Functions and Powers of the Prime Minister
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Functions and Powers of the Prime Minister

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Polity

Functions and Powers of the Prime Minister

In the constitution of India, there are no special provisions specified to choose a Prime Minister of India. Article 75 of the Indian Constitution envisages that there will be a Prime Minister of India who shall be appointed by the President. Prime Minister is the leader of the Cabinet Ministers. The main executive powers of the government are vested in the Prime Minister while the President is the nominal head of the State. Therefore, The President is the head of the State whereas the Prime Minister is the head of the Government.

Functions and Powers of the Prime Minister

Prime Minister (PM):

  1. He is “primus inter pares”(first among equals). It means though all cabinet ministers have an equal position he is the head of the Council of Ministers(CoM).
  2. If Prime Minister resigns or dies, the whole Council of Ministers collapses.

Appointment of PM:

Art. 75(1):

The Prime Minister shall be appointed by the President and the other ministries shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.

The leader of the majority party or the leader of the coalition of parties who commands a majority in the Lok Sabha forms the government.

Qualification:

He should be qualified to get elected to the Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha.

Term of office:

Once appointed, Prime Minister continues to hold office till he enjoys the support of a majority in the Lok Sabha. If he loses the support then he resigns.

So, the term is not fixed but the maximum limit is 5 years, which is a term of a  Lok Sabha.

   Note: Prime Minister is eligible for re-election any number of times.

Powers and functions of PM:

  • In relation to the Council of Ministers
  • In relation to Parliament
  • In relation to the President

In relation to the Council of Ministers:

  1. The President can appoint only those persons as ministers who are recommended by the PM.
  2. Allocation of Portfolios
  3. Reshuffling of the Cabinet.
  4. Coordination of Administration.
  5. He can ask a minister to resign or advise the President to dismiss him in case of different opinion.
  6. He presides over the meetings of CoM and influences its decisions.
  7.   He is the head of the government,he guides, instructs, encourages, advises, and warns his ministers.
  8.   If he resigns or dies, the whole CoM collapses.
  9.   He controls foreign policy and the appointment of diplomatic missions.
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In relation to Parliament:

  1. PM is the leader of the lower house i.e. Lok Sabha.
  2. He advises the President with regard to summoning and proroguing of the sessions of the Parliament.
  3. He can ask President for the dissolution of the Lok Sabha at any time.
  4. He announces government policies on the floor of the house and sometimes also comes to the rescue of his colleagues.
  5. Under his guidance, time table of each session is drawn and new bills are drafted and moved in the Parliament.

In relation to President:

  1. Art. 53(1) and Art. 74 tells that even though the Constitution vests the executive power in the President, he has to exercise it on the advice of CoM. He is bound by their advice.
  2. Art. 78 tells the duties of PM to furnish the required information to the President. 

    Note: PM acts as the connecting link between the President and Cabinet.

Art. 78:

It shall be the duty of the Prime Minister-

  1. To communicate to the President all decisions of the CoM relating to the administration of the affairs of the Union and proposals for legislations
  2. To furnish such information relating to the administration of the affairs of the Union and proposals for legislation as the President may call for
  3. If the President so requires, to submit for the consideration of the CoM any matter on which the decision has been taken by a Minister but which has not been considered by the Council.

Relevant Links -

Indian Polity and Governance: a complete study material pdf

Polity Top 50 MCQs: Questions with Detailed Explanation: UPSC/HCS Exam Preparation

Polity Notes about The President of India: Articles 52-62

HCS Study Material: Indian Polity Notes for HCS Exam

Vice President of India Article 63-71: Frontier IAS

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