajya Sabha members allotted to Telangana, Andhra Pradesh". The Economic Times. 30 May 2014. Archived from the original on 9 February 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  16. ^ a b "Secretariat Introduction" (PDF). Digital Sansad. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 October 2023. Retrieved 3 October 2023.
  17. ^ "Secretary-General, Rajya Sabha". Archived from the original on 11 August 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  18. ^ "Ex-CBDT chief P.C. Mody made Rajya Sabha Secretary General". The Hindu. 12 November 2021. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 6 March 2022. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  19. ^ Harwant Singh (retd), Lt Gen. "Curb rampant copying of military uniform". The Tribune. Archived from the original on 26 December 2019. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  20. ^ Service, Tribune News. "Naidu orders review of new military-style uniform of marshals". The Tribune. Archived from the original on 26 December 2019. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  21. ^ "About Rajya Sabha TV". Rajya Sabha. Archived from the original on 9 February 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2014.

Further reading

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Rajya Sabha
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