Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha

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Indian Politics revolves around the Parliament of India which is situated in the capital of the country. Indian Parliament has three vital parts namely President, Lok Sabha, and Rajya Sabha. Lok Sabha is the lower house of the Parliament while Rajya Sabha is the upper house of the Parliament. Both these houses make the functioning of the Parliament of India smoother. In this article, we explain complete details of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, their functions, and the comparisons between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

Difference Between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha

India follows a bicameral legislature in the form of Parliament. The nomenclature of the ‘Lok Sabha’ &’ ‘Rajya Sabha’ was adopted in Indian Polity in 1954. The provisions of the Indian Parliament deal with Article 79 to Article 122 of the Indian Constitution. Both parliamentary houses are different from each other in many aspects as follows.

Basis of comparison Lok Sabha Rajya Sabha
Definition It is defined as the lower house or house of people where bills are passed and laws are made for better governance of India. It is defined as the upper house of the parliament or council of states that provides protection to the rights of different states.
Constitutional Provision Article 81 deals with the composition of the House of People. Article 80 is associated with the composition of the Council of States.
Tenure Period The tenure of the Lok Sabha is 5 years normally. The Lok Sabha is dismissed after five years of time. There is no tenure period for Rajya Sabha as such because It is a permanent house of parliament. It can’t be dissolved. But after every 2 years, one-third of the Rajya Sabha members are retired from the house.
Election for Membership The members of the Lok Sabha are elected through the voting process with the involvement of the common people. The members of the Rajya Sabha are elected by the representatives of state legislative assemblies of states and union territories.
Election Principle Universal Adult Franchise is applied for the Lok Sabha election. Proportional Representation by the means of single transferable votes is applied for the Rajya Sabha election.
Strength The strength of the Lok Sabha ranges from 500 to 552. Presently, there is a total of 543 seats in the Lok Sabha. The strength of the Rajya Sabha ranges from 200 to 250. Currently, there are 245 seats in the Rajya Sabha.
Minimum Age To be an MP (Member of Parliament) of the Lok Sabha, one has to be at least 25 years of age. To be an MP (Member of Parliament) of the Rajya Sabha, one has to be at least 30 years of age.
House Representative The business of Lok Sabha is conducted by the speaker of Lok Sabha. The business of Rajya Sabha is conducted by the Vice-President as chairman of Rajya Sabha.
Role  Lok Sabha has a greater role in legislation and passing money bills as compared to the Rajya Sabha. Rajya Sabha has exclusive rights and powers to make laws on state lists and create new all-India services.

Lok Sabha

The Lok Sabha is considered the House of People in the study of Indian Polity. It plays an important role in legislating the laws in India by passing the bills here. In 2019, the seventeenth Lok Sabha general election was conducted in India. The general election of the Lok Sabha is held every five years. Its main function is to ensure that the government performs its functions transparently. It is noted here that Lok Sabha has a greater role in deciding financial matters.

Functions of Lok Sabha

The Lok Sabha has several functions to perform like legislating the laws, discussing topics of national interest, passing money bills for financial governance, and selecting its own speaker to conduct the business of the house.

1. Legislature

Lok Sabha has the right to legislate new laws of the land by passing bills through the house. The legislation includes amendments and repeal of existing laws also. In case of emergencies like extraordinary situations, if a bill is passed with a 2/3rd majority of the members of the parliamentary house, then that bill becomes law and valid for one year at a time. In case, when there is no consensus arising on the most important issue in the parliamentary houses then the joint sitting is called by the President of India under Article 108 of the Indian Constitution. In the joint sitting of Parliament, the speaker of Lok Sabha presides over the parliament and Lok Sabha acts stronger than Rajya Sabha in terms of legislating the laws.

2. Financial Matters

Money Bills are always initiated by the members of Lok Sabha. Almost all bills can be passed by Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha with equal footing but only in the case of the Money bill, Lok Sabha prevails over Rajya Sabha. If a bill is made and passed by Lok Sabha, then it is delivered to the Rajya Sabha for its consent and recommendations. The minimum time interval in which the suggestions have to be sent from Rajya Sabha to Lok Sabha is 14 days. There is no compulsion for Lok Sabha to agree with the given suggestions of Rajya Sabha.

3. Elections and Composition

Article 81 of the Indian Constitution states that the Lok Sabha shall comprise not more than 530 members from the territorial constituencies of the States of India and not more than twenty members from territorial constituencies of Union territories. The House of People also selects its speaker who conducts the business in the house.

4. Public Powers

The members of the Lok Sabha are generally elected members who have the power of debating and discussing different topics related to the public interest. The Parliamentary House’s discussions can be based on subjects like financial matters, public expenditure, etc. The parliamentary discussions and debates act as checks and balances in Indian Polity.

Rajya Sabha

The Rajya Sabha is considered the Council of States in the study of Indian Polity. It plays an important role in establishing a bicameral legislature in India. It protects the rights of the Indian states in response to the Central Legislature. The council of states is the permanent house of the parliament and it is not subjected to be dissolved in any case. Unlike the general election of Lok Sabha, the tenure period of Rajya Sabha members is six yearsEvery second year, 1/3rd of the Rajya Sabha members are retired from the house.

Functions of Rajya Sabha

  1. Rajya Sabha serves as the house of parliament that acts as the representative of different states and the union territories of India.
  2. A bill needs to be passed from both houses of parliament Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to make it a law.
  3. Rajya Sabha has the authority to maintain checks and balance the powers of Lok Sabha by reviewing and giving suggestions to the bills passed by the Lok Sabha.
  4. The members of the Rajya Sabha are elected by representatives or elected members of the legislative assembly/ Vidhan Sabha of several states.
  5. Rajya Sabha has exclusive power to empower the parliament to make laws on the items related to the state list under Article 249 of the Indian Constitution. For this, the resolution has to be adopted by the 2/3rd majority.
  6. Rajya Sabha has exclusive power to create new All India Services under Article 312 of the Indian Constitution. For this, the resolution has to be supported by the 2/3rd majority.

Miscellaneous Functions of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha

  1. The amendment of the Indian Constitution is done by both houses of parliament namely Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
  2. The High Court and Supreme Court Judges can be removed by both houses of parliament namely Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
  3. In the case of the Rajya Sabha action, the Lok Sabha has to give consent for everything like the removal of the vice-president of India.

In this way, it can be concluded that Lok Sabha has the decisive power to pass bills on many subjects as compared to Rajya Sabha. Rajya Sabha maintains the bicameral setup of the Indian Parliament while Lok Sabha helps to run governance smoother by the elected representatives.