Rajya Sabha women members doubled since 1952; Passed 3,817 Bills, held 5,466 sittings

New Delhi: The first ever effort by the Rajya Sabha secretariat to quantify and analyse the legislative work done by the Upper House since it came into being in 1952 has revealed that the House has passed 3,817 Bills till the end of the last session, which was the 249th session. Of these, 60 Bills had lapsed due to the dissolution of Lok Sabha at various points of time while, 63 Bills were deemed to have been passed by the Upper House, and 2 Bills cleared by it are still to be taken up in Lok Sabha. In effect, a total of 3,818 Acts of Parliament have been made since the first general elections in 1952.

A wide range of such a statistical summary and other details on various aspects of the functioning of the House are contained in the publication “Rajya Sabha: The Journey since 1952” released by Vice President of India and Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu at a meeting of the leaders of various parties and groups in New Delhi on 17 November. Naidu convened the meeting to seek cooperation of the parties for smooth functioning of the landmark 250th session of Rajya Sabha beginning today.

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The 118-page publication with 29 chapters features interesting statistics, details of the first moves, and unique events, besides details of major Bills passed by the Rajya Sabha in respect of social change, economic transformation, industrial development, health, education, agriculture, environment, national security and the objectives of 103 Constitution amendments so far made, amongst other elements.

A glimpse of the journey of Rajya Sabha during the last 67 years, since it’s first sitting on 13 May 1952, is furnished below:

Total members of Rajya Sabha so far including those with more than one term is 2,282 including 208 women and 137 nominated members. Currently in his 7th term, Mahendra Prasad has served the highest number of terms followed by Manmohan Singh, serving his 6th term. Najma Heptulla and the late Ram Jethmalani are the other two with 6 terms each.

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Ghulam Nabi Azad, A.K. Anthony, Ahmed Patel and Ambika Soni are presently into their fifth terms, while Pranab Mukherjee, the late Bhupesh Gupta, Sitaram Kesri, Sajor Khaparde, B.V. Abdulla Koya were among the 11 members with 5 terms in the Upper House. Rajya Sabha Chairman Naidu is among the 45 members with four terms each.

The representation of women in Rajya Sabha has increased from 15 members (6.94%) in 1952, to 31 members (12.76%) in 2014 and is now. The Rajya Sabha has 26 women members (10.83%) in 2019.

In his foreword to the publication, Chairman Venkaiah Naidu said, “Indeed, Rajya Sabha has all through been a lively and sagacious institution. It should continue to function with even greater vigor and zeal towards fulfilling the aspirations of the people, especially, the younger ones.”

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“Still, some missed opportunities may not be ruled out. We need to learn from the experience of the last 67 years and strive to make our Parliament even more effective towards building a New India which compares favorably with the better placed in the comity of the nations. Time is the essence in doing so and for making up for the missed opportunities,” said Naidu.

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The ID Staff

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