1. What is the Rajya Sabha?
The Rajya Sabha, also known as the Council of States, is the upper house of the Parliament of India. It is an essential component of the bicameral system, along with the Lok Sabha (Lower House).
2. How is the Rajya Sabha constituted?
The Rajya Sabha is composed of a maximum of 250 members, out of which 238 are elected by the representatives of the States and Union territories. The President appoints the remaining 12 members known as nominated members.
3. How are members of the Rajya Sabha elected?
Members of the Rajya Sabha are elected by the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the respective states through proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote.
4. What is the term duration of Rajya Sabha members?
The term of a Rajya Sabha member is six years. However, the Council is a permanent body, and one-third of its members retire every two years.
5. How are the states and Union territories represented in the Rajya Sabha?
Each state and Union territory is allocated a certain number of seats in the Rajya Sabha based on its population. The distribution of seats is determined by the provisions of the Constitution of India.
6. How are nominated members selected for the Rajya Sabha?
The President of India nominates distinguished individuals with special knowledge or experience in various fields, including literature, science, art, and social service, to become members of the Rajya Sabha.
7. Can someone be a member of both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha simultaneously?
No, an individual cannot simultaneously be a member of both houses of Parliament, the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha. If a person is elected or appointed to both, they must choose to serve in either one within a specified period.
8. What is the role of the Rajya Sabha in the legislative process?
The Rajya Sabha plays a crucial role in the legislative process by reviewing, amending, and suggesting changes to bills passed by the Lok Sabha. It ensures that laws represent the interests of diverse states and provide checks and balances.
9. Are there any qualifications required to become a member of the Rajya Sabha?
To become a member of the Rajya Sabha, an individual must be a citizen of India, at least 30 years old, and possess qualifications prescribed by Parliament.
10. Can a member be removed from the Rajya Sabha?
Yes, a member of the Rajya Sabha can be disqualified or removed on various grounds, such as voluntarily giving up membership, going against party decisions, or engaging in unethical or unlawful activities.
11. Is there a minimum age limit for Rajya Sabha members?
Yes, a person must be at least 30 years old to be eligible for becoming a member of the Rajya Sabha.
12. How are vacancies in the Rajya Sabha filled?
Vacancies in the Rajya Sabha are filled through by-elections. If a member resigns, passes away, or is disqualified in any form, their vacant seat is filled through an electoral process conducted by the Election Commission of India.
13. Can the Rajya Sabha be dissolved?
No, the Rajya Sabha is a continuous chamber, and it is not subject to dissolution. However, one-third of its members retire every two years, ensuring a continuous process of election and replacement.
14. Is the Rajya Sabha more powerful than the Lok Sabha?
No, both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha are equally important and possess specific powers. While the Rajya Sabha represents the interests of states, the Lok Sabha represents the will of the people and has more authority in certain matters.
15. Is the Rajya Sabha involved in the selection of the President of India?
Yes, the Rajya Sabha, along with the Lok Sabha, plays a crucial role in the election of the President of India. Members from both houses, as well as representatives from state legislative assemblies, form the Electoral College for the presidential elections.
16. What is the significance of the Rajya Sabha in the passing of bills?
The Rajya Sabha plays a crucial role in the legislative process by discussing, amending, and suggesting changes to bills proposed by the Lok Sabha. Its review ensures a more comprehensive and balanced approach towards legislation.
17. Can a state have more than one representative in the Rajya Sabha?
Yes, larger states with a larger population have more representatives in the Rajya Sabha, while smaller states have fewer representatives. This allocation is based on the democratic principle of proportional representation.
18. Is the Rajya Sabha involved in the budgetary process?
Yes, the Rajya Sabha has an active role in the budgetary process. It reviews and offers suggestions on the budget presented by the government. However, the Lok Sabha has the final say on budget-related matters.
19. Are members of the Rajya Sabha eligible for re-election?
Yes, Rajya Sabha members can be re-elected for consecutive terms if they fulfill the eligibility criteria and are re-nominated or re-elected by their respective state legislative assemblies.
20. How is the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha appointed?
The Chairman of the Rajya Sabha is elected by the members themselves. The Vice President of India serves as the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, presiding over its sessions.
21. Can a member be expelled from the Rajya Sabha?
Yes, a member can be expelled from the Rajya Sabha if they commit a serious breach of conduct or disqualify themselves based on actions that violate the principles outlined in the Constitution.
22. Does the Rajya Sabha have control over the executive branch of the government?
While the Rajya Sabha does not have direct control over the executive branch, it plays an important role in the oversight and accountability of the government. It can question and criticize the government’s policies and actions.
23. How does the Rajya Sabha ensure representation of women?
The Rajya Sabha seeks to ensure the representation of women by providing for the reservation of seats for women in the house. As per the Constitution, a certain proportion of seats are reserved for women members.
24. Can the Rajya Sabha pass a vote of no-confidence against the government?
No, the Rajya Sabha does not have the power to move a vote of no-confidence against the government. This power lies exclusively with the Lok Sabha, the Lower House of Parliament.
25. How many sessions does the Rajya Sabha hold in a year?
The Rajya Sabha holds three sessions in a year: the Budget Session, the Monsoon Session, and the Winter Session. Each session has a specific duration and focuses on different legislative matters.