Vital Stats - Budget Session 2019 (16th LS)
Participation of MPs in the 16th Lok Sabha
The 16th Lok Sabha held its sessions between June 2014 and February 2019. This document analyses trends in participation of MPs during their tenure in the 16th Lok Sabha. MPs hold the government accountable by asking questions and participating in debates in Parliament. They may also introduce Private Member Bills. As ministers represent the government, we do not include them in our analysis. We only include those MPs who served the entire five years as sitting (non-minister) members. There are 425 such MPs.
258 MPs served their first term; their participation was similar to more experienced members
· 314 MPs were elected for their first term in May 2014, of which 258 served the full-term as non-ministers.
· Only 40 MPs are serving their fourth or higher term.
· On average, first term MPs asked 311 questions against the national average of 301. On average they participated in 72 debates against the national average (69).
· On average, the highest number of questions were asked by third term MPs (335).
Younger MPs asked more questions; older MPs participated in more debates
· Young MPs (below 40 years) constituted 7% of MPs and on average they asked the highest number of questions (344).
· On average, MPs in the middle age group (40-70 years) participated in more debates as compared to other MPs.
· Young MPs participated in 45 debates on average. This is significantly lower than the national average (69).
· On average, MPs above 70 years asked the least number of questions and participated in fewer debates compared to other MPs.
Post graduate MPs have the highest parliamentary participation
· 80% of MPs have a graduate or higher degree.
· On average, post graduate MPs asked the highest number of questions (324) and participated in the highest number of debates (98).
· Up to the post graduate level, average number of questions asked increase with the educational qualification of MPs. However, participation in debates does not follow the same pattern.
· MPs with education up to higher secondary level participated in more debates (68) than MPs with graduate level education (52).
· MPs with doctoral degrees had the lowest participation as compared to other groups.
Women MPs participated in 20% fewer debates than male MPs
· This Lok Sabha had 68 women MPs, of which 52 served the full term as non-minister. 92% of these served their first or second term. Only 4 women MPs have served for three terms or more.
· On average, women MPs asked 292 questions (national average: 301) and participated in 57 debates (national average: 69).
· While the average number of questions asked by them was similar to that of male MPs, their participation in debates was 20% lower than that of male MPs.
Shiv Sena MPs were most active during question hour and in debates
- Among parties having more than 10 MPs, Shiv Sena, AIADMK and INC MPs asked questions which were higher than the national average (301) and Shiv Sena, BJP, and Biju Janata Dal MPs participated in debates more than the national average (69).
MPs from the west asked more questions; northern MPs participated in more debates
· MPs from western states asked an average number of 426 questions which is significantly higher than the national average of 301. However, on average they participated in only 59 debates against the national average of 69.
· MPs from northern states asked an average of 232 questions but participated in average number of 96 debates which was higher than others.
· Eastern states had the highest proportion of MPs, but their participation was the lowest among all the regions.
28 MPs introduced 59% of Private Member Bills; 71% MPs introduced no Private Member Bills
· An MP who is not a minister may introduce a Private Member’s Bill.
· Private Member Bills enable MPs to highlight legislative gaps and introduce Bills to address them.
· 300 MPs did not introduce any Private Member Bills in the 16th Lok Sabha.
· There were 14 MPs each who introduced between 1 to 10 and more than 20 Private Member Bills respectively.
Sources: Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha websites as on February 12, 2019; PRS.
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