Committee System

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Committee System :: Parliaments in India | Representation of State and Union Territories | Stages Passage of Bills | Joint Session of Indian Parliament

Appointed to save time.

Most of them functions under the direction of the Speaker and are essentially Committees of the Lok Sabha.

Classified under two heads:

  1. Standing Committees
  2. Ad hoc Committees

The Standing Committees may be classified as follows:

1. Committee to Enquire

  • Committee on Petitions
  • Committee on Privileges
  • Committee on welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
  • Committees on welfare of women and minorities

2. Committee to ScrutinizeGeneral Studies Question Bank CD

  • Committee on Government Assurances
  • Committee on subordinate legislation
  • Committee on papers laid on the table of the House

3. Financial Committees

  • Estimates Committee
  • Public Accounts Committee
  • Committee on Public Undertaking
  • 17 Departmentally Related Committees

4. Committees of Administrative Character

  • Business Advisory Committee
  • Committee on Private Member’s Bill
  • Committee on Absence of Members
  • Committee on Office of Profit

5. Committees dealing with Provision of facilities to Members

  • General Purpose Committee
  • House Committee
  • Library Committee
  • Joint Committee on salaries and Allowances
  • Rules Committee

Members of the Rajya Sabha are associated with all the Committees except the Estimates Committee.

They constitute about one third of the strength of each Committee. They are either elected by the Rajya Sabha or nominated by the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

Members of the Lok Sabha constitute two third of the strength of the Committee in which Rajya Sabha members are there.

They are either elected by the Lok Sabha or are nominated by the Speaker. The members of the Committee are generally elected for not more than one year.

As far as possible all the parties in the Parliament are represented in the Committees proportionate to their strength in the Parliament.

The Chairman of all the Committees (except the Joint Committee on Salaries and Allowances of MPs) are appointed by the Speaker from amongst the members of the Committee.

Joint Committee on Salaries and Allowances appoints its own Chairman. The Chairman of the Committee on Public Accounts is appointed by the Speaker from amongst opposition members elected from Lok Sabha.

In case die Speaker is a member of a Committee, he is ex – officio Chairman of the Committee.

Question Hour

The first hour of every sitting in both houses (11 – 12 AM). In this questions are asked by members & answered by ministers.

3 Types of questions :

  1. Starred Questions (1 member can ask only one / day) for which oral answers is required.
  2. Unstarred Questions for which written answer (10 days notice) is required.
  3. Short Notice Questions are the ones which relates to matters of urgent public importance and can be asked by members with notice shorter than the ten days prescribed for an ordinary question.

Zero Hour

From 12 – 1 PM daily. Time allotted everyday for miscellaneous business is call – attention notices, questions on official statements & adjournment motions.


It is a proposal brought before the house for its opinion / decision.

Types of Motion :

a. Privilege Motion A resolution introduced by the opposition that a minister has mislead the house by giving wrong information.

b. Censure Motion Can be moved only in Lok Sabha only by the opposition.

It can be brought against die ruling government or against any minister for the failure to act or seeking disapproval of their policy.

A censure motion must specify the charges against the government for which it is moved. Further, no leave of the House is required for moving it.

If a censure motion is passed in the Lok Sabha, the Council of ministers is bound to seek the confidence of the Lok Sabha as early as possible.General Studies Question Bank CD

c. No Confidence Motion Can be moved only in Lok Sabha and only by the opposition.

It can be brought only against the Council of ministers and not against any individual minister.

Further, unlike censure motion, a no – confidence motion need not set out any specific ground.

Once admitted in the House, it takes precedence over all the pending business of the House.

Generally the PM answers the allegations after the members have spoken.

If the motion is adopted by the House, the Council of Ministers is bound to resign.

d. Call – Attention Motion

A member (after permission from Speaker) calls the attention of the minister to any matter of ‘urgent public importance’.

There is no Call – Attention motion in the Rajya Sabha. Instead there exists a motion called ‘Motion for Papers’.

e. Adjournment Motion

Leads to setting aside the normal business of the House for discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance.

f. Cut Motions

They are moved in the Lok Sabha only. They are part of the budgetary process which seeks to reduce the amounts for grants.

Cut Motions can be divided into three categories:

  • Policy Cut : A cut motion which says “The amount of the demand be reduced to Re.1”, implies that the mover disapproves of the policy underlying the demand.
  • Economy Cut : The object of the motion is to reduce the amount of die expenditure and the form of the motion is “The amount of the demand be reduced by … (a specified amount)”.
  • Token Cut : Where the object of the motion is to ventilate a specific grievance within the sphere of responsibility of the Government of India and its form is “The amount of the demand be reduced by 100″.

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