Q. Consider the following statements about Election of members of Rajya Sabha:
1. The procedure for election of members of Rajya Sabha has been taken from Constitution of Australia.
2. The election is held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.
Which of the statements given above are correct?
- The procedure for election of members of Rajya Sabha has been taken from the Constitution of South Africa.
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.
- 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.
Representation of Union Territories:
- The representatives of each union territory in the Rajya Sabha are indirectly elected by members of an electoral 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 nine union territories, only three (Delhi, Puducherry and Jammu & Kashmir) have representation in Rajya Sabha.
- The populations of other six union territories are too small to have any representative in the Rajya Sabha.
- 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.