Composition of Parliament

Introduction

  • The Parliament of India is the supreme legislative body, responsible for making laws, controlling finances, and scrutinizing the executive branch of government.
  • It is a bicameral legislature, comprising two houses: the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) and the Lok Sabha (House of the People).

1. Rajya Sabha (Council of States)

  • Composition:

    • Upper house of Parliament.
    • Maximum strength: 250 members, of which 238 are elected by the members of State Legislative Assemblies and by the members of Electoral Colleges for Union Territories using a single transferable vote system.
    • 12 members are nominated by the President for their contributions to art, literature, science, and social services.
  • Representation and Terms:

    • Represents the states and Union territories.
    • Members serve a term of six years, with one-third of the members retiring every two years.
  • Functions:

    • Represents states' interests, reviews and suggests amendments to bills, and examines issues of national importance.

2. Lok Sabha (House of the People)

  • Composition:

    • Lower house of Parliament.
    • Maximum strength: 552 members, of which 530 members are directly elected by the people of India, two members are appointed by the President to represent the Anglo-Indian community, and up to 20 members can be nominated by the President from the fields of arts, sciences, literature, and social services.
  • Representation and Terms:

    • Represents the people of India.
    • Members serve a term of five years, unless dissolved earlier.
  • Functions:

    • Enacts laws, controls finances, and scrutinizes the executive branch of government.

Key Roles and Functions

1. Lawmaking

  • Bills and Legislation:
    • Both houses have the power to propose, discuss, and pass bills that become laws after receiving Presidential assent.

2. Budget Approval and Finance Control

  • Annual Budget:
    • The Lok Sabha plays a critical role in the passage of the annual budget, which includes revenue and expenditure plans for the country.

3. Executive Oversight

  • Question Hour and Debates:
    • Both houses hold sessions where Members of Parliament can question the government and engage in debates, holding the executive accountable.

4. Representation

  • Representing the People and States:
    • Parliament provides a platform for elected representatives to voice the concerns and aspirations of their constituents.