Sessions of Parliament - Indian Polity Notes

The session of parliament in India is convened by the Government. India does not have a fixed parliamentary calendar. By convention (i.e. not provided by the Constitution), Parliament meets for three sessions in a year. The President summons each House of the Parliament from time to time. The gap between two sessions of the Parliament cannot exceed 6 months, which means the Parliament meets at least two times in one year.

Important parliamentary terms are crucial from the polity and governance perspectives in the UPSC exam. IAS aspirants should thoroughly understand their meaning and application, as questions can be asked from this static portion of the UPSC syllabus in both Prelims and Mains exams.

In this article, you can read about the sessions of the Parliament in India for the civil services exam.

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Also, complement your preparation with the links given below:

Sessions of Parliament

A session of the Indian Parliament is the period during which a House meets almost every day uninterruptedly to manage the business. There are typically three sessions in a year. A session contains many meetings.

The process of calling all members of the Parliament to meet is called Summoning of Parliament. It is the President who summons Parliament.

In general, the sessions are as follows:

  • Budget session (February to May)
  • Monsoon session (July to September)
  • Winter session (November to December)

Budget Session

  • The budget session was usually held from February to May every year.
  • It is considered to be a highly crucial session of the Parliament.
  • The Budget is usually presented on the last working day of the month of February.
  • Here, the members discuss the various provisions of the budget and matters concerning taxation, after the Finance Minister presents the budget.
  • The budget session is generally split into two periods with a gap of one month between them.
  • This session every year starts with the President’s Address to both Houses.

Go through the details of Union Budget 2022 on the given link.

Monsoon Session

  • The monsoon session is held in July to September every year.
  • This is after a break of two months after the budget session.
  • In this session, matters of public interest are discussed.

Winter Session

  • The winter session of Parliament is held in mid-November to mid-December every year.
  • It is the shortest session of all.
  • It takes up the matters that could not be considered upon earlier and makes up for the absence of legislative business during the second session of the Parliament.

Given below are a few links for candidates to know in detail the Indian Parliament and its aspects, important from the UPSC exam perspective:

Parliament and State Legislature Parliamentary Committees 
Indian Parliamentary Privileges What is Zero Hour?
List of Members of Parliament Directive Principles of State Policy

Daily News

Joint Session of Parliament

  • The Constitution of India provides for the joint sitting of the Parliament’s two Houses, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, in order to break any deadlock between the two.
  • The joint sitting of the Parliament is called by the country’s President.
  • Such a session is presided over by the Speaker, and in his/her absence, by the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha. In the absence of both, it is presided over by the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
  • If any of the above are not present, any other member of the Parliament can preside by consensus of both the Houses.
  • Article 108 of the Constitution talks about a joint Parliament session.

When is a Joint Session called?

If a bill is passed by one House and passed on to the other and – 

  1. The other House rejects the bill.
  2. The Houses disagree on the amendments made to the bill.
  3. If 6 months have passed since the passing of the bill by one House and the bill has been received by the other House without it being passed (the President cannot summon a joint sitting if the bill was not passed because of the dissolution of the Lok Sabha). Also, in calculating the 6 months, days, when House was prorogued or adjourned for more than 4 consecutive days, are not counted.

Exceptions to Joint Sittings

  1. Money Bills: Money bills do not require the approval of the Rajya Sabha. Only Lok Sabha needs to pass it. Even if the Upper House does not pass a money bill within 14 days, it is deemed to have been passed by both Houses of Parliament after the expiry of the above period. So, there is no case for a joint sitting in the case of a money bill.
  2. Constitution Amendment Bills: According to Article 368, the constitution of India can be amended by both the Houses by a 2/3rd majority. In case of a disagreement between both the houses, there is no provision for a joint session of Parliament.

Know more about the joint sittings in the parliament, at the linked article.

What is Quorum?

  1. The minimum number of the members required to be present for conducting a meeting of the house is called Quorum.
  2. one-tenth strength is fixed as quorum by the Constitution for both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Therefore,
  3. there should be at least 55 members present to conduct a sitting of Lok Sabha,  while at least 25 members are to be present to conduct a sitting of Rajya Sabha.

What is Adjournment?

  1. When the sitting of the House is terminated to meets again at the time appointed for the next sitting, it is called Adjournment.
  2. The sittings of the house can be postponed through adjournment for a specified time such as hours, days or weeks.
  3. If the meeting is terminated without any definite time/date fixed for the next meeting, it is called Adjournment sine die.
  4. The presiding officer (Speaker or Chairman) of the House is the authority to adjourn as well as adjournment sine die the house sittings.

What is Prorogation?

  1. Prorogation is done by the President of India. It is the end of session of Parliament and not the dissolution of the house.
  2. Prorogation is done only in case of Lok Sabha, as Rajya Sabha does not dissolve.

For information about the two houses of Parliament, aspirants can refer to the links below:

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Sessions of Parliament – Indian Polity:-Download PDF Here

Related Links
Polity Notes for UPSC Polity MCQs
NCERT Notes for UPSC PIB Summary
UPSC Current Affairs Functions of the Parliament



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