Council of Ministers
Article 74 of the Indian constitution
As per Article 74 of the Constitution, there shall be a council of ministers with the Prime Minister as the head to aid and advise the President, who shall in the exercise of his functions, act in accordance with the advice of the council of ministers.
That means there shall be a council of ministers.
The President accepts the advice of the council of ministers.
The council of ministers consists of three categories of ministers, namely, cabinet ministers, ministers of state, and deputy ministers.
While the cabinet ministers are involved in policy decision making, the other two categories have mere administrative responsibilities.
The difference between them lies in their respective ranks, emoluments and political importance.
At the top stands the Prime minister, the supreme governing authority of the country.
Appointment of the Council of Ministers
Under Article 75th of the Constitution, the Prime Minister is appointed by the President and the Prime Minister is appointed by the President and the other ministers are appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.
The ministers hold office during the pleasure of the President.
While the ministers are also appointed by the President and are said to hold office during the pleasure of the President as per the Constitution.
In actual practice, the ministers are selected by the Prime Minister and the President cannot appoint anyone not recommended by the Prime Minister.
Collective Responsibility of Council of ministers
The Constitution of India provides that the Ministers are collectively and individually responsible to the Lok Sabha.
The collective responsibility of the council of ministers means that the entire council of ministers is jointly responsible to the Lok Sabha for all the acts of the government.
It also means that the ministers must not speak in public in different voices.
All the ministers of the government are expected to be unanimous in support of policies on all public occasions and issues.
A Kitchen Cabinet is a still smaller body or a cabinet within a cabinet. It is an informal body and the real centre of power. Every Prime Minister in India had a Kitchen Cabinet or Inner Cabinet.
A circle within a circle. It helps the Prime Minister in maintaining secrecy in making decisions on important political issues.
Kitchen cabinet in constitution
The kitchen cabinet does not have any constitutional status. This acts as an extra-constitutional body that takes decisions and improves the efficiency of the council of ministers.