Parliamentary Committees for UPSC CSE Preparation

1. Introduction to Parliamentary Committees

Parliamentary Committees are crucial components of the legislative framework of India, serving as extensions of the Parliament. They provide a more focused and detailed examination of issues and legislation which is not feasible in larger parliamentary settings due to time constraints and broad agendas. Articles 105 and 118 of the Indian Constitution provide the foundation for these committees, drawing inspiration from the British parliamentary system​​.


2. Types of Parliamentary Committees

Parliamentary Committees are broadly categorized into two types:


Standing Committees

  • Permanent Nature: These committees are permanent, meaning they exist continuously and are not dissolved between parliamentary sessions.
  • Subtypes: Include financial committees, housekeeping committees, and several others, each with specific roles in legislative scrutiny and oversight​​.


Ad Hoc Committees

  • Temporary Nature: These committees are formed for specific tasks and are dissolved once those tasks are completed.
  • Subtypes: Include inquiry committees and advisory committees, which focus on particular issues or bills​​.


3. Significance of Parliamentary Committees

Parliamentary Committees play a pivotal role in the legislative process:

  • Detailed Scrutiny: They allow for detailed examination of government policies, expenditure, and proposed legislation, ensuring thorough oversight and accountability.
  • Policy Inputs: By examining diverse aspects of government functioning, these committees provide valuable inputs that shape policies and legislation​​.
  • Efficiency: Committees streamline parliamentary functions by handling detailed discussions outside of the full parliamentary sessions, making the legislative process more efficient​​.


4. Key Parliamentary Committees and Their Roles

Financial Committees

  • Public Accounts Committee (PAC): Examines the annual audit reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), focusing on public spending and financial governance.
  • Estimates Committee: Assists in the budget-making process by examining budget estimates and suggesting improvements.
  • Committee on Public Undertakings: Reviews reports and accounts of Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), ensuring these entities operate efficiently and transparently​​.


Departmentally Related Standing Committees (DRSCs)

  • Role: Aid Parliament in scrutinizing allocations to various ministries and departments.
  • Function: Review budget proposals and make recommendations on policy matters. These committees also play a crucial role in examining bills referred to them by Parliament​​.


Administrative Committees

  • Functions: Include overseeing the daily agenda of the Parliament, examining bills by private members, and ensuring compliance with parliamentary rules and privileges.
  • Examples: Business Advisory Committee, Committee on Private Members’ Bills and Resolutions, and Committee on Government Assurances​​.


5. Joint Parliamentary Committee

  • Bicameral Composition: Includes members from both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, making it instrumental in addressing issues that require consensus across both houses.
  • Functions: Investigate specific matters of national importance and scrutinize legislation that impacts both houses​​.


6. Challenges and Recommendations

While Parliamentary Committees are instrumental, they face challenges such as non-binding recommendations, lack of transparency, and resource constraints. Recommendations for strengthening these committees include:

  • Enhancing Transparency: Making the proceedings and reports of the committees publicly available to ensure greater transparency.
  • Resource Allocation: Providing better research support and expert consultation to enhance the quality of scrutiny.
  • Binding Recommendations: Implementing mechanisms to consider committee recommendations seriously to ensure accountability​​.


7. Importance for UPSC

For UPSC candidates, understanding the structure, function, and significance of Parliamentary Committees is crucial. These committees are integral to Indian Polity and governance, making them a significant topic for the Civil Services Examination. Questions on this topic can appear in both Prelims and Mains, requiring a detailed understanding of their operations and impacts.



Parliamentary Committees are foundational to the efficacy and transparency of the legislative process in India, ensuring that government functioning remains accountable to the standards set by the Constitution and expected by the public. For UPSC aspirants, a thorough understanding of these committees not only aids in exams but also deepens one's understanding of the democratic processes at work in India.


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