The Prime Minister does not have a fixed tenure because he remains in office as long as he enjoys the majority support of the Lok Sabha. The President appoints the Prime Minister but he cannot appoint anybody as per his wish. The President appoints a person as the Prime Minister who is most likely to prove majority at the floor of the Lok Sabha. The Prime Minister then makes his Council of Ministers.
The Council of Ministers is usually composed of 60 to 80 Ministers of different ranks. The various ranks of Ministers are as follows:
Council of Ministers
Cabinet Ministers are usually made from the top-level leaders of the ruling party. They are in charge of major ministries. There are about 20 ministers of the Cabinet Rank.
Minister of State with Independent Charge
These are usually in charge of smaller ministries. They participate in the Cabinet Meeting only on invitation.
Minister of State
They are attached to a Cabinet Minister. Their role is to assist the Cabinet Minister.
Important decisions are usually taken in the Cabinet meetings. Due to this, parliamentary democracy is also known as the Cabinet form of government. A minister may have different opinion but the minister needs to own up every decision made by the Cabinet. A minister cannot openly criticize any decision taken by the Cabinet. Every ministry has secretaries who come from the civil services. The Cabinet as a team is given the assistance of a Cabinet Secretariat. The Cabinet Secretariat is composed of senior civil servants who coordinate the functions of various ministries.
Powers of the Prime Minister
The Prime Minister chairs the meetings of the Cabinet.
He coordinates the working of different departments. In case of any disagreement between two or more departments, the decision of the Prime Minister is final.
The Prime Minister supervises the functions of various ministries. He can distribute and redistribute work to the ministers. He can also dismiss a minister. In case the Prime Minister resigns, the entire ministry has to quit.
During the days of Congress monopoly in the Union Government, the Prime Minister used to be very powerful. But situation has changed because of prevalence of coalition politics in the country. Now, the Prime Minister needs to accommodate a diverse set of political parties. He needs to pacify different coalition partners because he needs their support for the survival of the government.