The Question Hour is an interesting part of the Parliamentary proceedings. Although a question mainly seeks information and tries to elicit facts on a particular subject. It is important hour of Parliamentary proceedings. UPSC candidates should be well aware of these parlimentary proceedings, which id part od UPSC mains GS paper 2 syllabus.
- Question Hour
- Types of questions
- Importance of Question hour
- This is first hour of a sitting. During this, MPs ask questions to ministers and hold them accountable for
functioning of their ministries.
- Both Houses of the Parliament follow their own set of rules which are formulated to govern themselves.
- At the beginning of Parliament in 1952, Lok Sabha rules provided for Question Hour to be held every day.
- Rajya Sabha, on the other hand, had a provision for Question Hour for two days a week. A few months
later, this was changed to four days a week. Then from 1964, Question Hour was taking place in Rajya Sabha on every day of the session
- Before asking a question in the parliament, the member has to give a 15-day notice to the Chairman/Speaker in a prescribed manner. Such a period can be reduced at the discretion of the Chairman/Speaker.
- The permissible limit with respect to the question are only five a day per member in Lok Sabha and seven per day in Rajya Sabha.
TYPES OF QUESTIONS
There are three kinds of questions asked:
- Starred question (distinguished by an asterisk): This requires an oral answer and hence supplementary questions can follow.
- Unstarred question: This requires a written answer and hence, supplementary questions cannot follow.
- Short notice question: It is one that is asked by giving a notice of less than ten days. It is answered orally.
Question Hour in both Houses is held on all days of the session. But there are two days when an exception is made.
- When the President addresses MPs from both Houses.
- The President’s speech takes place at the beginning of a new Lok Sabha and on the first day of a new Parliament year.
- On the day the Finance Minister presents the Budget.
IMPORTANCE OF QUESTION HOUR
- Parliamentarian right: Asking of questions is an inherent and unfettered parliamentary right of members.
- Holds government accountable:
- It is during the Question Hour that the members can ask questions on every aspect of administration and Governmental activity.
- Government policies in national as well as international spheres come into sharp focus.
- Like in trials, during the Question Hour, every Minister has to answer for their acts of administrative omission and commission.
- Adaptation of policies: Through the Question Hour, the Government is able to quickly feel the pulse of the nation and adapt its policies and actions accordingly.
- Appointment of a Commission: Sometimes questions may lead to the appointment of a Commission, a Court of Enquiry or even Legislation when matters raised by Members are of wide public importance.
Parliamentary proceedings are important source of questions for UPSC prelims, because of the factual details in these topics. IAS candidates should be well aware and thoroughwith these topics