Desh Deepak Verma, IAS
since 1 September 2017
|Seats||245 (233 Elected + 12 Nominated)|
| Government (115)|
|233 members by single transferable vote by state legislatures, 12 appointed by the President|
|Rajya Sabha chamber, Sansad Bhavan,|
Sansad Marg, New Delhi, India - 110 001
|Constitution of India|
|The Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) (English)|
|^† Includes 9 nominated members taking the BJP whip.|
The Rajya Sabha or Council of States is the upper house of the bicameral Parliament of India. As of 2021 [update] it has a maximum membership of 245, of which 233 are elected by the legislatures of the states and union territories using single transferable votes through Open Ballot while the President can appoint 12 members for their contributions to art, literature, science, and social services. The potential seating capacity of the Rajya Sabha is 250 (238 elected, 12 appointed), according to article 80 of the Indian Constitution. Members sit for staggered terms lasting six years, with elections every year with about a third of the 233 designates up for election every two years, in even-numbered years. The Rajya Sabha meets in continuous sessions, and unlike the Lok Sabha, being the lower house of the Parliament, the Rajya Sabha, which is the upper house of Parliament, is not subjected 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 greater influence because of its larger membership. The Vice President of India (currently, Venkaiah Naidu) 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.
The Rajya Sabha meets in the eponymous chamber in Parliament House in New Delhi. Since 18 July 2018, the Rajya Sabha has facility for simultaneous interpretation in all the 22 scheduled languages of India.
Article 84 of the Constitution lays down the qualifications for membership of Parliament. A member of the Rajya Sabha must:
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.
The Constitution of India places some restrictions on Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha (The lower house, House of People) is more powerful in certain areas.
The definition of a money bill is given in article 110 of constitution of India. A money bill can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha by a minister and only on recommendation of President of India. When the Lok Sabha passes a money bill then the Lok Sabha sends money bill to the Rajya Sabha for 14 days during which it can make recommendations. Even if Rajya Sabha fails to return the money bill in 14 days to the Lok Sabha, that bill is deemed to have passed by both the 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 of India in the form the Lok Sabha finally passes it. Hence, Rajya Sabha can only give recommendations for a money bill but Rajya Sabha cannot amend a money bill. This is to ensure that Rajya Sabha must not add any non money matters in money bill. There is no joint sitting of both the houses with respect to money bills, because all final decisions are taken by the Lok Sabha.
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 to the amendments proposed by the Lok Sabha on a bill passed by it. Considering that the numerical strength of Lok Sabha is more than twice that of Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha tends to have a greater influence in a joint sitting of Parliament. A joint session is chaired by the Speaker of Lok Sabha. Also, because the joint session is convened by the President on advice of the government, which already has a majority in Lok Sabha, the joint session is usually convened to get bills passed through a Rajya Sabha in which the government has a minority.
Joint sessions of Parliament are a rarity, and have been convened three times in last 71 years, for the purpose of passage of a specific legislative act, the latest time being in 2002:
Unlike the Lok Sabha, a member of the Rajya Sabha cannot bring to the house a no-confidence motion against the government.
In the Indian federal structure, the Rajya Sabha is a representative of the States 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.
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 Rajya Sabha.
The Union government reserves power to make laws directly affecting the citizens across all the states whereas, a single State in itself reserves power to make rules and governing laws of their region. If any bill passes through Rajya Sabha, that means, majority of states of the Union want that to happen. Rajya Sabha therefore, plays a vital role protecting the states' culture and interest.
The Rajya Sabha, by a two-thirds supermajority can pass a resolution empowering the Government of India to create more All-India Services common to both the Union and the States.
Members of Rajya Sabha by their political party (as of 24 July 2021 [update] ):
|Alliance||Party||No.of MPs||Leader of the Party|
| National Democratic Alliance |
|TMC(M)||1||G. K. Vasan|
United Progressive Alliance
|TRS||7||K. Keshava Rao|
|YSRCP||6||V. Vijayasai Reddy|
|SP||5||Ram Gopal Yadav|
|NPF||1||K. G. Kenye|
Seats are allotted in degressive proportion to the population of each state or union territory, meaning that smaller states have a slight advantage over more populous states. : 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 & Lakshadweep do not send any representatives. 12 members are nominated by the President.Certain states even have more representatives than states more populous than them, because in past they too had high population
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.The present strength, however, is 245 members of whom 233 are representatives of the states and union territories and 12 are nominated by the President. 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.
|State and Union Territory||Seats|
|Jammu and Kashmir||4|
|NCT Of Delhi||3|
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 he is a member of the House, or another nominated Minister. The Leader has a seat next to the Chairman, in the front row.
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.
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); (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.
In the discharge of his 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. Present secretary-general is Desh Deepak Verma, IAS.In 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.
Rajya Sabha Television (RSTV) is a 24-hour a day continuous parliamentary TV channel owned and operated by the body. The channel aims to provide in-depth coverage and analysis of parliamentary affairs especially its functioning and policy development. During sessions, RSTV provides live coverage and presents analysis of the proceedings of the House as well as other day-to-day parliamentary events and developments.
The Lok Sabha, or House of the People, is the lower house of India's bicameral Parliament, with the upper house being the Rajya Sabha. Members of the Lok Sabha are elected by an adult universal suffrage and a first-past-the-post system to represent their respective constituencies, and they hold their seats for five years or until the body is dissolved by the President on the advice of the council of ministers. The house meets in the Lok Sabha Chambers of the Sansad Bhavan, New Delhi.
The Parliament of India is the supreme legislative body of the Republic of India. It is a bicameral legislature composed of the President of India and the two houses: the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha. 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 Union Council of Ministers.
The Government of India, often abbreviated as GoI, and also referred to as the Central Government or Union Government or simply the Centre, is the Union government created by the Constitution of India as the legislative, executive and judicial authority to govern the union of twenty eight states and eight union territories. The seat of the government is located in New Delhi, the capital of India.
The Vice President of India, officially the Vice President of the Republic of India, is the second-highest constitutional office in India after the President. Article 63 of Indian Constitution states that "There shall be a Vice President of India." The Vice President acts as President in the absence of the president due to death, resignation, impeachment, or other situations.
India has a parliamentary system as defined by its constitution, with power distributed between the central government and the states.
The Speaker of the Lok Sabha is the presiding officer and the highest authority of the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament of India. The speaker is elected generally in the first meeting of the Lok Sabha following general elections. Serving for a term of five years, the speaker chosen from sitting members of the Lok Sabha,
A Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) is a representative elected by the voters of an electoral district (constituency) to the legislature of State government in the Indian system of government. From each constituency, the people elect one representative who then becomes a member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). Each state has between seven and nine MLAs for every Member of Parliament (MP) that it has in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of India's bicameral parliament. There are also members in three unicameral legislatures in Union Territories: the Delhi Legislative Assembly, Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly Puducherry Legislative Assembly. Only a Member of the Legislative Assembly can work as a minister for more than 6 months. If a non Member of the Legislative Assembly becomes a Chief Minister or a minister, he must become an MLA within 6 months to continue in job. Only a Member of the Legislative Assembly can become Speaker of the Legislature.
This is a brief description of the lawmaking procedure in India.
A joint session or joint convention is, most broadly, when two normally separate decision-making groups meet together, often in a special session or other extraordinary meeting, for a specific purpose.
The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs is an Indian government ministry.
The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, commonly known as The Lokpal Act, is an anti-corruption Act of Indian Parliament in India which "seeks to provide for the establishment of the institution of Lokpal to inquire into allegations of corruption against certain important public functionaries including the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers, members of parliament, Group A officials of the Central Government and for matters connecting them".
The Eleventh Amendment of the Constitution of India, officially known as The Constitution Act, 1961, provided that the Vice-President shall be elected by the members of an electoral college consisting of the members of both Houses of Parliament, thereby dispensing with the earlier requirement of a joint meeting of members of both Houses of Parliament assembled for the said purpose. The 11th Amendment inserted a new clause (4) in article 71 of the Constitution to clarify that the election of President or Vice-President cannot be challenged on the ground of the existence of any vacancy for whatever reason in the appropriate electoral college.
The Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of India, officially known as The Constitution Act, 1962, incorporated Pondicherry as the ninth Union territory of India, and also gave Parliament the authority to create by law, Legislatures and Councils of Ministers for the Union territories of Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Goa, Daman and Diu and Puducherry.
The Forty-first Amendment of the Constitution of India, officially known as The Constitution Act, 1976, changed the age of retirement of the Chairman and members of the State Public Service Commissions from 60 to 62 years, by amending article 316(2) of the Constitution.
The Parliament of India is bicameral. Concurrence of both houses are required to pass any bill. However, the framers of the Constitution of India anticipated situations of deadlock between the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha. Therefore, the Constitution of India provides for Joint sittings of both the Houses to break the deadlock.
A Member of Parliament in Lok Sabha is the representative of the Indian people in the Lok Sabha; the lower house of the Parliament of India. Members of parliament of Lok Sabha are chosen by direct elections on the basis of the adult suffrage. Parliament of India is bicameral with two houses; Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha. The maximum permitted strength of members of parliament in the Lok Sabha is 550. This includes maximum 530 members to represent the constituencies and states and up to 20 members to represent the union territories. Between 1952 and 2020, two seats were reserved for members of the Anglo-Indian community. The current elected strength of the Lok Sabha is 543. The party—or coalition of parties—having a majority in the Lok Sabha chooses the Prime Minister of India.
The Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha is an elected Member of Rajya Sabha who leads the official opposition in the Upper House of the Parliament of India. The Leader of the opposition is the parliamentary chairperson of the party with the most seats after the government party.