Composition of Rajya Sabha
The maximum strength of the Rajya Sabha is fixed at 250, out of which, 238 are to be the representatives of the states and union territories (elected indirectly) and 12 are nominated by the president.
At present, the Rajya Sabha has 245 members. Of these, 229 members represent the states, 4 members represent the union territories and 12 members are nominated by the president.
The Fourth Schedule of the Constitution deals with the allocation of seats in the Rajya Sabha to the states and union territories.
1. Representation of States The representatives of states in the Rajya Sabha are elected by the elected members of state legislative assemblies. The election is held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote. The seats are allotted to the states in the Rajya Sabha on the basis of population. Hence, the number of representatives varies from state to state. For example, Uttar Pradesh has 31 members while Tripura has 1 member only. However, in USA, all states are given equal representation in the Senate irrespective of their population. USA has 50 states and the Senate has 100 members—2 from each state.
2. Representation of Union Territories The representatives of each union territory in the Rajya Sabha are indirectly elected by members of an electroral college specially constituted for the purpose. This election is also held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote. Out of the seven union territories, only two (Delhi and Puducherry) have representation in Rajya Sabha. The populations of other five union territories are too small to have any representative in the Rajya Sabha.
3. Nominated Members The president nominates 12 members to the Rajya Sabha from people who have special knowledge or practical experience in art, literature, science and social service. The rationale behind this principle of nomination is to provide eminent persons a place in the Rajya Sabha without going through the process of election. It should be noted here that the American Senate has no nominated members.
Composition of Lok Sabha
The maximum strength of the Lok Sabha is fixed at 552. Out of this, 530 members are to be the representatives of the states, 2 members are to be the representatives of the union territories and 2 members are to be nominated by the president from the Anglo-Indian community.
At present, the Lok Sabha has 545 members. Of these, 530 members represent the states, 13 members represent the union territories and 2 Anglo- Indian members are nominated by the President.
1. Representation of States The representatives of states in the Lok Sabha are directly elected by the people from the territorial constituencies in the states. The election is based on the principle of universal adult franchise. Every Indian citizen who is above 18 years of age and who is not disqualified under the provisions of the Constitution or any law is eligible to vote at such election. The voting age was reduced from 21 to 18 years by the 61st Constitutional Amendment Act, 1988.
2. Representation of Union Territories The Constitution has empowered the Parliament to prescribe the manner of choosing the representatives of the union territories in the Lok Sabha. Accordingly, the Parliament has enacted the Union Territories (Direct Election to the House of the People) Act, 1965, by which the members of Lok Sabha from the union territories are also chosen by direct election.
3. Nominated Members The president can nominate two members from the Anglo-Indian community if the community is not adequately represented in the Lok Sabha. Originally, this provision was to operate till 1960 but has been extended till 2020 by the 95th Amendment Act, 2009.
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