Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS & UPPSC Mains Exam: Paper - III (General Studies – II) - 31 August 2019

Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS Mains Exam

Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS & UPPSC Mains Exam

UPSC Syllabus:

  • Paper-III: General Studies -II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)

Q. Madhya Pradesh has recently indicated the idea towards creation of a Legislative Council. How does a legislative council impact governance? Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having a Legislative Council. (250 words)

Model Answer:

  • Why in news?
  • Introduction
  • Impact of Legislative Council on governance
  • Advantages of a Legislative Council
  • Disadvantages of a Legislative Council
  • Conclusion

Why in news?

The Madhya Pradesh government has recently indicated that it plans to initiate steps towards creation of a Legislative Council.


India is a bicameral legislature, i.e., having two houses of the Parliament. At the state level, the equivalent of the Lok Sabha is the Vidhan Sabha(Legislative Assembly) and the Rajya Sabha is the Vidhan Parishad (Legislative Council). Madhya Pradesh has recently mooted the idea for the creation of a Legislative Council.

 Impact of Legislative Council on governance:

At present there are six states which have bicameral legislature – Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and Karnataka. Jammu and Kashmir too had one, until the state was bifurcated into the Union Territories of Jammu &Kashmir and Ladakh.

Under article 169 of the Constitution, Parliament may by law create or abolish the second chamber in a state if the Legislative Assembly of that state passes a resolution to that effect by a special majority. Parliament can then pass a law to this effect.

A second House is considered important for governance because:

  • It acts as a check on hasty actions by the popularly elected House.
  • Ensures that individuals who might be cut out due to direct elections are also given a chance to contribute to the legislative process.
  • It allows for more debate and discussion on a particular topic.
  • It would also ensure sharing of work between the two Houses.

Advantages of a Legislative Council:

  • It acts as a revising chamber.
  • Sending legislation to the other house would involve some delay in the passing of a bill, and would ensure that there will be adequate time to scrutinize legislation before it is passed
  • It provides a forum for academicians and intellectuals, who are arguably not suited for the rough and tumble of electoral politics.
  • It caters to the wise counsel to the State assemblies. As it includes experts in Legislative council.
  • Members of various communities and ethnic groups which could not be sent to the Assembly could be accommodated in the council for fair representation.
  • Unlike Legislative Assembly, Legislative Council is never dissolved as one-third of the members retire every second year and new members join in their place. It is a Permanent House.

Disadvantages of a Legislative Council:

  • It can be used to provide unnecessary delay without serving any purpose as ultimate authority lies with the state assembly.
  • It may be a drain on the exchequer.
  • The second chamber is often used to delay progressive legislation.
  • A second chamber is heterogeneously constituted. It neither serves the purpose of a revisory chamber nor acts as an effective brake against hasty legislation.
  • Too much importance has been given to the M.L.As, as 1/3 of the members of the Council are to be elected by them. The percentage of seats reserved for nomination seems to be too small.


Legislative councils should be a responsible body that can form a part in policies and programmes for the development of states. They were supposed to serve as a “check upon democratic outbursts” and provide an element of sobriety and second thought. So, there is a need of a National Policy on having Upper House in State Legislatures.

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