What is Question Hour in Parliament?

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What is Question Hour

The Question Hour is a device of parliamentary proceedings during which the members of the Parliament ask questions and the government ministers usually give answers. This acts as a check on the governing ministers and puts forth inquiries requiring statements from them. Furthermore, the Hour holds the current government accountable for its actions as well as policies. Thereby, guaranteeing transparency, accountability and a check on the executive. This blog has more about the Question Hour in the Parliament, the Purpose and the Time of the Hour in the Parliament! 

What is Question Hour in Parliament 

In the Indian Parliament, the Hour can range from policy matters, schemes, and performance of ministries to current issues affecting India. 

The three types are as follows:

  • A Starred Question that is distinguished by an asterisk, requires an oral answer and thus additional queries may follow.
    • Starred Questions are printed in green. 
  • An Unstarred Question requires a written answer to the query and additional queries are not there.
    • Unstarred Questions are printed in white. 
  • A Short Notice Question is asked by giving a notice of less than 10 days and is therefore answered orally.
    • Short Notice Questions are printed in light pink. 
  • A Question to Private Members happens if the query’s subject matter relates to some Bill, resolution or other matter connected with the business of the House for which that particular member is responsible.
    • Questions to Private Members are printed in yellow. 

Also Read: Article 144 of the Indian Constitution

What is the Purpose of Question Hour?

Furthermore, the Purpose of the Hour is: 

  • Eliciting Information: Members of Parliament(MP) can seek information from Ministers about government policies, programs, and their implementation. Moreover, this transparency helps citizens understand how the Government is working.
  • Holding the Government Accountable: MPs can reveal any shortcomings or failures in Government policies. Therefore, this scrutiny keeps the Government on its toes and guarantees they are responsible to the public.
  • Raising Issues of Public Concern:  MPs can bring pressing issues faced by their constituents or the nation to the forefront. Hence, Question Hour gives a platform for public debate and discussion on critical matters.
  • Sparking Policy Changes: Well-crafted queries can prompt the government to re-evaluate its policies or introduce necessary Amendments.

Also Read: What is a Writ of Prohibition?

What is the Time of Question Hour in Parliament?

Previously, the Question Hour in the Parliament began at 11 AM during the first hour of the sitting. 

  • However, from the 233rd session onwards with the Amendment to Rule 38 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Council of States the timing has been changed. 
  • The Question Hour is now from 12 noon and continues for one hour until 1 PM. 

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Lastly, we hope you liked our blog and gained an understanding of What is Question Hour. Moreover, you may even read more blogs and empower yourself with knowledge regarding Civics and Polity!

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