Roles, limitations of Select Committees and other parliamentary panels

• The government pushed through two crucial agriculture Bills in Rajya Sabha, rejecting Opposition demands that they be referred to a Select Committee of Rajya Sabha.

About:

• Parliament scrutinises legislative proposals (Bills) in two ways. The first is by discussing it on the floor of the two Houses.

• The second mechanism is by referring a Bill to a parliamentary committee. But referring of Bills to parliamentary committees is not mandatory.

• India’s Parliament has multiple types of committees. They can be differentiated on the basis of their work, their membership and the length of their tenure.

• First are committees that examine bills, budgets and policies of ministries. These are called departmentally related Standing Committees. There are 24 such committees. Departmentally related Standing Committees have a tenure of one year, then they are reconstituted and their work continues throughout the term of a Lok Sabha.

• Then there are committees constituted for a specific purpose, with MPs from both Houses. The specific purpose could be detailed scrutiny of a subject matter or a Bill. These are Joint Parliamentary Committees (JPC).

• Finally, there is a Select Committee on a Bill. This is formed for examining a particular Bill and its membership is limited to MPs from one House.

• Since both the JPCs and Select Committees are constituted for a specific purpose, they are disbanded after their report. Both these types of committees are chaired by MPs from the ruling party.

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Mains Paper 2: Polity

Prelims level: Select Committees

Mains level: Role and limitations of the Select Committees and other important committees

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