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Difference between Council of Ministers and Cabinet

21-NOV-2016 17:25

    The parliamentary system in India taken from the British constitution. The council of ministers is lead by the prime minister, who is the real executive authority of the Indian political system. Article 74 of our constitution deals with the status of the council of ministers while article 75 deals with the appointment, tenure, responsibility, oath, qualification, allowances and salaries of the ministers.

    The council of ministers is formed to help and advise the president who works on the basis of the advice tendered by it. The advice tendered by the council of ministers to the president shall not be enquired into any court of India.

    Role of Cabinet

    a) It is the supreme executive authority of the Central government.

    b) It is the highest decision-making authority in our political & administrative system.

    c) It is the chief policy formulating body of the Central government.

    d) It is an advisory body to the president and its advice is binding on him.

    e) It is the chief crisis manager and thus deals with all emergency situations.

    f) It deals with all major legislative and financial matters.

    g) It deals with all foreign policies and foreign affairs.

    h) It exercises control over higher appointments like constitutional authorities and senior secretariat administrators.

    i) It is chief coordinator of Central administration.

    The difference between the council of ministers and cabinet is explained below

    Indian Polity & Governance: A Complete Study Material

    S.N.

    Council of Ministers

    Cabinet

    1.

    Ministers are divided in three categories i.e. cabinet ministers, ministers of state, and deputy ministers.

    It includes the cabinet ministers only hence it is a part of the council of ministers.

    2.

    It does not meet, as a body, to transact government business. It has no collective functions.

    It meets, as a body, frequently and usually once in a week to deliberate and take decisions regarding the transaction of government business. Thus, it has

    Collective functions.

    3.

    It is vested with all powers but in theory.

    It exercises, in practice, the powers of the council of ministers and thus, acts for the latter.

    4.

    Its functions are determined by the cabinet.

    It directs the council of ministers by taking policy decisions which are binding on all ministers.

    5.

    It implements the decisions taken by the cabinet.

    It supervises the implementation of its decisions by the council of ministers.

    6.

    It is a constitutional body, dealt in detail by the Articles 74 and 75 of the Constitution. Its size and classification are, however, not mentioned in the Constitution. Its size is determined by the prime minister according to the exigencies of the time and requirements of the situation.

    It was inserted in Article 352 of the Constitution in 1978 by the 44th Constitutional Amendment Act. Thus, originally it was not mentioned in the original constitution. Now also, Article 352 only defines the cabinet saying that it is ‘the council consisting of the prime minister and other ministers of cabinet rank appointed under Article 75’ and does not describe its powers and functions.

    7.

    It is collectively responsible to the Lower House (Lok Sabha) of the Parliament.

    It enforces the collective responsibility of the council of ministers to the Lower House (Lok Sabha) of Parliament.

    8.

    It is a wider body consisting of 60 to 70 ministers of the government.

    It is a smaller body consisting of 15 to 20 ministers.

    Source: laxmikant

    Articles Related to Council of Ministers at a Glance

    Article No. 74: Council of Ministers to aid and advice President

    Article No 75: 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. 

    Article No. 77: Conduct of business of the Government of India

    Article No. 78: Duties of Prime Minister as respects the furnishing of information to the President, etc.

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