NIOS Class 10 Social Studies Chapter 20 Governance at the Union Level Part 3 (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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The Prime Minister

  • “India is not a poor country. She is abundantly supplied with everything that makes a country rich, and yet her people are very poor. India has the resources as well as the intelligence, skill and capacity to advance rapidly.”
  • This by Jawahar Lal Nehru in his book “The Discovery of India” .
  • Nehru also says that “We must aim at equality. Not only must equal opportunities be given to all, but special opportunities for educational, economic and cultural growth must be given to backward groups so as to enable them to catch up with those ahead of them. Any such attempt to open the doors of opportunity to all in India will release enormous energy and ability to transform the country with amazing speed.”
  • To take the country forward Nehru felt a great sense of responsibility, because a prime minister has a major role to play the constitution.
  • As stated by the Constitution, there must be a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister at the head to aid and advise the President who shall act according to their advice.
  • The real head of the Union executive is the prime minister.
  • The President appoints the prime minister, the President must ensure that the while selecting the prime minister, He/she must be the leader of the majority in the Lok Sabha.
  • Earlier the person who is elected used to be the leader for only one political party commanding absolute majority in the Lok Sabha, but now with the initiation of the phase of coalitions, the member can be the leader for a group of more than one political party.
  • But the situation is changed now, the president selects the prime minister who has won a large number of seats in lok Sabha.
  • To become a prime minister, the person must be the member of parliament. If he/she is not a member of parliament, then he/she has to acquire it within six months from the state of his appointment as Prime minister.

Functions of the Prime Minister

  • In practice, prime minister is the person who makes and unmakes the council of ministers
  • President appoints the members of the council of ministers and distributes portfolios among them on the recommendation of the prime minister.
  • The Prime minister is the person who conducts the meetings of the Cabinet and conveys its decisions to the President.
  • The Prime Minister acts as the link between the President and the Council of Ministers.
  • The Prime Minister submits his/her resignation to the entire Council of Ministers stands dissolved.
  • President can dissolve and he/she can held a fresh general election at the time when the prime minister recommends.
  • The Prime Minister is not only the leader of the majority party, or the leader of the Parliament but he/she is also the leader of the nation.
  • As the head of the government the prime minister represents the nation at the international conferences.

The Union Council of Ministers

The Union Council of Ministers
  • “There shall be a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister at the head to aid and advise the President who shall, in the exercise of his functions, act in accordance with such advice, provided that the President may require the Council of Ministers to reconsider such advice, either generally or otherwise, and the President shall act in accordance with the advice tendered after such consideration.” This quote was stated by the constitution.
  • On the recommendation of the prime minister, the president appoints the members of the Council of Ministers.
  • The Council of Ministers has three classifications of Ministers;
    • Cabinet Ministers
    • Ministers of State
    • Deputy Ministers
  • Under the leadership of the Prime Minister these Ministers work as a team and do their jobs.
  • If a ‘no-confidence motion’ is issued by the Lok Sabha then the entire Council of Ministers including the Prime minister has to resign.
  • A no-confidence motion: It is a legislative motion brought by the members of the Lok Sabha, expressing lack of trust in the Council of Ministers.
  • The progress of the Cabinet or Council of Ministers are always kept secret.
  • The Council of Ministers is a large body of Ministers.
  • During recent years, the top category, known as the Ministers of Cabinet rank which are about 20 to 25 and they hold the charge of important departments.
  • There is a group of ministers called Ministers of State, some of them hold independent charges of ministries and most of them are attached to Cabinet Ministers.
  • Another category of ministers known as Deputy Ministers which are attached to Cabinet Ministers or Ministers of State.

Position of the Prime Minister

  • In the Union government the Prime Minister occupies a key position.
  • Prime minister is the
    • ‘principal spokesperson’
    • defender of the policies of the government in the Parliament.
  • The consent of the Prime Minister is all international agreements and treaties with other countries are concluded.
  • In the government and parliament prime minister has a special status.
  • The Prime Minister chooses the Council of Ministers and gets their cooperation very carefully.
  • In a coalition government the Prime Minister has to seek help from political parties.
  • Last ten to twelve years՚ experience of the prime minister shows how he/she is vigilant and diplomatic.
  • In the country major decisions are taken by the prime minister on the basis of defence and security.
  • The Prime Minister is the keystone of the cabinet arch.

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