* The first hour of every parliamentary sitting is termed as Question hour.
* Question Hour is not mentioned in the Constitution.
* It is mentioned in the Rules of Procedure of the House.
* During this time, the members ask questions and the ministers usually give answers.
* The questions are of three types, namely,
1) Starred questions:
These are distinguished by an asterisk.
It requires an oral answer and hence supplementary questions can follow.
The list of these questions is printed in green colour.
2) Unstarred questions:
It requires a written answer and hence, supplementary questions cannot follow.
The list of these questions is printed in white colour.
3) Short notice questions:
* The matters of public importance and of urgent character are considered under this type of questions.
It is asked by giving a notice of less than ten days.
It is answered orally.
The list of these questions is printed in light pink colour.
# In addition to the ministers, the questions can also be asked to the private members.
Question to private members:
* These questions are mentioned under Rule 40 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha.
* A question may be addressed to a private member if the subject matter of the question relates to some bill, resolution for which that member is responsible.
* The list of these questions is printed in yellow colour.
Half an hour Discussion
* Members have a right to get information from the Government on any matter of public concern by means of questions to Ministers.
* When a member feels that the answer given to a question, Starred or Unstarred or Short Notice, is not complete or does not give the desired information or needs elucidation on a matter of fact, he may be allowed by the Speaker to raise a discussion in the House for half an hour. The procedure is, therefore, termed as ‘Half-an-Hour Discussion’.
* Zero Hour is an informal tool available to the members to raise the matters without any prior notice.
* It starts after question hour and lasts until the regular business is taken up. Thus, the time gap between the end of zero hour and beginning of regular business (agenda) of the house is called Zero hour.
* It is not mentioned in any rule book but is there is existence since 1962 by convention.
* A session of the Indian parliament is the time period during which a House meets almost every day continuously to transact business.
# There are usually three sessions in a year. They are the
* Budget Session (February to May);
* Monsoon Session (July to September); and
* Winter Session (November to December).
# A session contains many meetings. Each meeting has two sittings – morning sitting from 11 am to 1 pm and post-lunch sitting from 2 pm to 6 pm.
* A sitting of Parliament can be terminated by adjournment, adjournment sine die, prorogation or dissolution.
* Technically, a session of the Indian Parliament is the period between the first sitting of a House and its prorogation or dissolution.
* The period between the prorogation of a House and its reassembly in a new session is called ‘recess’.
* Summoning is the process of calling all members of the Parliament to meet.
It is the duty of Indian President to summon each House of the Parliament from time to time.
* The maximum gap between two sessions of Parliament cannot be more than six months.
* An adjournment suspends the work in a sitting for a specified time, which may be hours, days or weeks.
* In this case, the time of reassembly is specified.
* An adjournment only terminates a sitting and not a session of the House.
* The power of adjournment lies with the presiding officer of the House.
# Adjournment Sine Die
* Adjournment sine die means terminating a sitting of Parliament for an indefinite period.
* In other words, when the House is adjourned without naming a day for reassembly, it is called adjournment sine die.
* The power of adjournment sine die lies with the presiding officer of the House.
# The presiding officer of a House can call a sitting of the House before the date or time to which it has been adjourned or at any time after the House has been adjourned sine die.
* Prorogation means the termination of a session of the House by an order made by the President under article 85(2)(a) of the Constitution.
* Prorogation terminates both the sitting and session of the House. Usually, within a few days after the House is adjourned sine die by the presiding officer, the President issues a notification for the prorogation of the session.
* However, the President can also prorogue the House while in session.
* A dissolution ends the very life of the existing House, and a new House is constituted after general elections are held.
* Rajya Sabha, being a permanent House, is not subject to dissolution. Only the Lok Sabha is subject to dissolution.
# The dissolution of the Lok Sabha may take place in either of two ways:
* Automatic dissolution: On the expiry of its tenure – five years or the terms as extended during a national emergency.
* Order of President: If President is authorized by Council of Ministers,
* he can dissolve Lok Sabha, even before the end of the term.
. He may also dissolve Lok Sabha if Council of Ministers loses confidence and no party is able to form the government. Once the Lok Sabha is dissolved before the completion of its normal tenure, the dissolution is irrevocable.