Interesting Facts about Indian Parliament
This article is all about amazing, rare, unknown, less popular, interesting facts about Indian Parliament. This article also envisages to provide some light on structure and design aspects of Indian parliament; constituents of Indian Parliament.
Parliament or Sansad is the supreme legislative body of this country India. Parliament is the ultimate manifestation of the democratic values of our country India. The Parliament occupies the top most hierarchy in the democratic polity. The Indian polity is based on parliamentary system of governance which makes all the executive body answerable to the legislative body i.e. the parliament. The parliament of India has three constituents i) The President, ii) Rajya Sabha (Council of states), and ii) Lok Sabha (House of People).
Quick Basic Facts about Indian Parliament
- The name of Indian Parliament is “Sansad” or “Bhartiya Sansad”
- Indian Parliament is Bicameral and consists of Two Houses Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha.
- President of India is called as first constituent (or a part) of Indian Parliament along with Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
- Current President – Ram Nath Kovind
- Present Speaker of Lok Sabha – Sumitra Mahajan
- Present Chairman of Rajya Sabha – Venkaiah Naidu
- The total strength of Parliament members including Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha is 795 (250 + 545)
Construction, Structural and Design Facts about Indian Parliament House
- The Parliament building was designed by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker and was inaugurated by Lord Irvin, the then Governor General of India in 1927.
- The construction of the building took 6 years and total cost of construction was 8.3 million Indian rupees.
- The Indian parliament is circular in shape with 170 meter diameter and it covers an area of 6 acres.
- A rare fact about Indian Parliament is that it has striking similarities with 64 Yogini temple of Morena, Madhya Pradesh. This temple was built in 11th century. It is commonly understood that design of parliament is inferred from this temple.
- Central Hall is located in middle of parliament house. Rajya Sabha (Upper House), Lok Sabha (Lower House) and Library Hall are located radially outside central hall at equiangular spacing. There are three garden courts located in the middle of these three chambers.
- There is four storied structure around these chambers which contains offices and accommodation for minister of Parliamentary affairs and its staff, other offices of secretaries.
- The open verandah on first floor has total 144 numbers of sandstone columns. Height of each column is 27 feet.
- There are 12 entrance gates to the Parliament House, but Gate # 1 which opens at Sandad Marg is used as the main entrance.
Interesting Facts about Indian Parliament
- At the time of inception, during British era, the name of this building was Council House. The three houses inside the main premises were called as i) Council of State (Rajya Sabha presently), ii) Legislative Assembly (Lok Sabha presently) and iii) Chamber of Princes (Library Hall now).
- The Central Hall is also circular in shape and there is a dome on its top with a diameter of 30 meter.
- The Central Hall is of immense historic importance. The official power transfer from Britain to India took place in this central hall. Drafting work of Indian Constitution was also done here in the central hall. Central Hall also witnesses the meetings and proceedings of Constituent Assembly. Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru gave his famous speech tryst with destiny in Central Hall on eve of 15th August 1947.
- Presently Central Hall is used to organize the joint sittings of both houses of Parliament.
- The President addresses the first session of Parliament from Central Hall after fresh elections.
- The color of the carpets of both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha are different. Rajya Sabha bears red carpet while Lok Sabha has green color carpet. Red represents royalty and majesty. This is to note that Rajya Sabha is also called as Upper House. Upper symbolizes greatness and royalty, so the red color carpet compliments the upper house of parliament.
- Lok Sabha is called as Lower House or House of people. Green color symbolizes greenery, field and vegetation to which common people are associated with. Thus the green carpet compliments well with the Lok Sabha.
- Parliament Library is the second largest library in India after National Library of Belvedere Estate, Kolkata. Parliament library was founded in year 1921. There are large number of books on vast topics in different languages to assist the parliamentarians.
- Earlier the Parliament library was functioning within the Parliament house. But due to constantly increasing volume of books and lack of space in main building, lead to the construction of new Parliament Library very close to the main Parliament House.
- There is a Parliament museum in Parliament Library building close to Sansad Bhavan. It is an interactive museum based on rich cultural heritage of India. It shows animation videos aided with light and sound.
Facts about Indian Parliament : Rajya Sabha vs Lok Sabha
- Rajya Sabha (Upper House) has a term of six years while that of Lok Sabha (Lower House) has term of 5 years.
- Minimum age criteria for Rajya Sabha member is 30 years while for Lok Sabha member is 25 years.
- Rajya Sabha has 250 members out of which 238 belongs to states and remaining 12 are from union territories.
- Lok Sabha has 545 members, out of which 530 comes from states and maximum 20 can be elected from union territories.
- Rajya Sabha members are elected indirectly by members of State legislative assemblies. Lok Sabha members are elected directly by citizens in general elections held every five year.
- Article 80(3) of Indian Constitution empowers Indian President to nominate 12 members in Rajya Sabha. As per article 331, President can also nominate 2 members of Anglo Indian community in Lok Sabha if he/she feels this community has not enough representation in the Parliament.
Interesting Facts about Parliament Members
- Oldest member ever served the Indian Parliament was Rishang Keishing. He was Rajya Sabha member from Congress party representing Manipur state. He served Rajya Sabha twice from 2002 to 2008 and then from 2008 to 2014. He retired from Rajya Sabha at age of 93 in year 2014. He died on 22 Aug 2017 at age of 96 years.
- Youngest member ever served as member of parliament is Dushyant Chautala. Dushyant Chautala belongs to INLD (Indian National Lok Dal) and he is grandson of Om Prakash Chautala. He defeated rival Kuldeep Bishnoi from Hisar lok sabha seat and entered parliament as 16th Lok Sabha member.
- First female speaker in Indian Parliament was Meira Kumar.
- First visually impaired person to become member of parliament – Sadhan Gupta. He belonged to CPI(M) from West Bengal.
Facts about Indian Parliament : Question Hour vs Zero Hour
- The first hour of every session of either of the houses is called as question hour. During question hour, the members of parliament can ask questions in relation with government policies, general administration etc. The members from the ruling party have to give oral answer to the starred questions. They have to clear the government’s position in relation to the topic.
- The time slot just after question hour is called as Zero Hour. The members with prior approval of Speaker can raise and discuss different issues related to public, social and in general matters of national importance.
- As per common practice both in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Question Hour starts at 11 AM and Zero Hour starts at 12 noon.
- During winter sessions, sometimes Rajya Sabha has started Zero hour first at 11 am and then Question hour at 12 noon.
Facts about Indian Parliament Sessions
- Constitution of India authorizes the Indian President to summon each house for Parliament sessions.
- There must not be a gap of more than 6 months between two sessions. It means that there must be at least two sessions of Parliament in one year. In general there are three sessions of the Parliament :- i) Budget session, ii) Monsoon session, iii) Winter session.
- Budget session is between February to March; Monsoon session is between July to September; winter session is between November to December. Monsoon session is the longest session while winter is the shortest.
- There is a provision of special session as per constitution. The President can call special session on the request of council of ministers based on 14 days advance notice to speaker.
- Joint session of the Parliament is called by the President if a bill passes in one house and doesn’t passes in other. Joint session may also be called by President in case the amendments recommended by one house is not acceptable to other house. In these situations a common decision is taken as per the majority vote of both the members of houses. Since the strength of Lok Sabha is more, in these situations the decision of Lok Sabha decides the fate of bill. Only ordinary bills can be passed by joint session of the parliament.
- Above mentioned procedure to get a bill passed by calling joint session doesn’t hold true for money bill or constitutional amendment bill. In case of money and constitutional amendment bill, it must be passed from both the houses separately.