Indian Council of Ministers is the Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister and consisting of other Minister. All of them, are appointed by the President to aid and advise him in the exercise of his functions. The Indian constitution does not mention that the President will be bound by the advice tendered by the Council of Ministers India. However, a convention has grown up that the President normally acts on his advice.
Formation of Indian Council of Ministers
The President appoints the Prime Minister by summing the leader to majority party or coalition of parties in Lok Sabha to form a cabinet. The Prime Minister designate then places the names of his Council of Ministers by choosing them from members of either House of Parliament, before the President, who appoints them. If a minister is not a member of Parliament at the time of his appointment, he must become so within 6 months, otherwise he will cease to be a minister at the end of this period. The constitution further says that the Ministers including Prime Minister, hold office during the pleasure of the President. But it is does not mean that he can dismiss them arbitrarily but that they will hold office so long as they have the confidence of Parliament i.e. of the majority in the Lok Sabha.
Powers & Functions
The constitution has laid down that the function of the Chief Minister is to aid and advise the President in the exercise of his duties. It is its general function and should be understood in the context of the Parliamentary system it has set up. The President is a constitutional head: All his functions are performed by his Council of Ministers who are responsible to Parliament. Thus they become the real executive who exercise all powers of government in the name of the President. Following are the functions of Indian council of ministers.
The Council of Ministers India is mainly a policy formulating body. It makes the domestic and foreign policies of the Government of India. Each Minister is individually responsible for his department and within it formulates polices in the light of the Cabinet policy as a whole. But in all matters, which are important he consults his Cabinet colleagues and abides by its joint decision. In fact, the Cabinet has the power to coordinate the activities of the various departments of the Central Government. In short the Union Council has the supreme executive and administrative functions of the Union Government.
The second kind of powers and functions of the Indian cabinet are legislative. It formulates the legislative programme for each sessions of Parliament through its power of initiating bills. It decides when the Parliament should be summoned and what work should be brought before it. Ministers are not only the heads of their departments but also the leaders of the majority in the legislature. Important bills are introduced by them ‘and are piloted through the various stages of legislation and got passed by Parliament with party support.
The Cabinet also prepares the budget and all other financial proposals and introduces them in Parliament. It is the duty of the Finance Minister to pilot them through the legislature and get passed.
The Cabinet also frames the foreign policy of India and presents it before the Parliament.
The Cabinet, the Home Minister, advises the president in the exercise of his power of pardon and mercy.
In short, the Indian council of ministers is the pivot around which the whole machinery of government of India revolves. The Indian writers on constitution of India describe the pivotal role of the Indian cabinet in the words used for the British Cabinet. It is described as “The steering wheel of the ship of the State” and the “Steering Committee” of the legislature, with the right to initiate, regulate, control and co-ordinate the various activities of the State.