Prime Minister of India

2019 ias preliminary exam test series

All executive powers are exercised by the President are in accordance with the advice of Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister. In other words, President is the de-jure head of the state while Prime Minister is the de-facto head of the government.

As regards the removal of the PM by the President, Article 75 (2) conditions his continuance in office dependent on “the pleasure of the President” has to be read with Article 75 (3) which states that all the ministers are collectively responsible to the House of the People. This means that so long as the P.M. is able to command majority support in Lok Sabha, there is no threat to his continuance in office.

Further President cannot give sanction for the legal prosecution of the P.M., unless his guilt is established by a court of law. However, if the guilt is established, the President can order his prosecution under the Anti-Corrup­tion Act.

POWERS AND FUNCTIONS:

The chief function of the P.M. going by Article 74 is that of rendering aid & tendering advice to the President. 44th Amendment (1978) added, “provided that the President may require the CoM to recon­sider such advice, either generally or otherwise, and the President shall act in accordance with the advice tendered after such reconsideration”.

He is the principal channel of communication between the President and the council of ministers. Constitutional duty of PM, as provided in Article 78, is to communicate to the President “all decisions” of the Council of Ministers relating to:

-Administration of the affairs of the Union

-Proposal for legislation

-To furnish such information relating to the administration of affairs of Union and proposals for legislation as the President may call for

-If the President so requires to submit for the consideration of Council of Ministers any matter on which a decision has been taken by a minister but which has not been considered by the Council

In selecting the PM, President restricts his choice to the leader of the Party in majority in Lok Sabha, or a Person who is in a position to win the confidence of majority in that House. His other powers and functions include:

-Chairman: Niti Aayog, NDC, National Integration Council and Inter-State Council.

-Allocates & reshuffles portfolios among ministers

-Guides, directs, controls & coordinates activities of ministers

-Ask a minister to resign in case of difference of opinion

-Presides over meetings of CoM

-CoM automatically collapses if he resigns or dies

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER:

Deputy Prime Minister is a member of the Cabinet. The post is not a constitutional post and seldom carries any specific powers. Generally, a Deputy PM also holds other key portfolios like Home Minister or Finance Minister. DPM is sometimes used by governments to bring political stability and strength by including a powerful individual, or in times of national emergency, when a proper chain of command is necessary.

Three interlinked political circumstances have created Deputy PMs– near equal political stature of two political leaders, to obviate political competition by accommodation, and the compulsions of coalition politics.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTERS OF INDIA
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel J. L. Nehru 1947-50
Morarji Desai Indira Gandhi 1967-69
Charan Singh & Jagjivan Ram (jointly) Morarji Desai 1979
Yashwantrao Chavan Charan Singh 1979-80
Devi Lal V.P. Singh 1989-90
Devi Lal Chandra Shekhar 1990-91
L.K. Advani A.B. Vajpayee 2002-04

 

PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE (PMO):

PMO is a staff agency to the Prime Minister. It is a non-constitutional & non-statutory body. It is for providing secretarial assistance and crucial advice to the PM. Allocation of Business Rules, 1961 has given it the status of a department. It has no attached and subordinate office under it.

PMO came into existence on 15th August 1947 by replacing the Secretary to the Governor-General (Personal). However, its role varied from PM to PM. Pt. Nehru kept it small in the size with a limited role, but Shastri strengthened the PMO and made it powerful. PMO reached pinnacle during Indira Gandhi’s time.

But, the Janata Government took measures to deemphasize its role, and changed its nomenclature from Prime Minister’s Secretariat (PMS) to PMO in 1977.  Later, it was again strengthened & trend continued.

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