Meaning of Zero Hour, Duration, Purpose

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What is Zero Hour

The Zero Hour is an informal device of parliamentary proceedings that is available to members of the Parliament to raise matters without any prior notice. Unlike the Question Hour, there is no mention of the Zero Hour in the Rules of Procedure. Notable, it is an Indian innovation in the field of parliamentary procedures and has been in existence since 1962. Moreover, this blog also includes more about the Zero Hour in Parliament, the Purpose, and the Duration of the Zero Hour!    

What is Zero Hour in Parliament?

Zero Hour is a designated period within a parliamentary session where Members of Parliament (MPs) can present matters of critical public significance. Additionally, it is a unique feature of the Indian Parliament and is not present in the parliamentary procedures of other countries. The Hour presents an opportunity to put forth questions and topics of serious importance regarding India. 

Also Read: The Basic Structure Doctrine: Safeguarding Constitutional Integrity

What is the Purpose of the Zero Hour?

In addition, the Purpose of the Zero Hour is as follows: 

  • Urgent Matters: MPs can use Zero Hour to highlight recent events, emergencies, or developments that demand Government action or clarification. Thereby including topics such as natural disasters, public health crises, or important policy changes.
  • Accountability: The Hour is a way to hold the government accountable. Moreover, MPs can question ministers, seek explanations, and express concerns about government policies or actions directly.
  • Public Visibility: It gives a chance for MPs to bring attention to issues affecting their constituents or specific regions. Hence, by raising these matters in the Parliament, they can garner support, resources, or solutions from the Government.
  • Policy Discussion: The Zero Hour is also a space for beginning discussions on possible legislative measures or policy reforms. Thus, MPs can propose ideas, debate, and collect feedback from other members before the formal procedures.

Also Read: Preamble of the Indian Constitution

What is the Duration of Zero Hour?

The Zero Hour starts immediately after the Question Hour and lasts until the agenda of the day (which is the regular business of the House) is taken up. Therefore, the time gap between the Question Hour and the agenda is known as the Zero Hour. Since the question hour lasts till 1 PM, the Zero Hour thus begins after it. 

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

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