• Portfolio system was started by Lord Canning in Indian Councils Act 1861.
  • In the United Kingdom – Council of Ministers is the real executive which is left on the convention.
  • In India – the System of Council of Ministers is codified and mentioned in Indian Constitution.






  • Other ministers are appointed by President on the advice of Prime Minister.
  • The oath to every new minister is administered by the President.
  • Salary is determined by Parliament.
  • Other ministers are appointed by Governor on the advice of Chief Minister.
  • The oath to every new minister is administered by the Governor of State.
  • Salary is determined by State legislature.













Article 74 (CoM to aid and advise President) /163 (CoM to aid and advise Governor):

• President/Governor shall act in accordance to advice of CCoM/SCoM with the PM/CM as the head.

• President can ask for reconsideration of advice tendered but then reconsidered advice is binding.

• Advice tendered by CCOM/SCOM cannot be inquired by any court.

• Even after the dissolution of the Lok Sabha/State Legislative Assembly the CCOM/SCOM does not cease to hold office (by SC in 1971).

• Wherever the Constitution requires the satisfaction of the President/Governor, the satisfaction is of the CCOM/SCOM (by SC in 1974) not of president/governor alone.

Article 75/164:

• Ministers are appointed by President/Governor on the advice of PM/CM and holds office during the pleasure of the President/Governor.

Oaths of office and secrecy to a minister by President/Governor.

• Salary is determined by Parliament/State Legislative Assembly.

• Total no. of CCOM/SCOM including PM/CM should not be more than 15% of total strength of Lok Sabha (91st CAA, 2003). Exact size and classification not mentioned in the Constitution determined by the PM/CM as per time and requirements of the situation.

• The number of ministers in state legislature, including the CM, in a state shall not be less than 12 (91st CAA, 2003)

• CCOM/SCOM collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha (not Parliament)/State Legislative Assembly.

• Person, not a member of any house of parliament can become minister maximum for duration of six months.

• A member who is disqualified on the ground of defection shall also be disqualified to be appointed as a minister (91st CAA, 2003).

Article 88/177:

• Every Minister have right to speak and take part in proceedings of both the house but can only vote where he is a member.

• A minister who is a member of one House of the Parliament/state legislature has the right to speak and to take part in the proceedings of the other House. But he can vote only in the House of which he is a member.









Collective Responsibility:

• CCOM/SCOM work as a team swims or sinks together.

• If Lok Sabha/State Legislative Assembly passes a no-confidence motion, entire CCOM/SCOM has to resign including ministers from the Rajya Sabha/State Legislative Council.

• Cabinet decisions are binding on all cabinet ministers (and other ministers). If any minister disagrees with a cabinet decision and is not prepared to defend it, he must resign. (Recent Ex: Akali dal MP resigns as minister on Farm Law issue)


Individual Responsibility:

• States that the ministers hold office during the pleasure of the president, which means that the President can remove a minister even at a time when the CoM enjoys the confidence of the Lok Sabha on the advice of the Prime Minister.


No Legal Responsibility:

• Unlike Britain, there is no provision in the Constitution for the system of legal responsibility of a Minister.











Union Council of Minister:

• Constitutional body, dealt in detail by the Articles 74 and 75 of the Constitution.

• Wider body 60 to 70 ministers.

• Includes all the three categories cabinet ministers, ministers of state, and deputy ministers.

• Does not meet, as a body, to transact government business.

• Implements the decisions taken by the cabinet.


• Inserted through 44th CAA, 1978 in Article 352, which only defines the cabinet and does not describe its powers and functions.

• Smaller body – 15 to 20 ministers.

• Includes the cabinet ministers only.

• Meets, as a body, frequently and take decisions regarding the transaction of government business.

• Supervises the implementation of its decisions by the council of ministers.

Kitchen Cabinet:

• Informal body consists of the PM and two to four influential colleagues in whom he has faith and with whom he can discuss every problem called the ‘Inner Cabinet’ or ‘Kitchen Cabinet’ has become the real centre of power.

• Composed of not only cabinet ministers but also outsiders like friends and family.

• Phenomenon of ‘kitchen cabinet’ is not unique to India it also exists in USA and Britain.


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