Prime Minister of India
The Prime Minister of India is referred to as the executive leader of the government of India. He is also the senior-most member of the cabinet. The Prime Minister has the real power of the cabinet as well as the central government of India.
Key Points Prime Minister of India
1. Role and Powers:
- The Prime Minister is the chief executive of India and the head of government.
- Although the office of the Prime Minister is not explicitly mentioned in the Indian Constitution, it is recognized by convention.
- The Prime Minister is appointed by the President of India and is usually the leader of the political party or coalition with the majority of seats in the Lok Sabha (the lower house of Parliament).
- The Prime Minister’s tenure is not fixed in the Constitution but depends on their ability to maintain the support of the majority in the Lok Sabha.
- A Prime Minister can serve for as long as they have the confidence of the majority of the members in the Lok Sabha.
3. Roles and Functions:
- Running the government and implementing policies into effect are the responsibilities of the prime minister.
- They represent India on the international stage and handle foreign affairs.
- The Prime Minister is the head of the Council of Ministers and presides over its meetings.
- They advise the President on the appointment and dismissal of various government officials.
4. Council of Ministers:
- The Prime Minister forms the Council of Ministers, which includes Cabinet Ministers, Ministers of State, and Deputy Ministers, to assist in the administration of the country.
5. Key Qualifications:
- To be eligible for the position of Prime Minister, a person must be a citizen of India, should be at least 25 years old (Lok Sabha member) or 30 years old (Rajya Sabha member), and should not hold any office of profit under the Government of India or any State Government.
6. Important Prime Ministers:
- India has had several Prime Ministers since gaining independence in 1947. Some of the notable ones include Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and Narendra Modi.
7. Crisis Situations:
- In times of national emergencies, the Prime Minister plays a crucial role in decision-making and crisis management.
8. Resignation and Removal:
- The Prime Minister can resign by submitting their resignation to the President.
- They can also be removed through a vote of no confidence in the Lok Sabha.
- The Prime Ministerial candidate is not directly elected by the people but is selected by the political party or coalition that wins the majority in the Lok Sabha elections.
10. Importance in IAS Exams: – Questions related to the role, powers, and functions of the Prime Minister of India can appear in various papers of the UPSC or IAS exam, including General Studies, Indian Polity, and Current Affairs.
According to Great Britain, India’s government is parliamentary. According to the characteristics of such a system of government, the real power is vested in the cabinet. The Prime Minister is the head of this cabinet.
In the Republic of India, although the President is the constitutional head of the country, the omnipotence in running the country rests with the Prime Minister. The President appoints the leader of the majority party in the Lok Sabha with the recommendation of the Prime Minister. Generally, one cannot become the Prime Minister without being a member of any house of Parliament. However, A person can be the Prime Minister without being a Member of Parliament, but in this case, he has to become a Member of Parliament within six months. Otherwise, there is a provision to remove him from the post of Prime Minister immediately. The term of office of the Prime Minister is five years. During this time he serves as the leader of the Lok Sabha.
The actual governing power of India is vested in the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, although all powers of the Government of India are vested in the President. One of the responsibilities and duties of the Prime Minister is to form the cabinet, lead the cabinet, advise the President, distribute portfolios among the ministers, formulate the agenda of the cabinet and maintain coordination among the various departments. The Prime Minister decides which minister will run which department.
The Prime Minister is the link between the Union Cabinet and the President. According to the Indian Constitution, the Prime Minister informs the President of all important decisions of the Union Cabinet and the Prime Minister is obliged to inform him if the President wants to know about any matter.
Professor J.C. Johari has described the current situation of influence of the Prime Minister of India is “Presidentialisation of the Prime Minister’s Office.”
According to Article 74 (1) of the Constitution of India, to assist and advise the President in carrying out his functions, there shall be a Cabinet with the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is the head of that cabinet.
Pursuant to Article 75 (1) of the Constitution, the President appoints the prime minister. The President appoints other Ministers also on the advice of the Prime Minister.
Usually, the majority party leader in the Lok Sabha has to be chosen as the Prime Minister.
In this way, more than one prime minister has been appointed. Examples are Charan Singh (1979), V.P. Singh (1989), Chandrasekhar (1990), Narasimha Rao (1991), Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1996), Devgaura (1996), i. K Gujral (1997) and again Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1998).
Note: It is pertinent to mention that the candidate for the post of Prime Minister does not have to prove his majority in the Lok Sabha before being appointed. In 1980, the Delhi High Court explained the matter. The president might first appoint the prime minister and then ask him to prove his majority in the legislature within a given time.
Term of Prime Minister of India
The term of the Prime Minister is 5 years. According to the constitution, the president appoints the prime minister. But this power of the President is only formal. The Prime Minister convenes the Cabinet with the President (Article 78). However, the term of office of the Prime Minister can be increased from 5 years to 6 years during a state of emergency.
Recruitment, Eligibility, Salary of the Prime Minister.
Recruitment: The President appoints the Prime Minister. However, the leader of the majority party in the Lok Sabha usually becomes the Prime Minister.
- Must be a citizen of India.
- Must be a Member of Parliament.
- Must be 25 years old (for a member of Lok Sabha)
- Must be 30 years old (for a member of Rajya Sabha)
- He must not hold any office of profit under the government of India or state govt.
Note: However, the prime minister can remain for six months without being a member of parliament.
The post of Prime Minister could be vacant for the following reasons:
- Death of Prime Minister
- No confidence in the legislature
- If the Lok Sabha has already been dissolved.
Salary: The salary of the Prime Minister of India is Rs. 280,000. He also enjoys benefits from other allowances.
Powers and functions of the Prime Minister of India
The powers and functions of the Prime Minister depended on the relationship with the President, the Cabinet, the Parliament, its majority party and the people of India.
- Chief Executive: The Prime Minister is the chief executive of India. They are responsible for running the government and ensuring that laws and policies are implemented effectively.
- Leader of the Council of Ministers: The Prime Minister is the head of the Council of Ministers and presides over its meetings. They coordinate the work of various ministries and departments.
- Cabinet Head: The Prime Minister appoints Cabinet Ministers and allocates portfolios to them. They also lead the Cabinet meetings, where important policy decisions are made.
- Head: The Prime Minister becomes the Chairman of inter-state relations between the states and the center. He is also the Chairman of the Planning Commission, Niti Ayog.
- Adviser to the President: The Prime Minister advises the President of India on various matters, including the appointment and dismissal of key government officials, the declaration of emergencies, and other significant issues.
- Foreign Affairs: The Prime Minister plays a crucial role in shaping India’s foreign policy. They represent the country on the international stage and engage in diplomatic relations with other nations.
- Leader of the Majority Party or Coalition: The Prime Minister is usually the leader of the political party or coalition with the majority of seats in the Lok Sabha (the lower house of Parliament). They are invited by the President to form the government.
- Policy Formulation: The Prime Minister is involved in the formulation of policies and programs for the country. They work with various ministries to develop and implement the government’s agenda.
- Crisis Management: During times of national emergencies, such as natural disasters or security threats, the Prime Minister takes a lead role in managing the crisis and making critical decisions.
- Parliamentary Leader: The Prime Minister is a member of the Lok Sabha and represents their constituency. They participate in parliamentary debates, answer questions, and present government policies.
- Resignation and Dissolution of the Lok Sabha: The Prime Minister can submit their resignation to the President if they no longer have the majority’s support in the Lok Sabha. They can also advise the President to dissolve the Lok Sabha and call for fresh elections.
- Crisis Decision-Making: In situations of war or other major crises, the Prime Minister is at the forefront of decision-making. They consult with the President, the Cabinet, and the defense establishment to formulate a response.
- Appointments and Recommendations: The Prime Minister makes recommendations for the appointment of key officials, such as the Chief Justice of India, judges of the Supreme Court, and the Election Commission members.
- Representation at International Forums: The Prime Minister represents India at international forums, such as the United Nations, G20, and other global gatherings, and advocates for India’s interests and positions.
There are three types of ministers under the Prime Minister:
- Cabinet Ministers.
- Ministers of State (Independent Charge)
- Ministers of State.
These three ministers are collectively called the Union Cabinet.
Note: It’s important to note that while the Prime Minister holds significant powers and functions, they must work in conjunction with the President, who is the constitutional head of state, and the Cabinet, which comprises other ministers responsible for specific portfolios. Additionally, the Prime Minister’s authority is contingent on maintaining the support of the majority in the Lok Sabha.
Articles Related to Prime Minister
|Article 74||Council of Ministers to Aid and Advise the President|
|Article 75||Appointment of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers|
|Article 78||Duties of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers|
Pursuant to Article 75 (3), the Union Cabinet is jointly responsible to the Legislature.
Pursuant to Article 75 (2), the Union Cabinet is jointly responsible to the Prime Minister.
The 39th Amendment to the Constitution (in 1975) states that Parliament shall set up a body to resolve disputes over the election of the Prime Minister and the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.
There is not much information mentioned in the constitution about the power and function of PM in India.
Dismissal of Prime Minister of India
- In order to dismiss the Prime Minister from his post, a motion of non-confidence should be brought in the Lok Sabha by the opposition.
- In that motion of no confidence, the signature of 2/3 part of the members of the parliament is mandatory.
- When the no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister was passed in the Lok Sabha, subject to the President’s permission, the entire Cabinet was dissolved with the Prime Minister.
Info on Indian Prime Ministers
Who has been India’s longest-serving Prime Minister?
Answer: Jawaharlal Nehru, who was the prime minister from 1947 to 1964
Who has been India’s second longest-serving Prime Minister?
Answer: Indira Gandhi, who was the first woman Prime Minister to receive the Bharat Ratna in 1971
Who has been the Youngest Indian Prime Minister?
Answer: Rajiv Gandhi at the age of 40
Pakistan’s highest civilian award was given to India’s Prime Minister.
Answer: Morarji Desai was awarded the Nishan-e-Pakistan on 19 May 1990.
Who acted twice as Prime Minister?
Answer: Gulzarilal Nanda (4 July 1898 – 15 January 1998)
List of Prime Ministers in India
|Jawaharlal Nehru||15/7/1947 to 27/5/1964|
(Died on 27th May 1964)
|Indian National Congress|
|Sri Guljarilal Nanda||27/5/1964 to 9/6/1964||Indian National Congress|
|Sri Lal Bahadur Sastri||9/6/1964 to 11/1/1966|
He died on 11/1/1966 at Taskhand
|Indian National Congress|
|Sri Guljarilal Nanda||11/1/1966 to 24/1/1966||Indian National Congress|
|Smt Indira Gandhi||24/1/1966 to 24/3/1977||Indian National Congress|
|Sri Morarji Desai||24/3/1977 to 28/3/1979||Janata Party|
|Sri Charan Singh||24/7/1977 to 14/1/1980||Janata Party|
|Smt Indira Gandhi||14/1/1980 to 31/10/1984|
She died on 31/10/1984
|Indian National Congress|
|Sri Rajiv Gandhi||31/10/1984 to 1/12/1989||Indian National Congress|
|Sri Biswanath Pratap Sing||2/12/1989 to 10/11/1990||Janata Dal|
|Sri Chandra Shekhar||10/11/1990 to 21/6/1991||Samajwadi Janata Party|
|Sri P.V Narasimha rao||21/6/1991 to 16/5/1996||Indian National Congress|
|Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee||16/5/1996 to 7/6/1996||Bharatiya Janata Party|
|Sri H. D. Devgoura||7/6/1996 to 20/4/1997||Janata Dal|
|Sri I. K Gujral||21/4/1997 to 18/4/1998||Janata Dal|
|Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee||19/4/1998 to 22/5/2004||Bharatiya Janata Party|
|Dr. Manmohan Singh||22/5/2004 to 25/5/2014||Indian National Congress|
|Sri Narendra Modi||26/5/2014 to now|
14th PM of India
|Bharatiya Janata Party|
FAQs Prime Minister of India
Prime Minister: Sample UPSC Questions
Discuss the powers and functions of the Prime Minister of India. How does the Prime Minister contribute to the effective functioning of the government and the formulation of policies? [General Studies Paper II]
“The Prime Minister of India is often referred to as the ‘first among equals’ in the Council of Ministers.” Explain this statement in the context of the Indian parliamentary system. Also, discuss the significance of collective responsibility. [General Studies Paper II]
In a parliamentary democracy like India, what are the mechanisms through which the Prime Minister is held accountable to the legislature and the people? Analyze the role of the Lok Sabha in ensuring accountability. [General Studies Paper II]
Evaluate the role of the Prime Minister of India in shaping the country’s foreign policy. Discuss the challenges and opportunities faced by the Prime Minister in conducting diplomacy and representing India on the international stage. [General Studies Paper III]
Which of the following articles in the Indian Constitution deals with the appointment of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers?
[C] Article 75
In the Indian parliamentary system, the Prime Minister is primarily responsible to which of the following bodies?
[B] The Lok Sabha (House of the People)
Which of the following articles in the Indian Constitution deals with the duties of the Prime Minister to communicate with the President?
[A] Article 74
Who appoints the Prime Minister of India?
[D] The President of India
In the Indian context, what does the term “collective responsibility” mean in relation to the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers?
[C] All ministers, including the Prime Minister, are collectively responsible for government decisions.
Prime Minister of India – an important note for any competitive govt job exams such as IAS, UPSC, Banking, Railway, WBCS, etc. Dear Aspirants, if you are preparing for a competitive exam, this note is definitely going to be helpful for you.