India elects its oldest ever Parliament

With just 53% of its members under the age of 55, the 16th Lok Sabha will be India’s oldest ever.

India’s parliament has been growing steadily older over time, data compiled by PRS Legislative Research and shared with The Hindu, shows. Just 71 new MPs are under the age of 40 and another 216 are under the age of 55. In comparison, 212 are between 56 and 70, and another 41 are over 70.

The first two Lok Sabhas had the highest proportion of young MPs under the age of 40, PRS data shows, rising up to nearly a third of the House. That proportion has fallen continuously and is now, at 13%, the lowest it has ever been.

In contrast, over 50% of India is under the age of 25 and over 65% under the age of 35, Census 2011 data shows.

The new Parliament has 12 MPs under the age of 30, four of them women. The >Bharatiya Janata Party’s L K Advani is India’s oldest MP at 86. Congress MPs are on average three years older than the average BJP MP, who is 54. The party’s leader, Narendra Modi, who will be Prime Minister, is 63.

PRS’s analysis on productivity and parliamentary performance by age group however had shown that there is no difference between younger and older MPs in productivity, Shreya Singh of PRS Legislative Research told The Hindu.

The education profile of candidates has been improving substantially with time, and the new Parliament is nearly as well educated as the outgoing one. The proportion of under-matriculates and matriculates is at 23%, slightly higher than in the outgoing house, and proportion of graduates and post-graduates slightly higher.

Agriculture remains the most popular profession of parliamentarians, with 27% engaged in agriculture. ‘Politics and/ or social service’, the category under which Mr. Modi and the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi list themselves, is the next most popular at 24%. Another 20% list themselves as businesspersons. The new House has 38 lawyers, 24 doctors and 18 artists.

As The Hindu reported exclusively on Saturday, this Lok Sabha will have the highest proportion of women in history, even though the figure is just 11.3%. Nearly half of the women in Parliament are from the BJP alone.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2022 12:36:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/india-elects-its-oldest-ever-parliament/article6020532.ece

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