A look at how Parliament sessions are convened?

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News: Government has decided to cancel the Winter session of Parliament, citing fears over a surge in cases due to covid-19 pandemic.

Facts:

  • Constitution on Summoning of Parliament: The summoning of Parliament is specified in Article 85 of the Constitution.Like many other articles, it is based on the provision of Government of India Act,1935.
  • Power to convene Session: The power to convene a session of Parliament rests with the Government.The decision is taken by the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs which is formalised by the President, in whose name MPs are summoned to meet for a session.
  • Parliamentary Calendar: India does not have a fixed parliamentary calendar.By convention (i.e. not provided by the Constitution), Parliament meets for three sessions in a year.
    • The longest, Budget Session(1st session) starts towards the end of January and concludes by the end of April or first week of May. The session has a recess so that Parliamentary Committees can discuss the budgetary proposals.
    • The second session is the three-week Monsoon Session, which usually begins in July and finishes in August.
    • Winter Session(3rd session) is held from November to December.

Additional Facts:

Terms associated with Sessions of Parliament:

  • Adjournment: Termination of the sitting of the House which meets again at the time appointed for the next sitting.
  • Adjournment sine die – Termination of a sitting of the House without any definite date being fixed for the next sitting.
  • Prorogation: It means the termination of a Session of the House by an order made by the President under article 85(2)(a) of the Constitution.  The Prorogation of the House may take place any time even while the House is sitting.However, prorogation usually follows the adjournment of the sitting of the House sine die.
  • Dissolution: It means the end of the life of the Lok Sabha either by an order made by the President under article 85 (2) (b) of the Constitution or on the expiration of the period of five years from the date appointed for its first meeting.Dissolution puts an end to the representative character of the individuals who at the time compose the Lok Sabha.
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