The Parliament of India is the supreme legislative authority in the country and it is bicameral. It is divided into two houses – the Rajya Sabha, which is the Council of States, and the Lok Sabha, which is the House of the People. The Lok Sabha is referred to as the Lower house and the Rajya Sabha is referred to as the Upper house. The members of the Parliament are either elected by the people of India or nominated by the President of India.
The Legislature or Parliament is headed by the President of India. The term of Rajya Sabha is six years (one-third of its members retire every two years and are replaced by newly elected members) and the term of Lok Sabha is five years. The Lok Sabha can be dissolved. In Rajya Sabha, 238 members are elected by the State and 12 members are nominated by the President for their contribution in the fields of art, literature, science and social services. In Lok Sabha, 543 members are elected by the voting population of India and two Anglo Indians are elected by the President of India. The Speaker, who is the Presiding Officer of the Lok Sabha, is elected by its members. The Vice President of India, who is the ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha, is elected by the members of an electoral college consisting of the members of both the Houses of Parliament.
Structure and Facts
The Parliament of India or the legislature is divided into two houses namely the upper and the lower house or two sabhas namely the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha. The Lok Sabha is also called the Lower house and the Rajya Sabha can be addressed as the Upper house .
The Lok Sabha, also known as the Lower House, is the “House of the People”. It comprises 543 members who are elected from the (parliamentary) constituencies and two members of Anglo-Indian community who are nominated by the President of India. The citizens of India directly elect the 543 members exercising the universal adult franchise. All the Indian citizens, who are aged 18 years and above, irrespective of their gender, caste, religion or race, are eligible to vote to elect their representatives to the Parliament. The requirement for being elected in the Lok Sabha is that the person must be a citizen of India, should be mentally sound and should not be bankrupt and criminally convicted. The minimum age for membership of the Lok Sabha is 25 years. Out of the 543 parliamentary constituencies, 131 seats belong to the reserved category, 84 seats are reserved for the people belonging to Scheduled Casts (SC) and 47 seats are reserved for Scheduled Tribes (ST) categories.
The Rajya Sabha or the Upper House is the “Council of States”. The Rajya Sabha is a permanent body and can’t be dissolved. One-third of the members retire every second year and newly elected members replace them. The members of the Rajya Sabha are indirectly elected by the members of the various state legislative assemblies for a fixed term of six years. The Rajya Sabha can have a maximum of 250 members in all. Out of those, 238 members are to be elected from the States and Union Territories and 12 are nominated by the President of India. The minimum age for membership of the Rajya Sabha is 30 years.
Top 10 Facts about the Indian Parliament
- The Parliament of India is circular which represents “Continuity”
- Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are horse shoe in shape.
- Lok Sabha carpet is green in color which represents that India is an Agriculture land and the people here are elected from grass root level, Rajya Sabha carpet is red in color which denotes royalty and also tells about the sacrifice done by the freedom fighters.
- The library in the Indian Parliament is the second largest in India.
- Circumference of Parliament is 1/3rd of a mile i.e. 536.33m
- The first hour (i.e. between 11 to 12 noon) is known as the Question Hour. During this MPs put forward questions about the policies, government and different bills.
- Around 12 noon MPs can discuss any important topic with prior notice to the Speaker. This is known as Zero Hour.
- President’s office is in Room number 13 of Parliament ( 13 no. is not so unlucky in this case).
- Parliament canteen is the cheapest in the country with 3 course veg meal in 61 Rs and Chicken Biryani for Rs. 51 (Highest amount in the list)
- Voting in Parliament is done electronically for the questions asked, amendments, new bills etc. There is a voting console, a system with colored buttons, green for a Yes, Red for No and Yellow for abstain.