All you need to know about the Rajya Sabha

What are the major roles played by the Rajya Sabha?

  • Rajya Sabha acts as the backbone of India’s federalism. It makes sure that the laws being made are not majoritarian and do not compromise on the integrity of the states
  • Rajya Sabha acts as a revisionary house to keep a check on hasty legislation that could be passed by the lower house under popular pressure
  • It acts as a platform for vulnerable sections to raise their voices, since they are not adequately represented in the Lok Sabha

What is the composition of Rajya Sabha?

Some interesting facts

  • If the LS is dissolved (in case of an emergency, for example), the decisions of the RS are the decisions of the parliament. This makes RS more important than the directly elected house
  • The chairman of the RS is not a member of the RS. Reason? If he/she was to be elected from within the members, he/she would almost always be from the most populous state because of proportional representation
  • Rajya Sabha has exclusive powers to create, dissolve or alter an all India service (IAS, IFS, IRS, etc.)

How is a bill passed?

Voting for an amendment or a bill

How can the functioning of Rajya Sabha improve?

  • Attendance: There have been members, especially the nominated ones who have had a record of very low attendance and have been called ‘Eid ka Chand’, like Sachin Tendulkar and Rekha
  • Equal representation of states: Since the seats are proportionally divided on the basis of the populations, the smaller states generally do not have any say
  • Minimum education qualification: Since RS is supposed to check the constitutional amendment laws being passed, education becomes extremely important

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