Functions of Parliament – Role, Power, Parliamentary System in India

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Functions of Parliament are documented in Part 5 of the Indian Constitution and are grouped into numerous categories. The Parliamentary System in India is considered the most superior legislative body in the country and exercises a bicameral legislature to run the administration of India. All Powers and Functions of Parliament are divided as per the parliamentary structure, which is divided into two houses and the President.

The Parliament’s functions encompass lawmaking, executive oversight, representation of citizens’ interests, and financial control. By delving into the functions of the Indian Parliament, one can gain a deeper understanding of its crucial role in upholding the principles of democracy, and fostering the progress and well-being of the nation.

Parliament of India

The Parliament of India consists of two houses, including the upper house and the lower house, along with the President of India. The President of India is the head of the parliament, and he has the authority to summon and suspend any of the houses as needed.

Functions of Parliament Notes

  • The upper house refers to the Rajya Sabha or the Council of State, and the lower house denotes the Lok Sabha or the House of People.
  • The voting system elects the Lok Sabha MPs (members of parliament) as per the verdict of the common people.
  • On the other hand, the Rajya Sabha MPs are selected by the proportional representation system by the state legislative assemblies.

Each section of the parliament plays a crucial role in executing the Functions of the Parliament. Articles 79 to 122 in Part 5 of the Indian Constitution include all the details about the Parliament’s organization, composition, duration, officers, procedures, privileges, powers, and so on. Let’s see the Functions of Parliament below.

Functions of Parliament

The Powers and Functions of the Parliamentary are multidimensional and help keep India’s administrative system alive. The Indian Constitution has broadly discussed the Functions of the Parliament in Chapter II of Part V. The functions cover many administrative aspects, including implementing legislative power, performing executive functions, electoral functions, financial functions, etc. The Powers and Functions of the Indian Parliament are categorized as follows.

  • Legislative Functions of Parliament
  • Executive Functions
  • Financial Functions
  • Electoral Functions of Parliament
  • Judicial Functions
  • Constituent Functions
  • Other Powers and Functions of Parliament

Legislative Functions of Parliament

The legislative power granted by the constitution of India enables the parliament to make and implement laws regarding the subjects mentioned in the union list. Parliament can also enact laws on the subjects present in the concurrent list along with states.

When the union parliament exercises its legislative powers related to the concurrent list, the union prevails over the state unless the state law has presidential assent. When there is an Emergency situation in the country or the state is under President’s Rule as per Article 356. The Functions of Parliament are:

  • As per Article 249; the Parliament can make laws on subjects in the state list to promote the national interest if the Rajya Sabha passes it. To pass that law, the Rajya Sabha must have a 2/3rd majority of its members present and voting.
  • According to Article 252, the Parliament may enact laws for those states if the legislatures of two or more states pass a resolution stating that it is desirable to have a parliamentary law on any matter specified in the State List.
  • One of the Functions of Parliament is to implement international agreements or treaties with foreign powers; the parliament can make laws on the state list items under Article 253.

Executive Functions of Parliament

As per the Parliamentary System in India, the Executive is responsible to the legislature. The Executive Functions of Parliament include:

  • The parliament can pass a no-confidence motion to remove the cabinet (Executive). The parliament can also reject the money bill like the budget to pass a no-confidence motion.
  • Another function of Parliament is to execute the Executive powers and functions of the parliament, instruments like the question hour, zero hour in Parliament, calling attention motions, discussion, and adjournment motions in parliament.
  • A Committee on Ministerial Assurances is established by the Parliament to look into whether the ministers’ commitments to the Parliament have been honored.

Financial Functions of Parliament

The financial budget of India is presented by the cabinet to the parliament every year, which denotes the government’s investments in different sectors of the economy. Aside from that, the government cannot levy any tax on the people without parliament’s approval.

The financial power and Functions of Parliament are supreme, as no related decisions can be taken by the Executive without the parliament’s approval. The Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee and Estimates Committee are two permanent committees whose job is to monitor how the government uses the funds given to it by the legislature.

Electoral Functions of Parliament

The electoral power vested in the parliament allows them to elect the president of India and the vice president of India. The elected politicians of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha make up one element of the election process that chooses our nation’s leader or president. The elected party leaders of all State Legislative Assemblies make up the other half of the group. The Electoral Functions of Parliament are:

  • India’s Vice-President is chosen by both houses of Parliament.
  • The Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha are elected by the Lok Sabha’s representatives.
  • The Deputy Chairman is chosen by the Rajya Sabha members.

Judicial Powers and Functions of Parliament

Parliament also has the power to implement laws only after receiving approval from the majority of the members, along with the president of India. The parliament can also amend the constitution, but only if a majority of members agree. However, the parliament is entitled to keep the basic structure of the constitution intact. In conclusion, the Functions of Parliament are determined by the constitution of India, which aims for the betterment of the country.

Role of Parliament in Indian Politics

One of the most important roles of Parliament in India is to make the government accountable and answerable. The parliament has a responsibility to discuss the policies and legislations suggested by the government. A combination of the majority government and the opposition in the parliament shows its importance in Indian politics. Parliamentary committees also play a big role, especially when it comes to major national and international affairs.

Parliament UPSC

The Parliament of India stands as the supreme legislative body, responsible for formulating laws, overseeing the executive branch, and representing the diverse voices and interests of the nation. A thorough understanding of the functioning and dynamics of Parliament is essential for aspiring civil servants, as it shapes the governance structure and policy-making process of the country. As an integral part of the Polity UPSC syllabus, this topic must be given utmost priority by the aspirants with the help of notes and some of the best UPSC Polity Books.

Functions of Parliament MCQs

Question: The Lok Sabha is also known as the: a) Council of States b) House of the People c) Upper House d) State Legislature

Answer: b) House of the People

Question: Which House of Parliament has members representing the states and union territories? a) Lok Sabha b) Rajya Sabha c) Vidhan Sabha d) Vidhan Parishad

Answer: b) Rajya Sabha

Question: The President of India summons and prorogues the Parliament on the advice of the: a) Prime Minister b) Speaker of Lok Sabha c) Leader of Opposition d) Chief Justice of India

Answer: a) Prime Minister

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