UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis | Rajya Sabha (Upper House) | 13 June 2022

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What the article is about?

  • Talks about the necessity and concerns related with the Upper House of Parliament.

Syllabus: GS-II Constitution, Council of states

Upper House (Rajya Sabha):

  • Rajya Sabha’ or the ‘Council of States’ is the second chamber of the Indian parliament, which traces its origin to the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms, 1919.
    • The origin of the Rajya Sabha or the Second Chamber can be traced to the Montague-Chelmsford Report of 1918.
  • The Upper House of the Parliament, Rajya Sabha or Council of States was constituted on 3rd April 1952 and the first session was held on 13th May 1952.
  • Constituent Assembly Debates Regarding Rajya Sabha
    • Against the Rajya Sabha
      • The section in the constituent assembly who was opposed to the idea of Rajya sabha held that an Upper House was not essential and opinionated that such a chamber can prove to be a “clog in the wheel of progress” of the nation, by delaying the legislative process.
    • In favour of Rajya Sabha
      • Proponents of the Rajya Sabha held that an upper chamber would lend a voice to the states in the legislative scheme of things and check the legislation passed in haste.


  • Bicameralism is necessary for a federal constitution to give representation to the units of the federation.
  • Review and Revaluation Role: Indian constitution framers wanted to create a house that would act as a revisionary house to keep a check on the hasty legislation that could be passed by the lower house under populist pressures.
  • A Deliberative Body: Parliament is not only a legislative body but also a deliberative one which enables the members to debate major issues of public importance.
  • Representing the Vulnerable Sections: Women, religious, ethnic and linguistic minority groups are not adequately represented in the Lok Sabha (due to first past the post-election system).
  • Special powers:
    • Power to transfer a subject from the State List to Union List for a specified period (Article 249).
    • To create additional All-India Services (Article 312).
    • To endorse Emergency under Article 352 for a limited period when the Lok Sabha remains dissolved.


  • No equal Representation of states: For example, the number of seats allocated in Rajya Sabha to Uttar Pradesh alone is significantly higher than that of combined north-eastern states.
  • In some cases, ordinary bills are being passed in the form of a Money Bill, circumventing the Rajya Sabha and giving rise to the question about the very efficacy of the upper house of Parliament.
  • By way of the Representation of People (Amendment) Act, 2003, parliament has removed the word ‘domicile’ from Section 3 of Representation of People Act, 1951.
    • Once nominated, they rarely participate in the working of the house.
      • Sachin Tendulkar was appointed in 2012 and the House has met 374 days since then, but the attendance of Sachin Tendulkar is a meagre 24 days.

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