DR Ambedkar IAS Academy

What is ‘Bicameral legislature’?

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Bicameralism is the practice of having two Houses of Parliament. At the State level, the equivalent of the Lok Sabha is the Vidhan Sabha (Legislative Assembly), and that of the Rajya Sabha is the Vidhan Parishad (Legislative Council). A so-called Upper House is considered important in the parliamentary system, as only a third of the seats are filled every two years and it therefore acts as a check against potential impetuousness of electoral majorities in the Lower House. With members mostly indirectly elected, the Upper House also ensures that individuals who might not be cut out for the rough-and-tumble of direct elections too are able to contribute to the legislative process. Under Article 169, Parliament may by law create or abolish the second chamber in a State if the Legislative Assembly of that State passes a resolution to that effect by a special majority. At present, seven Indian States have bicameral legislatures. Some argue that unlike the Rajya Sabha, the Vidhan Parishad does not serve must purpose and poses a strain on States’ finances.

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