News:The 17th Lok Sabha session has taken up all the 20 starred questions in the Question Hour for the first time since 1972.
About Question Hour:
- Question Hour is the first hour of a sitting session of India’s Lok Sabha devoted to questions that Members of Parliament raise about any aspect of administrative activity.
- The Question Hour are mentioned in the Rules of Procedure of the House.
- The concerned Minister is obliged to answer to the Parliament, either orally or in writing, depending on the type of question raised.
- Questions are one of the ways Parliament can hold the Executive accountable.
Types of Questions asked in Question Hour:
- Starred Question is one to which a member desires an oral answer from the Minister in the House and is required to be distinguished by him/her with an asterisk.
- The answer to such a question may be followed by supplementary questions by members.
- An Unstarred Question is one to which written answer is desired by the member and is deemed to be laid on the Table of the House by Minister.
- Thus it is not called for oral answer in the House and no supplementary question can be asked thereon.
Short Notice Questions:
- Members may give a notice of question on a matter of public importance and of urgent character for oral answer at a notice less than 10 days prescribed as the minimum period of notice for asking a question in the ordinary course.
- Such a question is known as ‘Short Notice Question’.
Questions to Private Members:
- A Question may also be addressed to a Private Member provided that the subject matter of the question relates to some Bill, Resolution or other matters connected with the business of the House for which that Member is responsible.
- The procedure in regard to such questions is same as that followed in the case of questions addressed to a Minister with such variations as the Speaker may consider necessary.
About Zero Hour:
- The time immediately following the Question Hour has come to be known as Zero Hour,
- It starts at around 12 noon (hence the name) and members can with prior notice to the Speaker raise issues of importance during this time.
- However,unlike the question hour, the zero hour is not mentioned in the Rules of Procedure.