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Understanding the Structure of Indian Parliament: A Comprehensive Guide

Indian Parliament


Understanding the Structure of Indian Parliament: A Comprehensive Guide

Understanding the Structure of Indian Parliament: A Comprehensive Guide

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The Indian Parliament is the supreme legislative body of India, playing a crucial role in the governance and democratic process of the country. Understanding the structure of the Indian Parliament is essential for grasping how laws are made, debated, and implemented. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the components, roles, and functions of the Indian Parliament.

The Bicameral Structure of the Indian Parliament

The Indian Parliament is a bicameral legislature, meaning it has two houses: the Lok Sabha (House of the People) and the Rajya Sabha (Council of States). This structure ensures a balanced representation of the population and the states in the legislative process.

1. Lok Sabha (House of the People)


The Lok Sabha is the lower house of Parliament, consisting of representatives directly elected by the people of India. As of 2024, the Lok Sabha has 543 members.


  • Legislation: The primary function of the Lok Sabha is to introduce and pass bills. It holds the power to create laws on subjects enumerated in the Union List and Concurrent List.
  • Control Over Executive: The Lok Sabha exercises control over the executive branch of the government through questions, motions, and debates.
  • Financial Powers: All money bills originate in the Lok Sabha. It has the exclusive authority to approve the budget and financial proposals of the government.


The term of the Lok Sabha is five years, after which general elections are held to elect new members. However, it can be dissolved earlier by the President of India on the advice of the Prime Minister.

2. Rajya Sabha (Council of States)


The Rajya Sabha is the upper house of Parliament, comprising representatives elected by the elected members of State Legislative Assemblies. It also includes 12 members nominated by the President for their expertise in specific fields such as literature, science, art, and social service. The total membership of the Rajya Sabha is 245.


  • Legislation: The Rajya Sabha reviews, debates, and suggests amendments to bills passed by the Lok Sabha. While it cannot veto money bills, it can delay them for up to 14 days.
  • Federal Representation: It provides representation to the states, ensuring that their interests are considered in the federal legislative process.
  • Permanent Body: Unlike the Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha is a permanent body and is not subject to dissolution. One-third of its members retire every two years.

The Role of the President in the Indian Parliament

The President of India is an integral part of the Parliament, with several key roles and powers:

  • Summoning and Proroguing Sessions: The President summons and prorogues sessions of Parliament and can dissolve the Lok Sabha.
  • Assent to Bills: No bill becomes law without the President’s assent. The President can also return a bill (except a money bill) for reconsideration.
  • Ordinances: The President can promulgate ordinances when Parliament is not in session, which must be approved by Parliament within six weeks of reassembling.

Legislative Process in Indian Parliament

Understanding the legislative process is crucial to comprehend the structure of the Indian Parliament. Here’s a brief overview:

Introduction of Bills

Bills can be introduced in either house of Parliament, except for money bills which can only be introduced in the Lok Sabha. Bills are classified into:

  • Government Bills: Introduced by ministers.
  • Private Members’ Bills: Introduced by members who are not ministers.

Stages of a Bill

  1. First Reading: Introduction and distribution of the bill to members.
  2. Second Reading: Detailed examination, debate, and clause-by-clause consideration.
  3. Committee Stage: Examination by a parliamentary committee, if preferred.
  4. Third Reading: Final discussion and voting.

Presidential Assent

After passing both houses, the bill is sent to the President for assent. Once the President signs the bill, it becomes law.

Importance of the Parliamentary Committees

Parliamentary committees play a vital role in the legislative process by scrutinizing bills, budgets, and policies. There are several types of committees:

  • Standing Committees: Permanent committees such as the Public Accounts Committee.
  • Select Committees: Temporary committees appointed for a specific purpose.
  • Joint Committees: Comprising members from both houses.

External Resources for Further Reading

For more detailed information about the structure and functioning of the Indian Parliament, you can visit the official Parliament of India website.


The structure of the Indian Parliament, with its bicameral nature and intricate legislative processes, ensures a robust democratic framework for the country. By understanding its components, roles, and functions, citizens can better appreciate the complexities of governance and the importance of their participation in the democratic process. Whether you are a student, a professional, or simply a curious citizen, understanding the Indian Parliament enriches your knowledge of how one of the world’s largest democracies operates.

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