The Indian Parliament, often referred to as the “Sansad,” is the supreme legislative body of the Republic of India and plays a pivotal role in the country’s democratic governance. It consists of two houses: the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) and the Lok Sabha (House of the People).
The Rajya Sabha is the upper house, representing the states and union territories of India. Its members are not directly elected by the people but are chosen by the members of the State Legislative Assemblies. The Rajya Sabha provides a platform for in-depth debates on important national issues, and it can delay but not block money bills.
The Lok Sabha is the lower house and is composed of members directly elected by the Indian electorate. It holds the real power in the legislative process, as it can propose and pass money bills and has the ultimate say on most legislative matters.
The President of India is the ceremonial head of the Parliament, while the Prime Minister, the leader of the majority party in the Lok Sabha, is the head of the government and wields executive power. The Parliament is responsible for making and amending laws, passing the annual budget, and ensuring government accountability through question sessions and debates.
India’s Parliament embodies the democratic principles enshrined in its Constitution and stands as a cornerstone of the nation’s governance. It provides a forum for the country’s diverse political voices and ensures that the will of the people is represented in the decision-making process.
Let’s take a look at these 21 interesting facts about Indian Parliament to know more about it.
- Bicameral Legislature: The Indian Parliament consists of two houses, the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) and the Lok Sabha (House of the People).
- Upper House: The Rajya Sabha is the upper house, representing the states and union territories of India.
- Elected Members: Members of the Rajya Sabha are not directly elected by the people but are chosen by the members of State Legislative Assemblies.
- Lower House: The Lok Sabha is the lower house, where members are directly elected by the Indian electorate.
- Largest Democracy: India is the world’s largest democracy, and its Parliament plays a crucial role in upholding democratic principles.
- Parliament Building: The Indian Parliament is housed in the iconic Sansad Bhavan in New Delhi, designed by the British architect Edwin Lutyens.
- Three Sessions: The Parliament has three sessions: the Budget Session, the Monsoon Session, and the Winter Session.
- President’s Role: The President of India is the ceremonial head of the Parliament and delivers the President’s Address at the beginning of each parliamentary session.
- Speaker of Lok Sabha: The Speaker of the Lok Sabha is responsible for maintaining order during sessions and ensuring that parliamentary rules are followed.
- Question Hour: The Parliament begins its proceedings with the Question Hour, where members can ask questions and seek answers from government officials.
- Parliamentary Committees: Various parliamentary committees, such as the Public Accounts Committee and the Standing Committee on Finance, play a crucial role in scrutinizing government policies and expenditures.
- Passing Laws: The Parliament is responsible for making and amending laws, and it holds the ultimate legislative power in the country.
- Money Bills: The Lok Sabha has the authority to propose and pass money bills, while the Rajya Sabha can only offer recommendations.
- Budget Approval: The annual budget is presented to the Parliament, and its approval is essential for government expenditures.
- Political Parties: India’s multi-party system ensures that the Parliament comprises members from various political parties, representing diverse ideologies.
- State Representation: The Rajya Sabha ensures that the states and union territories of India have a voice in the central legislature.
- Members’ Oath: Members of Parliament take an oath of allegiance to the Constitution of India, pledging to uphold its principles.
- Special Powers: The Parliament can make laws on subjects in the State List if the Rajya Sabha passes a resolution by a two-thirds majority, declaring a specific subject to be of national importance.
- Holidays: The Parliament observes holidays on certain national and religious occasions, and the flag atop the Parliament House is lowered on such days.
- Historic Sessions: The Parliament has seen historic sessions, such as when India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, delivered his famous “Tryst with Destiny” speech at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, marking India’s independence.
- Democratic Essence: The Indian Parliament embodies the democratic principles enshrined in the Constitution and stands as a symbol of the nation’s diverse and vibrant democracy.
The Indian Parliament, with its dual houses, diverse representation, and extensive legislative powers, stands as the cornerstone of India’s democratic governance. Its historical significance and evolving role in shaping the nation’s destiny make it a symbol of India’s vibrant democracy. As a platform for political discourse, lawmaking, and the embodiment of democratic principles, the Indian Parliament underscores the pluralistic ethos and inclusive spirit of the country. It continues to play a pivotal role in addressing the challenges and opportunities faced by a nation as diverse and dynamic as India, making it an enduring institution at the heart of the world’s largest democracy.