Prime Minister and Council of Ministers

Introduction

  • The Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers collectively constitute the executive branch of the Indian government.
  • They play a pivotal role in the governance, administration, and policymaking of the country.

1. Prime Minister (PM)

a. Appointment and Role

  • Appointed by the President of India.
  • The leader of the political party or coalition with a majority in the Lok Sabha (House of the People).
  • Serves as the head of government and exercises executive powers.

b. Functions and Responsibilities

  • Policy Formulation:

    • Responsible for shaping government policies and decisions.
  • Cabinet Meetings:

    • Presides over Cabinet meetings where important decisions are made.
  • National Representation:

    • Represents India on the national and international stages.
  • Council of Ministers:

    • Appoints and supervises ministers.

c. Tenure and Removal

  • Serves a term of five years or until the next general election.
  • Can be removed by the President at any time if they lose the confidence of the Lok Sabha.

2. Council of Ministers

a. Composition

  • Includes Cabinet Ministers, Ministers of State (Independent Charge), and Ministers of State.
  • Appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.

b. Functions and Roles

  • Departmental Work:

    • Each minister is responsible for a specific government department or ministry.
    • Formulates policies, administers programs, and manages affairs related to their department.
  • Cabinet Meetings:

    • Participates in Cabinet meetings, discusses and deliberates on national issues.
  • Collective Decision-Making:

    • Makes decisions collectively, contributing to the overall governance of the country.

c. Tenure and Removal

  • Serves a term aligned with the Prime Minister's term.
  • Can be removed by the Prime Minister or the President at any time.

3. Collective Responsibility

  • The Council of Ministers, including the Prime Minister, adheres to the principle of collective responsibility.
  • This means that they collectively bear responsibility for government decisions and policies.

4. Individual Responsibility

  • Ministers are individually responsible for their respective departments and must answer to Parliament and the public for their actions.

5. Constitutional Provisions

  • Articles 74 and 75 of the Indian Constitution provide the framework for the appointment, functions, and roles of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers.