- • Recently, the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats have notified on direction of Central Government that there will be no Question Hour during the Monsoon Session of Parliament, from Sep 14 - Oct 1 due to the reason of Covid-19 pandemic and infact Zero Hour will also be restricted in both Houses.
• The leaders of the opposition parties have opposed the suspension of the Question hour. The opposition leaders have called it an attempt by the Center to deny opposition members, by not giving opportunity to raise there questions.
• The session will have both the houses working in separate shifts and there will be special seat for parliamentarian to ensure social distancing.
• The Question Hour will allow only written questions from the members to ask the questions from government.
A day in parliament (Monday-Friday)
:-11am - Question hour (20 starred and 230 unstarred questions)
:-12pm - Zero hour :-1pm - Lunch time
:-2pm - Main legislative agendas are raised for laws, rules, policies, etc
What is Question Hour?
The first hour of sitting in Lok Sabha is the Question Hour. It is the liveliest hour in Parliament because many types of questions were asked in this time period which has to be answered by the government. It is used by parliamentarian to hold the government accountable for its actions. Facts relating to policies, etc. can be questioned and ministers are answerable for their Minister's actions.
In past years, these questions have exposed irregularities in finance department and brought data and information regarding government functioning to the public domain.
In Rajya Sabha, time of Question Hour is from 11am to 12noon.
1. Starred questions- Whenever this type of question is asked to the minister, then that minister has to answer in oral form. These questions are submitted in advance 15days.
2. Unstarred question - Whenever this question is asked then the Ministries have to answer it in written form. These are submitted 15days in advance.
3. Short Notice Question - These questions are raised in matter of urgent public importance. These questions are answered orally in parliament. They can be asked with less than 10days notice.
What is Zero Hour?
The next hour immediately following the Question Hour is popularly known as the Zero Hour. It is an Indian Parliamentary innovation. This period is usually raise the questions which are urgent and cannot wait for the notice period required under other procedures. For raising matters during the Zero Hour, MPs give notice before 10am to the speaker on the day of the sitting and after getting the notice of the matter to speaker, it's in the speaker's hand that that particular matter could be raised in parliament or not.