Difference Between Cabinet and Council of Ministers

By Shivank Goel|Updated : February 2nd, 2023

The most important Difference Between Cabinet and 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 the power to decide the Council of Ministers under his governance.

Difference Between Cabinet and Council of Ministers PDF

Cabinet Ministers are a segment of the Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers consists of Cabinet Ministers, Ministers of State, and Deputy Ministers. Cabinet Ministers are senior with the most knowledge and experience, while the Council of Ministers is junior with less experience. There is a few important elemental difference between Cabinet and Council of Ministers, which are provided below.

Table of Content

Difference between Cabinet and Council of Ministers

Below, the difference between Cabinet and Council of Ministers is given in a tabulated form for your reference. Although there is a difference between the Cabinet and Council of Ministers, both support the Prime Minister in suggesting improved methods and working towards developing and implementing improved policies.

Below is a tabular representation of the difference between Council of Ministers and Cabinet based on factors like level of seniority, the strength of members, decision-making role, and the number of meetings they conduct.

Cabinet and Council of Ministers

Cabinet vs Council of Ministers

Basis

Cabinet Minister

Council of Ministers

Level of Seniority

Cabinet Ministers meaning is that these are senior ministers with the most experience and influence.

Junior ministers with less experience.

Type of Body

It was granted a constitutional body status after the enactment of the 44th Amendment or Constitutional Amendment Act of 1978.

It is regarded as a constitutional body.

Strength of Ministers

15 to 18

Not fixed but mostly around 40 to 60

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

Categories

Important ministries under Central Government are Home Affairs, Finance, Defense, 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

Cabinet Minister and Council of Ministers

The Council of State is also referred to as a cabinet. Council of Ministers is a conventional title assigned to the supreme executive organ in some countries. It is usually comparable to the cabinet. The distinct functions and responsibilities of the Council of Ministers and Cabinet Minister in India are mentioned below.

Who are Council of Ministers?

The highest governing body of the Indian government is the Union Council of Ministers. The council governs the country and advises 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.
  • Article 74 and Article 75 provide detailed information on the provisions associated with the Council of Ministers.

> Read: Prime Minister and Council of Ministers

Who is Cabinet Minister?

A cabinet minister is a minister of the executive of a government that has been nominated to the cabinet, which comprises the prime minister's top advisers, counsellors 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, a subset of the Union Council of Ministers and includes individuals holding significant portfolios and ministries.

Summary:

Key Difference between Cabinet and Council of Ministers

The key Difference Between Cabinet and Council of Ministers is that a cabinet minister is a minister of the executive of a government-appointed to the cabinet. Whereas the Council of Ministers is the highest governing body of the Indian government, which is responsible to advise the President.

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

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

  • 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.
  • There is a stark difference between Cabinet and 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.

  • Jawaharlal Nehru was the first cabinet minister of India who took charge of the position on 15 August 1947 and picked 15 other members for his cabinet. Vallabhbhai Patel functioned as the first Deputy Prime Minister until his demise on 15 December 1950.

  • The difference between Cabinet and Council of Ministers appointment is that the Chief Minister is designated by the Governor of India, who selects other Council of ministers after taking recommendations from the Chief Minister. The cabinet minister is appointed by the President.

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