Rajya Sabha: How many seats are there in Rajya Sabha?

The Rajya Sabha is one of the most prominent executive bodies of the Indian Parliament. Also known as the upper house of the country, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha along with the President of India work collectively towards the smooth functioning of the country. The Upper House has its own rules which are followed by all the elected members. To understand the working of the Parliament of India or to clear any competitive examination, it is necessary to have a grasp on the working of this House of Parliament. Let us understand the functions and importance of Rajya Sabha through this blog!

What is Rajya Sabha?

The Rajya Sabha or ‘Council of States’ is the upper house of the Indian Parliament. The Montagu-Chelmsford Report 1918 recorded the establishment of the Rajya Sabha for the first time in 1921. After independence, the Rajya Sabha was constituted for the first time in 1952. According to the 80th Article of the Indian Constitution, the maximum strength of the Rajya Sabha is 250. In which 238 members will represent the states while the union territories will be represented by 12 members nominated by the President. Rajya Sabha is a permanent body which is independent from dissolution. Of all the members, 1/3rd members retire after every two years and are replaced by new members.

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What is the total number of seats in Rajya Sabha

Of the total RS seats, Uttar Pradesh (31), Maharashtra (19) and Tamil Nadu (18) have the maximum number of Rajya Sabha seats while union territories such as Delhi (3) and Pondicherry (1) have the least. of seats. The term of each member in RS is 6 years. The whole House together elects the Deputy Speaker from amongst all the members while there is a special panel which works for the selection of the Deputy Speaker in the Rajya Sabha. The Vice President of India is known as the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

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Eligibility to become a member of Rajya Sabha

Now that we have understood what is Rajya Sabha and various important details about it, let us now have a look at what is required to become a member of Rajya Sabha. As stated in Article 84 of the Constitution, the details required to become a member of the Rajya Sabha are-

  • The person must be a citizen of India and we can subscribe to an oath or affirmation before a person authorized by the Election Commission as per the format prescribed for the purpose in the Third Schedule to the Constitution.
  • Candidate age should not be less than 30 years
  • Candidate must possess such qualifications as may be prescribed in this behalf by or under a law made by Parliament

How the members of Rajya Sabha are elected

All the members of the Rajya Sabha are elected by the system of proportional representation through the elected members of the State Legislative Assemblies. Here candidates must note that the representation of states in RS is not uniform. It mainly depends on the population of the area.

Rajya Sabha elections

There are three types of representation through which elections in Rajya Sabha can be conducted. Let us understand them one by one-

representation of states

  • The members of a particular state are elected by the elected members of the state legislative assemblies.
  • Only proportional representation is exercised through the single transferable vote.
  • The population of the state is taken into account for deciding the state-wise seats in the Rajya Sabha.

Representation of Union Territories

  • Those who belong to the Union Territories are indirectly elected by the members of the electoral college to be elected as members of the Rajya Sabha.
  • Only proportional representation is exercised through the single transferable vote.

Nominated Members Representation

The President of India nominates 12 members of the Rajya Sabha according to their impressive contribution in various fields. The popular areas to keep in mind are-

  • Literature
  • science
  • social science
  • art

Powers of Rajya Sabha

Being an important executive body of the Indian Parliament, RS has a set of powers like financial powers, executive powers, legislative powers etc. for its regulation. While discussing the topic of RS, it is important to understand these strengths in detail so that aspirants can better this topic for their academic and competitive exams.

Rajya Sabha Legislative Powers

The legislative powers of Rajya Sabha are given below-

  • When it comes to making common law, the RS enjoys the same powers as the Lok Sabha. An ordinary bill can be introduced in the RS but it cannot become a law until it is passed by the authority
  • Whenever the members of Rajya Sabha are not able to obtain a particular decision on a bill and it remains pending for 6 months, the President shall convene a joint sitting for both the houses to arrive at a conclusion.
  • This meeting is headed by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha. If both houses are able to reach a conclusion during the drying meeting, the bill is sent to the President for final signature, but if they are unable to do so, the bill is declared finished.

Rajya Sabha Executive Powers

Executive Powers of Rajya Sabha

  • Unlike Lok Sabha, RS cannot cause the collapse of the Council of Ministers by giving a no-confidence motion
  • RS members cannot remove the Council of Ministers from their office, but they can question their functioning. This can be done by criticizing the policy formulated by them, asking supplementary questions, etc.

Rajya Sabha Financial Powers

These are the financial powers of Rajya Sabha-

  • The Rajya Sabha is not that powerful when it comes to drafting decisions in respect of financial bills. A financial bill made in the Lok Sabha is presented for consideration in the RS only.
  • Even though the RS does not approve the bill in a period of 14 days, the bill is carried forward in the Parliament irrespective of the decision of the Rajya Sabha.
  • On the other hand, if RS proposes some changes in the Bill; Then, the bell goes back to the Lok Sabha and it is up to this authority whether they want to consider the amendments or not.

Chairman and Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha

The Vice President of India is the ex-officio Speaker of the RS while the Deputy Speaker of the House is elected from amongst the members of the RS. At present, the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha is Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu and the Deputy Chairman is Shri Harivansh. The basic details related to the role of the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha are tabulated below-

class President Deputy Chairman
role He presided over the Upper House – Whenever he handles the upper house
– Speaker’s seat falsely vacant
– The chairman is absent from the meeting
– President or Vice President
has to act as chairman
expulsion The Speaker can be removed from the seat only if he is
be removed from the post of Vice President
have been
The Deputy Speaker can be removed when a resolution is passed by a majority of the RS members.
membership in the house No Yes
vote in the house The Speaker is not allowed to vote prima facie Whenever he is proceeding as chairman, he can vote at first but can exercise the voting right in the event of a tie.
salary decided by parliament decided by parliament

leader of the assembly

Apart from the Chairman and the Deputy Speaker, the Leader of the House is another such officer who plays an important role in the efficient and proper functioning of the House. The Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha is ordinarily the Prime Minister, if he is a member of it, or a Minister who is a member of the House and nominated by him to act as such.

At present, the Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha is Shri Piyush Goyal, who has been holding this post since July 2021. The Leader of the Opposition is Mallikarjun Kharge, who has got the post from February 2021.

Number of women in Rajya Sabha

At present, the total number of women members in the Rajya Sabha is 27, out of which the number of women members in the entire house is 11.2%. The first nominated woman member of the Rajya Sabha is Rukmini Devi Arundale, whose term lasted until (1952–56, 56–62). While the youngest Rajya Sabha member is also a woman, this is Olympic medalist Mary Kom.

Who can dissolve the Rajya Sabha

Rajya Sabha is a permanent body which is also known as a perpetual chamber which means it cannot be dissolved. There is no specific period for tenure for the renewal of Rajya Sabha. It is the Lok Sabha which is renewed every five years through fresh elections but the Rajya Sabha continues to run without interruption. Thus, we can say that Rajya Sabha never dissolves. Here students should know that every other year one third of the Rajya Sabha members retire so that new members can join the true election.

Rajya Sabha Questions

Now that we have well understood what is Rajya Sabha and what is its major role in the Government of India, let us now consider some questions-

  1. Who is the leader of Rajya Sabha?
  2. List two qualifications of the members of Rajya Sabha.
  3. What is the role of RS when it comes to passing money bills?
  4. Name the principle of election to Rajya Sabha.
  5. Who is known as the ex-officio chairman of Rajya Sabha?
  6. In which state the maximum number of seats have been allotted in the Rajya Sabha?
  7. How many members are nominated by the President in Rajya Sabha?
  8. What is the minimum prescribed age to become a member of Rajya Sabha?
  9. Rajya Sabha was convened for the first time in the year?
  10. What is the maximum tenure of an elected member of Rajya Sabha?

Thus, we hope that after reading these Rajya Sabha Notes, you will be able to score absolutely perfect marks in this subject. Leverage Edu’s Our experts are here to guide you in making the right choice for your dream career by evaluating your interests and options.

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