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Lok Sabha for UPSC CSE Preparation                                         

1. Introduction to Lok Sabha

The Lok Sabha, also known as the House of the People, is the lower chamber of India's bicameral Parliament. It plays a critical role in shaping the nation's legislation, representing the direct voice of the masses. As the primary legislative body, the Lok Sabha holds significant powers across legislative, executive, financial, judicial, and electoral domains​​.

 

2. Composition of Lok Sabha

The Lok Sabha is composed as per Article 81 of the Indian Constitution, which stipulates a maximum strength of 552 members. However, the current composition stands at 543 elected members from various constituencies across India, reflecting the democratic setup where representatives are elected every five years. The inclusion of members from the Anglo-Indian community by presidential nomination was a practice that has been phased out with the 104th Constitutional Amendment​​.

 

3. Elections of Lok Sabha

Lok Sabha elections are a massive exercise, held every five years, utilizing the principle of Universal Adult Suffrage. Every Indian citizen over the age of 18 is eligible to vote. Elections are conducted based on a first-past-the-post system, where candidates representing different political parties compete in single-member constituencies. The President of India has the power to dissolve the Lok Sabha and call for fresh elections, sometimes earlier than the five-year term if necessary​​.

 

4. Role and Powers of the Lok Sabha Speaker

The Speaker of the Lok Sabha is a pivotal figure, responsible for maintaining order during debates, deciding on the admissibility of questions, and ensuring that the house operates smoothly. The Speaker is elected from among the Lok Sabha members and is deemed to be above party politics once elected to this office. The Speaker’s role becomes especially crucial during joint sessions of Parliament and in determining whether a bill is a Money Bill​​.

 

5. Functions and Powers of Lok Sabha

Legislative Powers

  • Lok Sabha is instrumental in the law-making process, with the ability to introduce and vote on bills. In cases of disagreement with the Rajya Sabha, a joint session may be called to resolve deadlocks, particularly on ordinary legislative matters​​.

 

Executive Powers

  • The government is drawn from the Lok Sabha and remains accountable to it. The Prime Minister must command a majority in the Lok Sabha, and the government can be removed by a no-confidence motion passed by this house​​.

 

Financial Powers

  • Lok Sabha plays a crucial role in the nation's financial governance. It is the only house where Money Bills can be introduced, which are related to taxes, borrowing of money by the government, and expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India​​.

 

Judicial Powers

  • The Lok Sabha participates in the impeachment processes of the President and can also initiate impeachments against judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, in conjunction with the Rajya Sabha

​​

Electoral Powers

  • Members of the Lok Sabha are involved in the election of the President of India and the Vice-President​​.

 

6. Constituencies of Lok Sabha

Lok Sabha constituencies are spread across the country, varying greatly in size and demographic composition. From densely populated urban centers like Mumbai North to sprawling rural areas like Ladakh, these constituencies form the backbone of India’s electoral democracy, each selecting one member to represent their interests in Parliament​​.

 

7. Importance for UPSC

For UPSC aspirants, a thorough understanding of the Lok Sabha's structure, functions, and powers is essential. This topic not only forms a crucial part of the Indian Polity syllabus but also enhances understanding of India’s democratic processes and governance structure. Questions on the Lok Sabha frequently appear in both the Prelims and Mains, testing candidates on both factual knowledge and analytical abilities concerning parliamentary functions.

 

Conclusion

The Lok Sabha, with its extensive powers and responsibilities, is central to the functioning of Indian democracy. As the direct representative body of the Indian populace, it reflects the democratic ethos of the nation and serves as the primary forum for deliberation, decision-making, and oversight of government actions. Understanding its dynamics offers crucial insights into the workings of India's political system, vital for any aspiring civil servant.

 

Practice MCQs on Lok Sabha for UPSC Preparation

Question 1:

What is the maximum number of members that the Lok Sabha can have as per the Constitution of India?

A) 542 members

B) 550 members

C) 552 members

D) 545 members

 

Answer: C) 552 members

Explanation: Article 81 of the Indian Constitution states that the Lok Sabha can have a maximum of 552 members, which includes up to 530 members representing the states, up to 20 representing the Union Territories, and 2 members who can be nominated by the President from the Anglo-Indian community, if the community is not adequately represented​​.

 

Question 2:

Who is responsible for determining whether a bill is a Money Bill in the Lok Sabha?

A) President of India

B) Prime Minister of India

C) Speaker of the Lok Sabha

D) Finance Minister

 

Answer: C) Speaker of the Lok Sabha

Explanation: The Speaker of the Lok Sabha has the authority to decide whether a bill is a Money Bill. This decision is crucial as it influences the legislative procedure the bill will follow, especially limiting the role of the Rajya Sabha in its passage​​.

 

Question 3:

Which one of the following is not a function of the Lok Sabha?

A) Introducing and passing Money Bills

B) Electing the President of India

C) Impeaching the President of India

D) Appointing the judges of the Supreme Court

 

Answer: D) Appointing the judges of the Supreme Court

Explanation: The appointment of judges to the Supreme Court is not a function of the Lok Sabha. This power rests with the President of India, who makes these appointments based on the recommendations of the Collegium. The Lok Sabha's functions include legislative, financial, and electoral roles, such as introducing Money Bills, participating in the election and impeachment of the President​​.

 

Question 4:

What is the term of the Lok Sabha unless dissolved sooner?

A) 4 years

B) 5 years

C) 6 years

D) Indefinite until dissolved by the President

 

Answer: B) 5 years

Explanation: The term of the Lok Sabha is normally five years from the date appointed for its first meeting, unless dissolved sooner by the President of India. However, during a national emergency, its term can be extended by the Parliament for a period not exceeding one year at a time​​.

 

Question 5:

Which constitutional amendment ended the nomination of Anglo-Indian members to the Lok Sabha?

A) 42nd Amendment

B) 91st Amendment

C) 104th Amendment

D) 101st Amendment

 

Answer: C) 104th Amendment

Explanation: The 104th Constitutional Amendment, passed in 2020, discontinued the practice of nominating Anglo-Indian members to the Lok Sabha and certain state legislatures. Prior to this amendment, the President of India had the discretion to nominate up to two members of the Anglo-Indian community if he/she felt the community was not adequately represented​​.

 

UPSC Mains Practice Question on Lok Sabha

Question:

"Despite being termed the 'Lower House,' the Lok Sabha plays a more crucial role in shaping the legislative and financial landscape of India compared to the Rajya Sabha." Discuss the statement by evaluating the powers and functions of the Lok Sabha, and analyze how these influence its dominance in the parliamentary system of India.


Answer Framework:

Introduction:

  • Define the Lok Sabha as the lower house of India's bicameral Parliament and introduce its primary role in the democratic governance of India. Highlight its extensive powers in legislative, executive, financial, judicial, and electoral domains.

 

Body:

1. Legislative Powers:

  • Law-Making: Detail the pivotal role of the Lok Sabha in initiating and enacting legislation, especially in areas that affect the day-to-day life of the common citizen. Mention that most bills, including Money Bills, are introduced first in the Lok Sabha.
  • Bicameral Resolution: Discuss how the Lok Sabha can override the Rajya Sabha's amendments or rejections in certain circumstances through joint sittings of Parliament, as per Article 108, thereby emphasizing its legislative dominance​​.

 

2. Executive Powers:

  • Government Formation: Explain that the government is formed by the party or coalition that secures a majority in the Lok Sabha, which underscores its significance in the executive domain. The Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers are primarily responsible to the Lok Sabha.
  • Accountability and Control: Elaborate on how the Lok Sabha exercises control over the council of ministers through various mechanisms like no-confidence motions, question hours, and debates​​.


3. Financial Powers:

  • Budgetary Control: Illustrate how the Union Budget is introduced first in the Lok Sabha and discuss its exclusive power to introduce Money Bills, as outlined in Article 109. Highlight that the Rajya Sabha has limited powers over such financial bills, which can only suggest amendments that are not binding on the Lok Sabha.
  • Fiscal Oversight: Discuss the role of the Lok Sabha in ensuring governmental transparency and accountability in financial matters through discussions and passing of the annual financial statement​​.

 

4. Judicial Powers:

  • Impeachment and Removal: Discuss the role of Lok Sabha in initiating impeachment proceedings against the President and other high officials, showcasing its judicial responsibilities and influence on ensuring the integrity of the highest offices of the country​​.

 

5. Electoral Powers:

  • Elections: Explain how members of the Lok Sabha are involved in the electoral processes for high offices such as the President and the Vice-President of India, thereby playing a critical role in the checks and balances system of the governance structure​​.

 

Conclusion:

  • Summarize by reaffirming the Lok Sabha’s pivotal role in shaping legislative, financial, and policy directions of the country. Conclude by stating that while termed the 'Lower House,' the Lok Sabha indeed wields considerable influence and power, making it a cornerstone of India's parliamentary democracy.

 

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