Laxmikanth Summary: Parliamentary Committees UPSC Notes | EduRev

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Standing Committees 
On the basis of the nature of functions performed by them, standing committees can be classified into the following six categories: 

1. Financial Committees
(a) Public Accounts Committee
(b) Estimates Committee
(c) Committee on Public Undertakings 

2. Departmental Standing Committees

3. Committees to Inquire
(a) Committee on Petitions
(b) Committee of Privileges
(c) Ethics Committee 

4. Committees to Scrutinise and Control
(a) Committee on Government Assurances
(b) Committee on Subordinate Legislation
(c) Committee on Papers Laid on the Table
(d) Committee on Welfare of SCs and STs
(e) Committee on Empowerment of Women
(f) Joint Committee on Offices of Profit 

5. Committees Relating to the Day-to-Day Business of the House 
(a) Business Advisory Committee
(b) Committee on Private Members’ Bills and Resolutions
(c) Rules Committee
(d) Committee on Absence of Members from Sittings of the House 

6. House-Keeping Committees or Service Committees (i.e.. Committees concerned with the Provision of Facilities and Services to Members): 
(a) General Purposes Committee
(b) House Committee
(c) Library Committee
(d) Joint Committee on Salaries and Allowances of Members 

Ad Hoc Committees: Ad hoc committees can be divided into two categories, that is, Inquiry Committees and Advisory Committees. 

  • Inquiry Committees are constituted from time to time, either by the two Houses on a motion adopted in that behalf, or by the Speaker / Chairman, to inquire into and report on specific subjects. For example: Five-Year Plan, Railway, Scheme, Fertilizer 
  • Advisory committees on bills, which are appointed to consider and report on particular bills.

Committee on Estimates 
This Committee consists of 30 members who are elected by the Lok Sabha every year from among its members. A Minister is not eligible for election to this Committee. The term of the Committee is one year. The main function of the Committee on Estimates is to report what improvements in organisation, efficiency, or administrative reform, consistent with the policy underlying the estimates may be effected. They suggest alternative policies in order to bring about efficiency and economy in administration.

  • NB: From time to time the Committee selects such of the estimates pertaining to a Ministry or a group of Ministries or the statutory and other Government bodies as may seem fit to the Committee.
  • NB: The Committee also examines matters of special interest which may arise or come to light in the course of its work or which are specifically referred to it by the House or the Speaker.

Committee on Public Undertakings
The Committee on Public Undertakings consists of 15 members elected by the Lok Sabha and 7 members of Rajya Sabha. A Minister is not eligible for election to this Committee. The term of the Committee is one year. The functions of the Committee on Public Undertakings are— 

  • to examine the reports and accounts of Public Undertakings. 
  • to examine the reports, if any, of the Comptroller and Auditor General on the Public Undertakings 
  • to examine in the context of the autonomy and efficiency of the Public Undertakings.

Committee on Public Accounts 

  • This Committee consists of 15 members elected by the Lok Sabha and 7 members of the Rajya Sabha.
    A Minister is not eligible for election to this Committee. The term of the Committee is one year.
  • The main duty of the Committee is to ascertain whether the money granted by Parliament has been spent by Government "within the scope of the Demand". The Appropriation Accounts of the Government of India and the Audit Reports presented by the Comptroller and Auditor General mainly form the basis for the examination of the Committee. Cases involving losses, nugatory expenditure and financial irregularities come in for severe criticism by the Committee.

Business Advisory Committee (Lok Sabha) 
The Business Advisory Committee of Lok Sabha consists of 15 members including the Speaker who is the ex-officio Chairman. The members are nominated by the Speaker. Almost all sections of the House are represented on the Committee as per the respective strength of parties in the House. The function of the Committee is to recommend the time that should be allotted for the discussion of such Government legislative and other business as the Speaker, 

Committee on Private Members Bills and Resolutions (Lok Sabha) 
This Committee consists of 15 members and the Deputy Speaker is its Chairman when nominated as a member of he Committee. The Committee is nominated by the Speaker. The functions of the Committee are to allot time to Private Members' Bills and Resolutions, to examine Private Members’ Bills seeking to amend the Constitution before their introduction in Lok Sabha, to examine all Private Members’ Bills after they are introduced and before they are taken up for consideration in the House and to classify them according to their nature, urgency and importance into two categories namely, 

Rules Committee (Lok Sabha) 
The Rules Committee consists of 15 members including the Speaker who is the ex-officio Chairman of the Committee. The members are nominated by the Speaker. The Committee considers matters of procedure and conduct of business in the House and recommends any amendments or additions to the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha that are considered necessary 

Committee of Privileges (Lok Sabha) 
This Committee consists of 15 members nominated by the Speaker. The function is to examine every question involving breach of privilege of the House or of the members of any Committee thereof referred to it by the House or by the Speaker.

Committee on Papers Laid on the Table (Lok Sabha)
This Committee consists of 15 members nominated by the Speaker. Its function is to examine all papers laid on the Table of the House by Ministers (other than those which fall within the purview of the Committee on Subordinate Legislation or any other Parliamentary Committee) and to report to the House 

Committee on Petitions (Lok Sabha)
The Committee consists of 15 members nominated by the Speaker. A Minister is not nominated to this Committee. The function of the Committee is to consider and report on petitions presented to the House. Besides, it also considers representations from individuals and associations, etc.

Committee on Subordinate Legislation (Lok Sabha) 
The Committee consists of 15 members nominated by the Speaker. A Minister is not nominated to this Committee. The Committee scrutinizes and reports to the House whether the powers to make regulations, rules, sub-rules, by-laws etc.

Committee on Government Assurances (Lok Sabha)
This Committee consists of 15 members nominated by the Speaker. A Minister is not nominated to this Committee. While replying to questions in the House or during discussions on Bills, Resolutions, Motions etc., Ministers at times give assurances or undertakings either to consider a matter or to take action or to furnish the House further information later. The functions of this Committee are to scrutinize the assurances, promises, undertakings etc.

Committee on Absence of Members from the Sittings of the House (Lok Sabha)
The Committee consists of 15 members who hold office for one year. The members are nominated by the Speaker. This Committee considers all applications from members for leave of absence from the sittings of the House and examines every case where a member has been absent for a period of 60 days or more, without permission, from the sittings of the House.

Joint Committee on Offices of Profit
This Committee consists of 15 members. Ten members are elected from Lok Sabha and five from Rajya Sabha. The Committee is constituted for the duration of each Lok Sabha.
The main functions of the Committee are to examine the composition and character of the Committees appointed by the Central and State Governments and to recommend what offices should disqualify and what offices should not disqualify a person for being chosen as.

Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Joint) 
The Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes consists of 20 members elected by the Lok Sabha and 10 members of Rajya Sabha are associated with it. The term of the Committee is one year. A Minister is not eligible for election to this Committee. The main functions of the Committee are to consider all matters concerning the welfare of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Railway Convention Committee (Ad-hoc)

  • The Railway Convention Committee is an ad-hoc Committee. It consists of 18 members. Out of these, 12 members are from Lok Sabha nominated by the Speaker and 6 members are from Rajya Sabha nominated by the Chairman.
  • The main function of the Committee is to review the Rate of Dividend payable by the Railways undertaking to General Revenues as well as other ancillary matters in connection with the Railway Finance vis-a-vis the General Finance and make recommendations thereon. The Railway Convention Committee, 1949 was the first Committee after independence. This Committee and subsequent Committees confined themselves to determining the rate of dividend payable by Railways to General Revenues.

Committee on Empowerment of Women
The Committee consists of 30 members, 20 nominated by the Speaker from amongst the members of Lok Sabha and 10 nominated by the Chairman, Rajya Sabha from amongst the members of the Rajya Sabha.

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