Department related Standing Committees(DRSCs)

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News:Rajya Sabha Chairman has said that fewer sittings of Parliament are compensated by the working of department-related standing committees (DRSCs).

Facts:

About Department related Standing Committees(DRSCs):

  • On the recommendation of the Rules Committee of the Lok Sabha,17 Departmentally-Related Standing Committees(DRSCs) were set up in the Parliament in 1993.In 2004, the number was increased from 17 to 24.
  • Out of the 24 standing committees,8 work under the Rajya Sabha and 16 under the Lok Sabha.
  • The main objective of the standing committees is to secure more accountability of the Executive (i.e the Council of Ministers) to the Parliament particularly financial accountability.

Composition:

  • Each standing committee consists of 31 members (21 from Lok Sabha and 10 from Rajya Sabha).
  • The members of the Lok Sabha are nominated by the Speaker from amongst its own members while the members of the Rajya Sabha are nominated by the Chairman from amongst its members.
  • A minister is not eligible to be nominated as a member of any of the standing committees.
  • In case a member, after his nomination to any of the standing committees, is appointed a minister, he then ceases to be a member of the committee.
  • The term of office of each standing committee is one year from the date of its constitution.

Functions of DRSC:

  • To consider the demands for grants of the concerned ministries before they are discussed and voted in the Lok Sabha.Its report should not suggest anything of the nature of cut motions.
  • To examine bills pertaining to the concerned ministries/departments.
  • To consider annual reports of ministries/departments.
  • To consider national basic long-term policy documents presented to the Houses.

Limitations:

  • They should not consider the matters of day-to-day administration of the concerned ministries/departments.
  • They should not generally consider the matters which are considered by other parliamentary committees.
  • The recommendations of these committees are advisory in nature and hence not binding on the Parliament.