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Prime Minister & Council of Ministers - Power & Function of Prime Minister !!

Prime Minister & Council of Ministers - Power & Function of Prime Minister !!

  • Article 75 of the Indian Constitution mentions that a Prime Minister is one who is appointed by the President.
  • There is no specific procedure for his election or appointment.
  • Article 74(1) states that there shall be a Council of Ministers with a Prime Minister at the head to aid and advise the President.
  • Thus, the Indian Constitution itself recognizes a Council of Ministers.

Is Prime Minister of India elected or appointed?

  • President of India appoints a person as the Prime Minister who is either the leader of the party which holds a majority of seats in the Lok Sabha or is a person who is able to win the confidence of the Lok Sabha by gaining the support of other political parties.
  • All other ministers are appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.

NotePresident can also appoint Prime Minister on his own discretion but only when no party has a clear majority in the Lok Sabha.

           Power and Function of Prime Minister

Prime Minister of India serves the country by following various functions. He performs his functions taking responsibilities as:

  • The leader of Country: The Prime Minister of India is the Head of the Government of India.
  • Portfolio allocation: The Prime Minister has the authority to assign portfolios to the Ministers.
  • Chairman of the Cabinet: The Prime Minister is the chairman of the cabinet and presides the meetings of the Cabinet. He can impose his decision if there is a crucial opinion difference among the members.
  • Official Representative of the country: Prime minister represents the country for high-level international meetings
  • The link between the President and the Cabinet: The Prime Minister acts as the link between President and cabinet. He communicates all decisions of the Cabinet to the President which is related to the administration of the affairs of the Union and proposals for legislation.
  • Head: The Prime Minister is the head of Nuclear Command Authority, NITI Aayog, Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space and Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
  • Chief Advisor: He acts as the chief advisor to the President

           Who is eligible to be a Prime Minister?

    To become an Indian prime minister one has to be

    • A citizen of India.
    • A member of either Rajya Sabha or Lok Sabha
    • He should have completed his 30 years if he is a member of the Rajya Sabha or can be 25 years of age if he is a member of the Lok Sabha

                 Position of the Prime Minister

      • Right from the days of the first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister is treated at a much higher pedestal.
      • His preeminence rests on his commanding position in the Cabinet, coupled with fact that he is the leader of the majority party.
      • During the period of the Congress rule, the Prime Minister was usually the President of his party and the major campaigner in the elections. All these positions of power when combined in one person make him rank much above an ordinary Minister.
      • The death or resignation of the Prime Minister automatically brings about the dissolution of the Council of Ministers. It generates a vacuum.
      • The demise, resignation or dismissal of a Minister creates only a vacancy which the Prime Minister may or may not like to fill.
      • The Government cannot function without a Prime Minister but the absence of a Minister is easily tolerated and compensated

        Relationship between the Prime Minister and the President of India

        There are a few articles in the Indian Constitution that deal with the relationship both Prime Minister and the President share with each other. The articles are:

        • Article 74
        • Article 75
        • Article 78


        Relationship between Prime Minister and the President

         74Mentions how Prime Minister and President are both connected with council of ministers. The Council with PM as head advise President on various issues.
        75Mentions three things:
        • President appoints PM and other ministers are appointed by the President on the advice of the PM.
        • Ministers hold their office during the pleasure of the President.
        • Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha.
        78PM communicates all decisions made by the council of members to the President. President can also refer issues for the consideration of the council of members.

        Facts about Indian Prime Ministers

        Longest-Serving Indian Prime MinisterJawaharlal Nehru (1947 – 1964)
        Second Longest-Serving Indian Prime MinisterDr. Manmohan Singh
        Acting Prime Minister TwiceGulzari Lal Nanda
        The first woman Prime Minister to receive the Bharat RatnaIndira Gandhi
        First Non-Congress Prime Minister of IndiaMorarji Desai
        Indian Prime Minister received Pakistan’s highest civilian awardMorarji Desai
        Youngest Indian Prime MinisterRajiv Gandhi
        First Prime Minister from South IndiaP.V. Narasimha Rao
        First Prime Minister of India who was a member of the Rajya SabhaH.D. Deve Gowda

                              Council of Ministers

          Which articles in the Constitution deal with the Council of Ministers?

          Two articles – Article 74 and Article 75 of the Indian Constitution deal with the Council of Ministers. Where article 74 mentions that the council will be headed by the Prime Minister of India and will aid and advise the President, article 75 mentions the following things:

          • They are appointed by the President on the advice of Prime Minister
          • They along with the Prime Minister of India form 15% of the total strength of the lower house i.e. Lok Sabha. (The number cannot exceed 15%)
          • 91st Amendment Act provided for the disqualification of the minister when he stands disqualified as a member of Parliament.
          • A Minister ceased to exist as one if he is not a member of either house of Parliament for six consecutive months.
          • Parliament decides the salary and allowances of the council of ministers.

                                     Types of Ministers

            The Indian Constitution does not categorize ministers into ranks, however, in practice seen in India, ministers are of four types:

            1. Cabinet Ministers—He is present and he participates in every meeting of the Cabinet.
            2. Minister of State with independent charge—He is a Minister of State who does not work under a Cabinet Minister. When any matter concerning his Department is on the agenda of the Cabinet, he is invited to attend the meeting.
            3. Minister of State—He is a Minister who does not have independent charge of any Department and works under a Cabinet Minister. The work to such Minister is allotted by his Cabinet Minister.
            4. Deputy Minister—He is a Minister who works under a Cabinet Minister or a Minister of State with independent charge. His work is allotted by the Minister under whom he is working.

            The difference between the council of ministers and cabinet is explained below


            Council of Ministers



            Ministers are divided in three categories i.e. cabinet ministers, ministers of state, and deputy ministers.

            It includes the cabinet ministers only hence it is a part of the council of ministers.


            It does not meet, as a body, to transact government business. It has no collective functions.

            It meets, as a body, frequently and usually once in a week to deliberate and take decisions regarding the transaction of government business. Thus, it has

            Collective functions.


            It is vested with all powers but in theory.

            It exercises, in practice, the powers of the council of ministers and thus, acts for the latter.


            Its functions are determined by the cabinet.

            It directs the council of ministers by taking policy decisions which are binding on all ministers.


            It implements the decisions taken by the cabinet.

            It supervises the implementation of its decisions by the council of ministers.


            It is a constitutional body, dealt in detail by the Articles 74 and 75 of the Constitution. Its size and classification are, however, not mentioned in the Constitution. Its size is determined by the prime minister according to the exigencies of the time and requirements of the situation.

            It was inserted in Article 352 of the Constitution in 1978 by the 44th Constitutional Amendment Act. Thus, originally it was not mentioned in the original constitution. Now also, Article 352 only defines the cabinet saying that it is ‘the council consisting of the prime minister and other ministers of cabinet rank appointed under Article 75’ and does not describe its powers and functions.


            It is collectively responsible to the Lower House (Lok Sabha) of the Parliament.

            It enforces the collective responsibility of the council of ministers to the Lower House (Lok Sabha) of Parliament.


            It is a wider body consisting of 60 to 70 ministers of the government.

            It is a smaller body consisting of 15 to 20 ministers.

            List of all the Prime Ministers is given below:

            List of all Prime Ministers of Iindia




            Term of office



            Jawahar Lal Nehru


            5 August 1947-27 May 1964

            16 years, 286 days

            The first prime minister of India and the longest-serving PM of India, first to die in office.


            Gulzarilal Nanda


            27 May,1964 to 9 June 1964,

            13 days

            First acting PM of India


            Lal Bahadur Shastri


            9 June, 1964 to 11 January 1966

            1 year, 216 days

            He has given the slogan of 'Jai Jawan Jai Kisan' during Indo-Pak war of 1965


            Indira Gandhi


            24 January 1966 to 24 March 1977

            11 years, 59 days

            First lady Prime Minister of India


            Morarji Desai


            24 March 1977 – 28 July 1979 

            2 year, 116 days

            Oldest to become PM @ 81 and first to resign from office


            Charan Singh


            28 July, 1979 to 14 Jan. 1980

            170 days

            Only PM who did not face the Parliament


            Indira Gandhi


            14 Jan.1980 to 31 Oct. 1984

            4 years, 291 days

            The first lady who served as PM for the second term


            Rajiv Gandhi


            31 Oct, 1984 to 2 Dec. 1989

            5 years, 32 days

            Youngest to become PM @ 40 year


            V. P. Singh


            2 Dec. 1989 to 10 Nov. 1990

            343 days

            First PM to step down after a vote of no confidence


            Chandra Shekhar


            10 November,1990 to 21 June 1991

            223 days

            He belongs to  Samajwadi Janata Party


            P. V. Narasimha Rao


            21 June 1991 to 16 May 1996

            4 years, 330 days

            First PM from south India


            Atal Bihari Vajpayee

            (born 1924)

            16 May, 1996 to 1 June 1996

            16 days

            PM for shortest tenure


            H. D. Deve Gowda

            (born 1933)

            1 June, 1996 to 21 April 1997

            324 days

            He belongs to  Janata Dal


            Inder Kumar Gujral


            21 April 1997 to 19 March, 1998  332 days



            Atal Bihari Vajpayee

            (born 1924)

            19 March, 1998 to 22 May 2004 

            6 years, 64 days

             The first non-congress PM who completed a full term as PM


            Manmohan Singh

            (born 1932)

            22 May 2004 to 26 May 2014   

            10 years, 4 May 2 days

             First Sikh PM


            Narendra Modi

            (born 1950)

            26 May 2014, Incumbent

            4th Prime Minister of India who served two consecutive tenures

            • The results of the 17th Lok Sabha elections have been declared on the 23 May 2019. Narendra Modi will be the 15th Prime Minister (in person) of India.
            • He is the 4th Prime Minister of India who would serve two consecutive terms as Prime Minister of India and the first Non-Congress Party Prime Minister of India who would complete two consecutive terms.

            Primary References: 

            Please Note:

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