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Parliament of India: Purpose & Structure

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  • 0:04 Indian Parliament Structure
  • 2:14 Indian Parliament Purpose
  • 3:50 Executive to the Parliament
  • 4:32 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Elisha Madison

Elisha is a writer, editor, and aspiring novelist. She has a Master's degree in Ancient Celtic History & Mythology and another Masters in Museum Studies.

The Parliament of India is set up similarly to British Parliament. They have two houses, a prime minister, and a president. This lesson provides a breakdown of the structure of the parliament and the purpose of each area.

Indian Parliament Structure

The Indian Parliament is broken down into three parts: president, Lower House, and Upper House. There's also a prime minister, who oversees the Upper House, that plays an important role in lawmaking.

The federal Parliament of India is based on the current British parliamentary system and thus is divided into three parts:

1. The President

The Indian president essentially signs bills into law or sends them back for reworking. The president is also chosen through an election by the members of parliament. The members of parliament are made up of both the Upper and Lower House. In the Lower House, the president appoints two out of the 552 members, while he appoints 12 of the Upper House's 250 members. The president must choose members that have shown honors or skill from a variety of backgrounds, such as science, literature, and the arts. It's normal for the president to be elected from one of the individuals in either the Upper or Lower House.

2. Lok Sabha/Lower House

The Lower House, Lok Sabha, is also known as the House of the People, and it - you guessed it - works for the people. The Lower House currently contains 543 members; however, it can have up to 552 members. The members are elected for terms of 5 years at a time, and they can be re-elected, but they don't have to be. Additionally, the age of each member has to be over 25 years old. The people voted into the Lower House must be broken down this way:

  • 84 seats for ''scheduled castes''
  • 47 seats for individual tribes of India
  • 131 reserved seats

Additionally, the whole Lower House can be dissolved if the president and people believe it's necessary.

3. Rajya Sabha/Upper House

The Upper House essentially works for the Member States and has 250 allowed members, though currently they only have 245. Also called the Council of States, the Upper House is considered the less powerful house. This house can't be dissolved for any reason; however, a third of the members are required to retire every two years. This means there is a constant movement of people into the Upper House. Individuals that are elected can only stay within the Upper House for up to 6 years. The minimum age requirement for this house is 30 years old.

Indian Parliament Purpose

Each section of parliament is set up to take on different responsibilities, and yet they have to work together to make sure a law passes. They've created a government that has similar checks and balances as the United States. The parliament as a whole has a selection of joint functions and powers:

  • Impeach the president
  • Remove federal judges from power
  • Elect a president
  • Amend the constitution
  • Assessing the effectiveness of the government and making changes as needed
  • Finding and creating processes to increase funds for public services, and
  • Taxes

The purpose of the president, the prime minister, and both houses are as follows:

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