Upholding Democracy: An In-depth Exploration of the Composition and Functions of the Parliament of India
Upholding Democracy: An In-depth Exploration of the Composition and Functions of the Parliament of India

The Parliament of India stands as the cornerstone of the country's democratic framework, embodying the aspirations and voices of its diverse populace. Comprising two houses—the Lok Sabha (House of the People) and the Rajya Sabha (Council of States)—it serves as the supreme legislative body, wielding considerable authority in shaping the nation's laws and policies. In this discourse, we delve into the intricate composition and multifaceted functions of the Indian Parliament, elucidating its pivotal role in governance and democracy.

Composition of the Parliament:

  1. Lok Sabha (House of the People):
  • Comprised of directly elected representatives of the people.
  • Members elected through universal adult suffrage and territorial representation.
  • Currently, it has a maximum strength of 545 members, including 543 elected members and 2 nominated members from the Anglo-Indian community (abolished in 2020).
  1. Rajya Sabha (Council of States):
  • Constituted by members indirectly elected by the elected members of the State Legislative Assemblies.
  • Designed to represent the interests of states and union territories.
  • Its maximum strength stands at 250 members, with 238 members representing states and union territories and 12 members nominated by the President for their expertise in various fields.

Functions of the Parliament:

  1. Legislative Functions:
  • Enacting laws: Parliament has the authority to enact, amend, and repeal laws on matters within the Union List and Concurrent List.
  • Budgetary functions: It deliberates and approves the annual budget, including the demands for grants, taxation policies, and financial allocations.
  • Passage of bills: Both houses discuss and pass bills, which subsequently require presidential assent to become law.
  1. Executive Functions:
  • Oversight of the government: Parliament scrutinizes the actions and policies of the executive through mechanisms like question hours, debates, and parliamentary committees.
  • Approval of key appointments: It confirms appointments to constitutional and statutory bodies, such as the Chief Election Commissioner, Comptroller and Auditor General, and members of various commissions.
  1. Financial Functions:
  • Budgetary control: Parliament exercises control over public finances by approving budgets and authorizing expenditures.
  • Taxation and fiscal policies: It debates and approves tax proposals and fiscal policies presented by the government.
  1. Representative Functions:
  • Voice of the people: Members of Parliament (MPs) represent the interests, concerns, and aspirations of their constituents, ensuring that diverse voices are heard in the legislative process.
  • Advocacy and constituency development: MPs engage in constituency-related activities, addressing grievances, and advocating for development projects and welfare schemes.

The Parliament of India stands as the vanguard of democracy, embodying the principles of representation, accountability, and governance. Through its diverse composition and multifaceted functions, it serves as the fulcrum of India's democratic ethos, fostering debate, deliberation, and decision-making for the collective welfare of its citizens. As the custodian of constitutional values and the voice of the people, the Indian Parliament remains indispensable in steering the nation towards progress, equity, and justice.