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Indian Polity

Parliament Sessions

  • 20 Jul 2021
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Monsoon session of Parliament has begun, after the reshuffling of the Council of ministers and the Cabinet committees.

Key Points

  • Sessions of Parliament:
    • The summoning of Parliament is specified in Article 85 of the Constitution.
    • The power to convene a session of Parliament rests with the Government.
      • The decision is taken by the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs which is formalised by the President, in whose name MPs (Members of Parliament) are summoned to meet for a session.
    • India does not have a fixed parliamentary calendar. By convention (i.e. not provided by the Constitution), Parliament meets for three sessions in a year.
      • The longest, Budget Session (1st session), starts towards the end of January, and concludes by the end of April or first week of May.
      • The second session is the three-week Monsoon Session, which usually begins in July and finishes in August.
      • Winter Session (3rd session), is held from November to December.
  • Summoning of Parliament:
    • Summoning is the process of calling all members of the Parliament to meet. The President summons each House of the Parliament from time to time. The gap between two sessions of the Parliament cannot exceed 6 months, which means the Parliament meets at least two times in one year.
  • Adjournment:
    • Adjournment terminates the sitting of the House which meets again at the time appointed for the next sitting. The postponement may be for a specified time such as hours, days or weeks.
    • If the meeting is terminated without any definite time/date fixed for the next meeting, it is called Adjournment sine die.
    • The power of adjournment as well as adjournment sine die lies with the presiding officer (Speaker or Chairman) of the House.
  • Prorogation:
    • Prorogation is the end of session and not the dissolution of the house (in case of Lok Sabha, as Rajya Sabha does not dissolve).
    • It is done by the President of India.
  • Quorum:
    • Quorum refers to the minimum number of the members required to be present for conducting a meeting of the house.
    • The Constitution has fixed one-tenth strength as quorum for both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
    • Thus, to conduct a sitting of Lok Sabha, there should be at least 55 members present while to conduct a sitting of Rajya Sabha, there should be at least 25 members present.
  • Joint Session of Parliament (Article 108):
    • The Constitution of India provides for the joint sitting of the Parliament’s two Houses, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, in order to break any deadlock between the two.
    • The joint sitting is called by the President. Such a session is presided over by the Speaker, and in his/her absence, by the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
    • In the absence of both, it is presided over by the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
      • If any of the above are not present, any other member of the Parliament can preside by consensus of both the Houses.

Source: IE

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