Parliament of India
India has a bicameral parliament made of President, Rajya Sabha (Upper House / Council of States) and Lok Sabha (Lower House / House of People). While Rajya Sabha represents states and union territories, Lok Sabha represents people of India.
Rajya Sabha is the upper house of parliament which represents the states and union territories. Its membership is fixed to maximum 250 members of which 238 are elected by the representatives of states and union territories while 12 members are nominated by President on account of their excellence in literature, science, art or social service. The present strength of the Rajya Sabha is 245, of whom 233 are representatives of the States/Union Territories and 12 are nominated by the President.
Allocation of Seats in Rajya Sabha
Allocation of seats in Rajya Sabha is listed in Fourth Schedule of the Constitution. The seats are allocated to each state mainly on the basis of its population. Due to formation of new states or reorganization of states, the seats allocated the states keeps on changing. Current allocation is shown in below table:
|Tamil Nadu||18||Jammu & Kashmir||4|
|West Bengal||16||National Capital Territory of Delhi||3|
|Andhra Pradesh||11||Arunachal Pradesh||1|
It is clear from the above table that maximum seats have been allocated to Uttar Pradesh. Further, nine states and UTs viz. Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Sikkim, Tripura have one seat each. Only two union territories viz. NCT of Delhi and Puducherry have representation in Rajya Sabha.
Elections of Rajya Sabha Members
The 233 elected members of Rajya Sabha are elected by the elected members of legislative assemblies of the states in accordance with the System of Proportional Representation by means of Single Transferable Vote. Thus election of Rajya Sabha members is an indirect election. We note here that nominated members of legislative assemblies and members of legislative councils in bicameral legislatures don’t participate in the election of Rajya Sabha members.
Rajya Sabha term
Rajya Sabha has an indefinite term and not subject to dissolution (Article 83.1). The term of an Individual Rajya Sabha member is 6 years and one third of its members retire every two years, in accordance with the rules as prescribed by the parliament of India.
Reservation of Seats for SCs, STs, OBCs, Women etc
There is no reservation of seats in Rajya Sabha.
Presiding Officers of Rajya Sabha
Vice President of India is the ex-officio chairman of Rajya Sabha. Rajya Sabha members also choose a Member of the Rajya Sabha as the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha.
Lok Sabha is the lower house of the parliament which represents people. Article 81 deals with the Composition of the Lok Sabha. The maximum strength of Lok Sabha is 552 members of which 530 are elected from states, 20 are elected from Union Territories and 2 are nominated by President from Anglo-Indian community if the president thinks that the community is not adequately represented in the house.
The parliament by law can change the strength of the Lok Sabha. For example, when the first General elections were held in 1951-52, the strength of the Lok Sabha at that time was 489. Currently, constitution has placed a bar for such changes until relevant figures are published of first census taken after the year 2026.
Elected Members of Lok Sabha from States
The total seats for elected members of Lok Sabha are distributed among the states in such way that ratio between the number of seats allotted to each State and the population of the State is, so far as practicable, the same for all States. Further, each State is divided into territorial constituencies in such manner that the ratio between the population of each constituency and the number of seats allotted to it is, so far as practicable, the same throughout the State.
Elected Members of Lok Sabha from Union Territories
Originally, the Constitution had left to the parliament to decide by law how representatives of people from Union territories will be elected. Parliament enacted the Union Territories (Direct Election to the House of the People) Act, 1965, by which the members of Lok Sabha from the union territories are also chosen by
direct election. Thus, as far as election of members of Lok Sabha is concerned, there is no difference between states and union territories.
Nominated Members of Lok Sabha
Representation of the Anglo-Indian Community is provided by the Constitution as per article 331 and NOT by article 81. Article 331 says that: Notwithstanding anything in article 81, the President may, if he is of opinion that the Anglo-Indian community is not adequately represented in the House of the People, nominate not more than two members of that community to the House of the People.
Each Constituency chooses 1 member. But this was not as it since beginning. Prior to 1962, there were both single – member and multi member constituencies. These multi – member constituencies used to elect more than one member. The multimember constituencies were abolished in 1962.
Election of Lok Sabha Members
Article 326 provides that the elections for Lok Sabha MPs have to be direct election on the basis of Adult suffrage. The age to be eligible for voting was 21 years originally and was reduced to 18 years by 61st amendment act 1988.
Lok Sabha Term
Lok Sabha has a fixed term of 5 years and can be dissolved by the President at any time. The original Constitution had a term of Lok Sabha as 6 years. It was changed to 5 years by Constitution 44th Amendment Act 1978. While a Proclamation of Emergency is in operation, 5 year period for Lok Sabha may be extended by Parliament by law for a period not exceeding one year at a time and not exceeding in any case beyond a period of six months after the Proclamation has ceased to operate.
Reservation in Lok Sabha
As per article 330 (1) seats are reserved in Lok Sabha for SCs and STs. Currently, 84 (15.47%) seats are reserved for SC and 47 (8.66%) seats are reserved for ST.
Presiding Officers of Lok Sabha
The speaker and deputy speakers are presiding officers of Lok Sabha who are elected by the members of that house.