Study Notes on the Functions of the Parliament

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Every democratic country in the world has a functioning parliament to handle a multitude of affairs for the efficient working of the country. A parliament gives the public of the country a voice and ensures transparency in the governing functions. The only exceptions are the countries with a total absence of any democratic norms, resulting in a severe suspension of civil rights and being finally termed as dictatorships. For every person, it is necessary to understand the functions of the parliament in a country, especially if they live in a democratic one. In this blog, we will explore more on the functions of the parliament.

What is Parliament?
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Parliament can be understood as the apex legislative body of a country. In the modern era of politics, a parliament doesn’t merely have a symbolic function, it is a full-fledged legislative body of government. A parliament includes public representatives, who work toward their  Parliament in any nation-state has broad functions. Primarily it serves to represent the population or electorate, making laws and subsequently enacting them. Lastly, monitoring government functioning. These are a few of the fundamental functions of the Parliament. 

Must read: Features of Democracy

What are the Functions of the Parliament?

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In a way, Parliament is an all-encompassing Institution as it overlooks the policy formulation and implementation as well as international relations, down to the basic functioning fiber of the country. Now let’s understand the functions of the Parliament in detail:

Legislative Functions of the Parliament

First and foremost of the functions of the parliament is to make laws for the smooth running of affairs in the country on all important subjects. It is for the government to draft those laws and table it in the parliament for further discussion and exhaustive deliberations by all its members before enacting it fully into the constitution. For example, In India, parliament makes laws on subjects falling in the Union and Concurrent list.

Constitutional Functions

Sometimes a government wishes to amend a provision of law but a government can’t do it on its own. Such a power to amend the constitution is totally within the purview of parliament.  Amendments have to be approved by the majority in the houses of parliament. The government can’t perform such actions arbitrarily without them being ratified by the majority members of the elected representatives present in the house.

Institution of Information

In parliament, it is incumbent upon the government to provide information about its functioning to all its members whenever sought. The information provided by the government is considered authoritative even though members are free to dispute it by offering rebuttals. Parliament serves as a primary body of information related to issues of governance, functioning of the affairs in the country, and matters of foreign policy. A government can’t deny providing such information in any country.

Budget and Finance

In a parliamentary system of governance, it is within the powers of a parliament to devise ways for raising revenue so that institutions of government, and other public service sectors do not come to a halt and function actively in the course of the development of the country. The government presents a budget in the parliament, imposes taxes, and approves money for the expenditure of all its controlled sectors and departments in the country. Parliament ensures transparency in the financial running of the government.

Accountability of the Government

Parliament functions as a platform that effectively ensures that the government in power is accountable to the people. One of the many important functions of the parliament is to bring about exhaustive debates and critical assessments of the performance of the government and the departments under its control. The debates make it certain that the weaknesses in terms of functioning are brought to the limelight. It is by way of this system that the government ensures the functioning of the public sector.

Role of Opposition

Another in the list of functions of the parliament is that it allows alternative views. Some members are not part of the government and they cater to the needs of their voters which can be disregarded by the government if the opposition doesn’t decide to voice them. Parliament gives those voters a forum, by way of opposition, so they are not left marginalised or don’t receive government benefits that ensure their social development.

Functions of the Parliament: Sample Questions

Now that we have elucidated the functions of the parliament, here are some questions for you to practice the concepts from all sides:

  1. What is the importance of parliament in a country?
  2. How do you understand the role of opposition in the parliament?
  3. How does parliament ensure information to the public?
  4. What are the legislative functions performed by the parliament?
  5. How does parliament control matters of finance in the country?
  6. How do you understand parliament ensures democracy in a country?
  7. Why do we need a parliament?
  8. What are the differences between Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha in the Indian parliament?
  9. Write a short note on the role of opposition in a parliament.
  10. What are the parliament’s rights and duties?
  11. What are the differences between the British parliamentary system and the Indian parliamentary system?
  12. What are the similarities between the British parliamentary system and the Indian parliamentary system?

Also Read: Public Administration Syllabus for UPSC

Hope this blog has provided you with all the quintessential knowledge regarding the functions of the parliament. It is important to comprehend this topic to know how affairs of the country are run. This knowledge is not just a part of the information pool of a responsible citizen, it is also crucial for students who are aspiring for administrative exams. Are you aiming for overseas education at a top-notch University but unable to comprehend the process? Let the experts at study abroad take care of your academic journey. Book your free 30 minutes of free e-counselling with the team now!

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