Posts Tagged ‘Ministers’

The Cabinet of India: the ultimate, collective decision-making authority comprised of the Prime Minister and 35 Cabinet Ministers

Officially termed as the Union Council of Ministers of India, the Cabinet of India is a body of high-ranking, senior-most Government ministers, typically belonging to the executive branch. The Cabinet includes the Prime Minister, followed by the Cabinet Ministers, Ministers of State and the Deputy Ministers. The Cabinet may be contracted or expanded. However, the number of members is stated by the Constitution of India. The council is supposed to report to the Indian Parliament.

Originally, Cabinets were born as small groups named as ‘Cabinet Counsel’ that referred to the advice given to the monarch in private.


Cabinet Secretary: India’s most powerful bureaucrat and the right hand of the PM

  • Heads the Cabinet after the President of India
  • Comes under the direct charge of the Prime Minister
  • Administrative head
  • Also the ex-officio Chairman of the Civil Services Board, and thus the head of the Indian Administrative Service
  • Generally, he is the senior most civil servant
  • Provides assistance to the Ministers, PM and Cabinet Committees
  • Lends an element of stability and continuity in the administration
  • No fixed tenure, though the average is less than 3 years, can be extended
  • Heads all the civil services under the constitution like IAS, IPS, IRS, IFS, PCS, PPS et al
  • Ranks eleventh in the Table of Precedence of India

The Cabinet Secretariat has 3 wings: Civil, Military and Intelligence.

Civil: Provides help and advice to the Union Cabinet
Military: Provides secretarial assistance to the Defense Committee of the Cabinet, the Military Affairs Committee, the National Defense Council and other committees dealing with defense matters
Intelligence: Deals with matters pertaining to the Joint Intelligence Committee of the Union Cabinet

Council of Ministers:

In a Cabinet, apart from collective responsibilities, the members are also individually responsible for the functioning of their respective departments. They are given the title of ‘Minister’ and each holds a different portfolio of Government duties (E.g. ‘Minister for the Environment’). Also, the Constitution has made it mandatory for the Council Ministers to be the members of either House of the Parliament.
Apart from this, the Council

  • Prepares and introduces bills in the Parliament
  • Assists the President to execute his functions
  • Determines policies and administers the same
  • Implements all the decisions adopted by the Parliament of India

There are three categories of Ministers:

  • Union Cabinet Minister: Senior Minister in-charge of any ministry
  • Minister of State (Independent Charge): Handles a portfolio that no other Union Minister oversees
  • Minister of State (MoS): Junior Ministerusually looks after a specific responsibility in any ministry

Together, the Cabinet forms the big wheel of the Government that runs the Republic of India.

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Gujarat is known for its dynamism. It has always reflected growth that has filtered down through ages. The drive to be among the foremost states of India in all spheres of activities is infectious – and is representative of the state’s people as well as those in power. In a recent effort of change, the sphere was the Council of Ministers as the Chief Minister expanded his team. He also reshuffled the portfolios of some of the ministers.


A state is run by a Council of Ministers that includes the Chief Minister himself, a Cabinet of Ministers and the Ministers of State. The work distribution and department allocation is such that the Cabinet Ministers held a higher post while the Ministers of State support them as juniors.

This Council of Ministers of Gujarat inducted six new faces on 2nd February 2011, taking the Ministry’s total strength to 27. The newly welcomed ministers were given the ranks of junior ministers. This makes the Council of Ministers have 17 Cabinet Ministers and 10 Ministers of State. Apart from this induction, the portfolios of three ministers were reshuffled. Political think tanks believe that the CM took this step keeping an eye on the State Assembly elections that are scheduled in December 2012. It is also believed that this is an attempt to give adequate representation to the important social groups in the state.

The ministers were sworn in by Governor Dr. Kamala Beniwal at a simple ceremony on the lawns of Raj Bhavan. The exercise is expected to boost the morale of the ministers, as this is the largest cabinet size ever in Narendra Modi’s three terms as CM. In his second term in 2002, the cabinet size was restricted to just 17 ministers.
Also, this is the second cabinet expansion in six months and follows less than a week after Shri Modi inducted eight party men as chairmen of the state public sector boards and corporations.

Liladhar Vaghela Labor and Employment MLA from Deesa in Banaskantha
Ishwar Patel Sports, Youth, Cultural Affairs and Cooperation Legislator from Ankleshwar
Ranjit Gilatwala Cottage Industries and Planning & Stationery Surat (East)
Jitu Sukhadia Tourism, Food and Civil Supplies, Non Resident Gujaratis Sajyajiganj in Vadodara
Jaydrathsinh Parmar Road and Buildings MLA from Halol
Mohan Kundalia Rural Development MLA from Tankara in Rajkot

An effort to give equal representation is clearly visible as Liladhar Vaghela, Ishwar Patel and Ranjit Gilatwala are from communities belonging to the OBCs while Kundalia is a Patel from Saurashtra and Parmar is a Kshatriya from Central Gujarat.

Also, various regions of Gujarat are carefully included in this process of inclusive growth. Sukhadia and Parmar represent central Gujarat constituencies, Gilitwala and Ishwar Patel belong to South Gujarat, whereas North Gujarat has been represented by Vaghela, and Kundalia comes from the Saurashtra region.


The reshuffling of portfolios also took place. Minister of State Saurabh Patel, who earlier held civil aviation, cottage industries, salt industries, printing and stationery (independent charge), industries, mines, minerals, finance, energy and petrochemicals, now gives up cottage industries, salt industries, printing and stationery.

Minister of State Jashwant Bhabhor, who earlier held tribal development, rural development, labor and employment, has shed rural development, labor and employment. He has been allotted Panchayat and rural housing.

The third Minister of State Parbat Ahir, who had water supply, cooperation, health and family welfare in his portfolio, has given up cooperation.


Shri Narendra Modi is known to give pleasant surprises. The much-expected elevation of his ministerial confidante Anandiben Patel as Deputy Chief Minister did not take place. Also, the rumored change in the portfolios of the Senior Ministers did not happen, though the Ministers of State with multiple departments were divested of their charges. The departments handled by the Chief Minister remain unchanged. He is allocated:

• General Administration
• Planning
• Administrative Reforms & Training Division
• Home
• Industries
• Mines and Minerals
• Energy and Petrochemicals
• Ports
• Information and Broadcasting Media
• Narmada and Kalpsar Projects
• Science and Technology
• All Policies and Subjects & Matters Not Allotted to Other Ministers

The key to Gujarat’s growth is yet not clearly defined – is it this inclusive pattern of growth, is it the dynamism or is it simply Narendra Modi?

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