The Rajya Sabha (RS) or Council of States is the upper house of the Parliament of India. Rajya means “state” and Sabha means “assembly” in Sanskrit. Membership is limited to 250 members, 12 of whom are nominated by the President of India for their contributions to art, literature, science, and social services. The remainder of body is elected by the state and territorial legislatures. Members sit for six-year terms, with one third of the members retiring every two years.
The Rajya Sabha meets in continuous sessions and, unlike the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament, is not subject to dissolution. The Rajya Sabha has equal footing in all areas of legislation with Lok Sabha, except in the area of supply, where the Lok Sabha has overriding powers. In the case of conflicting legislation, a joint sitting of the two houses is held. However, since the Lok Sabha has twice as many members as the Rajya Sabha, the former would normally hold the greater power. Only three such joint-sessions have been held; the latest one for the passage of the 2002 Prevention of Terrorism Act.
The Chairman of the Rajya Sabha (currently, Hamid Ansari) is the ex-officio Vice President of India, who presides over its sessions. The Deputy Chairman, who is elected from amongst the RS’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 salary and other benefits for a member of Rajya Sabha are same as for a member of Lok Sabha.
For anyone to become a member of the Rajya Sabha, he/she must be at least 30 years of age. Other qualifications are same as in becoming a member of the Lok Sabha. Also, any member can be disqualified in the same manner as for members in the Lok Sabha.
However twelve members are nominated by the President of India having special knowledge in various areas like Arts, Science etc. However they are not entitled to vote in Presidential elections as per Article 55 of Indian Constitution.
- Any bill (non-financial), in general, has to be approved by Rajya Sabha even if approved by Lok Sabha.
- Equal Powers with the Lok Sabha in initiating and passing any Bill for Constitutional Amendment (by a majority of the total membership of the House and at least two-thirds majority of the members present and voting).
- Equal Powers with the Lok Sabha in initiating and passing a motion for the impeachment of the President (by two-thirds of the membership of the House).
- Equal Powers with the Lok Sabha in initiating and passing a motion for the impeachment of the judges of the Supreme Court and the state High Courts (by a majority of the membership of the House and at least two-thirds majority of the members present and voting).
- Equal Powers with the Lok Sabha in initiating and passing a resolution declaring war or national emergency (by two-thirds majority) or constitutional emergency (by simple majority) in a state.
- The house is not subject to dissolution which is a limitation for Lok Sabha.
The number of members of Lok Sabha are more than twice the members of Rajya Sabha. As a result, in case a non-financial bill is rejected by the latter, if passed by the former, then in the joint-session of the parliament, the bill is most likely to be passed. So, in general, the Lok Sabha has more power than Rajya Sabha in matters of legislation.
Seats are allotted in proportion to the population of each state or union territory. An additional 12 members are nominated by the President.
|2||Ashok Sekhar Ganguly||Nominated||17-Nov-2015|
|3||Bhalchandra Mungekar||Indian National Congress||21-Mar-2016|
|7||Mani Shankar Aiyar||Indian National Congress||21-Mar-2016|
|12||Jyoti Prakash Bera||Nominated||08-Oct-2018|
|Name of State||No. of Seats|
|Jammu & Kashmir||4|
|National Capital Territory (Delhi)||3|
Courtesy and Source : Wikipedia-