The Rajya Sabha or the Council of States is the upper house of the Parliament of India, which represents the interests of the states and union territories in a federal system. It is a permanent house which does not dissolve, rather one-third of its members retire after every other year.
Role and Relevance:
Formulation of Law
The Rajya Sabha plays an active role in the legislative process along with the Lok Sabha or the lower house.
It can introduce, amend or reject any bill except a money bill, which is a special bill of the Lok Sabha. For this, it is mandatory to send the bill back to the Lok Sabha with or without its recommendations within 14 days.However, in the event of a deadlock between the two Houses on a bill, a joint sitting may be called, where the Lok Sabha has the advantage of greater numbers and its larger size.
Further, the Rajya Sabha cannot initiate or amend constitutional amendment bills, which require a special majority in both the Houses.
The Rajya Sabha keeps a check on the executive by asking questions, introducing motions, passing resolutions, demanding discussions, etc.
The Rajya Sabha has no role in the formation or dissolution of the government, the formation or dissolution of the government depends only on the support of the majority in the Lok Sabha.
The Rajya Sabha reflects the federal principle and diversity of India by representing the states and union territories in the national legislature.
It also reflects India's pluralism and diversity by accommodating various parties, groups and interests in its structure.However, the representation of states and union territories in the Rajya Sabha is not in proportion to their population, as there is a limit of 250 elected members and a minimum of one member for each state and union territory.
Also, some states and union territories have more or less representation in the Rajya Sabha due to historical reasons or political calculations.
increase in representation
Rajya Sabha should be reformed to ensure fair and equitable representation of states and union territories in proportion to their population.
Adequate representation of women, minorities, backward classes etc. should also be ensured in this.
It should also avoid nomination of persons with political affiliation or conflict of interest.