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Parliamentary System of India

All the members of the Council of Ministers as well as the President are members of Parliament (MPs). If they are not, they must be elected within a period of six months from the time they assume their respective office. The Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers are responsible to the Lok Sabha collectively.

The Constitution assigns the name Parliament (Sansad) to the Union Legislature. It consists of the President and two Hoses - Rajya Sabha (Council of States) and Lok Sabha (House of the People). Thus our Parliament is bicameral. The House of the People represents people on the basis of population and Council of State gives representation to the constituent states. The Rajya sabha is not exclusively the representative of the Constituent units of the Union. It also consists of 12 nominated members which by itself is a departure from the federal principle.

India is governed by a government which works according to the parliamentary system. This means the highest elected representative dont have the power to make laws directly, the government has to get approval of the parliament. The first Parliament came into existence in April 1952.

India has the houses Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha constituting the Parliament of India together with the President of India. The president can summon and prorogue either House of Parliament. He has also the powers to dissolve Lok Sabha.

Lok sabha is the body of representatives of people, which are directly elected by the people. The representatives are elected for a period of 5 years. The qualifying age is 25 for the representatives to be elected. At present there are 545 members in Lok Sabha divided in all states and union territories.

The Rajya Sabha (The Upper house) has 250 members elected by the Legislative Assemblies of the various States. Every State is allotted a certain number of members. No member of Rajya Sabha can be under 30 years of age. Twelve of Rajya Sabha members are nominated by the President from persons who have earned distinction in the fields of literature, art, science and social service. Rajya Sabha is a permanent body. One-third of its members retire every two years.

The Presiding Officer of the Lok Sabha is called The Speaker. The Speaker and his deputy are elected by the members of the Lok Sabha. The Vice-President of India presides over the Rajya Sabha.

Functions of the parliament:

To pass laws, this is the main function of the Parliament. A Bill (Draft of the law to be passed) has to be passed from both the houses before it becomes a law. Legislate over the subjects mentioned under the Union List in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India. These subjects are: Defence, Foreign Affairs, Railways, Transport and Communications, Currency and Coinage, Banking, Customs and Excise Duties. Safeguarding interests of citizens of India and exercise control over administration through resolutions, question addressed by members to Ministers and motions of adjournment.

The parliament has three sessions each year:

Budget session: February to May. Monsoon session: July to September. Winter session: November to December.

The Parliament can make laws through passing of Bills from both the houses and then it is sent to the President before it becomes a law. A Bill is the draft of a legislative proposal. Bills which exclusively contain provisions for imposition and abolition of taxes, withdrawal of money from the government funds for various purposes, etc. are certified as Money Bills. Money Bills can be introduced only in Lok Sabha. Rajya Sabha cannot make amendments in a Money Bill passed by Lok Sabha and transmitted to it.

Current Parliament formed through the Indian General elections 2009. Speaker of Lok Sabha: Meira Kumar, since 2009 Speaker of Rajya Sabha: Mohammad Hamid Ansari Meeting place: Sansad Bhawan, New Delhi