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A bicameral legislature is a system of government where the legislature is divided into two separate chambers/assemblies/houses/
It is necessary for the following reasons:
- Adequate representation to – all sections of society, all geographical areas. (Rajya sabha gives representation to the states.)
- Provision to reconsider decisions. Double check on every policy/bill.
The President is the Head of the State. Has mostly nominal and ceremonial powers.
The president is not elected directly by the ordinary citizens, but by MLAs and MPs. That way, though he’s not directly elected, he’s seen as representative of the whole nation. Period: 5 years
Can be removed by impeachment
Executive – executive powers are vested in him. Executive decision are taken in his name. He appoints PM and the Council of Ministers (on PM’s advice). He appoints Attorney General, Comptroller and Auditor General, Supreme court & High court judges, Governors, members of UPSC.
Military – supreme commander of the defence forces
Diplomatic – appoints Ambassador. All international treaties and agreements are in the name of the President.
Judicial – power to grant pardon/reduce punishment in case of court martial/death sentence.
Legislative – summon and programme the Parliament- nominates 12 members to Parliament- has to consent money bill
A state of Emergency can be declared only by the President (on the advice of PM and cabinet) minister in case of
– War or External Aggression (Article 352)
– Constitutional Emergency
– National or state (Article 356)
– Financial emergency (Article 360)
1) Reconsideration of Decision – A bill can be sent back to the Parliament for reconsideration. His opinion carries weightage
2) Veto Power – Other than money bill, President can withhold a bill, by not sending it for re-consideration. No time limit set by Constitution for sending back bill.
3) Selection of Prime Minister – If no party get majority, or if there are 2 or 3 claimants for majority in Lok Sabha, it’s the President’s prerogative to select PM.
Lok Sabha/House of the People
Direct by universal adult suffrage. First past the post system.
Members & Term
Not more than 552 members.530 from states, 20 from UTs, 2 Anglo-Indians.
Meets twice or thrice a year.
Term: 5 years, but may be dissolved earlier – no confidence or early elections for political gains. In case of emergency, it can be extended 1 year at a time, indefinitely.
– Government can enjoy power only in the confidence of the Lok Sabha.
– A no-confidence motion that can remove the government can be moved and passed only by Lok Sabha.
– Money bills and demands for grants can be moved and passed only by Lok Sabha.
Speaker: Elected by the members. Remains in office till dissolution.
Deputy Speaker: Elected by the members. Remains in office till dissolution.
Panel of Chairmen: 10 members elected by Speaker to preside over house in absence of speaker and deputy speaker
The Opposition in Parliament is formed by all the political parties that oppose the majority party/coalition formed.
The opposition in a Parliamentary democracy is expected to play the role of an alternative government.Because of the multiplicity of political parties in India, the status of the leader of the opposition can be conferred only on the leader of a party with at least fifty seats in the Lok Sabha.Regardless of the capacity or numbers to form an alternative government, opposition parties do register and express the diversity of opinions in a country as large and varied as India. The debate between the government and the opposition can, in effect, serve to structure the internal debate within the ruling party.
Rajya Sabha/Council of States
Members of State Legislative Assembly elect the Rajya Sabha on a proportional representative basis.
Members & Term
250 members: 238 from states & UTs, 12 by President.
Representation of states is proportional to their population. Fixed by the 4th schedule of the constitution
It is a permanent house. One-third members retire every two years. Elections are held biennially.
Term of office: 6 years
– May enable parliament to legislate on any subject in the state list. (article 249)
– May declare creation of new All-India services in the interest of the nation.
– In the event of declaration of an emergency, when the Lok Sabha has been dissolved, Rajya Sabha can approve.
Chairman: Vice president of India is the ex-officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
Vice Chairman is elected by the members.
Panel of Vice Chairmen: 6 members nominated by the Chairman, to preside over the house in the absence of the chairman and vice-chairman.
Powers/Relationship between the houses
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