President nominates four members to Rajya Sabha

CURRENT AFFAIRS FROM INDIAN POLITY SECTION


News in Focus

  • In exercise of the powers conferred by Article 80 of the Constitution of India, and on the advice of the Prime Minister, the President of India has made the following four nominations to the Rajya Sabha:
  1. Ram Shakal
  2. Rakesh Sinha
  3. Raghunath Mohapatra
  4. Sonal Mansingh

Background:

  • There were, currently, eight nominated members in the Rajya Sabha, and hence, four vacancies.

Article 80 of the Constitution:

  • As per the article 80 of the Constitution, the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) is composed of not more than 250 members, of whom 12 are nominated by the President of India from amongst persons who have special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as literature, science, art and social service.

Rationale behind principle of the nomination:

  • The rationale behind principle of the nomination is to facilitate the representation of eminent professionals and experts who cannot face direct elections.
  • By nominating them to Rajya Sabha, the State not only recognises their merit and confers honour on them, but also enables them to enrich the debates by their expertise and knowledge that they have in different areas.

First batch of 12 nominated members:

The first batch of 12 nominated members represented a galaxy of talented persons of proven merit.  They were:

  • Scholar and educationist Dr. Zakir Husain,
  • Renowned historians Dr. Kalidas Nag and Dr. Radha Kumud Mookerji,
  • National poet Shri Maithilisharan Gupta,
  • Well-known Gandhian author Kakasaheb Kalelkar,
  • Eminent scientist Professor Satyendranath Bose,
  • Social worker Shri N.R. Malkani,
  • Renowned exponent of classical dance forms Shrimati Rukmini Devi Arundale,
  • Gandhian scholar and teacher, Dr. J.M. Kumarappa,
  • Legal luminary Dr. Alladi Krishnaswami,
  • Famous stage actor and cine star Shri Prithviraj Kapoor and
  • Eminent medical scientist Major-General S.S. Sokhey.

Powers and privileges:

  • Nominated members enjoy all powers, privileges and immunities available to an elected member of Parliament.
  • They take part in the proceedings of the House as any other member.
  • They, however, are not entitled to vote in the election of the President of India.
  • But in the election of the Vice-President of India, they have a right to vote.
  • A nominated member is allowed six months, should he decide to join a political party after he has taken his seat in the House in terms of article 99 of the Constitution.
  • A nominated member has also been exempted from filing his assets and liabilities under Section 75A of the Representation of the Peoples Act, 1951 which requires the elected member to do so within 90 days of his making or subscribing oath/affirmation.
  • Under MPLADS, the Nominated Members of the Rajya Sabha may select any Districts from any State in the Country for implementation of their choice of work under the scheme.

Nominated members in Lok Sabha:

  • The president can nominate two members from the Anglo-Indian community if the community is not adequately represented in the Lok Sabha.

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