Devices of Parliamentary Proceedings (Types of Motions)

The Parliament – Devices of Parliamentary Proceedings

  • (Article 79 to 122 of Part V)
  • Parliament is the legislative organ of the Union Government.
  • Since, India has a Parliamentary system, hence Parliament occupies the central Position.
  • Indian Parliament has three broad parts, namely – The President, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

Devices of Parliamentary Proceedings, Types of Motions, Zero Hour, Question Hour, Resolutions, Short Duration Discussion, Point of Order, etc... For notes on Indian Polity Click Here

Devices of Parliamentary Proceedings

Various types of Devices of parliamentary proceedings are described below –

Question Hour

    • The first hour of every Parliamentary sitting.
    • During this time, the members ask questions and the ministers usually give answers.
    • Question asked in this hour is of following types –
    • Starred Question – requires an oral answer and a supplementary questions can follow.
    • Unstarred question – requires written answer and supplementary questions cannot follow.
    • Short Notice Question – asked by giving a notice of less than 10 days. It is answered orally.
    • The list of Starred, Unstarred, Short Notice Questions and questions to private members are printed in green, white, light pink and yellow colour, respectively, to distinguish them from one another.

Zero Hour

    • It is an informal device available to the members of the Parliament to raise matters without any prior notice.
    • The Zero hours starts immediately after Question Hour and lasts until the agenda of the Day is taken up.
    • It is an Indian Innovation in the field of Parliamentary Procedures and has been in existence since 1962.


    • A motion refers to a formal proposal asking the house to take some action.
    • It is required for any discussion on any matter in the Parliament with the permission of presiding officer.
    • The House of the parliament expresses its opinion on various issues through adoption or rejection of motions.
    • Motions are generally categorized into following types –
        1. Substantive Motion – Self-contained independent proposal dealing with very important matters such as impeachment of President, removal of Chief Election Commissioner or Removal of Speaker etc.
        2. Substitute Motion – Motion moved in substitution of any other motion and proposes an alternative to it.
        3. Subsidiary Motions – Motion itself does not have meaning and cannot be stated for decision without referring to original motion. It is of following 3 types –
                  1. Ancillary motion
                  2. Superseding motion
                  3. Amendment

Types of Motions


      1. Closure Motion
        • Motion moved by members to close the debate on a matter before the House.
        • If the motion is approved by the House the debate is stopped and voting is initiated on the matter.
        • It is of following 4 types –
          1. Simple Closure – moved by member when matter is sufficiently discussed and putted to vote.
          2. Closure by Compartments – In this, a lengthy matter is grouped into parts before the debate. The debate covers the parts as a whole and entire part is put to vote.
          3. Kangaroo Closure – Only important clause of any matter is considered for debate and voting and intervening clauses are skipped over and taken as passed.
          4. Guillotine Closure – When undiscussed clauses of a bill are also put to vote along with the discussed ones due to lack of time.


      1. Privilege Motion
        • A privilege motion is moved against breach of parliamentary privileges by Minister.
        • Parliamentary privileges are certain rights and immunities enjoyed by MPs, MLAs and MLCs, individually and collectively, in order to efficiently discharge their functions.
        • It is moved by a member when he feels that a minister has committed a breach of privilege of the house or one or more of its members by withholding information of a case or by means of giving incorrect or distorted information.
        • Its purpose is to censure the concerned minister.


      1. Calling Attention Motion
        • It is introduced by a Member of Parliament to call attention of a minister to a matter of urgent consideration for public welfare, and to seek convincing statement from him about the matter.
        • It can be introduced in any house of the parliament.
        • It is also an Indian innovation and has been in existence since 1954.


      1. Adjournment Motion
      • This motion is introduced in the house to bring attention of the house to a definite matter of urgent public importance, and needs the support of atleast 50 members to be admitted.
      • It is an extraordinary device as it interrupts the normal business of the House. The discussion on an adjournment motion should last for not less than two hours and thirty minutes.
      • Rajya Sabha is not permitted to make use of this device.


      1. No-Confidence Motion
        • Article 75 of the Constitution says that the council of ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha.
        • It means that the ministry stays in office so long as it enjoys confidence of the majority of the members of the Lok Sabha.
        • Hence, Lok Sabha can pass a No-Confidence motion against the Council of Ministers and can remove them.
        • If it is passed in the Lok Sabha, the council of ministers must resign from office.
        • The motion needs the support of 50 members to be admitted.


      1. Censure Motion
        • It can be moved against an individual minister or a group of ministers or the entire council of ministers.
        • It is moved for censuring the council of ministers for specific policies and actions.
        • If it is passed in the Lok Sabha, the council of ministers need not resign from the office.


      1. Motion of Thanks
      • Motion of thanks is moved and voted in both houses of the Parliament after the inaugural speech of the president at the beginning of first session of new Lok Sabha or first session of every fiscal Year.
      • In this address, the President outlines the policies and programmes of the government. This speech is discussed in both the house to examine the policies, programmes and vision of the government.
      • This motion must be passed in both of the houses. A failure to get motion of thanks passed (which may happen rarely) amounts to defeat of government and leads to collapse of government.


      1. No-Day-Yet-Named Motion
        • It is admitted by the Speaker but no date has been fixed for its discussion.
        • The Speaker, after considering the state of business in the House and in consultation with the leader of the House allots days or part of a day for the discussion of such motion.


Point of Order

    • A member can raise a point of order when the proceedings of the House do not follow the normal rules of procedure.
    • A point of order should relate to the interpretation of the Rules of the House or such articles of the Constitution that regulate the business of the House and should raise a question that is within the cognizance of the Speaker.
    • It is usually raised by the opposition to control the Government.
    • No debate is allowed on Point of Order.


Half-an-Hour Discussion

    • It is meant for discussing a matter of public importance which needs elucidation of matter.
    • The Speaker can allots 3 days in a week for such discussion.
    • There is no formal motion or voting before the House.


Short Duration Discussion

    • It is also known as two-hour discussion because time allotted for such discussion should not exceed 2 hours.
    • Matter of Urgent Public importance can be raised in such discussions.
    • The Speaker can allot two days in a week for such discussions.
    • There is neither a formal motion before the house nor voting. This device has been in existence since 1953.



    • The Parliamentary members can move a Resolution to bring attention of the House to matters of General Public Interest.
    • The Discussion on it should be strictly relevant to and should be in scope of resolution.
    • A Resolution after introduction cannot be withdrawn, except by leave of the House, by the member.
    • It is of following 3 types
      1. Private Member’s Resolution – moved by a private member (other than a minister). Discussed only on alternate Fridays and in the afternoon sitting.
      2. Government Resolution – moved by a minister. Taken up any day from Monday to Thursday.
      3. Statutory Resolution – moved either by a private member or a minister.


So, this is all about the types of Devices used in Parliamentary Proceedings Such as Question Hour, Zero Hour, Motions, Discussions, and Resolutions etc.

In Next Post (Click Here), we will learn about the Types of Bills in the Parliament.

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