From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Standing Committees
Mains level : Parliamentary procedures and functioning
Fewer sittings of Parliament are compensated by the working of department-related standing committees (DRSCs) praised Rajya Sabha Chairman.
What are Standing Committees?
- Standing Committee is a committee consisting of Members of Parliament.
- It is a permanent and regular committee which is constituted from time to time according to the provisions of an Act of Parliament or Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business.
- The work done by the Indian Parliament is not only voluminous but also of a complex nature, hence a good deal of its work is carried out in these Parliamentary Committees.
- Standing Committees are of the following kinds :
- Financial Standing Committees (FSC)
- Department Related Standing Committees (DRSC)
- Others Standing Committees (OSC)
- There are 24 Department-related Standing Committees (DRSCs). Each of these committees have 31 members – 21 from Lok Sabha and 10 from Rajya Sabha.
- The 17 Departmentally Related Standing Committees were formally constituted with effect from April, 1993.
- After experiencing the working of the DRSC system for over a decade, the system was restructured in July,2004 wherein the number of DRSCs was increased from 17 to 24.
- These members are to be nominated by the Speaker of Lok Sabha or the Chairman of Rajya Sabha respectively. The term of office of these committees does not exceed one year.
- These committees are serviced either by Lok Sabha secretariat or the Rajya Sabha secretariat depending on who has appointed the chairman of that committee.
Equal to 10 House sittings
- During a usual sitting of Parliament, the Houses are convened for six hours. Calculating it accordingly, the meeting of these committees amount to 10 sittings of Parliament.
- Proportionately, the work done by the 16 Committees of Lok Sabha amounts to another 20 sittings of the Parliament.
- In all, the work put in by the total 24 DRSCs in examining the Demands for Grants of all the ministries equals 30 days of functioning of the Parliament, which is quite significant.
- If the working of the committees is taken into account for the entire year, it will amount to significantly higher number of days.