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#1. Consider the following statements regarding the upper house of the Parliament: 1. The representatives of states are elected by the elected members of state legislative assemblies. 2. All states are given equal representation in Rajya Sabha. 3. Union Territories are not represented in Rajya Sabha. Which of the above statements is/are correct? ? Solution (a)
Composition of Rajya Sabha
The maximum strength of the Rajya Sabha is fixed at 250, out of which, 238 are to be the representatives of the states and union territories (elected indirectly) and 12 are nominated by the president.
At present, the Rajya Sabha has 245 members. Of these, 229 members represent the states, 4 members represent the union territories and 12 members are nominated by the president.
The Fourth Schedule of the Constitution deals with the allocation of seats in the Rajya Sabha to the states and union territories.
1. Representation of States
The representatives of states in the Rajya Sabha are elected by the elected members of state legislative assemblies. The election is held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote. The seats are allotted to the states in the Rajya Sabha on the basis of population. Hence, the number of representatives varies from state to state. For example, Uttar Pradesh has 31 members while Tripura has 1 member only.
However, in USA, all states are given equal representation in the Senate irrespective of their population. USA has 50 states and the Senate has 100 members—2 from each state.
2. Representation of Union Territories
The representatives of each union territory in the Rajya Sabha are indirectly elected by members of an electroral college specially constituted for the purpose. This election is also held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote. Out of the seven union territories, only two (Delhi and Puducherry) have representation in Rajya Sabha. The populations of other five union territories are too small to have any representative in the Rajya Sabha.
3. Nominated Members
The president nominates 12 members to the Rajya Sabha from people who have special knowledge or practical experience in art, literature, science and social service. The rationale behind this principle of nomination is to provide eminent persons a place in the Rajya Sabha without going through the process of election. It should be noted here that the American Senate has no nominated members.
#2. The Speaker of Lok Sabha can resign from his post by writing to ? Solution (d)
Tenure of a speaker
The Speaker remains in office during the life of the Lok Sabha. However, he has to vacate his office earlier in any of the following three cases:
1. If he ceases to be a member of the Lok Sabha;
2. If he resigns by writing to the Deputy Speaker; and
3. If he is removed by a resolution passed by a majority of all the members of the Lok Sabha.
Such a resolution can be moved only after giving 14 days’ advance notice. When a resolution for the removal of the Speaker is under consideration of the House, he cannot preside at the sitting of the House, though he may be present. However, he can speak and take part in the proceedings of the House at such a time and vote in the first instance, though not in the case of an equality of votes.
#3. The President is not elected directly, but by members of Electoral College. The College comprises of 1. Elected members of both the Houses of Parliament. 2. Elected members of state legislature. 3. Elected members of legislative assemblies of union territories. Select the correct answer using code below ? Solution (c)
The President is elected not directly by the people but by members of Electoral College consisting of:
1. The elected members of both the Houses of Parliament
2. The elected members of the legislative assemblies of the states
3. The elected members of the legislative assemblies of the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry
Thus, the nominated members of both of Houses of Parliament, the nominated members of the state legislative assemblies, the members (both elected and nominated) of the state legislative councils (in case of the bicameral legislature) and the nominated members of the Legislative Assemblies of Delhi and Puducherry do not participate in the election of the President.
Note: State legislature consists of Governor, legislative assembly and legislative council.
#4. Which of the following changes to the constitution are outside the scope of Article 368? 1. Establishment of new state 2. Representation of states in Parliament 3. Changes in elections to Parliament 4. Changes in scheduled areas under Fifth Schedule. Select the correct answer using code below ? Solution (a)
A number of provisions in the Constitution can be amended by a simple majority of the two Houses of Parliament outside the scope of Article 368. These provisions include:
· Admission or establishment of new states.
· Elections to Parliament and state legislatures.
· Fifth Schedule—administration of scheduled areas and scheduled tribes.
Amendment in representation of states in Parliament is done by a special majority of the Parliament and also with the consent of half of the state legislatures by a simple majority.
· Unlike ordinary bill, for constitutional bill there is no provision for holding a joint sitting of the two Houses in case of deadlock.
#5. As per Indian Constitution, Environment protection is a part of 1. Fundamental Rights 2. Directive Principles of state Policy 3. Fundamental Duties. Select the correct answer using code below ? Solution (d)
According to Article 21 of the constitution, “no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law”.
As per Maneka Gandhi vs. Union of India, Supreme Court has declared right to healthy environment as a part of Article 21.
Under Directive Principles of State Policy, Article 48 -A of the constitution says, “the state shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wild life of the country”.
Under Fundamental Duties, Article 51-A (g), says, “It shall be duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life and to have compassion for living creatures.”
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