The federal character of the country is expressed in the form of 250 seats provided for the upper house in the parliament. The seats are filled by proportional representation of states through a single transferable vote exercised by respective state legislatures to elect their representatives to the upper house. The recent Rajya sabha elections were held to elect members from Assam and Tamil Nadu in June and July. The next Rajya Sabha elections are to be held in 2020 in April, June, July, and November.
The chairman of the Rajya sabha is the vice president of India, presently held by Shri Venkaiah naidu . The members of rajya sabha have a tenure of 6 years, it is a permanent house and cannot be dissolved , one third of the members retire every two years.
The rajya sabha is also called as council of states and its members are either elected as mentioned above and nominated by the president. There is provision for 12 nominated members aimed at having distinguished persons in the upper chamber , having special knowledge or practice in matters such as science, art and social services. The remaining 238 members are elected .
The allocation of seats among the states is not equal . Seats are allocated on the basis of population of states and union territories, hence uttar Pradesh sends 31 members and Punjab only 7, whereas Goa and meghalaya send one each. Members can be reelected if the so desire and have the support of the electors .
The minimum age for contesting election for rajya sabha is 30 years and should be a citizen of India.
Other qualifications for rajya sabha membership are : He should have his name in the electoral list or rolls in some part of the country, he should not be an insolvent , who cannot clear his debt and is financially unstable. He should not hold any office of profit under government. He should not be a criminal and should not be of unsound mind.
The conditions for disqualification is same as that for lok sabha.
The next rajya sabha elections will be to fill the vacancy of the house the arises every year due to completion of term , death or resignation. Recently our ex prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh was elected to rajya sabha from assam . This shows the importance of states that has been recognized by the constitution makers of this country to give them the fair share and to bring up their issues and concerns at the level of parliament through their representatives.