Sessions Of Parliament, Prorogation And Dissolution - Indian Polity

Important parliamentary terms are important 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 IAS syllabus in both the UPSC Prelims and the UPSC Mains exams.

In this article, you can read about the important terms such as sessions of Parliament, prorogation, adjournment and dissolution for the UPSC exam.

Overview of the Parliament:  Download PDF Here

Overview of the Parliament

The basic overview of the Parliament is highlighted in the table below:

Overview of the Parliament of India

Type Bicameral
Houses Rajya Sabha (Upper house)

Lok Sabha (Lower house)

Founded 26th January 1950 
President Ram Nath Kovind (Since 25 July 2017)
Chairman of the Rajya Sabha Venkaiah Naidu (Since 11 August 2017)
Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha  Harivansh Narayan Singh (Since 9 August 2018)
Leader of the Opposition (Rajya Sabha)  Gulam Nabi Azad (Since 8 June 2014)
Speaker of the Lok Sabha Om Birla (Since 19 June 2019)
Leader of the Opposition Vacant (Since 26 May 2019, No party has 10% Seats)

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 one year.
  • A session will have many meetings.
  • In general, the sessions are as follows:
    • Budget session (February to May)
    • Monsoon session (July to September)
    • Winter session (November to December)

To read more about the sessions of the Indian Parliament, click here.

Summoning of Parliament

  • Summoning is the process of calling all members of the Parliament to meet. 
  • 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.

Adjournment

An adjournment terminates a sitting of the House.

  • The House then meets again at the appointed time for the next sitting.
  • The adjournment can be for a few hours, days or weeks, depending on the specified time.
  • If the adjournment is done (sitting terminated) without any time scale, it is known as adjournment sine die.
  • The power of adjournment sine die is only with the presiding officer of the House.

Prorogation 

Prorogation means the end of a session.

  • Prorogation implies the end of the sitting as well as the session and not the dissolution of the House. 
  • Point to note: The Rajya Sabha is not dissolved as it is a permanent House, only the Lok Sabha is dissolved.
  • The President can prorogue the House while in session also.
  • Generally, the President issues a notice for the session’s prorogation a few days after the House is adjourned sine die by the presiding officer of the House.
  • All pending notices lapse on the prorogation of the House.
  • However, there is no impact on bills upon prorogation.
  • The time between prorogation and reassembly is called Recess.

Dissolution 

The Lok Sabha is dissolved at the end of its five-year term (automatic dissolution) or by a Presidential order.

  • The Rajya Sabha is not dissolved. Its members have a fixed term of 6 years, with a third of its members up for elections every two years.
  • When does the President give the order for Lok Sabha’s dissolution?
    • If authorised by the Council of Ministers, he can give the order even before the end of the five-year term.
    • He can also dissolve if the Council of Ministers loses confidence and no party is able to prove majority.
  • When the Lok Sabha is dissolved, all business including bills, motions, resolutions, notices, petitions, etc. pending before it or its committees lapse.
  • The last session before the Lok Sabha is dissolved is called a Lame Duck session.
  • Only the President can dissolve the House.

Points to Note:

Prorogation: Done by the President

Dissolution: Done by the President

Adjournment: Done by Presiding Officer of the House (Speaker/Deputy Speaker in the Lok Sabha; Chairman/Deputy Chairman in the Rajya Sabha)

Overview of Parliament:- Download PDF Here

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Previous years UPSC Questions related to Session, Prorogation, Dissolution of the Parliament

Which Constitutional Amendments are related to raising the number of Members of Lok Sabha to be elected from the States?
The 7th Amendment of 1951 and the 31st amendment of 1973 raised the amount of members of Lok Sabha would be elected from the States.
What are the qualifications that a person must be fulfilled in order to be chosen as a member of parliament?
In order for a person to be chosen as a member of the parliament, the following criteria set by the Constitution of India must be fulfilled:
1. He/she should be a citizen of India
2 He/she must subscribe to an oath of affirmation before the person authorised by the election commission for this purpose to bear the allegiance of the Constitution of India and to uphold the sovereignty and integrity of the nation
3. The person in question must not be less than 30 years of age in case of the Rajya Sabha and less than 25 years of age for the Lok Sabha.
4. He/she must have qualifications as proscribed by the parliament.
What are the grounds for disqualifications for a member of parliament?
The provisions of the Tenth Schedule of the constitution lays down clear ground rules about the conditions for disqualifications of a member of Parliament.
They are as follows:
1. If the member voluntarily gives up the membership of the political party on whose ticket he/she has been elected.
2. When the person in question refuses to vote on any issue contrary to the directions given by the party the person is affiliated with
3. If any independent candidate joins any mainstream party.
4. If any nominated member joins any political party after six months of being elected as a member.
Consider the following statements:
1. The Parliament cannot enlarge the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India as its jurisdiction is limited to that conferred by the constitution.
2. The officers and servants of the Supreme Court and High Courts are appointed by the concerned Chief Justice and the administrative expenses are charged on the Consolidated Fund of India
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: (b) 2 only
What are sessions of Parliament?

A session of Parliament is the time in which a legislature is convened for the purpose of lawmaking.

What is the difference between prorogation and dissolution?

Prorogation ends a session whereas dissolution ends the Lok Sabha itself.

What is the difference between adjournment and prorogation?

An adjournment ends a sitting whereas prorogation ends a session of the House.

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