Chapter 3. Why do we Need a Parliament?

People and their Representatives
• People elect their representatives to Parliament, and one group from these elected representatives forms Government.
• Parliament, which is made up of all representatives, and they together controls and guides government. This is ‘people’ through their chosen representatives who form government and control it.

Role of Parliament
• Indian Parliament, created after 1947, is an expression of faith that people of India have in principles of democracy.
• Parliament in our system has immense powers because it is representative of people.
• Lok Sabha is generally elected once every five years.
• country is divided into constituencies. Each of these constituencies elects one person to Parliament. candidates who contest elections generally belong to different political parties.
• elected candidates become Members of Parliament or MPs. These MPs together make up Parliament.
• Some seats are reserved in Parliament for SCs and STs. This has been done so MPs elected from these constituencies will be familiar with and can represent Dalit and Adivasi interests in Parliament.

Functions of Parliament

To Select National Government
• Parliament of India consists of President, Rajya Sabha, and Lok Sabha.
• A political party forms government when it has a majority of elected MPs.
• There are 543 elected members in Lok Sabha. Between 1952 and 2020, 2 additional members of Anglo-Indian community were nominated by President of India on advice of Government of India, which was abolished in January 2020 by 104th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2019.
• A party should have at least half number, i.e., 272 members or more to form majority.
• Opposition in Parliament is formed by all political parties that are not part of majority party.
• One of most important functions of Lok Sabha is to select executive.
• executive is a group of persons who work together to implement laws made by Parliament. This executive is often what we have in mind when we use term Government.
• Prime Minister of India is leader of ruling party in Lok Sabha.
• Prime Minister selects ministers of different departments from MPs of his party to work with him to implement decisions. These ministers then take charge of different areas of government functioning like health, education, finance.
• When a party does not secure majority, it joins with different political parties who are interested in similar concerns to form government. It is called a Coalition Government.
• Rajya Sabha functions primarily as representative of states of India in Parliament.
• Rajya Sabha can initiate a bill.
• A bill initiated in Lok Sabha is required to pass through Rajya Sabha to become a law.
• Rajya Sabha plays an important role in reviewing and altering [if alterations are needed] laws initiated by Lok Sabha.
• members of Rajya Sabha are elected by elected members of Legislative Assemblies of various states.
• There are 233 elected members plus 12 members nominated by President.

• Law-making is an important function of Parliament.

To Control, Guide & Inform Government
• session of Parliament begins with a question hour.
• question hour is an important mechanism through which MPs can ask for information about working of government.
• It is a very important way through which Parliament controls executive.
• Parliament’s approval is crucial for government in all matters dealing with finances.

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