Rajya Sabha Background
The Montague-Chelmsford Report from 1918 served as the impetus for the creation of the second Chamber. As a second chamber of the previous legislature with a limited vote, the Government of India Act, 1919 called for the establishment of a “Council of State,” which was actually established in 1921.
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Rajya Sabha Composition
Composition/Strength According to Article 80 of the Constitution, the Rajya Sabha can have a maximum of 250 members, of which 12 are chosen by the President and 238 are elected by the States and the two Union Territories. The members proposed by the President are individuals with unique expertise or relevant experience in fields including literature, science, art, and social service.
Allocation of Seats The Constitution’s Fourth Schedule outlines how seats in the Rajya Sabha would be distributed among the States and Union Territories.
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Rajya Sabha and Eligibility for Becoming Members
The Constitution’s Article 84 outlines the requirements for membership in Parliament. To be eligible for Rajya Sabha membership, a person must meet the following requirements
He must be an Indian citizen, swear or affirm before a person the Election Commission has authorized in this regard, and do so in the manner described in the Third Schedule to the Constitution. He also needs to be at least 30 years old and meet any additional requirements imposed in this regard by or pursuant to any law passed by Parliament.
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Process for Election of a Member of Rajya Sabha
The Rajya Sabha is elected through an indirect election process for the representatives of the States and Union Territories. According to the proportional representation system, using a single transferable vote, the elected members of the Legislative Assembly of each State and two of the Union territories elect the representatives for those States and those Union Territories.
The elected members of the Delhi Legislative Assembly make up the Electoral College for the National Capital Territory of Delhi, and the elected members of the Puducherry Legislative Assembly make up the electoral college for Puducherry.
Obtaining the necessary number of votes is necessary for a contender to obtain a Rajya Sabha seat. The formula listed below is used to determine that number. A required vote is equal to the sum of the votes cast divided by the number of Rajya Sabha seats plus one.
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Role of Rajya Sabha
As a Revising Chamber
Rajya Sabha performs a special duty as a reviewing chamber. Its responsibility as a Second Chamber is to ensure that hurriedly crafted legislation receives a second, deliberate review. If the Bills that the Rajya Sabha changed were examined, it would become clear that the Rajya Sabha had made suggestions for changes to the Bills passed by the Lok Sabha in a number of cases, and those recommendations had eventually been implemented.
Federal politics in India’s safety valve
In order to provide the federal divisions representation, a federal constitution must be bicameral. While there are frequently checks and balances between the executive branch, legislative branch, and judicial branch, the Council of States acts as a safety valve inside the legislative itself to reduce federal tensions. Rajya Sabha is thus a crucial component of the constitutional checks and balances system, along with the well-known instances of responsible management and judicial scrutiny.
A Deliberative Body
Because Parliament is more than merely a legislative body, the members have the chance to discuss important issues of public interest. The role of the Upper House is to be a deliberative body in order to counteract the “fickleness and passion” of the Lok Sabha.
Taking Care of the Vulnerable Groups
Women, religious, ethnic, and linguistic minorities are not adequately represented in the Lok Sabha (due to first past the post-election system). As a result, people would have the chance to take part in the legislative process of the nation by indirectly electing representatives to the Rajya Sabha. Rajya Sabha can therefore accept members who would not be able to win a public mandate..
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Rajya Sabha Special Powers of Rajya Sabha
The Rajya Sabha is granted several specific powers by the Constitution to carry out its federal purpose since it represents States and Union territories in Parliament, in addition to the coordination powers it shares with the Lok Sabha. Such unique powers support its position as an Upper House in comparison to the Lok Sabha.
It can start central intervention in the state legislative arena because it is a federal chamber. According to Article 249 of the Constitution, the Rajya Sabha may pass a resolution stating that it is necessary or expedient in the national interest for Parliament to make laws with regard to any issue listed in the State List by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the Members present and voting.
If such a resolution is approved, Parliament will be given the power to pass legislation covering the resolution’s designated subject for all or any portion of Indian Territory. This resolution will stay in effect for the time frame, not to exceed one year, that may be defined therein, but it may be extended by additional resolutions by one year increments.
According to Article 312 of the Constitution, if the Rajya Sabha approves a resolution declaring that it is necessary or expedient in the national interest to create one or more All India Services common to the Union and the States by a vote of at least two-thirds of the members present and voting, Parliament will have the authority to enact laws establishing such services.
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Rajya Sabha Facts for UPSC
- Rajya Sabha has always contributed positively and successfully. It has been highly effective at influencing government policies and the legislative process.
- In its capacity as a federal chamber, it has strived to preserve the integrity and unity of the country and has increased public confidence in parliamentary democracy.
- All Rajya Sabha members are always encouraged to speak in their native tongues during discussions.
- The 12 members that the President has nominated bring to the house their knowledge from various sectors.
Rajya Sabha FAQs
Q) What is the number of elected members in Rajya Sabha?
Ans. The Rajya Sabha should have a maximum of 250 members, including 238 members who represent the States and Union Territories and 12 members who are president-nominated.
Q) What are the advantages of Rajya Sabha?
Ans. It serves as a restraint on rash legislation. It represents autonomous, gifted individuals. It is crucial when the Lok Sabha is dissolved.
Q) What are the duties of Rajya Sabha?
Ans. Passing laws in the Rajya Sabha is the responsibility of the legislative branch. The oversight branch is responsible for ensuring that the executive branch, or the government, carries out its responsibilities effectively. The power of the purse branch is responsible for approving and monitoring the government’s proposed revenues and expenditures.
Q) Which house is more powerful and why?
Ans. In nearly all areas, the Lok Sabha is more powerful than the Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha has more impact because of its higher numerical strength even in issues where the Constitution has given both Houses equal standing.
Q) What is the Eligibility of becoming a member of Rajya Sabha?
Ans. The Constitution’s Article 84 outlines the requirements for membership in Parliament. To be eligible for Rajya Sabha membership, a person must meet the following requirements He must be an Indian citizen, swear or affirm in front of someone the Election Commission has authorized, in the manner described in the Third Schedule to the Constitution, and be at least 30 years old. He must also meet any additional requirements established in this regard by or pursuant to any law passed by Parliament.