The Rajya Sabha is also known as "Council of States" or the upper house. Rajya Sabha is a permanent body and is not subject to dissolution. However, one third of the members retire every second year, and are replaced by newly elected members. Each member is elected for a term of six years. Its members are indirectly elected by members of legislative bodies of the States.
The Rajya Sabha can have a maximum of 250 members in all. Elections to it are scheduled and the chamber cannot be dissolved. Each member has a term of 6 years and elections are held for one-third of the seats after every 2 years. 238 members are to be elected from States and Union Territories and 12 are to be nominated by the President of India and shall consist of persons having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as the following, namely literature, science, art and social service. The minimum age for a person to become a member of Rajya Sabha is 30 years.
The Vice President of India is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, 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.
* Representatives of States are elected by the elected members of the Legislative Assembly of the State in accordance with system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote.
* Representatives of Union Territories are indirectly elected by members of an electoral college for that territory in accordance with system of proportional representation.
The Council of States is designed to maintain the federal character of the country. The number of members from a state depends on the population of the state (e.g. 31 from Uttar Pradesh and one from Nagaland).
For anyone to become a member of the Rajya Sabha, he/ she must be at least 30 years of age. The remaining requirements are the same as becoming a member of the Lok Sabha. Any member can be disqualified in the same manner as in the Lok Sabha.
Members are elected by the Legislative Assembly of States and Union territories by means of Single transferable vote through Proportional representation.
Disqualifications for Membership:
Under Article 102, a person shall be disqualified for being chosen as and for being a member of either House.
(i) if he is not a citizen of India or otherwise owes allegiance to a foreign State,
(ii) if he is an undercharged insolvent or one declared by a competent court to be of unsound mind,
(iii) if he holds any office of profit under the Union or a State government other than the office of Minister or any office exempted by Parliament by law, and
(iv) if he is otherwise disqualified under any law made by Parliament.
Also a person may be disqualified on grounds of defection under the 10th Schedule which was added to the Constitution by the 52nd Amendment.
In case of financial bills, if the Rajya Sabha returns the bill to Lok Sabha, opposing the bill, it is deemed to have passed. Though the Rajya Sabha can send recommendations to the Lok Sabha, it is not binding on the Lok Sabha to act on it. Also, the house cannot exercise Pocket Veto; if the house does not pass the bill within 14 days, it is again deemed to have been passed by the house.
Unlike Lok Sabha, it cannot pass motion of no confidence against the government.
The number of members of Lok Sabha is more than twice the members of Rajya Sabha. As a result, in case a non-financial bill is rejected by the Rajya Sabha, if passed by the Lok Sabha, 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.
The Council of States shall consist of -
(a) Twelve members to be nominated by the President in a accordance with the provisions of clause (3); and
(b) Not more than two hundred and thirty-eight representatives of the States and of the Union Territories. Article 80(1).
The parliament is one of the most magnificent buildings in New Delhi. It was designed by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker, who were responsible for planning and construction of New Delhi.
The construction of buildings took six years and the opening ceremony was performed on 18 January 1927 by the then Governor-General of India, Lord Irwin. The construction costs for the building were Rs. 8.3 million. The parliament is 570 feet (170 meters) in diameter. It covers an area of nearly six acres. The building has twelve gates among which Gate No. 1 on the Sansad Marg is the main gate.
Working, Procedures and Committees:
The Parliament consists of the President of Republic of India and both the Chambers. The House and the Council are equal partners in the legislative process; however, the Constitution grants the House of People some unique powers. Revenue-raising or "Money" bills must originate in the Lok Sabha. The Council of States can only make recommendations suggestions over these bills to the House, within a period of fourteen days – lapse of which the bill is assumed to have been passed by both the Chambers.
Session of Parliament:
The period during which the House meets to conduct its business is called a session. The Constitution empowers the President to summon each House at such intervals that there should not be more than 6-month's gap between the two sessions.
Hence the Parliament must meet at least twice a year. In India, the parliament conducts three sessions each year
Budget session: In the months of February to May.
Monsoon session: In the months of July to September
Winter session: In the months of November to December.