How many branches of Government legislature are there CBSE class 8 civics
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How many branches of Government-legislature are there? - CBSE class 8 civics

How many branches of Government-legislature are there?


By:milan-ransingh

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The branches of Government legislature are:

Lok Sabha: House of the People

The Lok Sabha or lower house of India’s Parliament is limited by the current Constitution to a maximum of 552 members, including not more than 20 members representing people from the Union territories, and two appointed non-partisan members to represent the Anglo-Indian community—if the President feels that community is not adequately represented.  All but the two presidential appointees are popularly elected by the Indian people.  For a variety of reasons, elections are not always held in all districts, leaving some seats vacant and giving the appearance of fewer seats in the lower house.  To qualify to serve in the Lok Sabha, members must be at least twenty-five years of age. 

Many candidates may run for election to the Lok Sabha, but as it is in the United States, the candidates from the larger political parties are favored because each constituency elects only the candidate winning the most votes.  In the context of multiple-candidate elections, most members of Parliament are elected with pluralities of the vote that amount to less than a majority.  Because of this, political parties can gain commanding positions in the Parliament without winning the support of a majority of the Indian voters.  For example, the Congress Party in India has dominated Indian politics without ever winning a majority of votes in parliamentary elections.  The finest performance for the Congress party in parliamentary elections was in 1984, when it won 76 percent of the parliamentary seats while only garnering 48 percent of the vote.

The typical term for a Lok Sabha member is five years.  However, the president may dissolve the lower house and call for new elections in the event the government loses its majority in Parliament.  In cases such as these, elections must be held within six months of Parliament being dissolved.  Dissolving the Parliament can be a politically advantageous move by the prime minister, as by pushing the president for dissolution he may be able to maximize support in the next Parliament.   The term of Parliament can also be extended in yearly increments if a state of emergency has been proclaimed.  This scenario played out in 1976 when Parliament was extended beyond its five-year term under the Emergency proclaimed the previous year.   

As per the Indian constitution, the Lok Sabha must meet at least twice a year, and no more than six months can pass between sessions. The Lok Sabha normally meets for three sessions a year. The Council of Ministers is responsible only to the Lok Sabha, and the authority to initiate financial legislation is vested exclusively in the Lok Sabha.

The powers and authority of the Lok Sabha and the upper house, Rajya Sabha, are not differentiated. The Indian Constitution, for instance, has a lengthy list of the powers of Parliament but not for each separate house. The key differences between the two houses lie in the different roles they play and the authority they hold in the legislative process.

Rajya Sabha: Council of States

The Indian Constitution stipulates that the upper house, or Rajya Sabha, has a maximum of 250 members.  All but twelve of these members—238—are elected by state and territory legislatures for six-year terms.  The remaining twelve seats are nominated by the President of India based on their specific knowledge or practical experience in fields such as literature, science, social services and art.  These twelve nominations are final and require no parliamentary approval.  As with many countries, the elections for Rajya Sabha members are staggered so that one-third of the assembly is up for election every two years.  The number of seats allocated to each state and territory is determined by their population, except in the case of smaller states and territories, which are awarded a greater share of representatives than their population justifies.

Unlike the Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha meets in continuous session and is not subject to dissolution.  The Rajya Sabha is designed to provide stability and continuity to the legislative process.  While it’s considered the upper house of the Indian legislature, its authority in the legislative process is actually subordinate to that of the lower house, or Lok Sabha.


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