Difference Between Cabinet and Council of Ministers

By Shivank Goel|Updated : October 10th, 2022

The main difference between the Cabinet and the Council of Ministers is that the Cabinet ministers are a part of the Council of Ministers. However, it exists as a different body. India gained its independence on 15th August 1947. After independence, the country adopted the parliamentary system of government with the Council of Ministers for effective governance of the country. The Prime Minister of India holds power to decide the Council of Ministers under his governance.

Cabinet Ministers are a segment of the Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers consists of Cabinet Ministers, Ministers of State, and Deputy Ministers. But still, there are some crucial differences between the Cabinet and the Council of Ministers, which are provided below.

Difference between the Cabinet and Council of Ministers

Below, the difference between the Cabinet and the Council of Ministers is given in a tabulated form for your reference.

Difference Between Cabinet and Council of Ministers PDF

Basis

Cabinet Ministers

Council of Ministers

Level of Seniority

Senior ministers with the most experience and influence

Junior ministers with less experience

Strength of Ministers

15 to 18

Not fixed but mostly around 40 to 60


(Ideally, it should not be more than 15 per cent of the Lok Sabha strength)

Categories

Important ministries under Central Government are Home Affairs, Finance, Defence, Health, Education, Road Transport and Highways, and External Affairs.

Cabinet Ministers: Senior ministers in charge of major ministries


Ministers of State: Take charge of smaller ministries. However, they still work under the guidance and supervision of the Cabinet Ministers


Deputy Ministers: They do not get any independent charge. They assist the Cabinet Ministers.

Frequency of Meetings

Frequently

Rarely

Decision making

- Decides and develops new policies

- Coordinates and supervises the implementation

Implements the policies developed by Cabinet Ministers

Although there is a difference between the Cabinet and Council of Ministers, both support the Prime Minister in suggesting improved methods and work towards developing and implementing improved policies.

Council of Ministers

The highest governing body of the Indian government is the Union Council of Ministers. The council is tasked with governing the country and providing advice to the president of India. The leaders of each executive government ministry sit on it, which is presided over by the prime minister. The council currently has 29 members, including the prime minister, and is presided over by Narendra Modi, the current prime minister. The Indian Parliament has jurisdiction over the council.

The Council of Ministers works together to effectively respond to new challenges and the unique needs of modern India. The President of India appoints the Council of Ministers as advised by the Prime Minister. Articles 74 and 75 provide detailed information on the provisions associated with the Council of Ministers.

What is Cabinet Minister?

A cabinet minister is a minister of the executive of a government that has been nominated to the cabinet, which is made up of the prime minister's top advisers, counselors to the prime minister, and overseers of other government departments. The top decision-making body in India is a smaller executive body known as the Union Cabinet, which is a subset of the Union Council of Ministers and includes individuals holding significant portfolios and ministries.

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FAQs on Difference Between Cabinet and Council of Ministers

  • The difference between the Cabinet and the Council of Ministers is that the former are senior ministers and are primarily responsible for developing policies. They are part of the Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers also consists of Deputy Ministers who assist the Cabinet Ministers and Ministers of State in charge of small independent ministries.

  • There is a stark difference between the Cabinet and the Council of Ministers in terms of strength. There are 15 to 18 members of the Cabinet Ministers, while there are 40 to 60 members in the Council of Ministers.

  • No, the Cabinet and Council of Ministers are two different things. The council of ministers is a union and constitutional body whose subset is the Cabinet Ministers.

  • A cabinet minister is a minister of the executive branch of a nation's government who has been nominated to the cabinet, which is made up of the prime minister's top advisers, counselors to the prime minister, and overseers of other government departments.

  • The Cabinet was designated as a constitutional body following the passage of the Constitutional Amendment Act of 1978, generally known as the 44th Amendment. In Article 352(3), it is stated that "the President shall not make a proclamation unless the Union Cabinet conveys to him in writing that such a proclamation may be issued." This is the only place in the Indian Constitution where the word "Cabinet" is used.

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