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UPSC Prelims 2022

Council of Ministers - UPSC Prelims 2022 Question

Prelims General Studies Paper - 1

May 14, 2023

2 min read



Consider the following statements:


1. The Constitution of India classifies the ministers into four ranks viz. Cabinet Minister, Minister of State with Independent Charge, Minister of State and Deputy Minister.
2. The total number of ministers in the Union Government, including the Prime Minister, shall not exceed 15 percent of the total number of members in the Lok Sabha.




Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both 1 and 2
D. Neither 1 nor 2




The correct answer is B. 2 only


The Council of Ministers in India comprises three categories of ministers: Cabinet Ministers, Ministers of State, and Deputy Ministers. While the Constitution does not explicitly mention the size and classification of the Council of Ministers, its three-tier structure is based on the conventions of parliamentary government developed in Britain. However, this classification has received legislative validation through the Salaries and Allowances Act of 1952. According to this act, a 'minister' is defined as a 'member of the council of ministers, by whatever name called, and includes a deputy minister'.


In order to regulate the size of the Council of Ministers, the 91st Constitutional Amendment Act of 2003 introduced provisions. As per these provisions, the total number of ministers, including the Prime Minister, in the Central Council of Ministers cannot exceed 15 percent of the total strength of the Lok Sabha.


This amendment was made to bring about greater efficiency and accountability in the functioning of the Council of Ministers. By setting a limit on the size of the Council, it aims to prevent unwarranted expansion and ensure that the Council remains focused and effective in its decision-making processes.


The constitutional provision to limit the size of the Council of Ministers reflects the principles of good governance and the need for responsible administration. It encourages the formation of a compact and competent team of ministers who can efficiently address the needs and aspirations of the nation.

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