Powers of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha for UPSC CSE Preparation


1. Introduction to Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha

  • Lok Sabha: The Lok Sabha, or the House of the People, is the lower house of India's Parliament. It represents the people of India and is more powerful in terms of legislative and financial authority.
  • Rajya Sabha: The Rajya Sabha, or the Council of States, is the upper house of the Indian Parliament. It represents the states and union territories of India and has special powers in federal matters​​.


2. Powers of Lok Sabha

The powers of the Lok Sabha can be categorized into four main sections:


Legislative Powers

  • Ordinary Bills: An ordinary bill can be introduced in either house of Parliament, but most bills are introduced in the Lok Sabha. If there is disagreement between the two houses on an ordinary bill, a joint sitting is convened to resolve the issue, where the decision is based on majority vote​​.
  • Money Bills: A money bill can only be introduced in the Lok Sabha. The Rajya Sabha can only make recommendations on it, which the Lok Sabha may accept or reject​​.


Executive Powers

  • Council of Ministers: The Council of Ministers is responsible to the Lok Sabha. The Prime Minister is appointed based on the majority in the Lok Sabha. The Lok Sabha controls the Council of Ministers through motions such as no-confidence, adjournment, and censure motions​​.


Financial Powers

  • Budget: The Lok Sabha has significant financial powers, including passing the budget and imposing taxes. The Speaker of the Lok Sabha decides whether a bill is a money bill, and this decision is final​​.
  • Fiscal Policy: The government cannot implement fiscal policies without the approval of the Lok Sabha. No tax can be imposed, collected, or modified without its consent​​.


Judicial Powers

  • Impeachment: The Lok Sabha, along with the Rajya Sabha, can impeach the President and remove Supreme Court judges, High Court judges, and certain state officials by special address to the President​​.
  • Contempt of the House: The Lok Sabha can punish members or citizens for contempt of the House​​.

3. Special Powers of Rajya Sabha

The Rajya Sabha has special powers in the federal structure of India:


Creation of All India Services

  • Article 312: The Rajya Sabha can authorize the creation of All India Services shared by the Union and the States. This requires a resolution passed by a two-thirds majority​​.


Legislation on State Matters

  • Article 249: The Rajya Sabha can authorize Parliament to legislate on matters in the State List by passing a resolution with a two-thirds majority​​

4. Powers of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha for UPSC

Understanding the powers of both houses is crucial for the UPSC exam:

  • Lok Sabha's Powers: The Lok Sabha has greater powers in most areas, especially in financial matters. It can also pass motions of no-confidence against the government, leading to its resignation​​.
  • Rajya Sabha's Powers: The Rajya Sabha has unique powers, such as creating All India Services and legislating on state matters of national importance​​.


5. Conclusion

  • Summary: The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha play distinct but complementary roles in India's parliamentary democracy. The Lok Sabha, with its larger size, wields more power, while the Rajya Sabha acts as a balancing force with special federal powers​​.


6. Frequently Asked Questions

1.     What are the powers of Lok Sabha?

·         The Lok Sabha has legislative, executive, financial, and judicial powers. It can pass motions of no confidence, approve budgets, and remove high-ranking officials​​.


2.     Why is Lok Sabha more powerful than Rajya Sabha?

·         The Lok Sabha has a larger membership and greater financial powers. It can override the Rajya Sabha in matters of money bills and fiscal policy​​.


3.     What are the special powers of Rajya Sabha?

·         The Rajya Sabha can create All India Services and legislate on state matters of national importance. It also has a role in federal issues​​.


4.     Which house has more powers, Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha?

·         The Lok Sabha has more powers in almost all areas, due to its larger size and financial authority. However, the Rajya Sabha has special federal powers​​.


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