Working of Institutions

Prime Minister and Team

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:

(a) Cabinet 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.

(b) Minister of State with Independent Charge: These are usually in charge of smaller ministries. They participate in the Cabinet Meeting only on invitation.

(c) 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 President

The Judiciary

An independent and powerful judiciary is considered essential for democracies. India has an integrated judiciary which is composed of the Supreme Court, High Courts, District Courts and various local level courts. The Supreme Court is the apex court in the country and hence its decision cannot be challenged. Its decision is binding on all other courts of the country. The Supreme Court can take up any dispute which is as follows:

The independent judiciary’s main role is in protecting the Fundamental Rights as enshrined in the Constitution of India. If any law is passed by the Government (at centre or state); which is viewed as overlooking the fundamental tenets of the Constitution, the Supreme Court has the right to revoke the law. There are many cases in which litigations have been filed on behalf of public against laws enacted by the government. The independence of the judiciary ensures that no government can behave in an autocratic way.

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