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The Parliament

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The Parliament - Lesson Summary

India is a parliamentary democracy. The parliament is the most important symbol of democracy. An important constitutional right is the right to vote. This is based on the principles of democracy and universal adult franchise.

Democracy means citizens of a country must elect their representatives to govern them. Universal adult franchise means every adult citizen has a right to vote regardless of their gender or religion.

India is divided into 552 parliamentary constituencies. Citizens must stand for election from each constituency but only one can be elected. The citizens elected to parliament are called Members of Parliament or MPs. The MPs you elect must enjoy your approval on all the work that they do! A person must be a nationalized citizen of India and over 18 years of age.

There are two governments—one at the centre, which we refer to as the Sansad, and one at the state-level called the Vidhan Sabha. The sansad consists of the President, the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha.

The Lok Sabha is the house of the people to which you elect members of parliament. The MPs perform three main functions: select the national government, control, guide and inform the government, and make laws.

If no one party is able to get the 272 seats required to form a government, they must invite other like-minded parties to join them. This is called a coalition government. The Prime Minister is the leader of the ruling party or coalition government.

The Opposition plays a critical role in the healthy functioning of a democracy. They provide feedback to the executive and control, guide and inform the government. It is only through the active participation of the executive and The Opposition that the laws can meet public approval and ensure that everyone is represented!


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