Devices of Parliamentary Proceedings

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 19, 2022, 6:24

Devices of parliamentary proceedings ensure that the members of the Parliament comply with the procedural rules of the houses. Both the houses of the Parliament express their views or opinions on a variety of issues by adopting or rejecting motions submitted by ministries or private members.

Formal Devices of Parliamentary Proceedings

Question Hour-

Members of Parliament have the first hour of each sitting session to ask questions regarding any aspect of administrative activity.

The three types of questions that can be asked in the question hour are:

  • Starred Questions

  • Unstarred Questions

  • Short-Notice Questions

Half-an-Hour Discussion-

The presiding officer shall allow a half-hour between 5 PM and 5.30 PM to discuss a crucial public issue that requires factual clarification.

Short-Duration Discussion-

Permits members to address pressing public-interest concerns without the need to make a formal motion.

The Informal Device of Parliamentary Proceedings

Zero Hour-

  • Begins at noon, immediately following Question Hour.
  • Each member gets three minutes to address a problem.
  • They have to give notice to the presiding officer before 10 AM.

Motions as Devices of Parliamentary Proceedings

Adjournment Motion-

An extraordinary procedure is used to call the attention of the Lower House in case of an urgency, where it will be too late to give proper notice.

Call-Attention Motion-

  • Used to invite the attention of the respective minister to a pressing public issue.
  • Demands an official statement in response.

Censure Motion-

  • Can be moved against one minister or the entire Council of Ministers.
  • Used to censure them for some grievous actions.

Closure Motion-

  • Moved by a member demanding cutting short the matter in debate.
  • A Simple Closure Motion is moved when a member feels that a matter has been sufficiently dealt with.
  • Closure by Compartments demands division of a lengthy resolution into parts.
  • Kangaroo Closure demands that only crucial parts of a resolution may be discussed.
  • Guillotine Closure is moved when undiscussed parts of a resolution are put to a vote along with the discussed ones citing the dearth of time.

Cut Motions-

  • Used to oppose a demand for grants.
  • Policy Cut Motion demands a cut of Rs. 1- a symbolic measure to express dissent.
  • Economy Cut Motion demands a cut of a specific amount.
  • Token Cut Motion demands a cut of Rs. 100.

The motion of Thanks-

  • The President addresses the opening session of each fiscal year and the first session following each general election.
  • If this motion cannot be passed, the government is deemed to have lost its majority.

No Date Yet Named Motion-

The Speaker has approved the motion, but no date for deliberation has been set.

No-Confidence Motion-

  • Based on the principle of collective responsibility.
  • If a no-confidence motion is passed, the government is said to have lost its majority.
  • A simple majority (51%).

Point of Order-

Point of Order is a device of parliamentary proceedings used when a member feels that the House's proceedings do not adhere to the established rules of procedure.

Important Exams
SSC ExamDefence Exam
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RRB NTPC ExamIBPS Clerk Exam

Privilege Motion-

  • Moved by an MP if (s)he believes that a minister violated the House privilege.
  • Used to officially condemn the concerned minister.

Special Mention-

  • Matters that were not raised in other motions can be moved through Special Mention in the Upper House.
  • In the Lower House, it is called Notice Mention.

Members of the Parliament use devices of parliamentary proceedings to raise and resolve public issues.

These procedures help the Parliament adapt to the changing public needs and allow members to effectively voice their concerns in the respective Houses.

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FAQs on Devices of Parliamentary Proceedings

Q.1. What are the underlying principles of the devices of parliamentary proceedings?

  • At any given time, the assembly's attention must focus on one subject only.
  • Each motion is entitled to a free and open debate.
  • Every member has full and equal rights to present their views.
  • The will of the majority must be carried out, while minorities' rights must be protected.

Q.2. How does the presiding officer take a vote on the devices of parliamentary proceedings?

The presiding officer votes on the motion by saying, "All in support of the motion say 'aye,'" and "those oppose say 'No.'" 

Q.3. How many informal devices of parliamentary proceedings are there?

There is only one informal device of parliamentary proceedings- zero hour.

Q.4. Why are some devices of parliamentary proceedings called 'extraordinary devices'?

If an extraordinary Device of Parliamentary Proceeding is admitted, all other businesses of the House will be set aside for discussing the issue raised.