India is a democratic country. The members of our parliament resemble the diverse nature of India. They come from every cast, community and religion safeguarding the freedom and protecting the laws framed in our constitution. The parliament of our nation truly represents ‘We, The people of India.’
The important terms which are used in parliament are as discussed below:
- Lok sabha
Also known as lower house of parliament or the house of people. It represents people who are directly elected on the basis of adult franchise. The maximum strength of lok sabha is 552. Out of these, 530 may represent the states whereas not more than 20 members may represent the union territories and our honourable president has a right to nominate 2 members of Anglo-Indian community. At present, there are 545 members in lok sabha and out of them, 2 are directly nominated by president belongs to Anglo-Indian community. The direct elections make the members of lok sabha mirror and voice of the nation.
- Rajya sabha
Also known as upper house of parliament or the council of states. It is the permanent chamber of parliament of India. The maximum strength of rajya sabha is 250. Out of them 12 members are directly nominated by our president among the people who have exemplary knowledge in their field. Rest 238 members represents the states and union territories.at present, there are 245 members in rajya sabha out of which 12 members are directly nominated by the president.
- Office of profit
Office of profit refers to an employment that brings the position holder financial gain.
The minimum number of members required to be present to proceed a meeting is known as quorum. It is one-tenth of the total members of parliament. It includes the person who preside over the meeting. For a lok sabha meeting, at least 55 members are required to be present each day for a meeting to proceed. For rajya sabha meeting, 25 members make a quorum.
The principal presiding officer of the lok sabha is known as speaker. She/he regulates debates and proceedings of the house. She/he decides whether a bill is money bill or not. A speaker is the symbol of nation’s freedom and liberty and ranks higher than all cabinet ministers, other than Prime Minister.
The Vice-President is the ex-officio chairman of the Rajya sabha. He presides over the sessions of the Rajya sabha. But he is not the member of either house of the parliament. All the daily records in the absence of chairman are kept by the deputy chairman who is a member of rajya sabha.
- Trust vote
Trust vote refers to a motion of confidence by which a government proves that it enjoys the confidence of the majority of the members of Lok Sabha. The government has to resign as soon as it loses the confidence of lok sabha.
- Residuary powers
Parliament has exclusive power to make any law with respect to any matter not specified in any of the three lists – Union list, State list and Concurrent list. Such power shall include the power of making any law imposing a tax not mentioned in either of those Lists.
According to Article 123 of our constitution, the president shall promulgate an ordinance at a time when the parliament is not in session. These ordinances cease to operate at the expiration of six weeks from the re-assembly of parliament unless they are approved by both the houses.
A Bill is the draft of a legislative proposal. It has to pass through various stages before it becomes an Act of Parliament. A bill can be an ordinary bill or a money bill as defined by articles 107,108, 109 and 110 of our constitution.
- Ordinary bill
Articles 107 and 108 of our constitution deals with the ordinary bills. An ordinary bill can be presented in either house of parliament but has to be approved by both the houses by the majority of the members present at that time. An ordinary bill becomes an act when passed by both the houses and duly signed by the President of India.
- Money bill
Article 109 and 110 of our constitution states the money bills. A money can only be introduced in lok sabha without any recommendation of President. It is passed by the lok sabha and then sent to the rajya sabha for further recommendation. The rajya sabha is bound to return the bill within 14 days with or without any recommendation. The Lok sabha is free to either accept or discard the recommendations of Rajya sabha regarding a money bill. The Speaker is a decision maker whether a bill is money bill or not.
- Supplementary grants
When the grants authorized for the current financial year is found to be fall short of the required expenses, the government asks for additional grants in order to meet the required expenditure. This additional grant is termed as supplementary grants.
- Vote on Account
If there is delay in passing the budget of the new financial year and there is no money for the executive to spend, vote on account is used. It authorizes the executive to draw funds from the consolidated fund until the budget is passed by the parliament.
- The question hour
The initial first hour of a seesion of both houses – Lok sabha as well as Rajya sabha is devoted to question hour. This hour keeps the members on their toes. The question can be asked to answer either in written form or verbally. The motive of question hour is to extract the information on a matter of public importance.
- Adjournment motion
The ultimate motive of adjournment motive is to keep a recent matter of urgent public importance into the house and draw the attention of the house to the same. This motion when raised leads to setting aside the normal business of the house. In the event of an adjournment motion being adopted, the House automatically stands adjourned. The adjournment motion can only be followed in lok sabha.
- Motion of thanks
Debate in both the houses on the speech of President is termed as Motion of Thanks. It provides an opportunity to discuss about the matters referred by the President in his Address. In reality, Motion of Thanks acts as a Motion of Confidence in the government. Defeat of motion would cause the resignation of the government.
- The zero hour
The hour which begins at 12 noon just after the question hour is termed as zero hour. Any necessary or unnecessary issue can be raised in the zero hour. Most of the time issues raised are only a matter of publicity or to poke on present government. It also leads to unruly scenes in the house.
- Cut motion
Cut motion is an extraordinary power which empowers the members of lok sabha to oppose a demand in financial bill presented in the parliament. It shall address only one demand. There are three types of cut motions – disapproval of policy cut, economic cut, token cut, Censure motion and the No-Confidence motion.
- Casting vote
In order to break a tie in either Rajya sabha or Lok sabha against a Bill or a resolution raised in parliament, the chairman or the speaker cast a vote which decides whether or not the Bill or Resolution should be passed. This tie breaking vote casted by the chairman or the speaker is known as casting vote.
- Budget (railway and general)
The annual financial statement of the estimated receipt and expenditure of the government in respect of a financial year is referred to as Budget of that financial year. The budget is presented in the parliament in two parts – Railway budget and general budget. Railway budget is presented by the Railway minister of India and the General budget is introduced by the Finance minister of India