1. Articles 74 and 75 of the constitution deals with the provinces regarding the council of ministers
  2. There shall be a council of ministers with the prime minister as the head to and advise the president who shall exercise of his function following such advice
  3. The president may require the council of ministers to reconsider such advice either generally or otherwise ad the president shall act following the advice rendered after such reconsideration
  4. The prime minister shall be appointed by the president and the other ministers shall be appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister
  5. The total number of ministers, including the prime ministers, in the council of ministers shall not exceed 15% of the total strength of the Lok Sabha, this was inserted in article 72(1(a)) added by the 91st amendment bill
  6. A member of either house of the parliament belonging to any political party who is disqualified for being a member of the house under the 10th schedule shall also be appointed as a minister
  7. The ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the president, this means the ministers can be removed by the president at his/her will, this is a practice to behest the prime minister
  8.  A minister who is a member of one house of the parliament has the right to speak and to take part in the proceedings of the other houses
  9. A minister who for any period of 6 consecutive months is not a member of either house of the parliament shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a minister
  10. The advice rendered by the ministers is bound to be accepted by the president including suggestions of dissolution of the Lok Sabha

COMPOSITION OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS

  1. The constitution of India does not categorize the ministers 
  2. But in the convention the council of ministers of the three categories of ministers
  3. They were
  4. The cabinet ministers
  5. The minister of state
  6. The deputy minister

CABINENT MINISTERS:

  1. Senior most members of council of minister, who act as head of important of the central government

e.g.: defence minister, home ministery, finance ministry

  1. They are an integral part of the cabinet as a result of which they play a very important role in framing policies
  2. The constitution originally did not indicate the word “cabinet”
  3. The word was inserted by the 44th constitutional amendment act concerning emergency provinces
  4. The cabinet refers to an elite group within the council of ministers who hold powerful portfolios like defense, home, finance
  5. The rest of the council of ministers attend cabinet meetings only when they are called to do so
  6. Cabinet meetings are usually held every week to take stock of the state affairs
  7. A new president of the group of ministers has been established to scrutinize complex issue that requires the expertise of academicians and thinks tank also

MINISTER OF STATE

  • Second in rank and they can be given independent charge of ministers or can be attached to the cabinet ministers
  • When attached to the cabinet ministers they work under the guidance of cabinet ministers
  • The difference from the cabinet ministers lie in the fact that they do not attend the cabinet meetings as they are not part of the cabinet

DEPUTY MINISTERS

  • Juniors most and they are never given independent charge of the ministry and always remain attached to the cabinet ministers
  • They assist to discharge the political, administrative, and parliamentary duties effectively
  • They are neither part nor attend the cabinet meetings

KITCHEN CABINET

  • The cabinet a small body consisting of the prime minister as its head and some 15-20 most important ministers is the highest decisions making body in the formal sense
  • A still smaller body called the “inner cabinet or kitchen cabinet” has become the real center of power

RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CABINET

  • Cabinet collective responsibility is a tradition in parliamentary governments in which the prime minister is responsible for appointing the cabinet ministers. The cabinet ministers are usually selected from the same political party as the prime minister to make collective decision-making for legislation faster and more effective. Unlike a presidential system, as used, for example, in the United States, a parliamentary system’s executive and legislative branches are intertwined. Because of the fusion of powers of the executive and legislative branches the prime minister relies on the cabinet to always support policy decisions. A breach of cabinet collective responsibility, such as when a cabinet member publicly disagrees with an executive decision, results in resignation or termination from the cabinet. The New South Wales Parliamentary Library Research Service in Australia explains that “one aspect of collective ministerial responsibility is that Ministers share responsibility for major government decisions, particularly those made by the cabinet and, even if they personally object to such decisions, Ministers must be prepared to accept and defend them or resign from the cabinet”.
  • Cabinet collective responsibility consists of two main features:
  • Cabinet confidentiality
  • the members of the cabinet must not reveal the content of discussions that take place. This allows for cabinet members to privately debate and raise concerns.
  • Cabinet solidarity
  • the members of the cabinet must publicly show a unified position and must vote with the government even if they privately disagree with the decision that has been made.
  • Collective responsibility is not circumvented by appointing Ministers outside of Cabinet, as has occurred in New Zealand where, from 2005 to 2008, Winston Peters and Peter Dunne were Ministers outside of Cabinet, despite their parties not being considered part of a coalition.
  • In non-parliamentary governments like that of the United States, cabinet collective responsibility is not formally practiced. This is due to a clearer separation of the executive and the legislature in policy-making. The United States president’s cabinet members cannot simultaneously serve in Congress, and therefore cannot vote on legislation supported by the executive. The president instead has veto power over legislation passed by Congress. Cabinet unity and collective agreement between members are important to cabinet stability and party politics, but cabinet members do not have to publicly support legislation proposed or supported by the president. It is, however, in a cabinet member’s best interest to support and align with the president’s policies because they serve at the pleasure of the president, who can at any time dismiss them or appoint them to another position.

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