Tag Archive : parliamentary system in India

PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM

The Constitution of India provides for a parliamentary form of government, both at the Centre and in the states.

 Articles 74 and 75 deal with the parliamentary system at the Centre and Articles 163 and 164 in the states.

 Modern democratic governments are classified into parliamentary and presidential on the basis of nature of relations between the executive and the legislative organs of the government.

 The parliamentary system of government is the one in which the executive is responsible to the legislature for its policies and acts.

 The presidential system of government, on the other hand, is one in which the executive is not responsible to the legislature for its policies and acts, and is constitutionally independent of the legislature in respect of its term of office.

 The parliamentary government is also known as cabinet government or responsible government or Westminster model of government and is prevalent in Britain, Japan, Canada, India among others.

 The presidential government, on the other hand, is also known as non-responsible or non-parliamentary or fixed executive system of government and is prevalent in USA, Brazil, Russia, Sri Lanka among others.

Cardinal Principles of Parliamentary Democracy:-

  1. Head of state is not the real executive. For all practical purpose Prime Minister is the real executive who is the head of the government.
  2. He along with his Council of Ministers is accountable to the Lower House of the Parliament.
  3. Council of Ministers is drawn from legislature itself. It is not an outside body.

Formation of Council of Ministers

 Council of Ministers is formed as soon as Prime Minister is sworn in.

 PM alone can constitute Council of Ministers

Categories of Ministers

 Constitution does not categorize members of the Council of Ministers.

 It is done by the Prime Minister following the British conventions.

 there are three categories of ministers in India. But it is the prerogative of PM to decide how many categories to be included.

These three categories of ministers are as follows:-

Cabinet Ministers

They are senior rank ministers if allotted a portfolio. They always head a ministry.

They constitute the cabinet and enjoy the right to attend cabinet meeting.

They are assisted by Minister of State or Deputy in discharging official functions.

Minister of States
They are second rank ministers. They are normally not given independent charge.

They assist Cabinet Ministers.

PM in his discretion can give independent change to Minister of States. He does not enjoy right to attend cabinet meeting. But he can be invited to attend cabinet meetings.

Deputy Ministers

They are junior in rank. They are never given independent charges.

They cannot be invited to participate in the cabinet meeting.

Parliamentary Secretaries –

They are not member of CoM. They are appointed by PM.

Basically; they are Member of Parliament and from the ruling party. They are appointed to assist the ministry in discharging functions in the Parliament

They take oath of office and secrecy conducted by PM.
Strength of Council of Ministers
91st Amendment Act 2003 amended Art. 75 and inserted Art 75 (1A) which provides that “strength of Union CoM shall not exceed 15% of the total strength of the Lok Sabha.

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CABINET VS COUNCIL OF MINISTERS

Council of Ministers

(1) It is a composite body because it contains Cabinet Ministers, Minister of State and Deputy.

(2) It is a large body and rarely meets as a composite body.

Cabinet

(1) It includes only Cabinet Ministers.
(2) It is a body within Council of Ministers.
(3) It meets regularly and deliberates & takes policy decision including proposed legislation.
(4) It is the highest decision making body of the country that runs administration.
(5) Decisions of cabinet automatically become that of Council of Ministers.
(6) Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Home Minister and Defence Minister always remain part of the cabinet