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Parliament of India Notes: Members, Functions and Sessions

Parliament of India

The Parliament of India is the supreme legislative body of India. It consists of the President of India and two houses i.e. the Lok Sabha (House of the People) and the Rajya Sabha (Council of States). Together, the Parliament of India shapes the laws governing India. The Indian Parliament performs a multitude of functions from executive to legislative. Moreover, as the representative of the diverse voices of the people of India, the Indian Parliament has the responsibility of upholding the basic principles of the Indian Constitution and maintaining the democratic nature of the country.

Read the comprehensive notes on the Members, Functions, and Sessions of the Parliament of India in the article below. This will help you in solving Polity questions in the General Knowledge section of competitive exams like SSC CGL, SSC CHSL, Railway Exams, etc.

Members of Parliament of India

The Parliament of India constitutes the President of India, Lok Sabha, and Rajya Sabha.

President Of India

The President of India is the nominal executive head of the Parliament as per Article 52 of the Indian Constitution. Out of the many executive, legislative, judicial and other functions the President performs, his/her legislative powers play a significant role in the working of the rest of the Indian Parliament. Article 85 gives the President the power of prorogation and dissolution of the Houses of Parliament.

Rajya Sabha

The maximum allowed capacity of the Rajya Sabha is 250. Out of these, 238 members are elected by the States, while the President nominates 12 members for their contribution to the fields of art, literature, science, and social services. Rajya Sabha is a permanent body and is not subject to dissolution. However, one-third of the Rajya Sabha members retire every second year and are replaced by newly elected members. Each member of the Rajya Sabha is elected for a term of six years.

Lok Sabha

The Lok Sabha or the lower house of Parliament is composed of representatives of people that are chosen after the direct elections or general elections based on Universal Adult Suffrage. The maximum strength of Lok Sabha members is 550 members – 530 members to represent the States and 20 members to represent the Union Territories. The current strength of Lok Sabha is 543. Members of Lok Sabha hold their seats for 5 years or until the body is dissolved by the President on the advice of the council of ministers.

Parliament House

The Parliament House also known as Sansad Bhavan is situated in New Delhi. It was designed by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker in 1912-13. The construction of the building took six years. The opening ceremony was performed on 18th January 1927 by the viceroy and governor-general of India, Lord Irwin. The construction cost for the Parliament House was ₹8.3 million (US$100,000). Dur

On completion of 75 years of India’s Independence, a new parliament house was constructed by architect Bimal Patel. It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 28 May 2023. Since then, the Indian Parliament holds its sessions in the New Parliament House.

Functions of Parliament of India

The functions of the Parliament can be classified under several categories i.e. Legislative Functions, Executive Functions, Financial Functions, etc.

Legislative Functions

  1. Parliament legislates on all matters that are mentioned in the Union and the Concurrent List.
  2. In the case of the Concurrent List, where the state legislatures and the Parliament have joint jurisdiction, the union law will prevail over the states unless the state law had received the earlier presidential assent. However, Parliament can any time, make a law adding to, amending, varying, or repealing a law made by a state legislature.
  3. The Parliament can even pass laws on items in the State List under the following circumstances:
    • If an emergency has been placed, or any state is placed under Presidential Rule, then Parliament can enact laws on items in the State List as well.
    • Parliament can make laws on items in the State List if the upper house of parliament passes a resolution by a two-thirds majority of its present members and voting, which is necessary for the Parliament to make laws on any item enumerated in the State List, in the national interest.
    • Parliament can pass laws on the State List items if it is required for the implementation of international agreements or treaties with foreign powers.
    • If the legislatures of two or more states pass a resolution to the effect that it is desirable to have a parliamentary law on any item listed in the State List, then Parliament can make laws for those states.

Executive Functions (Control over the Executive)

In the parliamentary form of government, the executive is responsible to the legislature. Therefore, the Parliament exercises control over the executive by several measures.

  1. By a vote of no-confidence, Parliament can remove the Cabinet (Executive) from power. It can also reject a budget or any other bill proposal that has been presented by the Cabinet.
  2. Members of Parliament can ask questions to the ministers on their ommissions and commissions. Any kind of lapse on the part of the government can be exposed in the Parliament.
  3. Parliament appoints a Committee on Ministerial Assurances that looks after the promises made by the ministers to the Parliament are fulfilled.
  4. Censure Motion: A censure motion is moved by the members of the opposition party in the House to strongly disapprove of any policy of the government. It can be moved only in the Lok Sabha. Immediately after a censure motion is passed, the government has to seek the confidence of the House. Unlike in the case of the no-confidence motion, the Council of Ministers need not resign if the censure motion is passed.
  5. Cut Motion: This motion is used to oppose any demand in the financial bill that has been brought by the government.

Financial Functions

Parliament has the ultimate authority when it comes to finances. The Executives cannot spend a single rupee without approval from the parliament.

  1. The Union Budget that is prepared by the Cabinet is submitted for approval by the Parliament. All proposals to impose taxes must also be approved by the Parliament.
  2. There are two standing committees (Public Accounts Committee and Estimates Committee) of the Parliament that keep a check on how the money granted has been spent by the legislature.

Amending Powers

The Parliament has the power to amend the Constitution of India. Both the Houses of Parliament have equal powers Amendments will have to be passed in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha for them to be effective.

Electoral Functions

The Parliament also takes part in the election of the President and the Vice President. The electoral body that elects the President comprises, among others, the elected members of both Houses. The President can be removed by a resolution passed by the Rajya Sabha and agreed to by the Lok Sabha.

Judicial Functions

In case of a breach of privilege by members of the House, the Parliament has the power to punish them. A breach of privilege is an infringement of any of the privileges enjoyed by the MPs.

  1. A privilege motion is moved by a member when he/she feels a member/minister has committed a breach of privilege of the House.
  2. The power of the Parliament to punish its members is usually not subject to judicial review.
  3. Other judicial functions of the Parliament include the power to impeach the President, the Vice President, the judges of the Supreme Court, High Courts, the Auditor-General, etc.

Sessions of Parliament

A parliament session of the Indian Parliament is the period during which a House meets almost every day to manage the country’s legislative issues. There are generally 3 sessions in a year. The process of calling all members of Parliament for a parliament session is called the Summoning of Parliament. The president is the one who summons the Parliament.

  1. Budget session of Parliament (January/February to May)
  2. Monsoon session of Parliament (July to August/September)
  3. Winter session of Parliament (November to December)

Parliament Budget Session

  1. The budget session of Parliament is held from January/February to May.
  2. Since 2017, the Union Budget has been presented on the first of February, every year. Before that, it used to be presented on the last day of February.
  3. All the members discuss the various provisions of the budget and matters concerning taxation after the Finance Minister presents the budget.
  4. The budget session is mostly split into two periods with a gap of one month between them.
  5. The session starts with the President’s Address to both Houses.

Parliament Monsoon Session

  1. The monsoon session of parliament is held from July to August/September every year.
  2. It starts after a break of two months after the budget session.
  3. Matters of public interest are discussed.

Parliament Winter Session

  1. The winter session of Parliament is held from mid-November to mid-December.
  2. It is the shortest session of all the three sessions
  3. The Session takes up the matters that could not be considered earlier and makes up for the absence of legislative business during the second session of the Parliament.



How many sessions are there in the Indian Parliament?

The Indian Parliament consists of 3 sessions i.e. Monsoon Session, Winter Session, and Budget Session in different time intervals.

Who is the head of the Indian Parliament?

The President of India is the head of the Indian Parliament. At present, Draupadi Murumu is the head of Parliament.

What is the eligibility of a member of Parliament?

The member of parliament should fulfill the criteria,  a person must be a citizen of India and not less than 30 years of age in the case of Rajya Sabha and not less than 25 years of age in the case of Lok Sabha.

What are the types of bills in the Indian Parliament?

The Indian Constitution provides 4 different types of bills, which include Money Bill, Financial Bill, Ordinary Bills, and Constitution Amendment Bill.

What is the Parliament?

The parliament is a type of legislature and composition of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha with the President of India as Head of it.

What are the main functions of the Parliament?

The main functions of Parliament are as follows:
1. Legislative Function
2. Executive Function
3. Judicial Function
4. Electoral Function etc.

What is the role of Parliament in law-making?

The Parliament makes law for the whole country. It can also amend the Constitution and reject/ change draft laws.

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