Prelims Syllabus : Parliament Mains Syllabus : GS-II Parliament and State Legislatures - structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
Why in News?
- Elections to 18 Rajya Sabha seats that were scheduled to take place have been deferred due to the Coronavirus pandemic by the Election Commission of India (ECI).
Composition of Rajya Sabha:
- Article 80 of the Constitution lays down the maximum strength of Rajya Sabha as 250, out of which 12 members are nominated by the President and 238 are representatives of the States and of the two Union Territories.
- The members nominated by the President are persons having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as literature, science, art and social service.
- The Vice-President is the ex-officio chairperson of the Rajya Sabha.
- The Deputy Chairman, who is elected from amongst the house’s members, takes care of the day-to-day matters of the house in the absence of the Chairman.
Allocation of Seats to Rajya Sabha:
- The Fourth Schedule to the Constitution provides for the allocation of seats to the States and Union Territories in Rajya Sabha.
- The allocation of seats is made on the basis of the population of each State.
- Consequent on the reorganization of States and formation of new States, the number of elected seats in the Rajya Sabha allotted to States and Union Territories has changed from time to time since 1952.
- Every Rajya Sabha MP has tenure of six years and elections to one-third seats are held every two years.
- According to Section 154 of the Representation of the People Act 1951, a member chosen to fill a casual vacancy will serve for the remainder of his predecessor’s term of office.
What are the Eligibilities to become a Member of Rajya Sabha?
- A member of the Rajya Sabha must:
- Be a citizen of India;
- Be at least 30 years old;
- Possess such other qualifications as may be prescribed in that behalf by or under any law made by Parliament.
Process of Rajya Sabha Election:
- The representatives of the States and of the Union Territories in the Rajya Sabha are elected by the method of indirect election.
- The representatives of each State and two Union territories are elected by the elected members of the Legislative Assembly of that State and by the members of the Electoral College for that Union Territory, as the case may be, in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.
- To win a Rajya Sabha seat, a candidate should get a required number of votes. That number is found out using the below formula. Required vote = Total number of votes / (Number of Rajya Sabha seats + 1) + 1.