Rajya Sabha

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Rajya Sabha

Rajyasabha.svg
Type
Type
Term limits
6 years
Leadership
Harivansh Narayan Singh
since 9 August 2018
Pramod Chandra Mody
since 12 November 2021
Piyush Goyal
(Union Cabinet Ministers), BJP
since 14 July 2021
Vacant, BJP
since 6 July 2022
TBD, INC
since 1 October 2022
Structure
Seats245 (233 Elected + 12 Nominated)
Rajya Sabha Updated July 2022.svg
Political groups
Government
NDA (112)
  •   BJP (94)
  •   AIADMK (4)
  •   AGP (1)
  •   MNF (1)
  •   UPPL (1)
  •   NPP (1)
  •   PMK (1)
  •   RPI(A) (1)
  •   TMC(M) (1)
  •   IND (1)
  •   NOM (6)

Opposition
UPA (64)

Others (65)

Vacant (4)

  •   Vacant (4)
Elections
233 members by single transferable vote by state legislatures, 12 appointed by the President
Last election
June 2022
Next election
June 2023
Meeting place
New Delhi government block 03-2016 img3.jpg
Rajya Sabha chamber, Sansad Bhavan,
Sansad Marg, New Delhi, India - 110 001
Website
rajyasabha.nic.in
Constitution
Constitution of India
Rules
The Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) (English)

The Rajya Sabha, constitutionally the Council of States, is the upper house of the bicameral Parliament of India. As of 2021 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 ballots, 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 245 (233 elected, 12 appointed), according to article 80 of the Indian Constitution. [1] 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. [2] The Rajya Sabha meets in continuous sessions, and unlike the Lok Sabha, being the lower house of the Parliament, the Rajya Sabha 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 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. [3]

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. [4]

Qualifications

Article 84 of the Constitution lays down the qualifications for membership of Parliament. A member of the Rajya Sabha must: [5]

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 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. [7] [ non-primary source needed ]

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.

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

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 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. If any bill passes through the Rajya Sabha, that means, majority of states of the union want that to happen. The Rajya Sabha, therefore, 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 August 2022):

AlliancePartyMPsR.S Leader
NDA

(130)

BJP 94 Piyush Goyal
YSRCP 9 V. Vijayasai Reddy
BJD 9 Sasmit Patra
AIADMK 4 M. Thambidurai
AGP 1 B.P Baishya
MNF 1 K. Vanlalvena
NPP 1 W. Kharlukhi
PMK 1 A. Ramadas
RPI(A) 1 Ramdas Athawale
TMC(M) 1 G. K. Vasan
UPPL 1 Rwngwra Narzary
IND 1 Kartikeya Sharma
NOM 6NA
UPA
(64)
INC 31 M. Kharge
DMK 10 Tiruchi Siva
RJD 6 P.C. Gupta
JD(U) 5 R.N.Thakur
NCP 4 Sharad Pawar
SHS 3 Sanjay Raut
JMM 2 Shibu Soren
AGM 1 Ajit Kumar Bhuyan
IUML 1 Abdul Wahab
MDMK 1 Vaiko
Others
(47)
AITC 13 Derek O'Brien
AAP 10 Sanjay Singh
TRS 7 K. Keshava Rao
CPI(M) 5 Elamaram Kareem
SP 3 Ram Gopal Yadav
CPI 2 Binoy Viswam
BSP 1 Ramji Gautam
JD(S) 1 HD Devegowda
KC(M) 1 Jose K. Mani
RLD 1 Jayant Chaudhary
SDF 1 Hishey Lachungpa
TDP 1 K. Ravindra
IND 1 Kapil Sibal
Vacant4J&K (4)
Total245

Composition

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. [8] Certain states 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. [9] [10]

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. [10] 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. [10] 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/ UTLargest

Party

NDAUPAParties

(>1 States)

OthersVacElection

Cycle

BJPOthersINCOthersAAPCPI(M)
Andhra Pradesh [11] 1191 YSRCP 92024 (3)

2026 (4) 2028 (4)

TDP 1
Arunachal Pradesh 1112026 (1)
Assam 744 AGP 1 AGM 12025 (2)

2026 (3) 2028 (2)

UPPL 1
Bihar 16641 RJD 6
JD(U) 5
Chhattisgarh 54142024 (1)

2026 (2) 2028 (2)

Goa 1112023 (1)
Gujarat 118832023 (3)

2024 (4) 2026 (4)

Haryana 533 IND 112024 (1)

2026 (2) 2028 (2)

Himachal Pradesh 3332024 (1)

2026 (1) 2028 (1)

Jammu and Kashmir 44
Jharkhand 6331 JMM 22024 (2)

2026 (2) 2028 (2)

Karnataka 12665 JD(S) 12024 (4)

2026 (4) 2028 (4)

Kerala 941 IUML 14 CPI 22024 (3)

2027 (3) 2028 (3)

KC(M) 1
Madhya Pradesh 118832024 (5)

2026 (3) 2028 (3)

Maharashtra 1988 RPI(A) 13 NCP 4 SHS 32024 (6)

2026 (7) 2028 (6)

Manipur 1112026 (1)
Meghalaya 11 NPP 12026 (1)
Mizoram 11 MNF 12026 (1)
Nagaland 1112028 (1)
NCT Of Delhi 3332024 (3)
Odisha 1091 BJD 92024 (3)

2026 (4) 2028 (3)

Puducherry 1112027 (1)
Rajasthan 106462024 (3)

2026 (3) 2028 (4)

Punjab 7772028 (7)
Sikkim 11 SDF 12024 (1)
Tamil Nadu 1810 AIADMK 41 DMK 102025 (6)

2026 (6) 2028 (6)

PMK 1 MDMK 1
TMC(M) 1
Telangana 77 TRS 72024 (3)

2026 (2) 2028 (2)

Tripura 11By Poll 2023 (1)
Uttar Pradesh 312525 SP 32024 (10)

2026 (10) 2028 (11)

BSP 1
RLD 1
IND 1
Uttarakhand 3332024 (1)

2026 (1) 2028 (1)

West Bengal 161321 AITC 132023 (6)

2024 (5) 2026 (5)

Presidential nominees 1244 NOM 532022 (3)2024 (4)

2026 (1)

Total245 9191223118AAPCPI(M)OthersVac.2022 (07)

2023 (11)

2024 (68) 2025 (08)

2026 (73) 2027 (04)

2028 (69)

10565
NDA108UPA49Others808

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 he is 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.[ citation needed ]

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.[ citation needed ]

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. The present secretary-general is Pramod Chandra Mody. [12] [13] 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. [14] [15]

Media

Rajya Sabha TV (RSTV) is a 24-hour parliamentary television channel owned and operated by the Rajya Sabha. 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 an analysis of the proceedings of the house as well as other day-to-day parliamentary events and developments.

Now it has been merged in SansadTV along with LSTV and are being run by same channel. [16]

See also

Related Research Articles

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References

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Further reading