Rajya Sabha

Rajya Sabha: The Upper House

The Rajya Sabha is the Upper House of the Indian Parliament and is often referred to as the Council of States. It had its first sitting on 13th May 1952. Article 80 of the Constitution says that total strength of Rajya Sabha should not be more 250 members off which 238 represent the States and Union Territories and 12 are nominated by the President. The President appoints the 12 members for their contribution in the fields of art, science, literature or social services. The present strength of Rajya Sabha is 245 members in which 233 are from State and Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry and 12 are nominated by the President.

The Vice President of India is the ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha and a Deputy Chairman is picked from the experienced members by the PM. There is also a Leader of the House who is from the ruling party or coalition and a Leader of the Opposition who is generally from the single largest party in the opposition camp.

Term of a Rajya Sabha Member

Rajya Sabha is immune to dissolution. It is a permanent body and the members can only retire. A member has a 6 year tenure and one-third of the members retire every two years.

Leader of the House:

Leader of the House is generally the PM himself if he belongs to the Rajya Sabha, otherwise he chooses a senior member who can co-ordinate and run the House properly. The first elections were held in 1952 and till date we have seen 29 members as Leaders of the House.


Leader of the Opposition:

Till 1969, no official post or formal recognition was given to the Leader of Opposition but they have been officially recognised since 1977. Till date there have been 16 Leaders of the Opposition.

Rajya Sabha Membership

Current RS Members by Alliance

Current Nominated Members:

The present Rajya Sabha (as of 2017) has 12 nominated members, 3 members are from the Art category, 2 are from Sports, 2 from Economics, 2 from Law and 1 each from Social Work, Journalism and Business.


Current Members from State and UT’s:

The present Rajya Sabha has 233 members from States and Union Territories. NDA has a total of 74 members (including 4 from nominated members), UPA has 64 members while Janata Parivar has 15 members.


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