Articles by PRS Team

As the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid pot bubbled last week, nominated Member of Rajya Sabha Rakesh Sinha said he would bring a private member’s Bill “on the Ram Temple”. How are private member’s Bills introduced and discussed? What chance does such a Bill have of...
The monsoon session of parliament in 2018 marked the end of four years of the National Democratic Alliance government in power. Parliament will convene for two more sessions before next year’s national elections. For the first time in four years, a no-confidence motion...
आपराधिक मामलों में फंसे नेताओं के चुनाव लड़ने पर फैसला देते हुए सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने इसे संसद के विवेक पर छोड़ दिया है. अब समस्या यह है कि क्या संसद खुद कोई ऐसा कानून बनायेगी, जिससे कि संसद को दागदार छवि वाले नेताओं से मुक्त बनाया जा सके? क्योंकि, आज एक भी ऐसी पार्टी नहीं...
The Digital India Land Records Modernisation Programme (DILRMP)—the erstwhile National Land Records Modernisation Programme—seeks to improve the quality of land records in the country, make them more accessible, and move towards government-guaranteed titles. A...
The monsoon session of parliament concluded last Friday. This was one of the most productive sessions of the 16th Lok Sabha, with 18 bills being passed. This session also witnessed discussion on the first no-confidence motion against this government,...
The new Deputy Chairperson of Rajya Sabha will be elected Thursday. The Deputy Chairman is a constitutional position created under Article 89 of the Constitution, which specifies that Rajya Sabha shall choose one of its MPs to be the Deputy Chairman as often as the...
Parliament productivity in both Houses witnessed a dip last week. While the Lok Sabha’s productivity reduced to 117%, Rajya Sabha’s productivity was 68% due to disruptions related to issues around the draft National Register of Citizens in Assam. While no...
So far the monsoon session of Parliament has seen spectacular productivity with Lok Sabha spending 120% of allotted time and Rajya Sabha spending 91% of its time on debating issues and passing legislation. This session is among the most productive sessions since 2000...
In a parliamentary democracy, a government can be in power only if it commands a majority in the directly elected House. Article 75(3) of our Constitution embodies this rule by specifying that the Council of Ministers are collectively responsible to Lok Sabha. The...
This series on the Parliament was published following the stasis in functioning of the two Houses the last time they were in session. We've reproduced it ahead of the Monsoon sitting, which begins on 18 July. Editor's note: The recently concluded Budget Session...
The Rajya Sabha has been functioning for 67 years. During this time, governance has become complicated and the subjects of laws more technical. But the rules governing the functioning of the Rajya Sabha have not kept pace with the times. Earlier this month, Vice...
Who will be overseeing the floor test in Karnataka? Pro tem Speaker. As per the Supreme Court order on May 18, “Since the elected Members of Legislative Assembly are yet to take oath as specified in Schedule III of the Constitution and the Speaker is also yet to be...
Editor's note: The recently concluded Budget Session of Parliament was, by all accounts, the least productive in at least a decade, marked by protest, adjournment, and very little constructive debate, let alone passage of bills. Firstpost will examine,...
Editor's note: The recently concluded Budget Session of Parliament was, by all accounts, the least productive in at least a decade, marked by protest, adjournment, and very little constructive debate, let alone passage of bills. Firstpost will examine,...
Over the last few days, the retail prices of petrol and diesel have touched an all-time high. In Delhi, petrol was selling at 74.6/litre on April 25, 2018, while diesel was at 66/litre. Petroleum products are used as raw materials in various sectors and industries such...
Over the last few days, the retail prices of petrol and diesel have touched an all-time high.  In Delhi, petrol was selling at 74.6/litre on April 25, 2018, while diesel was at 66/litre. Petroleum products are used as raw materials in various sectors and...
Last week, 64 Rajya Sabha members signed a notice of motion for the removal of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu refused to admit the impeachment motion on Monday. The question that is now being debated is whether the...
Editor's note: The recently concluded Budget Session of Parliament was, by all accounts, the least productive in at least a decade, marked by protest, adjournment, and very little constructive debate, let alone passage of bills. Firstpost will examine,...
With states increasingly spending more funds, a robust examination in the legislature for such expenditure is imperative Legislatures in India are mandated to scrutinise Budget that affects every citizen. While the focus has been on poor performance of Parliament in...
Today, some MPs initiated proceedings for the removal of the current chief justice of India by submitting a notice to the chairman of Rajya Sabha. A judge may be removed from office through a motion adopted by parliament on grounds of ‘proven misbehaviour or incapacity...
NEW DELHI : Today, some Members of Parliament initiated proceedings for the removal of the current Chief Justice of India by submitting a notice to the Chairman of Rajya Sabha.  A judge may be removed from office through a motion adopted by Parliament on grounds...
Editor's note: The recently concluded Budget Session of Parliament was, by all accounts, the least productive in at least a decade, marked by protest, adjournment, and very little constructive debate, let alone passage of bills. Firstpost will examine,...
The Union Cabinet recently approved the launch of the National Health Protection Mission which was announced during Budget 2018-19. The Mission aims to provide a cover of five lakh rupees per family per year to about 10.7 crore families belonging to...
The Union Cabinet recently approved the launch of the National Health Protection Mission which was announced during Budget 2018-19. The Mission aims to provide a cover of five lakh rupees per family per year to about 10.7 crore families belonging to...
In November 2017, the 15th Finance Commission (Chair: Mr N. K. Singh) was constituted to give recommendations on the transfer of resources from the centre to states for the five year period between 2020-25.  In recent times, there has been some...
The current washout of the Parliamentary session throws open larger questions about the role and relevance of the institution. Broadly speaking, Parliament, the highest elected institution in the country, is mandated to frame laws, keep the executive i.e. the...
The Speaker has enough powers to restore order in the Lok Sabha and act upon a notice for a no-trust vote Think of the day in 1997 when Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda had to face a no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha. Now imagine the following situation. Some MPs...
In the last decade, the government has implemented several schemes to address issues related to urbanisation and aid the process of urban development.  One of the schemes is the Smart Cities Mission, which intends to take advantage of the developments in...
संसद के शीतकालीन सत्र के आखिरी दिन लोकसभा में उपभोक्ता संरक्षण विधेयक, 2018 पेश किया गया था। यह विधेयक उपभोक्ता संरक्षण अधिनियम, 1986 की जगह लेगा, जो 30 साल से अधिक पुराना कानून है। पीआरएस लेजिस्लेटिव रिसर्च की विश्लेषक रूपल सुहाग ने विधेयक के कुछ अहम प्रावधानों का...
The Consumer Protection Bill, 2018, was introduced in the Lok Sabha on the last day of the recently concluded winter session. The Bill seeks to replace the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, a law more than 30 years old. Roopal Suhag, analyst at PRS Legislative Research...
NEW DELHI : The National Medical Commission Bill, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha recently and is listed for consideration and passage today. The Bill seeks to regulate medical education and practice in India.  To meet this objective, the Bill repeals the Indian...
Crime in Politics: The dirty game (Illustration: Ashish Asthana) Criminalisation of politics is the focus of public debate when discussion on electoral reforms takes place. This issue gets amplified when data highlights an increasing number of candidates with...
The long title of this year’s Finance Bill states that it “gives effect to the financial proposals of the Central Government for the financial year 2017-18”. This is because the Finance Bill typically includes provisions that give effect to the imposition of a...
Typically, during every Budget session, Parliament passes a Finance Bill which details the tax proposals of the central government. This year, in addition to tax proposals, the Finance Bill 2017 contained several amendments that made structural changes to 26...
When nations go to war, they often seize the properties in their countries of the citizens and corporations of the enemy country. This happened during the First and the Second World Wars when both the United States and the United Kingdom seized properties of...
Political churn and uncertainty in states like Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh last year (where rebellions in the ruling Congress led to the fall of both state governments before their subsequent restoration) and in Tamil Nadu (where VK Sasikala and O...
About six months ago, the government introduced a Bill in the Indian Parliament that seeks to make changes to the Maternity Benefits Act, 1961. The law requires employers to provide women employees with maternity leave of up to 12 weeks, with full wages.  The...
It is the season of the Union budget. The focus of discussion within and outside Parliament is about allocation, spending, taxation and reform. Missing from the public discourse is a conversation about Parliament’s budget. This year, the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha...
Our demography and political space have been gradually changing over the years. In these times, the youth are being seen as our valuable demographic capital. There is both the need and encouragement for young individuals to start contributing to governance and...
On the first day of the Parliament session in a new year, the President addresses a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament. It is the only time of the year when the President and the two Houses, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, that constitute the Indian Parliament,...
The 2016 winter session of parliament, which began on 16 November, was expected to be a stormy one. The previous week, the government had announced its decision to demonetise notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. Beginning on the first day, for two weeks, members of opposition...
The Uttar Pradesh (UP) Assembly closes its term by May 2017. Elections to the Assembly are scheduled for February and counting will take place in April 2017. As candidates get ready to file their nominations with the Election Commission, we present our analysis...
The governor of the Reserve Bank of India will be testifying before two parliamentary committees in the coming weeks. He will be briefing the committee on finance on the impact of demonetisation and giving evidence to the public accounts committee on the monetary...
Parliament started the year on a promising note but saw a complete collapse by the year-end. The first session – the budget session – was functional. Lok Sabha worked for 121% of its scheduled time while Rajya Sabha worked for 91%; the corresponding numbers for the...
Recently the issue of transparency in the financing of political parties has been brought to the limelight in the context of the government’s efforts to curb black money by demonetising currency.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Chief Election Commissioner...
The winter session of Parliament which ended last week was a legislative washout. The government was hoping to secure Parliament’s approval for 19 Bills during the session. Out of these it could get two financial Bills, and the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill...
The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014 was passed by the Rajya Sabha today following a discussion on the official amendments. This comes at a time when there has been a lot of public debate on the disruptions of the Winter Session of the Parliament,...
The president has made repeated pleas for the proper functioning of Parliament. In 2012, at the platinum jubilee celebrations of the Tamil Nadu Vidhan Sabha, he highlighted the need for collective thinking to avoid disruption. On multiple occasions, he has referred to...
In the recently concluded session of Parliament, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha passed 14 Bills each. However, only in the case of one of these Bills — the Constitution Amendment Bill that enables the Goods and Services Tax — do we know how each MP voted. All other Bills...
The monsoon session of Parliament ends today. Statistics suggest that both houses of Parliament worked to their full capacity in this session. The lower house worked for 103% and the upper house for 99% of its scheduled time. Both houses sat beyond their working hours...
The Mental Health Care Bill, 2013 was passed by Rajya Sabha on Monday, and is expected to be discussed in Lok Sabha soon. The Bill seeks to replace the Mental Health Act, 1987. In 2007, India ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with...
Last week newspapers reported that the government is agreeable to the idea of a new parliament building. For some time, the idea behind a new parliament building has been gaining momentum. Last year Speaker Sumitra Mahajan wrote to the urban development ministry...
Unlike other institutions, Parliament does not work throughout the year. Our constitution specifies that ‘six months shall not intervene’ between the last sitting of one session and the first sitting of the next. This provision effectively ensures that Parliament meets...
The Delhi government has appointed 21 MLAs as parliamentary secretaries. Several other State governments have also taken this route in the past; earlier State governments in Delhi have also made such appointments, although fewer in number. This is part of a trend of...
Key questions, cap on number of ministers, what is Office of Profit  What is the controversy over the 21 AAP MLAs who were appointed Parliamentary Secretaries to Ministers of the Delhi government?   It raises two issues. First, the Constitution...
The Aadhaar bill was passed by Parliament as a money bill. The Lok Sabha rejected the amendments made by the Rajya Sabha. A writ petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging its classification as a money bill. In this context, it would be instructive to see...
The Centre on 26 March notified the new Aadhaar Act, which gives the unique identity number assigned to each Indian citizen statutory backing. The idea of this Act is to empower Aadhaar with legal backing for the purpose of transferring subsidies and government...
What are the Legislative Councils, and why are they important? India has a bicameral system i.e., two Houses of Parliament. At the state level, the equivalent of the Lok Sabha is the Vidhan Sabha or Legislative Assembly; that of the Rajya Sabha is the Vidhan...
At the end of every session of Parliament, the chairman of the Rajya Sabha and speaker of the Lok Sabha make observations about the functioning and work done during the session. Statistics about working hours, bills passed, discussions undertaken and time lost are made...
 The 16th Lok Sabha seems to be following the pattern of the previous one. The first four sessions of the last Parliament went relatively smoothly. The fifth session was entirely washed out by demands to set up a joint committee to investigate the 2G spectrum...
Parliament’s productivity in the last budget session was at 122%, the highest in the last 15 years. During the last session both Houses sat beyond scheduled hours to complete business. The monsoon session is scheduled to begin on July 21 and would have only 18 working...
Joyita Ghose on the land acquisition laws in the country and the changes that the NDA government’s controversial bill in Parliament makes to the land acquisition act, 2013 brought in by the United Progressive Alliance government. Earlier this week, a bill to amend...
The Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill, 2014, has been passed by the Lok Sabha and will next be discussed in the Rajya Sabha. This bill replaces an ordinance issued in October. The Supreme Court had cancelled the allocation of 204 coal blocks, out of a total of 218...
Parliament will meet for its winter session from November 24. The legislative agenda has not yet been announced by the government but it has indicated that the Constitution Amendment Bill to enable the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) may be re-...
Parliament will sit for the winter session from November 24 to December 23. This is the third session after the new government took charge: The short inaugural session had just the President’s address, and the next session focused on the general and railway budgets...
Schemes such as SAGY and MPLADS are diversionary in nature. The government has launched the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY). Under this scheme, each Member of Parliament will be responsible for developing the infrastructure of three villages by 2019 and eight by...
The first full session of the new Parliament ended on Thursday, with Rajya Sabha passing the Constitution Amendment Bill and the National Judicial Appointments Bill on the last day. This session was a welcome change from parliamentary sessions over the last few years:...
यह समझना आवश्यक है कि आखिर सदन में गतिरोध क्यों उत्पन्न किया जाता है? इस संबंध में पूर्व उपराष्ट्रपति केआर नारायणन ने एक बार कहा था, 'अधिकांश मामलों में सदन में अव्यवस्था तब उत्पन्न होती है जब सदस्यों में निराशा की यह भावना भर जाती है कि उनको अपनी बात रखने का अवसर नहीं...
Parliament, in the last five years, has been criticised for not having transacted much business. However, on several fronts in the legislative domain, there has been considerable progress. The UPA government introduced Bills across sectors. Many of these have been...
This series on making Parliament more effective started with an argument against the anti-defection law. The next two parts focused on Parliament’s role in making laws and in holding the government accountable. In this concluding part, we look at its role in allocating...
In the last two parts of this series, we discussed the need for repealing the anti-defection law and possible reforms in the process of lawmaking by Parliament. We now turn to another important role of Parliament: holding the government to account for its policies and...
Last week, we argued for two key reforms in Parliament’s procedures that would enable members of Parliament (MPs) to be more effective as elected representatives: abolish the anti-defection law and record all votes on Bills and motions. We now discuss some possible...
The recently concluded 15th Lok Sabha performed poorly on many parameters: few sittings, low number of Bills passed and a significant proportion passed without deliberation, the higher proportion of time wasted on disruption etc. As the 16th Lok Sabha assembles in a...
The pillars of the Parliament House have stood the test of time but are crumbling, writes Chakshu Roy The last five years have witnessed Parliament’s inability to discharge its constitutional responsibilities. There is an urgent need to overhaul the functioning of...
As we approach the next polls, citizens and the media can ask prospective candidates about what they will do to strengthen the institution The last session of India’s 15th Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament) brings to an end one of the most disappointing periods...
Pre-legislative scrutiny is a first step towards greater transparency in law-making. The committee of secretaries chaired by the cabinet secretary has decided that all bills proposed by the government should go through a process of pre-legislative scrutiny. This...
Parliament was disrupted yet again and almost no work could take place. This session has seen almost no deliberations, and even the Railway Budget had to be tabled midway through the minister's speech. In the last five years, unprecedented amount of time has been...
Plans to pass anti-graft laws during the current Parliament session are ambitious. The second part of the winter session of Parliament is beginning today. The agenda for the session indicates that the government is planning to push for the passage of six anti-...
From 1952 to 1967, each of the three Lok Sabhas sat for an average of 600 days and more than 3,700 hours. In comparison, the 15th Lok Sabha -- from 2009 till 2013 -- has met for just 345 days and 1,331 hours -- legislative work overall took a back seat -- says Shreya...
In the context of recent remarks made by the Congress vice-president about empowerment of women and an increase in the incidents of crimes against women, one wonders whether issues related to women have resonated with our lawmakers in Parliament. As the term of the...
The idea of creating an anti corruption ombudsman, in the form of a Lokpal, was first conceptualized in 1968 in the fourth Lok Sabha. Thereafter in 1971, 1977, 1985, 1989, 1996, 1998 and 2001 efforts were made to enact legislation to create the institution of Lokpal,...
The fifteenth Lok Sabha, which likely has a couple of weeks of sittings left before the general elections, has been one of the least productive and effective ones. The trend has been visible for some time. The number of sittings have been decreasing over time—from a...
Its assembly is in the spotlight. It must use the moment. The electoral upset achieved by the Aam Aadmi Party in the Delhi elections was clouded by the uncertainty of government formation. The winning of the trust vote by the Arvind Kejriwal-led government has put...
The 15th Lok Sabha has passed some big-ticket laws. But not enough laws. The 15th Lok Sabha is two months away from the end of its term, the highlight of which has been the regular disruption of parliamentary proceedings. And while the passing of marquee legislation...
It shouldn't be business as usual for the newly elected state assemblies. Voting in the five state assembly elections, in Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi, is finally over. The run-up to the elections saw candidates and political parties...
A decision to disqualify chargesheeted candidates could also affect sitting legislators. The Supreme Court is examining a PIL filed by the Public Interest Foundation on the criminalisation of politics. The PIL asks that persons charged with serious criminal offences...
The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) that was looking into various aspects of allocation and pricing of telecom licenses and spectrum presented its report last month.  Usually, the reports of Parliamentary committees are adopted with unanimous support, and...
The Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2013, currently pending in the Lok Sabha, is a legislative proposal that will amend two laws which govern marriage and divorce: The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, and The Special Marriage Act, 1954. Among other things, it will add a...
India, with 65 per cent of its population below the age of 35, expected the young MPs to take the country beyond the cynical political culture of the day. But they have failed to live up to the expectations The role that the youth plays in our country’s politics has...
The constitutional issues around the ‘Convicted MPs’ Bill would have led to its dismissal by the Supreme Court. The Union Cabinet has decided to withdraw an Ordinance to amend the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (RPA, 1951) that sought to provide time to...
The proposed system of judicial appointments drops important safeguards. The government has introduced two bills in Parliament on the appointment of judges of the Supreme Court and high courts. One of these is a Constitution amendment bill, which proposes that the...
Sakshi Balani presents an FAQ on the Food Security Bill that was passed by Lok Sabha on Tuesday. The National Food Security Bill follows from the National Food Security Ordinance, 2013 that was promulgated by the government on July 5. The bill seeks to make the...
Can Parliament pre-empt state government resources through ‘rights’ laws? The Food Security Bill is expected to be discussed in Parliament in the next few days.  There have been several critiques of this Bill in terms of the coverage of the population, amount...
The Land Acquisition Bill is slated to be taken up for consideration and passing by Parliament in the next few days. The government had circulated an amendment list in the last session of Parliament. We discuss some of the major features of the Bill (including the...
The monsoon session is UPA 2's last chance to pass anti-graft legislation The monsoon session of Parliament started on a stormy note last week. Question hour was disrupted on most days and only one government bill was passed. There are 11 days left in the session...
Why governments must use their ordinance-making power sparingly On Wednesday, the Union cabinet approved the food security ordinance. The government has already introduced a National Food Security Bill in Parliament in December 2011. Parliamentary consideration on...
The budget session of Parliament is the longest session in the Parliamentary calendar. The session is split into two halves. The first half of the session starts with a joint sitting of both houses which is addressed by the President. In his address to both houses, he...
Parliament can be effective only if individual MPs have a significant role as law makers, and if they can be held accountable for their actions by their electorate. In the last few years, we have seen the role of individual Members of Parliament diminish on account...
Enacting hasty new legislation in response to public events is not the answer The recent spot fixing controversy in the Indian Premier League has brought the issue of betting in sports back into the limelight. As a result, public debate around betting, and steps...
Parliamentarians need — and don't have — a fully functioning office and a staff of high-quality researchers to contribute effectively This paper's lead story yesterday highlighted how members of Parliament (MPs) from both houses have employed their relatives as...
संसद के मौजूदा बजट सत्र में जारी गतिरोध को देखते हुए इस धारणा को बल मिल रहा है कि एक संस्था के रूप में संसद की गरिमा घट रही है. पंद्रहवीं लोकसभा में महत्वपूर्ण विधायी कार्यों को निपटाने में जिस तरह की बाधा आई, उससे इस धारणा को और बल मिला है. साल 1950 में गठित लोकसभा...
As the Budget Session of Parliament nears its end, the House is expected to decide on at least two key pieces of legislation that propose major reforms in the areas of food security and the rights of the displaced; Sakshi Balani provides a quick round-up of the...
Some non-political changes could help resolve factors that lead to parliamentary disruption Parliament has yet again got into a non-functional mode. Is there a way out of this gridlock? More important, can we design systems that will help prevent such logjams?...
The 15th Lok Sabha marks a new low in productivity The second half of the budget session commenced last week with hardly any business transacted due to disruptions on different issues. This is not new. The 15th Lok Sabha has seen entire parliamentary sessions lost...
Parliament resumes the Budget session today. In the remaining three weeks of the session, Parliament is scheduled to examine the demand for grants by some ministries, consider budgetary proposals including the finance Bill, and approve the spending plan. In addition, a...
The Delhi gang rape episode in December and the subsequent public outcry have led to some significant legislative changes. The central government constituted a committee chaired by Justice JS Verma to suggest changes to various criminal laws to increase protection to...
Pranab Mukherjee will address both Houses at the beginning of the budget session today. A look at the significance of the presidential address   When and why does the President address Parliament? The President makes a special address to a joint sitting...
In the clamour following the Delhi gangrape, it was clear that rape laws had to be revisited. The government appointed a three-member committee headed by Justice Verma to suggest changes to various laws on crimes against women. To put in effect some of the committee's...
The President issued the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance on February 3, 2013.  This ordinance amends the Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code and the Indian Evidence Act.  In this article we explain what an ordinance is, how it is made and with what...
DOES AN AMENDMENT TO FEMA REGULATIONS BY RBI NEED PARLIAMENT’S APPROVAL? In this brief column M R Madhavan of PRS Legislative explains what Parliament has been voting on this week and whether amendments to FEMA regulations by RBI need approval by either or both...
The government has listed the Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2011, for consideration and passing during the current session of Parliament. This Bill amends two Acts: The Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial...
The winter session of Parliament follows a heavily disrupted monsoon session. In the last session, the Lok Sabha lost 80 per cent and the Rajya Sabha 73 per cent of scheduled time due to disruptions following the CAG’s report on the allocation of coal blocks....
The laws made by Parliament and state legislative assemblies influence every facet of our lives. It is important that citizens understand how laws are made and how we can engage with the lawmaking process—it’s a sign of a healthy democracy. The first step is...
Parliament has been stalled for the sixth consecutive day, and there is no sign of a potential resolution to the deadlock. Less than two years ago, the entire winter session was lost to interruptions as the opposition’s demand for a joint parliamentary committee was...
One of the key legislations initiated by the government to tackle corruption is the Whistleblowers’ Protection Bill, 2011, tabled in the Rajya Sabha on August 14. The Lok Sabha had already passed the bill in December 2011, along with the Lokpal bill. Whistleblowing...
स्वतंत्रता के 65 साल पूरे होने पर संसदीय लोकतंत्र के महत्वपूर्ण पड़ावों पर नजर डालना समीचीन होगा। इस संबंध में सबसे उल्लेखनीय उपलब्धि यह है कि भारतीय लोकतंत्र परिपक्व हो गया है और जहां तक संसदीय कार्यवाही का संबंध है तो यह अपेक्षाओं पर खरी उतरी है। इस बात पर खुशी मनाई...
Government owned Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) raised the price of petrol by Rs 6.28 per litre on May 23, 2012. After the inclusion of local taxes, this price hike amounts to an increase of Rs 7.54 per litre in Delhi. India met 76 per cent of its total petroleum...
A relatively less turbulent Parliament still failed to clear the legislative backlog during the budget session The big positive of the budget session of Parliament was that it was relatively less turbulent. Parliament met for the scheduled 35 days; there were some...
The Rajya Sabha has admitted motions to amend Rules prescribed under three Acts of Parliament.  Mr. P Rajeeve has moved a motion that resolves to annul the Information Technology (Intermediary) Rules.  Mr. Yechuri and Mr. Balagopal have moved identical...
On May 13, 2012, the Indian Parliament completed 60 years since its first sitting. To mark the occasion, a special sitting of both Houses was organised on the day. Recently, there has been much public scrutiny of the work of MPs and the functioning of Parliament....
The Union government has filed a Presidential Reference in relation to the 2G judgment. In this judgment the Supreme Court had cancelled 122 2G licences granting access to spectrum and had ordered their re-allocation by means of an auction. It also held that use of...
There are serious limits to what the national budget can do. When the budget is presented in Parliament, the focus is usually on sectoral allocations and tax proposals. In this year’s budget, one thing is obvious: the really significant policy shifts that will...
Parliament must use budget session to discuss key pending bills The budget session of Parliament begins today. The last few sessions have been characterised by disruptions and consequent loss of productive time. To see one indicator, the 15th Lok Sabha, half-way...
The question of division of powers and responsibilities between the centre and the states has cropped up in several new legislative proposals. This issue was raised in Parliament recently during the debate on the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill and the constitutional...
The media in India is mostly self-regulated. The existing bodies for regulation of media such as the Press Council of India, which is a statutory body, and the News Broadcasting Standards Authority, a self-regulatory organisation, issue standards which are more in the...
Recently, several business leaders have expressed their concern about a policy logjam. There has also been a slowdown in law-making. Several legislative proposals that aim to reform key areas such as education regulation, land related issues, processes to reduce...
The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, or AFSPA, as it is commonly known, has been a subject of intense discussion and debate. AFSPA has been in force in the North-East and Jammu and Kashmir, and the 'draconian' law has been the reason of wide protests....
The Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice submitted its 46th Report on The Public Interest Disclosure and Protection to Persons Making the Disclosures Bill, 2010 on June 9, 2011. The Chairperson was Smt Jayanthi Natarajan. The Bill...
Last week, the Planning Commission filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court updating the official poverty line to Rs 965 per month in urban areas and Rs 781 in rural areas. This works out to Rs 32 and and Rs 26 per day, respectively. The perceived inadequacy of these...
There are at least three positive outcomes in this last session of Parliament that can be attributed to the Jan Lokpal movement. First, there are now many more citizens across the country who have become aware of the existence of parliamentary standing committees and...
Some members of Parliament have filed privilege notices against several persons associated with the protests related to the Lokpal bill. The main accusation is that they have made derogatory remarks against MPs. The issue of privilege was wrested over a period of...
Enhanced public awareness about Parliamentary procedures could be one of the fringe benefits of Anna Hazare's fast at the Ramlila grounds. Television news channels don't usually inform us about the workings of Parliamentary committees. Both the Lok Sabha and state...
In parliament August 25, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said there should be  effective ways and means of discussing the Jan Lokpal Bill along with the government version of the bill along with Aruna Roy’s bill, along with the ideas in the paper that Dr...
There have been any number of instances in recent years when Parliament has passed Bills without any debate. But the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill was the most keenly contested and carefully debated/negotiated Bills in recent times... In March this year...
The right to recall elected representatives and the right to reject election candidates figured among the various issues mentioned by Anna Hazare and his group at Ramlila Maidan. Some of the important pros and cons of both suggestions are discussed below. Right to...
New Delhi: Several MPs have given breach of privilege notices against actor Om Puri and ex-policewoman Kiran Bedi for using "derogatory and defamatory" language against Members of Parliament. In light of this, we explain the concept of breach of privilege and contempt...
In Parliament on August 25, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said there should be "effective ways and means of discussing the Jan Lokpal Bill along with the government version of the Bill along with Aruna Roy's Bill, along with the ideas in the paper that Dr Jayaprakash...
The government issued four sets of rules related to the Information Technology Act in April. These rules were tabled in Parliament a few days ago — and will be placed on the table for 30 days. Rules, in general, form part of a legislation and usually deal with...
The Lokpal Bill has been referred to the standing committee of Parliament on personnel, public grievances, law and justice. In this FAQ, MR Madhavan explains the process of these committees. What is the role of such standing committees? Click here! The system of...
The streets are witnessing a demand that the government's Lok Pal Bill be replaced by the Jan Lok Pal Bill (JLP) as drafted by the team led by Anna Hazare. There are several significant differences between the two bills. In this note, we describe the some of these...
While the institution will help check the menace, don’t see it as apanacea A FRIEND had a sign on her email account which read, “ I demand Jan Lokpal. Do you? Come, join the Anti- Corruption Movement.” This sentiment appears to be shared widely. But there is...
The streets are witnessing a demand that the government's Lok Pal Bill be replaced by the Jan Lok Pal Bill (JLP) as drafted by the team led by Anna Hazare. There are several significant differences between the two bills. In this note, we describe the some of these...
The streets are witnessing a demand that the government's Lok Pal Bill be replaced by the Jan Lok Pal Bill (JLP) as drafted by the team led by Anna Hazare. There are several significant differences between the two bills. In this note, we describe the some of these...
Parliament is expected to take up a motion for impeaching Justice Soumitra Sen of the Calcutta High Court.  M R Madhavan  (head of Research, PRS Legislative Research, New Delhi explains the process of impeachment and the facts of this case. What is the...
Parliament is likely to take up the motion for removal of Justice Soumitra Sen of the Calcutta high court next week. The other motion related to Justice Dinakaran will likely be irrelevant if his resignation is accepted. What are processes and issues related to the...
The much-awaited and debated Lokpal Bill was finally introduced in the Parliament on Thursday. While Anna Hazare and team burnt copies of the bill calling it 'anti-poor', 'anti-Dalit', the Bharatiya Janata Party raised several objections to the proposed bill, mainly...
The list of planned business for the monsoon session of Parliament includes consideration of amendments to the Copyright Act, 1957. The bill has evoked sharp reaction from movie producers and book publishers. It has been examined by the Standing Committee on HRD, but...
There has been much criticism of politicians and Parliament by some activists. It is for parliamentarians to regain their moral legitimacy by carefully considering the legislative proposals and passing them. The next few weeks are an opportunity to do just that, says M...
Parliament meets from August 1 for the six-week long monsoon session. The previous two sessions saw limited legislative work: the demand for the JPC hijacked the winter session, and the budget session was shortened ahead of elections to five state legislative...
In the weeks since the agitation on the Lokpal Bill began, there have been several assertions by a range of opinion leaders that Parliament is supreme. On paper, there is no doubt that Parliament is supreme as far as lawmaking is concerned. But a closer look at recent...
In the weeks since the agitation on the Lokpal Bill began, there have been several assertions by a range of opinion leaders that Parliament is supreme. On paper, there is no doubt that Parliament is supreme as far as lawmaking is concerned. But a closer look at recent...
Anirudh Burman, analyst with New Delhi-based PRS Legislative Research, details concerns about India's nuclear power generation In the aftermath of the nuclear leaks in Japan  there have been concerns regarding the safety of nuclear power plants around the world...
The joint committee for drafting the Lokpal bill has, among other things, brought much attention to lawmaking itself. What indeed is the process of enacting a law? And what therein are the points of engagement with citizens and civil society? A government bill may...
The government has recently announced a series of four Rules under the Information Technology Act, 2000 (as amended in 2008). These pertain to safeguard of sensitive personal information by intermediaries; due diligence by intermediaries; operation of cybercafes; and...
The government's acquisition of land for projects has been facing protests across the country, the violence in Uttar Pradesh [ Images ] being only the latest. As people's power collides with public projects, MR Madhavan explains what land acquisition is all about...
The issue of land acquisition has flared up yet again. Over the past month, we have seen two incidents of unrest — in Jaitapur and Greater Noida. The primary cause of the unrest can be traced to the perception that the process of land acquisition has not been fair to...
The agitation led by Anna Hazare against corruption touched a chord with large sections of the population.  On April 8, 2011, the government finally acceded to the demand of Shri Hazare to form a joint committee to draft a Lok Pal Bill.  The committee...
In recent days, several members of Parliament have written in these pages about measures to increase the effectiveness of Parliament. Several steps can be taken to enable Parliament work better as the premier institution to hold government accountable for its proposals...
The budget session of Parliament got off to a good start as the government agreed to constitute a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to examine the auction of 2G telecom spectrum.  However, release of some documents by Wikileaks lead to further disruptions, as...
As the Union government gives in to Anna Hazare's demands for redrafting the legislation for pursuing corruption cases against public servants, we explain current and imminent provisions in the law In the light of the agitation led by Anna Hazare, what steps has the...

CV Madhukar, Kaushiki Sanyal, Indian Express, Apr 08, 2011

Social activist Anna Hazare’s fast unto death for the enactment of a strong Lokpal bill has provided an impetus to examine not only the bill proposed by civil society activists but suggestions made by various experts. The idea of establishing an authority where the...
The Lok Pal (anti-corruption body) Bill has generated widespread interest in the past few days. The Bill is an attempt by the government, under massive pressure due to corruption charges, to gain some of its lost ground. However, civil rights activists, including...
  The Nitish Kumar government has proposed that the electorate be given the right to recall corporators. This is yet another of recent experiments from Bihar, after the cash-transfer schemes for bicycles and school uniforms, and the abolition of the MLA Local...
India is widely lauded as a model for emerging democracies around the world.  An unlikely survivor as a democratic nation, it has managed to maintain and strengthen its democratic traditions over the past six decades. However, the Indian Parliament, which is...
After the washed out winter session of Parliament, the big question was whether the budget session would function effectively.  The session started out in a promising way as the government agreed to set up a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to look into the...
The second day of the budget session of Parliament saw disruptions as several Lok Sabha Members of Parliament (MPs) from Telangana walked into the well of the House. While the demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to investigate the 2G spectrum allotment was...
The idea is not to attempt to solve problems that are intensely political in nature, by throwing technocratic solutions at them. So perhaps an appropriate thing would be to first find a way to collectively acknowledge and articulate the frustration of several MPs, of...
The annual budget is the foremost expression of government’s policy priorities. No matter what is said in the President’s address to Parliament or the speeches of other members of the cabinet, the promises may remain just that unless adequate financial resources are...
The UK Parliament is in the process of enacting a few bills that have significant impact on its electoral process. Given that India follows the Westminster model, and shares some of the same challenges, it is pertinent to understand the implications of these proposals...
The problem of political defections is not new in India. As far back as 1967, the menace of defections had begun to affect our democratic polity. Between the fourth and fifth general elections, there were nearly 2,000 defections. A committee on defections was set up,...
In the previous issue of Pragati, we discussed the various ways in which parliamentary committees can oversee the financial functioning of the government. We concluded that issues such as the spectrum allocation could have been addressed by parliamentary committees if...
In the ongoing spat of JPC vs PAC, and the resultant political stalemate, there has been widespread discussion on the nuances of the committee system. But there has been little space for analytical thinking about the reasons for the current stalemate, no reflection on...
PRS India, through PRS Legislative Research’s core team member Anirudh Burman, has laid down an intensive summary of the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill. PRS aims to strengthen the legislative debate in India by making it better informed, more transparent...
Most sessions of Parliament in recent years have started off with disruptions on some issue that a section of MPs is deeply agitated about. These disruptions continue for a few days, but Parliament finds a way of addressing their demands so as to enable smooth...
On Monday, the Supreme Court could refer a petition by Amar Singh and Jaya Prada to a larger bench asking if they can be disqualified under the anti-defection law for defying the Samajwadi Party’s whip in Parliament after already being expelled from the party. The...
The winter session of Parliament begins on Tuesday, a day after US President Barack Obama addresses MPs. Several important bills could be taken up for discussion. The government’s lack of majority in Rajya Sabha implies that we could see a greater degree of debate and...
All companies are currently governed by the Companies Act, 1956. The Act has been amended 24 times since then. Three committees were formed in the last ten years, chaired by Justice V B Eradi (2001), Naresh Chandra (2002) and J J Irani (2005) to look into various...
The trust vote drama in Karnataka has hit the national headlines. The incumbent chief minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa appears to have won the first round. It remains to be seen how the BJP responds to the governor’s direction that a second trust vote be held by the 14th of...
UPA-II will complete 500 days in about a week. The government had, through the president’s address to Parliament in June 2009, announced a 100-day agenda. That address also mentioned several bills on the task list. What progress have the bills that were proposed made...
One of the most politically contentious issues in recent times has been the government’s right to acquire land for ‘public purpose’.  Increasingly, farmers are refusing to part with their land without adequate compensation, the most recent example being the...
The recent order of the ministry of environment and forests (MoE&F) rejecting the application for grant of forest clearance to the Orissa Mining Company (the Vedanta project) has raised a number of important questions. The order cited the company’s non-compliance...
The cabinet has decided to introduce a Bill to revise the salary and allowances of members of parliament (MPs). Reports indicate that the salary of MPs is being raised to `50,000 per month, and several allowances and office expense limits are being doubled. The...
The Lok Sabha has passed the bill to revise the salary of members of parliament. Much of the debate in the media has been on the wealth of current MPs and the lack of accountability. It is important to focus as well on structural issues related to remunerating...
The Lok Sabha has passed the bill to revise the salary of members of parliament. Much of the debate in the media has been on the wealth of current MPs and the lack of accountability. It is important to focus as well on structural issues related to remunerating...

M R Madhavan, Sify.com, Aug 31, 2010

The Lok Sabha has passed the bill to revise the salary of members of parliament. Much of the debate in the media has been on the wealth of current MPs and the lack of accountability. It is important to focus as well on structural issues related to remunerating...
The Lok Sabha has passed the bill to revise the salary of members of parliament. Much of the debate in the media has been on the wealth of current MPs and the lack of accountability. It is important to focus as well on structural issues related to remunerating...
The Lok Sabha has passed the bill to revise the salary of members of parliament. Much of the debate in the media has been on the wealth of current MPs and the lack of accountability. It is important to focus as well on structural issues related to remunerating...
The Lok Sabha has passed the bill to revise the salary of members of parliament. Much of the debate in the media has been on the wealth of current MPs and the lack of accountability. It is important to focus as well on structural issues related to remunerating...
There have been any number of instances in recent years when Parliament has passed Bills without any debate. But the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill was the most keenly contested and carefully debated/negotiated Bills in recent times......
In an era when most voters seem to ask the MP what he did for the constituency during his years in Parliament, it would be useful to remind ourselves that the primary role of our MPs is to legislate. Yet the task of drafting new laws, and seeing that they are passed by...
Parliament was stalled for a week as the government and opposition negotiated a discussion on the price rise of essential commodities. Finally, Lok Sabha had the debate on Tuesday, and Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. There have been several debates in Parliament on this...
The government has announced its legislative agenda for Parliament’s monsoon session that starts from Monday July 26.  It plans to pass 33 Bills and to introduce 26 bills. We describe some of these bills here. The bills listed for consideration and passing...
The monsoon session of Parliament will be held from July 26 to August 27. The UPA government has not been able to meet its legislative targets in the last couple of sessions. The government had planned to pass 27 bills and introduce 64 bills in the budget session; it...
The regulatory architecture of the higher education sector is being recast. The human resources development ministry has circulated the draft National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) Bill for public feedback. It has also introduced four bills that...
The Uttar Pradesh cabinet has decided that elections to the third tier of government — urban local bodies (nagar palikas, nagar panchayats), and mayors — shall not be party based. That is, all candidates shall contest as independent candidates, and symbols of political...
Interruptions, disruptions, adjournments. These words characterise the Budget session of Parliament which ran from the last week of February to the first week of May. Sample some statistics: Parliament was scheduled to meet for 35 sittings; it met on 32 days. The Lok...
The Budget Session of Parliament ended Friday. First, the good news. There were some good debates during the session. The National Green Tribunal Bill saw constructive intervention by MPs across party lines. Environment minister Jairam Ramesh acknowledged some of the...
The just concluded Budget Session of Parliament has been more raucous than the UPA government would have liked. In over 40 per cent of the days in Rajya Sabha, not a single question could be answered during this session due to interruptions. Despite working late hours...
Last month, the government withdrew its plan of introducing the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, 2010 in the Lok Sabha. Several opposition parties had given notice that they would oppose the motion to introduce the bill. However, various media reports indicate...
On Friday, the opposition parties demanded that a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) be set up to look into the issues surrounding IPL and BCCI. The government has asked for time to consider the question.   Parliamentary work is undertaken both on the floor of...
The recent resolution passed by the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly to re-establish a legislative council in the state has opened up an important debate. Tamil Nadu was one of the states that had a legislative council for a number of years, until the state legislature...
Second part of budget session will see government bringing 27 bills for passing Parliament resumes its budget session today, and will have sittings till 7th May.  During the four week break, the standing committees have examined the demand for grants of various...
The higher education sector could see a major change, if all the initiatives planned by the HRD ministry are carried through. Currently, there are three types of institutions that may grant degrees: central and state universities and private universities. While central...
The Women’s Reservation Bill, passed by the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, will next have to be passed by the Lok Sabha and then obtain the assent of the president. Eventually it will achieve the status of an act of Parliament. However, the new act will come into force only...
The latest developments on the Women’s Reservation Bill once again highlight the role of the whip system in India. In this case, most political parties issued whips to their MPs to either vote for or against the bill, depending on their party line. Once the whip is...
Some members of the Rajya Sabha tore papers on the chairman's desk Monday while protesting the women's reservation bill. Tuesday the house took action against them by suspending them for the rest of the budget session.   Parliamentary procedures and...
It is the house of the people, but it can’t convene itself. MPs are the voice of the people, but they can’t even talk out of party line. This needs immediate fixing. Good news is, it’s not impossible. Over the past few years, parliament and MPs have faced continued...
Another session, another opportunity to pass important bills. Will the government take the initiative this time? The Budget Session of Parliament commences on Monday with the President’s Address and ends in the first week of May. Other than the financial business of...
Parliament will reconvene in February with the President’s address on the government’s agenda for the year.  The first UPA governmenr started off with a number of reform-oriented bills. Many of these were not passed as they faced opposition from the Left parties....
At the Winter Session 2009, the Lok Sabha lost around 17 percent of its scheduled time while the Rajya Sabha lost around 12 percent. Bad habits die hard. The 15th Lok Sabha, which made a good start last session, went back to the practice of walk-outs and disruptions...
In the two sessions of the 15th Lok Sabha so far, Parliament has asserted its authority over the executive on a few occasions. In the July-August budget session, Rajya Sabha MPs forced the law minister to withdraw the motion to introduce a bill that had weak provisions...
  Print How to engage with the political class In the recent general elections, CSOs mobilised citizens to vote. Now that the...
One of the main functions of Parliament is to make national laws. Bills are introduced by the government, examined by committees, discussed in the House and then voted into law. In many countries, voting records of legislators indicate their individual policy...
There are no authentic figures for the total likely expenditure on account of the parliamentary elections. The Election Commission is expected to spend about Rs 1,500 crore. Various estimates suggest a total expenditure of the order of Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 crore by...
Television and print media, NGOs and companies are all exhorting us to go out and vote. And vote for good candidates. Some have even begun to ask questions of sitting MPs — what has he really done for the constituency? Others have started asking their candidates what...