Indian Electoral System
India has at the federal level a head of state - the president - and a
legislature. The President of India is elected for a five year term by an
electoral college consisting of members of federal and state legislatures. A
system of proportional representation, with equal weightage for the Union and
the States is adopted for the election.
Parliament has two chambers. The House of the People (Lok Sabha) has 545 members, 543 members elected for a five year term in single-seat constituencies and 2 members appointed to represent the Anglo-Indian community. The two unelected members are a relic from the past. The special dispensation of nominating two members of European or Eurasian blood was created as a transitory arrangement, at the time of Independence in 1947, to protect the interests of the departing ruling class. The 543 members are elected under the plurality ('first past the post') electoral system.
The House of the States (Rajya Sabha) has 245 members, 233 members elected for a six year term, with one third retiring every two years. The members are elected by legistators of the state and union (federal) territories. The elected members are chosen under the system of proportional representation by means of the Single Transferable Vote. The twelve nominated members are usually an eclectic mix of eminent artists (including actors), scientists, jurists, sportspersons, businessmen and journalists.