The Union Council of Ministers exercises executive authority in the Republic of India. It consists of Cabinet Ministers, Minister of State and Ministers of State (Independent Charge). The council is led by the Prime Minister of India.
A smaller executive body called the Union Cabinet is the supreme decision-making body in India. Only the prime minister and ministers of the rank of cabinet minister are members of the Union Cabinet in accordance with Article 75.
Pursuant to Article 75(3), the Council of Ministers is responsible collectively to the lower house of the Indian parliament, called the Lok Sabha (House of the People). When a bill introduced by a minister in the Lok Sabha is not approved by it, the entire council of ministers is responsible and not the minister. The council of ministers upon losing the confidence of Lok Sabha shall resign to facilitate the formation of a new government.
A minister shall take any decision without being considered by the council of ministers per Article 78(c). All union cabinet members shall submit in writing to the President to propose a proclamation of emergency by the president in accordance with Article 352.
According to the Constitution of India, the total number of ministers in the council of ministers must not exceed 15% of the total number of members of the Lok Sabha. Ministers must be members of parliament. Any minister who is not a member of either of the houses of the parliament for six consecutive months is automatically stripped off his or her ministerial post.
There are five categories of the council of ministers as given below, in descending order of rank:
- Prime Minister: Leader of the executive of the Government of India.
- Deputy Prime Minister (if any) : presides as prime minister in his absence or as the senior most cabinet minister.
- Cabinet Minister: A member of the cabinet; leads a ministry.
- Minister of State (Independent charge): Junior minister not reporting to a Cabinet Minister.
- Minister of State (MoS): Deputy Minister reporting to a Cabinet Minister, usually tasked with a specific responsibility in that ministry.
Pursuant to Article 75, a minister who works at the pleasure of the president, is appointed by The President on the advice of The Prime Minister. Since at least the turn of the millennia, evidence indicates that an MP's electoral performance enhances the likelihood of being granted a ministerial portfolio.
- Upon death.
- Upon self resignation
- Upon dismissal by the President for minister's unconstitutional acts per Article 75(2).
- Upon direction from the Judiciary for committing violation of law.
- Upon ceasing eligibility to be a member of Parliament.
- Under the provision of "Collective Responsibility" under Article 75, the Prime Minister and the entire Council of Ministers resign if a Vote of No Confidence is passed in the Lower House (Lok Sabha) of the Indian Parliament.
Council of Ministers in state governments
Every state in India is governed by its council of ministers with rules and procedures similar to the union council of ministers per Articles 163, 164 and 167(c).
In March 2020, the Supreme Court of India used its powers for the first time to do "complete justice" under Article 142 of the Indian Constitution to remove a minister functioning in the state of Manipur.
Current Union Council of Ministers
Ministers of State (Independent Charge)
Minister of State
- Wikisource:Constitution of India/Part V#Article 74 .7BCouncil of Ministers to aid and advise President.7D
- Wikisource: Constitution of India/Part XVIII
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Union Council of Ministers of India.|
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