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Simplified Fundamentals

Union Council of Ministers (CoM)

About

  • The Union Council of Ministers (CoM), also known as the Central Council of Ministers (CoM), is a critical body that forms part of the executive branch of the Union Government.
  •  It is the real government authority under the Parliamentary System of Government as provided by the Indian Constitution. 
  • The Council serves as the foremost advisory body to the Head of State i.e. the President of India. It also plays a pivotal function in selection-making, as well as in the components and implementation of presidency rules.

Constitutional Provisions Related to Union Council of Ministers (CoM)

  • Important constitutional provisions associated with the Union Council of Ministers (CoM) are indexed in the following table.
Article Subject-Matter
Article 74 Council of Ministers to resource and endorse the President of India
Article 75 Other provisions for Ministers
Article 77 Conduct of business of the Government of India
Article 78 Duties of the Prime Minister w.r.t. the furnishing of statistics to the President etc
Article 88 Rights of Ministers w.r.t. the Houses

 

Article 74 – Council of Ministers to resource and recommend President

  • There will be a Council of Ministers (CoM) with the Prime Minister at the head to aid and advise the President who shall, inside the workout of his functions, act according with such recommendation.
  • The President can also require the Council of Ministers (CoM) to reconsider such a recommendation.
  • However, the President is certain to behave according to the recommendation tendered after such reconsideration.
  • The advice tendered by Ministers to the President shall now not be inquired into in any courtroom.

Article 75 – Other Provisions as to Ministers

  • The Prime Minister will be appointed by means of the President and other ministers will be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.
  • The total wide variety of ministers, including the Prime Minister, within the Council of Ministers shall not exceed 15% of the total power of Lok Sabha. This provision was delivered by means of the 91st Constitutional Amendment Act of 2003.
  • A member of either House of Parliament belonging to any political birthday party who is disqualified on the grounds of defection shall also be disqualified to be appointed as a minister. This provision was also added by the 91st Constitutional Amendment Act of 2003.
  • The Ministers shall maintain office all through the pleasure of the President.
  • The Union Council of Ministers shall be together responsible to the Lok Sabha.
  • The President shall administer the oaths of workplace and secrecy to the Ministers.
  • A minister who is not a member of Parliament for any length of six consecutive months shall quit to be a minister.
  • The salaries and allowances of ministers shall be determined via the Parliament.

Article 77 – Conduct of Business of Government of India

  • All executive actions of the Government of India shall be expressed to be taken inside the name of the President.
  • Orders and different systems made and finished in the call of the President will be authenticated in such manner as may be specified in regulations to be made with the aid of the President.
  • The validity of an order or tool that is so authenticated shall now not be referred to as into question at the floor that it is not an order or instrument made or achieved by the President.
  • The President shall make guidelines for greater convenient transactions of commercial enterprise of the Government of India and allocation amongst Ministers of the stated enterprise.

Article 78 – Duties of Prime Minister

  • It will be the responsibility of the Prime Minister:
    • to talk to the President all decisions of the Council of Ministers associated with the administration of affairs of the Union and proposals for law.
    • to grant such facts associated with the controlment of affairs of the Union and proposals for legislation as the President might also name for.
  • If the President so requires, to post for consideration of the Council of Ministers any matter on which a decision has been taken by a Minister but which has not been considered by the Council of Ministers.

Article 88 – Rights of Ministers as Respect the Houses

  • Every Minister shall have the proper to talk and take part in the court cases of either House, any joint sitting of the Houses, and any Committee of Parliament of which he can be named as a member, but shall not by virtue of this article be entitled to vote.
  • It is a way that a Minister who is a member of one House of Parliament has the proper to speak and participate in the proceedings of the opposite House also. But, he can vote simplest within the House of which he is a member.

Composition of Union Council of Ministers

    • As the word “Council of Ministers (CoM)” indicates, the Central Council of Ministers (CoM) refers to a group of ministers. It is headed by means of the Prime Minister of India and incorporates the subsequent 3 classes of ministers:
      • Cabinet Ministers,
      • Ministers of State (MoS), and
      • Deputy Ministers.
  • Cabinet Ministers
      • Cabinet Ministers are the ones who head essential ministries which include Home, Defence, Finance, and so forth.
      • These ministers are the participants of the Cabinet, attend its meetings, and play an important function in deciding the policies of the government.
  • Ministers of State (MoS)
      • Ministers of State (MoS) are those who can either be
      • Attached to the Cabinet Ministers; or
      • Given an independent fee of Ministries/Departments
      • In case of attachment, the Ministers of State may also either be:
      • Given charge of the departments of the Ministries headed via Cabinet Ministers; or
      • Allotted precise items of work related to the Ministries headed via Cabinet Ministers.
      • In both the above instances, those Ministers work underneath the supervision, guidance as well as overall charge and obligation of the Cabinet Ministers.
      • In the case of an unbiased rate, the Ministers of State (MoS) carry out the equal features and exercising the same powers w.r.t. their ministries/departments as Cabinet Ministers do.
      • However, they’re now not a member of the Cabinet and do not attend its conferences unless especially invited.
  • Deputy Ministers
      • Deputy Ministers aren’t given an independent charge of Ministries or Departments.
      • They are, alternatively, connected to the Cabinet Ministers or Ministers of State and help them in their obligations.
      • They aren’t participants of the Cabinet and do not attend the meetings of the Cabinet.
  • Parliamentary Secretaries
    • Parliamentary Secretaries include any other category of Ministers. However, they’re now not participants of the Central Council of Ministers (CoM).
    • They are appointed by the Prime Minister of India, and not by the President of India.
    • They do not have any branch underneath their control. Rather, they are attached to the senior ministers and help them in expressing their responsibilities.

Appointment of Ministers

  • The constitutional provisions concerning the appointment of ministers of the Union Council of Ministers (CoM) are as follows:
    • The Prime Minister is appointed by the President of India
    • Other ministers are appointed by the President of India on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.
    • Thus, the President can rent simplest those persons as ministers who are recommended through the Prime Minister.
    • A man or woman who isn’t a member of either House of Parliament can also be appointed as a minister. But, within 6 months, he/she has to become a member of both Houses of Parliament, otherwise, he ceases to be a minister.

Oaths and Affirmations of Ministers

  • The President of India administers the Oath of Office in addition to the Oath of Secrecy to the Ministers of the Union Council of Ministers (CoM).
  • Oath of Office
  • In his/her Oath of Office, the Minister swears:
    • to undergo real faith and allegiance to the Constitution
    • to uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India
    • to faithfully and rigorously discharge the obligations of his workplace
    • to do right to all manner of people in accordance with the Constitution and the law, without fear or favor, affection or ill-will
Oath of Secrecy

  • In his/her Oath of Secrecy, the Minister swears:
  • that he/she will no longer without delay or in a roundabout way communicate or reveal to any person any matter this is delivered under his consideration or turns into recognised to him as a Union Minister, except as may be required for the due discharge of his obligations as such minister.

Salaries and Allowances of Ministers

  • The salaries and allowances of the Council of Ministers are decided by Parliament from time to time.
  • A minister gets the salary and allowances which might be payable to a Member of Parliament.
  • Also, the minister also receives a sumptuary allowance (in keeping with his/her rank), free lodging, touring allowance, medical centers etc.

Role of Union Council of Ministers (CoM)

  • The function of the Council of Ministers can be seen inside the following factors:
    • It is the highest decision-making authority of the Central Government.
    • It is the chief policy-formulating frame of the Central Government.
    • It is the ultimate government authority of the Central Government.
    • It is the chief coordinator of the Central Government.
    • It is an advisory frame to the President.
    • It acts as the leader disaster supervisor in case of emergencies.
    • It offers all main legislative and monetary topics.
    • It exercises control over higher appointments.
    • It deals with all foreign policies and affairs.

Responsibility of Ministers

    • As per the Constitutional provisions, the ministers forming a part of the Union Council of Ministers (CoM) have two varieties of obligations – Collective Responsibility and Individual Responsibility. Moreover, in the Indian context, the ministers haven’t any Legal Responsibility.
    • The information concerning the Responsibility of Ministers are defined inside the sections that comply with.
  • Collective Responsibility
      • Article 75 consists of the principle of Collective Responsibility and offers that the Union Council of Ministers (CoM) is together accountable to the Lok Sabha. It method that:
        • When the Lok Sabha passes a No-Confidence Motion against the Union Council of Ministers (CoM), all of the ministers should renounce, which include the ones ministers who’re from the Rajya Sabha.
      • The Council of Ministers can recommend the President to dissolve the Lok Sabha in view that the House does not constitute the perspectives of the voters faithfully and requires sparkling elections.
      • The President might not oblige the Council of Ministers that has lost the self assurance of the Lok Sabha.
      • The selections of the Cabinet Ministers bind all the ministers, although they differ with it. Every minister must stand with the aid of such choices and aid them both within and outdoor the Parliament.
      • If any minister disagrees with such a selection and is not organized to protect it, he/she needs to renounce his/her submission.
  • Individual Responsibility
      • Article seventy five also incorporates the principle of Individual Responsibility and gives that the ministers maintain office throughout the satisfaction of the President.
      • It means that the President can get rid of a minister even at a time while the Council of Ministers enjoys the confidence of Lok Sabha.
      • However, the President can get rid of a Minister most effective on the advice of the Prime Minister.
      • In case of a distinction of opinion or dissatisfaction with the performance of a minister, the Prime Minister can ask him to surrender or recommend the President to push aside him.
      • By exercising this power, the Prime Minister can make certain the realization of the guideline of Collective Responsibility.
  • No Legal Responsibility
    • In Britain, each order of the King for any public act is countersigned by  a Minister. If the order violates any regulation, the Minister would be held accountable and liable in court.
    • In India, there is no provision for a system of legal obligation of a Minister. Thus, it is not required that an order of the President for a public act must be countersigned by a Minister.
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