Why do we need a parliament?

  • In all democracies, an a ssembly of elected representatives exercises supreme political authority on behalf of the people.

  • In India, such a national assembly of elected representatives is called Parliament.

  • At the state level, this is called Legislature or Legislative assembly.

  • It exercises political authority on behalf of the peopl e in many ways:
    1. Parliament is the final authority for making laws in any country. This task of law-making or legislation is so crucial that these assemblies are called legislatures.

    2. Parliament all over the world exercises some control over those who run the government.
      In some countries like India, this control is direct and full. Those who run the government can take decisions only so long as they enjoy the support of parliament.

    3. Parliaments control all the money that government has.

    4. Parliament is the highest forum of discussion and debate on public issues and national parties in any country. Parliament can seek information about any matter.

The Houses of Parliament

  • In India, Parliament consists of two houses.

  • The two houses are known as the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) and the House of People (Lok Sabha).

  • The President of India is a part of Parliament, although she is not a member of either house.

  • All laws made in the Houses come into force only after they receive the assent of the President.

  • Rajya Sabha is called the ‘Upper Chamber’ and Lok Sabha the ‘Lower Chamber’.

  • Our Constitution does not give Rajya Sabha some special powers over the states. But on most matters, the Lok Sabha exercises supreme.
    1. Any ordinary law needs to be passed from both houses. But if there is a difference between the two Houses, the final decision is taken in a joint session. Because of the larger number of members, the view of the Lok Sabha is likely to prevail in such a meeting.

    2. Lok Sabha exercises more powers in money matters.

    3. Most importantly, the Lok sabha controls the Council of Ministers. Only a person who enjoys the support of the majority of the members in the Lok Sabha is appointed the Prime Minister. If the majority of the Lok Sabha members say they have ‘no confidence in the Council of Ministers, all ministers including the Prime Minister, have to quit. The Rajya Sabha does not have this power.
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Davneet Singh

Davneet Singh has done his B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He has been teaching from the past 14 years. He provides courses for Maths, Science, Social Science, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science at Teachoo.