CHAIRMAN AND DEPUTY CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL OF STATES
While presiding officers of the House of the People are called the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, their opposite officers in the Council of States are called the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman respectively. The Vice-President of India is the ex-officio Chairman of the Council of States. As the presiding officer of the Rajya Sabha his functions and powers are the same as those of the Speaker. He is however not a member of the House.
In the absence of the Chairman, the Council is presided over by the Deputy Chairman. He is a member of the House and is elected by the members of the House. When he ceases to be a member of the Council, he automatically vacates the office of the Deputy Chairman. He can resign his office by writing to the Chairman. He may be removed from his office by a resolution passed by a majority of all the then member of the Council. The Deputy Chairman is empowered to discharge all the functions and to perform all duties of the office of the Chairman, whenever Chairman’s office is vacant or when the Vice- President is acting as the President. As a presiding officer of the Council he is also given a regular salary and other allowances that Parliament by law has fixed. The Council of States also has a panel of members, called Vice-Chairman, nominated by the Chairman for the purpose of presiding over the House in the absence of both the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman. The Secretariat of the Rajya Sabha is headed by a Secretary who discharges the same functions as his counterpart in the Lok Sabha.