Composition of Rajya Sabha

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The Rajya Sabha can hold a maximum of 250 members, of whom 238 must be representatives of states and union territories (elected indirectly) and 12 must be presidential nominees.
The Rajya Sabha currently has 245 members. In total, there are 229 members who represent the states, 4 members who represent the union territories, and 12 members who are president-nominated.
The Constitution‘s Fourth Schedule addresses how the states and union territories are assigned seats in the Rajya Sabha.

The First is the Representation of States

The elected members of state legislative assemblies elect the representatives of the states to the Rajya Sabha. Using a single transferable vote, the election is conducted in accordance with the proportional representation system. According to population, the states are assigned seats in the Rajya Sabha. As a result, there are different numbers of representatives in each state. For instance, Tripura has just 1 member while Uttar Pradesh has 31. However, regardless of their population, all states in the USA receive equal representation in the Senate. The United States has 50 states, and the Senate has 100 senators, two from each.

Union Territories are represented

Members of an electoral college created especially for the purpose indirectly elect each union territory’s representatives to the Rajya Sabha. By using a single transferable vote, this election is also conducted in accordance with the proportional representation system. Only three of the nine union territories have representatives in the Rajya Sabha: Delhi, Puducherry, and Jammu and Kashmir. Six additional union territories do not have enough people to elect any representatives to the Rajya Sabha.

Nominated Participants

In order to fill 12 seats in the Rajya Sabha, the president chooses candidates with expertise in the fields of art, literature, science, and social work. The idea behind this nomination rule is to provide notable individuals a seat in the Rajya Sabha without having to go through the election process. It should be noted that there are now no nominees for the American Senate.

Key Aspects of the Composition of Rajya Sabha

The Indian Constitution specifies the exact makeup of the Rajya Sabha, which is the upper house of the Indian Parliament. The following are the main characteristics of the Rajya Sabha’s composition:

  1. Members: The Rajya Sabha is a perpetual body, and the Indian Constitution does not specify a cap on its membership. However, the Rajya Sabha can only have a maximum of 250 members as of my most recent knowledge update in September 2021. This includes 12 members chosen by the President of India for their competence in a variety of subjects, such as literature, science, art, and social services, as well as 238 members from states and union territories.
  2. Allocation of Seats: The distribution of seats in the Rajya Sabha is determined by the populations of the various states and union territories. Each state and union territory is entitled to a certain number of seats, as stated in the Constitution. Smaller states have fewer seats, while those with bigger populations have more representatives. For instance, larger states like Uttar Pradesh, with their substantial population, have more representatives than smaller ones like Goa.
  3. Election of Members: Under the single transferable vote (STV) system, the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the States and the members of the Electoral College for Union territories elect the members of the Rajya Sabha rather than the general electorate. By using an indirect voting system, the Rajya Sabha is guaranteed to represent the states and union territories without being directly impacted by popular opinion.
  4. Term of Office: Members of the Rajya Sabha hold office for a period of six years. A third of the members retire every two years, while the tenure of the members are staggered. This method guarantees that the Rajya Sabha will continue to operate in the same manner.
  5. Representation of Union Territories: The Rajya Sabha is responsible for representing both states and union territories. Union territories are represented by representatives appointed by the President, whereas states have a predetermined number of seats based on their population. The President decides how many candidates to nominate for each union territory.
  6. Members proposed for nomination: The President of India may propose up to 12 candidates for the Rajya Sabha. These individuals were picked for their knowledge in a range of disciplines, including social work, science, literature, and the arts. Members who have been nominated add to the Rajya Sabha’s diversity.
  7. Membership Requirements: A person must be an Indian citizen and at least 30 years old in order to be eligible to join the Rajya Sabha. They must also fulfill additional requirements outlined by the Constitution and the Representation of the People Act.
  8. Anglo-Indian Community Representation: The original provisions of the Indian Constitution called for the President to nominate members of the Anglo-Indian community to represent them in the Rajya Sabha. However, due to constitutional modifications, this provision, which was initially intended to be transitory, has been prolonged for a short time. There are no reserved seats for the Anglo-Indian community in the Rajya Sabha after the ten-year extension granted by the 104th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2019.
  9. Vacancies and By-Elections: If a seat in the Rajya Sabha becomes vacant for any reason, like as a member’s resignation or death, the state or union territory legislative assembly or electoral college will hold a by-election to fill the vacancy. The by-election winner fills out the remaining term for the vacant seat.
  10. Chairperson: The vice president of India preside over the Rajya Sabha as its official chair. A Deputy Chairman chosen by the members preside over the proceedings in the vice president’s absence. In order to keep the house functioning well throughout debates and deliberations, the Chairman or Deputy Chairman is a key figure.

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