Prime Minister in Indian Constitution
This is Tnpsc notes for polity for the topic: Prime Minister
The Constitution provides for a collegiate executive, that is Council of ministers under the chair members of the Prime Minister.
Council of Ministers is a body of persons having the authority to initiate major policies, make decisions and implement them on the basis of the Constitution and laws of the country.
There are two important organs of the Union Government:
- The Union Legislature or the Union Parliament
- The Union Executive
“The articles 52 to 78 in Part V of the Indian Constitution deal with Union Executive”.
Article 75(1)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
(2) The Minister shall hold office during the pleasure of the President
(3) The Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the House of the People
(4) Before a Minister enters upon his office, the President shall administer to him the oaths of office and of secrecy according to the forms set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule
(5) A Minister who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of either House of Parliament shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a Minister
(6) The salaries and allowances of Ministers shall be such as Parliament may from time to time by law determine and, until Parliament so determines, shall be as specified in the Second Schedule The Attorney General for India
India has adopted the British Parliamentary executive mode with the Prime Minister as the Head of the Government.
The Prime minister is the most important political institution. But in the council of ministers (cabinet), the prime minister is primus inter pares (first among equals).
Appointment of Prime Minister
The Constitution does not contain any specific procedure for the selection and appointment of the Prime Minister. There is no direct election to the post of Prime Minister.
According to Article 75, the Prime Minister shall be appointed by the President. The appointment is not by the choice of the President.
The President appoints the leader of the majority party or the coalition of the parties that commands a majority in the Lok Sabha, as the Prime minister. In case no single party gets a majority, the President appoints the person most likely to secure majority support.
The Prime Minister does not have a fixed tenure.He/she continues in power so long as he/she remains the leader of the majority party or coalition.
Functions and Position of Prime Minister
The first and foremost function of the Prime Minister is to prepare the list of his ministers. Then He/She meets the President with this list of his minister.
After that, the Council of Ministers is formed. Very important ministers are designated as Ministers of the Cabinet rank, others are called Ministers of State.
While Ministers belong to a third rank area known as Deputy Ministers. It is one of the Discretionary powers of the Prime Ministers to designate a minister as Deputy Prime Minister.
The President allocates portfolios among the ministers on the advice of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister may keep any department or department under his control. The Prime Minister may also advise the president to reshuffle portfolios of his ministers from time to time.
He may bifurcate or trifurcate a department or have different departments amalgamated into one department. The Prime Minister’s re Eminent Positions due to these points:
- He/She is the leader of the party that enjoys a majority in the popular House of the Parliament (Lok Sabha).
- Has the power of selecting other ministers and also advising the President to dismiss any of them individually or require any of them to resign.
- The allocation of business amongst the Ministers is a function of the Prime Minister.
- He/ She can transfer a minister from one Department to another.
- Prime minister is the Chairman of the cabinet, summons its meetings and presides over them. The Prime Minister is also the Chairman of many bodies like Inter-State Council, Nuclear command Authority and many more.
- While the resignation of a minister merely creates a vacancy, the resignation or death of the Prime Minister means the end of the Council of Ministers.
- The Prime Minister is the sole channel of the communication between the President and the Ministers and between the Parliament and his Ministers.
- The Prime Minister is the Chief spokesperson of the government in foreign affairs.
Prime Minister’s Office
- Prime Minister is the head of the government and real executive authority.
- Prime minister plays a very vital role in the politico- administrative realm of our country.
- To fulfill the responsibilities, the Prime minister is assisted by the Prime Minister’s office (PMO).
- The Prime Minister’s Office is an agency meant for providing secretarial assistance and advice to the Prime Minister.
- Prime Minister’s office is an extra constitutional body which offers important role in the top level decision making process of the Government of India.
- The Prime Minister’s Office has the status of a department of the Government of India.
- The Prime Minister’s Office came into existence in 1947.
- Till 1977 is was called Prime Minister’s Office is headed politically by the Prime Minister and administratively by the Principal Secretary.
The Prime Minister’s Office Performs Several Functions
- Assists the prime minister in his overall responsibilities as head of the government, in maintaining communication with the central ministries/departments and the state government.
- Help the prime minister in his responsibilities as chairman of the Niti Aayog and the National Development Council.
- Looks after the public relations of the prime minister like contact with the press and general public.
- Deals with all references, which under the Rules of Business have to come to the Prime Minister.
- Provides assistance to the Prime Minister in the examination of cases submitted to him for orders under prescribed rules.
- Maintains harmonious relationship with the President, Governors and Foreign representatives in the country.
- Acts as the think tank of the Prime Minister. It deal with all such subjects that are not allotted to any department/ ministry.
- It is not concerned with the responsibility of the Prime Minister as the Chairman of the union cabinet.
- The cabinet cases area directly dealt by the cabinet secretariat, which also functions under the direction of the Prime Minister.