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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT RAJYA SABHA

History of Rajya Sabha

When was the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) first constituted?

Ans : On 3 April 1952.

When did the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) meet for the first time?

Ans : On 13 May 1952.

When was the Council of States named as Rajya Sabha in Hindi?

Ans : On 23 August 1954. The Chairman, Rajya Sabha made an announcement in the House that the Council of States would now be called ‘Rajya Sabha’ in Hindi.

Who was the first Chairman of Rajya Sabha?

Ans : Dr. S. Radhakrishnan.

Who was the first Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha?

Ans : Shri S.V.Krishnamoorthy Rao (31.5.1952 - 2.4.1956 & 25.4.1956 - 1.3.1962).

Who are the Chairmen of Rajya Sabha who have held office consecutively for two terms?

Ans : Dr. S. Radhakrishnan was the first Chairman of Rajya Sabha for two consecutive terms (13.5.1952 to 12.5.1962). The current Chairman, Shri Mohammad Hamid Ansari is also continuing as the Vice-President of India for a second term (11.08.2007 to 10.08.2012 and again from 11.08.2012 till date).

Composition of Rajya Sabha

What is the maximum strength of Rajya Sabha?

Ans : Two hundred and fifty (250), of which 238 are to be elected and 12 are to be nominated by the President of India.

What is the actual strength of Rajya Sabha?

Ans : Two hundred and forty five (245), of which 233 are elected and 12 are nominated.

How many members does each state have in Rajya Sabha?

Ans :

States
No. of seats
Andhra Pradesh11
Arunachal Pradesh1
Assam7
Bihar16
Chhattisgarh5
Goa1
Gujarat11
Haryana5
Himachal Pradesh3
Jammu and Kashmir 4
Jharkhand6
Karnataka12
Kerala9
Madhya Pradesh11
Maharashtra19
Manipur1
Meghalaya1
Mizoram1
Nagaland1
National Capital Territory of Delhi 3
Odisha10
Puducherry1
Punjab 7
Rajasthan10
Sikkim 1
Tamil Nadu18
Telangana7
Tripura1
Uttarakhand3
Uttar Pradesh31
West Bengal 16

Currently how many members are elected from Union territories?

Ans : In total four members are elected from the Union territories (3 from Delhi and 1 from Puducherry). Other Union territories are not represented in Rajya Sabha.

Why is Rajya Sabha called a permanent body?

Ans : Rajya Sabha is not subject to dissolution; as nearly as possible, one-third of its members retire every second year.

What is the term of a member of Rajya Sabha?

Ans : It is six years; but a member elected in a bye-election serves for the remainder of the term of the vacancy caused.

What is the quorum to constitute a meeting of Rajya Sabha?

Ans : It is one-tenth of the total members of the House, i.e., 25 members.

Which is the party will maximum members in the House?

Ans : Indian National Congress.

Officers of Rajya Sabha

Who acts as the Chairman, Rajya Sabha?

Ans : The Vice-President is the ex officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha.

How is the Vice-President of India elected?

Ans : The Vice-President is elected by the members of an electoral college consisting of the members of both Houses of Parliament in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.

What is the term of office of Vice-President of India?

Ans : The Vice-President holds office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office.

Currently who is the Chairman of Rajya Sabha?

Ans : Shri Mohammad Hamid Ansari

How is the Deputy Chairman elected?

Ans : The Deputy Chairman is elected by the members of Rajya Sabha from amongst its members.

What are the responsibilities of the Deputy Chairman?

Ans : While the office of Chairman is vacant, or during any period when the Vice-President is acting as, or discharging the functions of the President, the duties of the office of the Chairman are performed by the Deputy Chairman.

Currently who is the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha?

Ans : Prof. P. J. Kurien

who presides over the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha in the absence of both the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman?

Ans : The Deputy Chairman is elected by the members of Rajya Sabha from amongst its members.

How is the Deputy Chairman elected?

Ans : Under Rule 8 of the of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Council of States (Rajya Sabha),the Chairman, Rajya Sabha nominates six members on the panel of Vice-Chairmen, one of whom presides over the House in the absence of both the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman. When neither the Chairman nor the Deputy Chairman and none of the Vice Chairmen is present to preside, the House may decide about any other member present to preside.

Currently who is the Leader of the House?

Ans : Shri Arun Jaitley

What are the responsibilities of the Leader of the House?

Ans : Leader of the House plays an important role in drawing up the programme of official business in the House. Normally, the Prime Minister nominates a Minister who is a member of the Rajya Sabha as Leader of the House, but if the Prime Minister himself is a member of Rajya Sabha, he will act as the Leader of the House.

Currently who is the Leader of the Opposition?

Ans : Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad

Currently who is the Secretary-General of Rajya Sabha?

Ans : Shri Shumsher K. Sheriff

How is the Secretary-General appointed?

Ans : The Secretary-General is appointed by the Chairman, Rajya Sabha and holds a rank equivalent to the Cabinet Secretary, the highest civil servant of the Union Government.

What is the role of the Secretary-General?

Ans : He assists the Presiding Officers in conducting the proceedings of the House by giving them advice and expert opinion. He does not participate in the debate except for reporting messages from the Lok Sabha about Bills or any other matter. All notices under the rules are addressed to him. He is the custodian of the records of the House. He prepares full report of the proceedings of the House and also issues the List of Business for the day. He is the administrative head of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat.

Members of Rajya Sabha

How is the Deputy Chairman elected?

Ans : The Deputy Chairman is elected by the members of Rajya Sabha from amongst its members.

How are members of Rajya Sabha elected?

Ans : Members of Rajya Sabha are elected by the elected members of the Assemblies of States and Union territories in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.

What are the requirements to become a member of Rajya Sabha?

Ans : He should be a citizen of India above 30 years of age and possessing such other qualifications as may be prescribed by law of Parliament.

Should a Member be a domicile of the State from which he is elected to Rajya Sabha?

Ans : No. It is no longer essential. He has to be an elector in a parliamentary constituency anywhere in India.

Are there nominated members in Rajya Sabha ?

Ans : Yes, there are twelve members nominated by the President of India from amongst persons having special knowledge or practical experience in literature, science, art and social service.

Do the nominated members vote in the election of the Vice-President and the President?

Ans : While the nominated members of Rajya Sabha have a right to vote in the election of the Vice-President of India, they are not entitled to vote in the election of the President of India.

Who was the first woman nominated member of the Rajya Sabha?

Ans : Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale (1952-56 and 1956-62).

Who are the current nominated members in Rajya Sabha?

Ans : Twelve (12). Ms. Anu Aga, Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar, Shri Javed Akhtar, Shri H.K. Dua, Dr. Ashok S. Ganguly, Smt. B. Jayashree, Prof. Mrinal Miri, Dr. Bhalchandra Mungekar, Shri K. Parasaran, Ms. Rekha, Shri Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar and Shri K.T.S. Tulsi.

Currently how many members of Rajya Sabha are there in the Council of Ministers?

Ans : Ten (10). They are Shri Arun Jaitley, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Dr. Najma A. Heptulla, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Shri Prakash Javadekar, Shri Piyush Goyal and Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman.

Can a Minister who is a Member of Lok Sabha participate in the proceedings of Rajya Sabha?

Ans : A Minister who is a Member of Lok Sabha has the right to speak in and otherwise to take part in the proceedings of Rajya Sabha but has no right to vote in Rajya Sabha and vice versa.

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