Productivity of Rajya Sabha
The Vice-President of India after completing his three years in office has highlighted the declining productivity of Rajya Sabha.
• The Vice President has revealed that the productivity of the House has been declining over the last 25 years with the House reporting annual productivity of 100% only once in 1999 during the last 20 years.
• The overall productivity of the last eight sessions till 2020 has been 65.50%, despite the intervening election year seriously impacting the functioning of the House for three sessions.
• The productivity of Rajya Sabha was only 28.90% during the 248th session, 27.30% during the 247th and a low of 6.80% during the 248th session. As a result, the annual productivity of Rajya Sabha has been 35.75%, the lowest ever.
• The functioning of the House subsequently was marked by sustained high levels of productivity of 104% during the 249th session, 99% during the historic 250th session and 76% during the last and 251st session.
• The highest productivity of 78.42% was observed during 2019 after 2010.
Reason for Low Productivity:
• Lack of consensus
• Reducing the number of days of sittings
• Politicization of Rajya Sabha
• Less attendance
• Excessive discussion on certain topics
The Rajya Sabha came into being on April 3, 1952 and held its first session on May 13 the same year.
The Rajya Sabha is the upper house of the parliament and also called the Council of State.
For the first time Bicameralism was introduced in the central legislature under the provisions of the Government of India Act 1919.
Bicameralism is a principle that requires the consent of two differently constituted chambers of Parliament for making or changing laws. Federalism and bicameralism are linked because the federal character of a nation comprising constituent units can be reflected in, and secured by, a bicameral legislature.
Special Powers of Rajya Sabha
The Rajya Sabha has been given four exclusive or special powers that are not enjoyed by the Lok Sabha:
It can authorise the Parliament to make a law on a subject enumerated in the State List (Article 249).
It can authorise the Parliament to create new All-India Services common to both the Centre and states (Article 312).
It alone can initiate a move for the removal of the Vice President. In other words, a resolution for the removal of the Vice President can be introduced only in the Rajya Sabha and not in the Lok Sabha (Article 67).
If a proclamation is issued by the President for imposing National Emergency or President’s rule or Financial Emergency at a time when the Lok Sabha has been dissolved or the dissolution of the Lok Sabha takes place within the period allowed for its approval, then the proclamation can remain effective even if it is approved by the Rajya Sabha alone (Articles 352, 356 and 360).
Thus Rajya Sabha is not just a secondary house of parliament but it plays an important role in protecting the interests of state and has some exclusive power of its own. Thus it is an important second house of the parliament and its efficiency is important in parliamentary democracy which relies on debate, discussions and deliberations.
PEPPER IT WITH
Article 100, 108, 110, 249, 312, 243R, Comparison of Rajya Sabha with Lok Sabha, Legislative Councils