The Rajya Sabha or Council of States is the upper house of the Parliament of India. The total number of members are 250. Twelve of the members are nominated by the President of India for their contributions to art, literature, science, and social services. The rest of the house is elected by the state and territorial legislatures. Members sit for six-year terms, with one third of the members retiring every two years. The elections of the members of the Rajya Sabha (Except those nominated by the President) occurs by means of a single transferable vote.