The Parliament of India has two Houses– Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. The Rajya Sabha is also known as Upper House, representing the States of India. This article gives details of rajyasabha.


    • Membership and Election
    • Qualification
    • Tenure
    • Presiding officer
    • Quorum


  • First point to be noted about Rajya Sabha is that it is a permanent body as it cannot be dissolved, but one-third of its members retire every two years.
  • The membership of the Rajya Sabha cannot exceed 250.There are at present 245 members in Rajya Sabha.
  • Out of these 250, the President nominates 12 members on the basis of their excellence in literature, science, art and social service and the rest are elected.
  • Since Rajya Sabha represents States in Indian Union, its members are elected by the State legislatures.
  • Election: The elected members of the States’ Legislative Assemblies elect the Rajya Sabha MPs on the basis of proportional representation through the single transferable vote system according to their state quota.
  • All the States do not send equal number of members to the Rajya Sabha. Their representative number is decided on the basis of population of the respective State. Therefore, the bigger State gets higher representation and the smaller ones have lesser representation.
  • Delhi Assembly sends three members to Rajya Sabha and Puducherry sends one member. All other Union Territories do not get representation in the Rajya Sabha.


The qualifications required for becoming a member of Rajya Sabha are as follows:

  1. He/she should be a citizen of India and of minimum 30 years of age.
  2. He/she should take an oath or affirmation stating that he will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India.
  3. Any Indian citizen can be the Rajya Sabha elections irrespective of the State in which he resides where elections are to be conducted through open voting system.


  • Every member of Rajya Sabha has a tenure of six years.
  • Since one-third of its members retire after every two years, the house gets new members in every two years.This system of election ensures continuity in the working of Rajya Sabha.
  • The members of Rajya Sabha are entitled to re-election. But, a member elected for a mid-term vacancy will serve the remaining period only.


  • The Vice-President of India is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
  • He presides over the meetings of Rajya Sabha in the capacity of Chairman.

    • As the Vice-President is an ex-officio Chairman and not a member of Rajya Sabha, he is normally not entitled to vote.
    • However, he can vote in case of a tie. So he has a casting vote.
  • In the absence of the Chairman, the Deputy Chairman, who is elected by the members of Rajya Sabha from amongst themselves, presides over the House.
  • Removal: The Deputy Chairman can be removed by a resolution passed by a majority of  members of Rajya Sabha. But the Chairman (Vice-President) can only be removed from his office by a resolution passed by a majority of all the members of Rajya Sabha and , agreed to by the Lok Sabha.
  • Tie: means a situation in which there are equal vote cast in favour and against a bill or resolution. In such a situation the presiding officer may exercise a casting vote in favour/against to break the tie.


Quorum is the minimum number of members of an assembly that must be present at any of its meetings to make the proceedings of that meeting valid. The quorum to constitute a meeting of Rajya Sabha is one-tenth of the total members of the House, i.e., 25 members.

RajyaSabha is one of the most important part of Parliament and is an important topic for UPSC prelims as well as UPSC mains. To read More articles on Polity Click here