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The Rajya Sabha,
constitutionally A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...
the Council of States (informally known as the House of Elders) is the upper house of the
bicameral Bicameralism is a type of legislature A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interac ...
Parliament of India The Parliament of India ( IAST: ) 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 (Council of States) and the Lok Sabha Th ...
. it has a maximum membership of 245, of which 233 are elected by the legislatures of the states and union territories using
single transferable vote Single transferable vote (STV) is a type of ranked preferential electoral system An electoral system or voting system is a set of rules that determine how elections and referendums are conducted and how their results are determined. Poli ...
s through Open Ballot while the
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...
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 The Constitution of India ( IAST: ) is the supreme law of India. The document lays down the framework that demarcates fundamental political code, structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions and sets out fundamental ri ...

Indian Constitution
. Members sit for staggered terms lasting six years, 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 The Lok Sabha, wikisource:Constitution_of_India/Part_V#Article_93, constitutionally the House of the People, is the lower house of India's Bicameralism, bicameral Parliament of India, Parliament, with the upper house being the Rajya Sabha. M ...

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 Supply may refer to: *The amount of a resource Resource refers to all the materials available in our environment which help us to satisfy our needs and wants. Resources can broadly be classified upon their availability — they are classified int ...
, where the latter has overriding powers. In the case of conflicting legislation, a
joint sitting A joint session or joint convention is, most broadly, when two normally separate Decision making, decision-making groups meet together, often in a special session or other extraordinary meeting, for a specific purpose. Most often it refers to when ...
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 The vice president of India (IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation of Brahmic family, Indic scripts as employed by Sanskrit and related Indic lan ...
(currently,
Venkaiah Naidu Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu (born 1 July 1949) is an Indian politician serving as the 13th and current vice president of India since 2017. Previously, he served as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, minister of Housing and Urb ...

Venkaiah Naidu
) is the ''
ex-officio An ''ex officio'' member is a member of a body (notably a board, committee, council) who is part of it by virtue of holding another office. The term ''List of Latin phrases (E)#ex officio, ex officio'' is Latin, meaning literally 'from the office' ...
'' Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, who presides over its sessions. The
Deputy Chairman The chairperson (also chair, chairman, or chairwoman) is the presiding officer of an organized group such as a Board of directors, board, committee, or deliberative assembly. The person holding the office, who is typically elected or appointed by ...
, 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 New Delhi (, ''Naī Dillī'') is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majusc ...

New Delhi
. Since 18 July 2018, the Rajya Sabha has facility for simultaneous interpretation in all the 22 scheduled languages of India.


Qualifications

Article 84 of the Constitution lays down the qualifications for membership of Parliament. A member of the Rajya Sabha must: * Be a citizen of India. * Make and subscribe before some person authorized in that behalf by the
Election Commission An election commission is a body charged with overseeing the implementation of electioneering process of any country. The formal names of election commissions vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and may be styled an electoral commission, a ce ...
an oath or affirmation according to the form set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule to the Constitution. * Be at least 30 years old. (article 84 constitution of India) * Be elected by the
Legislative Assembly Legislative assembly is the name given in some countries to either a legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. ...
of States and Union territories by means of
single transferable vote Single transferable vote (STV) is a type of ranked preferential electoral system An electoral system or voting system is a set of rules that determine how elections and referendums are conducted and how their results are determined. Poli ...
through
proportional representation#REDIRECT Proportional representation Proportional representation (PR) characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. The concept applies mainly to geographical, and to ideolog ...

proportional representation
. * Not be a proclaimed criminal. * Not be a subject of insolvent, i.e. he/she should not be in debt that he/she is not capable of repaying in a current manner and should have the ability to meet his/her financial expenses. * Not hold any other office of profit under the Government of India. * Not be of unsound mind. * Possess such other qualifications as may be prescribed in that behalf by or under any law made by Parliament. In addition, twelve members are nominated by the
President of India The president of India (IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scienc ...
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 Rajya Sabha, 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 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 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.


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 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 the 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 the last 71 years, for passage of a specific legislative act, the latest time being in 2002: * 1961: ''Dowry Prohibition Act, 1958'' * 1978: ''Banking Services Commission (Repeal) Act, 1977'' * 2002: ''Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002''


No-confidence motion

Unlike the Lok Sabha, a member of the Rajya Sabha cannot bring to the house a
no-confidence motion A motion of no confidence, vote of no confidence, or no confidence motion, sometimes in the reverse as a motion of confidence or vote of confidence, is a statement or vote about whether a person in a position of responsibility (government, manager ...
against the government.


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.


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 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 Rajya Sabha, that means, majority of states of the Union want that to happen. 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 Government of India to create more All-India Services common to both the Union and the States.


Membership by party

Members of Rajya Sabha by their political party ():


Composition

Seats are allotted in degressive proportion to the population of each state or
union territory #REDIRECT Union territory#REDIRECT Union territory A union territory ( hi, script=latn, kendraśāsit pradeś, , centrally administered province) is a type of administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , ...
, meaning that smaller states have a slight advantage over more populous states. 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 Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a union territory of India consisting of 572 islands, of which 38 are inhabited, at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. The territory is about north of Aceh in Indonesia and separated from Thai ...

Andaman and Nicobar Islands
,
Chandigarh Chandigarh (; ) is a city, district A district is a type of that, in some countries, is managed by the . Across the world, areas known as "districts" vary greatly in size, spanning s or , several , subdivisions of municipalities, , or . ...

Chandigarh
,
Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu is a union territory A union territory ( hi, script=latn, kendraśāsit pradeś, , centrally administered province) is a type of administrative division Administrative division, administrative unit ...

Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu
,
Ladakh Ladakh () is a region administered by India as a union territory, and constitutes a part of the larger Kashmir region, which has been the subject of dispute between India, Pakistan, and China since 1947. (subscription required) Quote: "Jammu ...

Ladakh
&
Lakshadweep Lakshadweep (), also known as Laccadives (), is a union territory #REDIRECT Union territory#REDIRECT Union territory A union territory ( hi, script=latn, kendraśāsit pradeś, , centrally administered province) is a type of administrative d ...

Lakshadweep
do not send any representatives. 12 members are nominated by the
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...
. 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 sanctioned strength of 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. 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.


List of members by State/Union Territory


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 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. 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,
IASIAS may refer to: Science * Institute for Advanced Study The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), located in Princeton, New Jersey, in the United States, is an independent postdoctoral research center for theoretical research and intellectua ...
. 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.


Media

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 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. Now both are being run by same channel.


See also

*
Parliament of India The Parliament of India ( IAST: ) 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 (Council of States) and the Lok Sabha Th ...
*
Lok Sabha The Lok Sabha, wikisource:Constitution_of_India/Part_V#Article_93, constitutionally the House of the People, is the lower house of India's Bicameralism, bicameral Parliament of India, Parliament, with the upper house being the Rajya Sabha. M ...

Lok Sabha
*
List of current members of the Rajya Sabha The Rajya Sabha The Rajya Sabha or Council of States is the upper house of the bicameral Parliament of India The Parliament of India ( IAST: ) is the supreme legislative body of the Republic of India. It is a bicameral legislat ...
* State legislative councils of India


References


Further reading


The Nominated Members of India's Council of States: A Study of Role-Definition
J. H. Proctor, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Vol. 10, No. 1, Feb 1985, pp. 53–70. *


External links


Rajya Sabha homepage hosted by the Indian government

Rajya Sabha FAQ page hosted by the Indian government

Nominated members list

State wise list

Rajya Sabha Television

MEMBERS OF RAJYA SABHA (STATE WISE LIST) TN
{{Authority control Parliament of India
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...