35 Descriptive Questions & Answers on Indian Polity (Part I)
Lok Sabha is composed of representatives of the people chosen by direct election on the basis of the adult suffrage. the maximum strength of the house envisaged by the constitution is 552, which is made up by election of up to 530 members to represent the states, up to 20 members to represent the union territories and not more than two members of the Anglo-Indian community to be nominated by the honourable president, if, in his/her opinion, that community is not adequately represented in the house. the total elective membership is distributed among the states in such a way that the ratio between the number of seats allotted to each state and the population of the state is, so far as practicable, the same for all states.
About Lok Sabha and Its History
Question 1. What is the total No. of MPs in Sixteenth Lok Sabha?
Question 2. How many male MPs are in 16th Lok Sabha?
Question 3. How many female MPs are in 16th Lok Sabha?
Question 4. Who is the Oldest MP of the 16th Lok Sabha
Answer. Shri Lal Krishna Advani, Age - 87 (D.O.B. - 08.11.1927)
Question 5. Who is the Youngest MP of the 16th Loksabha
Answer. Shri Dushyant Chautala, Age-27 (D.O.B. - 03.04.1988)
Question 6. When was the Lok Sabha (the House of the People) first constituted?
Answer. The Lok Sabha (House of the People) was duly constituted for the first time on 17 April 1952 after the first General Elections held from 25 October 1951 to 21 February 1952.
Question 7. When was the first Session of the Lok Sabha held?
Answer. The first Session of the First Lok Sabha commenced on 13 May 1952.
Question 8. Why is the Lok Sabha called the popular chamber?
Answer. The Lok Sabha is composed of representatives of the people chosen by direct election on the basis of adult suffrage. That is why it is called the popular chamber.
Question 9 .Who was the first Speaker of Lok Sabha?
Answer. Shri G.V. Mavalankar was the first Speaker of Lok Sabha (15 May 1952- 27 February 1956).
Question 10.Who was the first Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha?
Answer. Shri M. Ananthasayanam Ayyangar was the first Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha (30 May 1952-7 March 1956).
Question 11.What is the life of the Lok Sabha?
Answer. Unless sooner dissolved by the President, the Lok Sabha continues for five years from the date appointed for its first meeting and no longer, as the expiration of the period of five years operates as adissolution of the House. However, while a Proclamation of Emergency is in operation, this period may be extended by Parliament by law for a period not exceeding one year at a time and not exceeding in any case beyond a period of six months after the Proclamation has ceased to operate.
Question 12. What is the quorum to constitute a sitting of the Lok Sabha?
Answer. The quorum to constitute a sitting of the House is one-tenth of the total number of Members of the House under article 100(3) of the Constitution.
Question 13. Who is the Presiding Officer of the Lok Sabha?
Answer. The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker are the Presiding Officers of the Lok Sabha.
Question 14. What is the term of Office of the Speaker?
Answer. The Speaker continues in office till immediately before the first meeting of Lok Sabha after dissolution of the one to which he/she was elected, unless he/she ceases to be a Member by any of the reasons specified in articles 94, 101 and 102 of the Constitution.
Question 15. Who presides over the Lok Sabha when the Speaker is absent from the sitting of the House?
Answer. The Deputy Speaker presides over the Lok Sabha when the Speaker is absent from the sitting of the House.
Question 16. Who presides over the Lok Sabha when both the Speaker's and the Deputy Speaker's offices fall vacant?
Answer. When the Offices of both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker fall vacant, the duties of the Office of the Speaker are performed by such Member of the Lok Sabha as the President may appoint for the purpose. The person so appointed is known as the Speaker pro tem.
Question 17. Who presides over the House in the absence of both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker?
Answer. The Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha provide that at the commencement of the House or from time to time, as the case may be, the Speaker shall nominate from amongst the Members a Panel of not more than ten Chairpersons, any one of whom may preside over the House in the absence of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker when so requested by the Speaker or, in the absence of the Speaker, by the Deputy Speaker. A Chairperson so nominated, holds office until a new Panel of Chairpersons is nominated, unless he/she resigns earlier from the Panel or is appointed a Minister or elected as Deputy Speaker.
Question 18. Who is the present Speaker of the Lok Sabha?
Answer. Smt. Sumitra Mahajan.
Question 19. Who is the present Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha?
Answer. Dr. M. Thambi Durai
Question 20. Who is the Leader of the House in the Sixteenth Lok Sabha?
Answer. Shri Narendra Damodardas Modi.
Question 21. What are the qualifications to become a Member of the Lok Sabha?
Answer. To become a member of the Lok Sabha, a person should be a citizen of India, not less than 25 years of age and possess such other qualifications as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament [Art. 84].
Question 22. What is the legislative relationship between the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha?
Answer. In legislative matters, both the Houses enjoy almost equal powers except in the case of Money Bills. The main function of both the Houses is to pass laws. Every Bill has to be passed by both the Houses and assented to by the President before it becomes law. In case of Money Bills, the Lok Sabha has overriding powers.
Question 23. Is any deadlock between the two Houses possible?
Answer. Yes. In the case of Bills other than Money Bills and Constitution Amendment Bills, a disagreement between the two Houses may arise when a Bill passed by one House is rejected by the other House; or the Houses have finally disagreed as to the amendments to be made in the Bill; or more than six months have elapsed from the date of receipt of the Bill by the other House without the Bill being passed by it.
Question 24. What is the mechanism for resolving such a deadlock between the two Houses?
Answer. A joint sitting of both Houses is convened by the President for this purpose. [Article 108]
Question 25. How many joint sittings of the Houses have been convened so far?
Answer. So far, joint sittings of the two Houses have taken place on three occasions. The first joint sitting was held on 6 May 1961 following a disagreement between the two Houses over certain amendments to the Dowry Prohibition Bill, 1959. This was followed by another sitting on 9 May 1961 when the Bill, as amended, was finally passed. The second joint sitting was held on 16 May 1978, following the rejection by the Rajya Sabha of the Banking Service Commission (Repeal) Bill, 1977 and the Bill was passed. The third joint sitting was held on 26 March 2002 when the motion to consider the Prevention of Terrorism Bill, 2002, seeking to replace the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) as passed by the Lok Sabha was rejected by the Rajya Sabha. At this sitting held for the purpose of deliberating and voting on the Prevention of Terrorism Bill, 2002, the Bill was passed.
Question 26. Who presides over the joint sitting of the two Houses?
Answer. The Speaker of the Lok Sabha presides over the joint sitting of the two Houses. [Article 118(4)]
Question 27. Does the Speaker have the right to vote?
Answer. The Speaker has a casting vote in the event of a tie. It is customary for the Presiding Officer to exercise the casting vote in such a manner as to maintain the status quo.
Question 28. How many Sessions of the Lok Sabha are held in a year?
Answer. Normally three Sessions of the Lok Sabha are held in a year, viz.,
1. Budget Session - -------------------February - May
2. Autumn or Monsoon Session--- July - August
3. Winter Session-November ----- -----December
Question 29. What is meant by Adjournment, Prorogation and Dissolution of the Lok Sabha?
Answer. "Adjournment" is a postponement of the sitting or proceedings of the House from one time to another specified for the reassembling of the House. During the course of a Session, the Lok Sabha may be adjourned from day to day or for more than a day. It may also be adjourned sine die which means the termination of a sitting of the House without any definite date being fixed for its next sitting.
"Prorogation" means the termination of a Session of the House by an order made by the President under article 85(2)(a) of the Constitution. The Prorogation of the House may take place any time, even while the House is sitting. However, usually, prorogation follows the adjournment of the sitting of the House sine die.
"Dissolution" of the House means the end of the life of the Lok Sabha either by an order made by the President under article 85 (2) (b) of the Constitution or on the expiration of the period of five years from the date appointed for its first meeting. Dissolution puts an end to the representative character of the individuals who at the time compose the Lok Sabha.
On adjournment of the Lok Sabha or its adjournment sine die, the pending business does not lapse. Bills pending before either House or Select/Joint Committee, Motions, Resolutions, and amendments which have already been moved and pending in the House, and business pending before a Parliamentary Committee do not lapse on prorogation whereas all business pending before the House or any of its Committee lapse on dissolution. Prorogation terminates a Session and does not constitute an interruption in the continuity of life of the Lok Sabha which is brought to an end only by dissolution.
Question 30: What is Question Hour?
Answer. Rule32 of the “Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha” provides that unless the Speaker otherwise directs, the first hour of every sitting of the House shall be available for the asking and answering of Questions. Thus, it is taken up from 1100hrs to 1200 hrs in every sitting. Normally, there is no Question Hour during the first Session of the new Lok Sabha and also on the day when the President addresses both houses assembled together or on the day when General Budget is presented in Lok Sabha and on the sittings held during the extended period of session or on Saturdays/Sundays and Holidays.
Question 31. What is a Parliamentary Question?
Answer. Question is one of the important Parliamentary devices available to the Members to seek information on a matter of urgent public importance subject to conditions imposed by the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha and the Directions by the Speaker. A Member may ask question for the purpose of obtaining information on a subject matter of public importance within the special cognizance of the minister to whom it is addressed.
Question 32. What are the different types of Questions?
Answer. There are basically four types of Questions:-
Starred: A Member who desires an oral answer to his question is required to distinguish it by an asterix. Maximum 20 Questions are included in the list of Starred Questions for a particular day. This is printed on green paper. Minimum of 15 clear days notice is required for tabling Starred Questions. The Questions not orally answered in the Starred list of questions are treated as Unstarred Questions and their replies are laid on the Table of the House.
Unstarred: These do not carry the asterix mark and are meant for obtaining written reply. Not more than 230 Questions can be placed on the Unstarred list for a particular sitting. This list is printed on white paper. Minimum 15 clear days notice is required for tabling Unstarred Questions. Written answers given by the Ministers are deemed to have been laid on the Table of the House at the end of Question Hour.
Short Notice Question: Question can also be asked on a matter of urgent public importance at a notice of less than ten clear days. The list of admitted SNQ is printed on a pink paper. The procedure of SNQ is regulated by Rule 54 and the basic test for its admissibility is the urgency of matter. SNQ is asked and answered soon after the Question Hour.
Question to Private Members: A Question may also be addressed to a Private Member under Rule 40 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha, which provides that the subject matter of the question should be related to some Bill, Resolution or other matter connected with the Business of the House for which that Member is responsible. For instance, the Questions which relates to matters under the purview of Parliamentary Committees can be addressed to respective Chairperson. Similarly, Members piloting Private Members Bills and Resolutions can be addressed questions, which are within cognizance of them under this provision. The procedure in regard to such questions is the same as that followed in the case of questions addressed to a Minister with such variations as the Speaker may consider necessary.
Question 33. What is the maximum number of Questions admitted for a particular day?
Answer. The maximum number of Questions to be placed on the list of Questions for oral answers (Starred Question) on a particular day is 20, while the maximum number of questions to be placed on the list of Unstarred Question is 230. However, the number of Unstarred Questions may exceed by a maximum of 25 Questions pertaining to State/States under President’s Rule.
Question 34. Whether there is any restriction regarding the number of notices that each Member may give with regard to Questions?
Answer. A Member is permitted to give not more than 10 notices of Questions both Starred and Unstarred combined for any day. But not more than five admitted questions, both Starred and Unstarred combined, by one Member are placed on the list of questions for any one day. Out of these 5 questions, not more than one Question distinguished by the Member with asterisk* as Starred is placed on the list of Questions for oral answer. This limit of one question for oral answer does not include any Short Notice Question of the Member which may have been admitted for answer on that day. However, a Member can have more than one Starred question in the list in the event of transfer or postponement of Questions in the printed list from one day to another.
Question 35. Who decides the admissibility of Questions?
Answer. Admissibility of questions is governed by Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha, Directions by the Speaker as also the past precedents. The Speaker, Lok Sabha, decides whether a question or a part thereof, is or is not admissible under the Rules, and may disallow any question, or a part thereof, when in his/her opinion, it is an abuse of the right of questioning or is calculated to obstruct or prejudicially affect the procedure of the House or is in contravention of the Rules. The right to ask a question is governed by certain conditions like it should be pointed, specific and confined to one issue only. It should not contain arguments, inferences, ironical expressions, imputations, epithets or defamatory statements.