Difference between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha

The parliament is the supreme legislative body of India. Basically, the parliament is composed of three main components, These are the following;

  1. President
  2. Rajya Sabha (Council of States)
  3. Lok Sabha (House of the People)

In this article, we will understand the difference between the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. This article will be beneficial to all those who want to understand the working procedures of the parliament and to those who are preparing for competitive exams for government jobs especially UPSC.

So let’s start the topic:

In our democracy, both houses have a very important role. The Parliament has the central or supreme position in our political system.

In 1954 the Hindi name adopted for the Council of States and the house of peoples as the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha respectively.

The difference between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are:

1. Rajya Sabha is the upper house of the parliament and also known as the second chamber or the house of elders.

Whereas, Lok Sabha is the lower house of the parliament also known as the first chamber or House of the people. It is also called as the popular house.

2. Rajyasabha represents the States and the UTs that’s why it is called as the council of states. Whereas, Lok sabha represents the people of India that’s why known as the house of the people.

3. In Rajya Sabha, the maximum strength is fixed to 250, out of which 238 are represented by the States and union territories (UTs), and the other 12 members are nominated by President for their contributions to arts, literature, science and social services. At present, there are 245 members in the Rajya Sabha (233 from states and 12 elected members

Whereas In Loksabha the maximum strength is fixed to 552, out of which 530 represent the States, 20 represent the union territories (UTs), and 2 members are nominated by President from Anglo Indian (this provision removed recently). At present, the strength of Lok Sabha is 545.

In a nutshell, the maximum strength of;

  • Rajya Sabha = 250 [238 (states & UT) + 12 (Nominated)]
  • Lok Sabha = 552 [530 (states) + 20 (UT) + 2 (Nominated)]

4. The members of the Rajya Sabha are elected by the members of the state legislative assembly.

Whereas, the members of the Lok Sabha are directly elected by the people of their respective constituencies.

5. The election in Rajya Sabha is based on the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable votes.

Whereas, In Lok Sabha, the election is based on the principle of the Universal adult franchise, and the member of Lok Sabha are directly elected by the people. That’s why it is said that Loksabha represents the will of the people.

6. In Rajya Sabha, seats are allotted to States on the basis of population but in Lok Sabha seats are allotted in a manner that all States have the same seats, and the ratio between seats and it’s population is equal for all states. For this purpose, the delimitation commission is established from time to time through the delimitation Commission act.

7. First Rajya Sabha which was constituted in 1952, is a permanent body and not subject to dissolution. But one-third of its members retire every second year and the vacant seats are filled by the fresh elections.

Whereas the duration of Lok Sabha is five years under normal conditions. It means, in Lok Sabha, the members are elected for 5 years and after completion of the 5 years term it’s automatically get dissolved and fresh elections are held for the next 5 years terms. However, the president can dissolve Lok Sabha at any time even before the completion of the 5-year term under some conditions.

8. The qualification age for the Rajya Sabha members is not less than 30 years but in Lok Sabha, it is 25 years. That is why Rajya Sabha is known as the Chamber of elders or the Upper house.

9. The Presiding officer of Rajya Sabha is called the chairman who is also the Vice President of India. In other words, the Vice President of India also acts as the chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

Whereas, The presiding officer of Lok Sabha is known as the speaker who is elected among the member of the Lok Sabha itself.

Now that we have understood the basic differences between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Let’s understand the equality and difference of powers of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha.

Powers of Rajya Sabha which are equal to Lok Sabha:

Rajya Sabha enjoys the same status and power as the Lok Sabha for the following works;

1. The introduction and passing of any ordinary bill the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have equal power and also in the introduction and passing of the Constitutional Amendment Bill as well as the financial bill both houses have equal status and power.

2. To scrutinize the report of constitutional bodies, Approval of ordinance, Approval of proclamation of any type of emergency.

3. Recommendation to the president for removal of chief justice and judges of the supreme court, high court, and the chief election commissioner, both houses have equal power.

4. Rajya Sabha has equal power in the election and impeachment of the president and the vice president.

Powers of Rajya Sabha which are not equal to Lok Sabha:

In some of the area, Rajya Sabha has an unequal power as compared with Loksabha, these are;

1. A money bill can be introduced in Lok Sabha only.

2. Rajya Sabha cannot amend or reject the money bill.

3. Rajyasabha can not vote on the demands for grants also.

4. For discontinuation of the national emergency, Rajya Sabha has no role.

5. Rajyasabha cannot remove the Council of Ministers by passing a no-confidence motion because the Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to Lok Sabha only.

6. In the event of the joint sitting, the speaker of Lok Sabha presides not the chairman of Rajya Sabha.

7. When a dispute arises that a particular bill is a money bill or an ordinary bill, the decision of the speaker of the Lok Sabha is considered as the final.

Some special powers of Rajya Sabha for which for Lok Sabha is not authorised:

Rajya Sabha some special power like;

1. It can authorise the Parliament to make law on a subject in the state list.

2. It also has the power to authorise the Parliament to create a new all-India service for both centre and state.

 Merits of Parliamentary System:

The reason to adopt a parliamentary system is that it creates harmony between the legislature and executive and it also provides a responsible government in which people are represented by the elected members.

It also prevents despotism Nepotism because people directly elect the member and represents the wide section of our country to maintain diversity unity and integrity.

Demerits of Parliamentary System:

Some of the demerits of the parliamentary system are;

An unstable government is always bad for any democratic country. Even newly elected members may have poor technocratic capabilities. So it is called as government by amateurs.

It is against the separation of power where the legislature and executive have a different role but overlapping in nature.

No continuity in policy and we always see policy change when the government changes.

The role of parliament is important because on one side Lok Sabha represents the will of the people and on the other side the Rajya Sabha represents the state’s strength in the federalism system.

It is also said that the Rajya Sabha members are experienced and matured because they are elder in age and have experience in various fields.

We can conclude that Loksabha and Rajyasabha is the wheel of the Chariot of democracy and it provides a platform where the problem of people is solved by the members.


This article is written by;

Mr. Pankaj Kumar Gupta

(Email ID: [email protected])