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Indian Polity / Union Legislature

Composition of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha

    Article 79 to 122 deal with the composition of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Parliamentary procedures, Parliamentary committees, powers and functions of Parliament. Article 79 defines Parliament. Parliament means President, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Lok Sabha i.e Lower House is called House of People and Rajya Sabha i.e. Upper House is called Council of States. Though we have Bicameral legislature at the Union level, bicameralism at State level is optional.

    Composition of Lok Sabha

    • Article 81 deals with the composition of Lok Sabha. The maximum strength of Lok Sabha after 1971 shall not exceed 552. It was decided in 1973 by the 31st Constitutional Amendment. According to this Amendment, this strength will not be changed until 2000 only. However, this was again extended up to 2026 by the 84th Amendment in 2001. However, the number of seats reserved for SC and ST will be according to Census of 2001.

    • Out of 552 seats, not more than 530 are to be elected from states and not more than 20 are from Union Territories and not more than 2 are to be nominated Anglo Indians. However, the current effective strength of Lok Sabha is 545. Out of 545, 530 are from states and 13 from Union Territories i.e. from Delhi it is 7 and others 1 each. Remaining 2 of the members are nominated.

    • The members of Lok Sabha are elected by electors, who completed the age of 18 years as on the date given by the Election Commission of India.

    • The members are elected on the basis of territorial constituencies, which are divided according to population. The System of election is "first past the post", which means whoever gets majority vote first is the winner.

    • The tenure of Lok Sabha is generally 5 years. Normal tenure of the Lok Sabha may be extended up to 1 year at a time during the course of National Emergency by Parliament.

    Composition of Rajya Sabha

    • The maximum member strength of Rajya Sabha is 250. Out of 250, 238 are elected by elected MLAs in a system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote. Remaining 12 are to be nominated by the President from different fields. However, at present the effective strength is 245 only. States have 229 and Union Territories have 4 i.e from Delhi it is 3 and from Puducherry it is 1. Remaining twelve are nominated members.

    • Rajya Sabha is a permanent body. It cannot be dissolved periodically. However, the members of Rajya Sabha are elected for the term of 6 years. But, every two years 1/3rd members retire.
Extra Information

    • Bicameralism for the first time was introduced in India in the 1919 Government of India Act that is Montague-Chemsford Reforms.

    • By the 61st Amendment in 1988, the age of voting got reduced from 21 to 18. It came into effect from 1989.

    • If Union Territories do not have Assemblies, Rajya Sabha members are elected by the members of local bodies.

    • Sessions of Parliament -
      • Parliament will have minimum two sessions in an year. However, the gap between one session and other session should not exceed 6 months.
      • There is no limitations on the maximum number of sessions. Indian Parliament generally meets thrice in a year. First session is from February to April ( Budget session ), second session is is in the months of July to August ( Monsoon session ) and third session is from November to December ( Winter session ).