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Question Hour is the first hour of a sitting session of India's Lok Sabha devoted to questions that Members of Parliament raise about any aspect of administrative activity. The concerned Minister is obliged to answer to the Parliament, either orally or in writing, depending on the type of question raised. Questions are one of the ways Parliament can hold the Executive accountable.

Types of question

There are four types of question—Starred, non-starred, short notice question and questions to private members.

1) Starred Questions are those for which an oral answer is expected. The member is allowed to as after the reply is obtained from the Minister concerned.

These questions are printed in green colour and are marked with asterisk sign '*', in order to distinguish from other questions.

2) Non-starred questions are those for which a written reply is expected. After the reply has been provided, no supplementary question can be asked. A notice period is to be given to the minister to reply to a question.

These questions are printed in white colour and not more than 230 questions can be listed for a day in lok sabha.

3)Short notice questions are those which are asked on matters of urgent public importance and thus, can be asked on a shorter notice i.e. less than 10 days. These questions can be answered orally and supplementary questions can be asked.

These questions are printed in light pink colour.

4) Questions to private members are those which are asked to members who are not ministers. These questions are related to private member bill, parliamentary committees, private member resolutions.

These questions are printed in Yellow colour.

However, if a Member seeks to ask a question urgently and cannot wait for the duration of the notice period, then the member can do so provided it is accepted by the Speaker. Such questions are called supplementary questions.

Recent changes

The following procedural changes have been in force since the 5th session of the 15th Lok Sabha:[1]

Question hour in other legislatures

This sort of a process where elected representatives ask questions that are replied by the Prime Minister or other government ministers is part of parliamentary tradition in many other countries. The Question Hour in the Indian Parliament is similar to the Speaker. Such questions are called supplementary questions.

Recent changes

The following procedural changes have been in force since the 5th session of the 15th Lok

1) Starred Questions are those for which an oral answer is expected. The member is allowed to as after the reply is obtained from the Minister concerned.

These questions are printed in green colour and are marked with asterisk sign '*', in order to distinguish from other questions.

2) Non-starred questions are those for which a written reply is expected. After the reply has been provided, no supplementary question can be asked. A notice period is to be given to the minister to reply to a question.

These questions are printed in white colour and not more than 230 questions can be listed for a day in lok sabha.

3)Short notice questions are those which are asked on matters of urgent public importance and thus, can be asked on a shorter notice i.e. less than 10 days. These questions can be answered orally and supplementary questions can be asked.

These questions are printed in light pink colour.

4) Questions to private members are those which are asked to members who are not ministers. These questions are related to private member bill, parliamentary committees, private member resolutions.

These questions are printed in Yellow colour.

However, if a Member seeks to ask a question urgently and cannot wait for the duration of the notice period, then the member can do so provided it is accepted by the Speaker. Such questions are called supplementary questions.

The following procedural changes have been in force since the 5th session of the 15th Lok Sabha:[1]