Students of ICSE Class 10 should refer to The Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers ICSE Class 10 Questions and answers below which have come in past board exams. You should always go through questions which have come in previous years so that you can understand the pattern of questions in ICSE Class 10 History and prepare accordingly. This will help you to get better marks in ICSE Class 10 Board Exams
ICSE Class 10 The Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers Questions and Answers
Please refer to solved questions for chapter The Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers provided below. These questions and answers are expected to come in the examinations. Students should learn these so that they are able to answer the questions properly in exams and get good marks. Refer to Important Questions for ICSE Class 10 History and Civics for all chapters on our website.
The Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers Questions and Answers
Short Answer Type Questions
(1) What is cabinet system ?
Ans. The Council of Ministers assume a full joint responsibility for all the acts carried out in the name of the President. This is called the Cabinet system. The President shall not issue a Proclamation of Emergency unless a decision of the Cabinet has been communicated to him in writing.
(2) State any two features of the Cabinet System?
Ans. (i) President as the Constitutional Head of the state : The real power is with the Council of Ministers (Cabinet), headed by the Prime Minister.
(ii) Prime Minister as the Head of the Government : The Prime Minister is the Leader of the majority party in the Parliament (i.e., The Lok Sabha). After the general elections, he is invited by the President to become the Prime Minister and form his Council of Ministers (Cabinet).
(3) Ministers are legislators as well as administrators. Justify the statement.
Ans. There is a fusion of legislative and executive powers for the ministers. When Cabinet Ministers sit in the Parliament as M.P.s and enact laws, they exercise the legislative powers. When the same M.P., after he becomes a minister, sits in the secretariat of his ministry, he exercises the executive powers. As an executive head of a Ministry, the Ministers are responsible to the Lok Sabha. This is because in our Parliamentary set-up, the executive is drawn out of the legislature.
(4) Decribe the term Portfolio System?
Ans. Each minister is allotted, by the President, a particular department on the advice of the Prime Minister. No minister can interfere in the department of another minister, except the Prime Minister.
(5) What do you mean by the Cabinet?
Ans. The Cabinet is the core group of 15 to 18 seniormost Ministers, whom the Prime Minister consults regularly. The Cabinet formulates the polices of the government, directs their implementation and is also accountable for them. This all is done formally in the name of the President.
(6) Under what circumstances, can the President, use his discretion in appointing the Prime Minister?
Ans. When no single party gets a clear majority in the Lok Sabha, then the President exercises his discretion in the appointment of the Prime Minister.
(7) How do you distinguish between the Cabinet and the Council of Ministers?
(8) Mention the categories of Ministers in the Council of Ministers.
Ans. The categories of Ministers are :
(a) The Cabinet Ministers.
(b) Ministers of State.
(c) Deputy Ministers.
(9) Explain the term joint / collective responsibility briefly.
Ans. The Council of Ministers is jointly or collectively responsible to the Parliament. Once they have reached a decision after full discussion in the meeting under Prime Minister’s Chairmanship, all the Ministers must defend it inside the Parliament and in the public. If No Confidence Motion is passed against any one minister, all have to resign.
(10) What should be the ideal size of the Council of Minister at the Centre and States ?
Ans. The Constitution (91st amendment) Act, 2003, has put a ceiling on the size of the Council of Ministers at the Centre and in the States to 15 per cent of the strength of the Lok Sabha and State Legislatures. In the case of smaller States, the maximum number of ministers allowed is 12.
(11) What is the criterion for a non-parliamentary member to become a minister ?
Ans. Normally, only the members of Parliament are appointed as Ministers. In case a non-member is appointed as a Minister, he must be elected or nominated to the Parliament within six months from the date of his appointment. Failing this, he will have to resign from the post of a Minister.
(12) What is the role of the Prime Minister in relation to the President?
Ans. The President is the nominal head and Prime Minister the real executive of Indian Union.
(i) The Prime Minister is the only line of communication between the Cabinet and the President.
(ii) The Prime Minister advises the President to summon and prorogue the Parliament, to dissolve the Lok Sabha.
(iii) The Prime Minister advises the President on the appointment of judges of Supreme Court, the Governors and Ambassadors.
(13) How does the Prime Minister lead his Cabinet?
Ans. He leads the Cabinet as follows :
(i) Chairman of the Council of Ministers : The Prime Minister calls the meetings of the Council of Ministers, The Prime Minister concludes the discussion and gives his decision. This decision is considered as the decision of the whole Cabinet/Council of Ministers. All are bound by this decision.
(ii) Co-ordinates various Departments : The Prime Minister collaborates the functioning of all ministries for overall administration of the nations.
(14) What is the role of the Prime Minister in managing the foreign affairs?
Ans. There is a minister of foreign affairs, yet the Prime Minister has a significant role in these matters, as noted below:
(i) The Prime Minister represents India in international conferences. He may commit India to certain decisions in the above conferences and conclude Treaties or Agreements.
(ii) He is the chief architect and spokes person of India’s foreign policy.
(15) Do you agree that the Prime Minister is a direct choice of the nation? Why?
Ans. The Prime Minister is the acknowledged leader of the nation as a whole. At the time of general elections, it is for or against the Prime-ministerial candidate that the entire electorate in the country votes. Though he/she is contesting from a particular constituency. Thus, we can say that in a practical sense, the election of the Prime Minister is the direct choice.
(16) Give instances wherein Prime Minister is projected as the leader of the nation.
Ans. (i) During a national crisis like war, even the opposition parties support the Prime Minister.
(ii) The Prime Minister tries to protect the interests of the country in international forums.
(iii) Planning Commission which formulates five-year plans to make effective use of the country’s resources is headed by the Prime Minister. He is the ex-officio Chairman of the Niti Ayog and the Atomic Energy Commission.
(17) Which factors determine the position of the Prime Minister ?
Ans. (i) Prime Minister is the keystone of the cabinet arch. He is the captain of his team. He is the pivot of the whole of the Cabinet system of the government.
(ii) The real position of the Prime Minister, however, depends upon his own position in his party, and his party’s position in the Lok Sabha.
(iii) If the Prime Minister is a person of commanding personality he will certainly be able to enhance the status, prestige and authority of his chair.
(18) How is the authority of the Prime Minister kept under check ?
Ans. (i) Presence of the opposition in the Parliament with its leader keeps him under check.
(ii) A free and well established press and other agencies of mass-media keep a watch on him. Thus he needs to keep the public opinion in his favour.
(iii) In a coalition government, the political partners also keep him under check.
(iv) His own party members and the constituency from where he elected are also watchful of his conduct.
(19) How is the Prime Minister appointed ?
Ans. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President. The President invites only that person to be the Prime Minister, who is the leader of the majority party in the Lok Sabha. But when no single party gets a majority, the President may invite the leader of a combination of parties capable of constituting a majority in the Lok Sabha.
(20) Who is the head of the Union Council of Ministers? What is his term of office?
Ans. Prime Minister is the head of the Council of Ministers. His term of office is five years, but he has to resign if No-Confidence motion is passed against his government.
(21) Mention two ways in which the Constitution ensures the pre-eminent position of the Prime Minister in relation to his Council of Ministers.
Ans. (i) The Prime Minister chooses the Ministers and has the power to dismiss them.
(ii) He can also reshuffle his Council of Ministers whenever he pleases.
(22) How is the Prime Minister a link between the Council of Ministers and the President?
Ans. Prime Minister informs the President about the decisions of the Cabinet. Ministers cannot discuss any matter of national policy directly with the President. It is on the advice of the Prime Minister that the President summons and prorogues the Parliament.
(23) What ensures Prime Minister’s unique position in the Parliament ? Mention any two points.
Ans. (i) Leader of the Lok Sabha : Prime Minister is the leader of the majority party in Parliament, so he is said to be the leader of the House. (ii) Spokesperson of the Government: He makes all the important announcements on national policies on the floor of the House.
(24) Mention two important functions of the Prime Minister.
Ans. (i) Selection and dismissal of Ministers. (ii) Presiding Officer of the Cabinet meetings.
(25) To which institutions does the Prime Minister serve as an exofficio head ?
Ans. The Prime Minister is the exofficio chairman of Niti Ayog and Atomic energy Commission.
(26) What is the profile of Council of Ministers which fall in different catagories?
Ans. (i) Cabinet Ministers : They are the most important members of the Council of Ministers. They hold the charge of the most important portfolios like Defence, Home, Finance, Foreign Affairs, etc. They are, normally, 20 in number and are collectively termed as the Cabinet.
(ii) Ministers of State : They are the juniors of the Cabinet ministers. They may or may not be given an independent charge of the departments.
(iii) Deputy Ministers : They supervise the work assigned to them by their ministers and submit the report regarding their work to the ministers. They do not take part in the Cabinet deliberations.
(27) How does the cabinet exercise control over the national finances.
Ans. The Cabinet exercises complete control on national income and expenditure. It introduces the Money Bills and the Budget in the Lok Sabha. They are disclosed orally on the day the Finance Minister is to make his Budget speech in the Parliament. The detailed taxation proposal are however shown to the Prime Minister before they are presented in the Parliament.
(28) State the legislative functions of the Cabinet?
Ans. (i) The sessions of the Parliament is summoned by the President on the advice of the Cabinet.
(ii) The special address that the President delivers to the Parliament is prepared by the Cabinet and the President simply reads it.
(iii) The Cabinet gets the bills drafted.
(iv) The President issues ordinances at the instance of the Cabinet.
(29) Discuss the role of the Cabinet in a Parliamentary system.
Ans. Of late, the Cabinet’s position has increased immensely. Firstly, because the government has to do a lot of work for welfare, social and economic advancement. Secondly, because it has to maintain internal and external security, and meet threats to unity and integrity of India. Thirdly, because it has to cope with the world community in all respects. So its powers and role have increased manifold.
(30) Is there any provision for having a Deputy Prime Minister ? Mention precedents, if any.
Ans. The post of Deputy Prime Minister depends upon the political convenience of the Prime Minister. Sardar Patel was the Deputy Prime Minister in Nehru’s Cabinet, Morarji Desai was Deputy Prime Minister in Indira Gandhi’s Cabinet in 1967, L.K. Advani was the Deputy Prime Minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Cabinet.
(31) What is the term of the office of the Council of Ministers/Cabinet?
Ans. The term of the office of the Council of Ministers is 5 years, provided the Council enjoys the confidence of Lok Sabha.
(32) What is the extent of Cabinet’s control on proclamation of emergency in India ?
Ans. The President can proclaim emergency only on the advice of the Cabinet. So, it is the Cabinet which decides about the proclamation of any type of emergency and conveys it’s consent in writing.
(33) Mention two important powers or functions of the Cabinet.
Ans. (a) Formulation of policies. (b) Administration and implementation of policies and decisions.
(34) What do the Prime Minister and other Ministers affirm under :
(a) the Oath of Office.
(b) the Oath of Secrecy.
Ans. (a) Under the Oath of office they affirm :
(i) To bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India.
(ii) To uphold the sovereignty of India.
(iii) To faithfully discharge duties without fear or favour.
(b) Under oath of secrecy, Ministers affirm that they will not reveal to any person any matter which shall be brought under consideration as a Minister.
(35) What role does a Cabinet play in the formulation of policies of the Government? OR Mention any two important functions of the Union Cabinet.
Ans. The Cabinet formulates both external and domestic policies of the government. It takes decision in the matter of defence, security needs, economic policy, President’s rule in a State, formation of a new state, industrial policy, imports, etc.
(36) Give an example of the financial functions of the Cabinet.
Ans. The Cabinet is responsible for the expenditure of the government, for presenting the demand for grants and also for raising necessary income by various means including taxation.
(37) By whom and on whose advice is the Council of Ministers appointed? OR By whom and on whose advice are the Union Ministers appointed ?
Ans. The Council of Ministers is appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.
(38) What happens when amendments in Budgetary proposals are moved against the wishes of the Cabinet ?
Ans. Any amendment to the budget proposals against the wishes of the Cabinet that may be passed by the Lok Sabha amounts to a vote of No-Confidence in the Ministry. It happens only when the Ministry has lost the support of the majority in the Lok Sabha. In such a situation the Ministry must resign.
(39) Mention two methods which are adopted by the Parliament to control the executive.
Ans. (i) The Parliament can move a vote of No-confidence
(ii) The Parliament reserves the right to ask questions with regard to the policies of the Union Government.
(40) Under what circumstances does a minister own individual responsibility?
Ans. If a minister has taken a departmental decision independently in the best interests of the department, then he is individually responsible to the President and Prime Minister who can ask him to resign from his office.
(41) Can the Prime Minister use the dictatorial powers ? Give at least two reasons for your answer.
Ans. A Prime Minister can’t use dictatorial powers as there are many checks on his authority as given below :
(a) The opposition parties in the Parliament keep a constant check on Prime Minister’s power by methods of asking question and introducing various motions like – No Confidence Motion, Censure Motion.
(b) A free and well established press and other agencies of media keep a watch on him.
(42) What procedure must be followed if a motion of No-Confidence against the Council of Ministers is passed in the Union legislature?
Ans. If a motion of No-Confidence is passed, the Government has to resign and General elections are held.
(43) State the principles on which collective responsibility of the Minister is based?
Ans. The collective responsibility of the Minister is based on :
(i) All ministers are appointed to the Council by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.
(ii) A minister or ministers can continue till the Prime Minister wants him/them to continue. All Ministers jointly share the responsibility for the government’s policies and performances. If a vote of noconfidence is passed against the government or even a single minister in the Lok Sabha, then the whole ministerial team has to resign.
(44) What does individual responsibility of the minister imply?
Ans. The principle of ‘individual responsibility’ implies that each Minister is responsible for personal lapses, breach of oath of Secrecy, departure from the official policy or for the failures of his department. If such a thing happens, then the concerned Minister has to resign or he is dropped from the Council of Ministers ‘Individual Responsibility’ is that each Minister is answerable to the Parliament (Lok Sabha) for the department under his control.
(45) Does the Right of Interpellation control executive? How?
Ans. Each day of the session of the Parliament begins with the Question Hour. The right of asking questions is called interpellation. Through interpellation the Ministers are criticised for the flaws and failings of their policies and for lapses on their part. Thus the inefficiency of the government is brought to light. The debates take place on a resolution moved in the House but no debate is allowed during the; ‘Question Hour’ or ‘Half an Hour discussion’.
(46) Which motions can be introduced in the Parliment to control executive?
Ans. (i) Adjournment Motions : The real object of an adjournment motion is to “bring to light the inefficiency of the government in handling a particular situation and its failure in taking primitive action and also to draw attention to matters of public importance and ask for suitable action.
(ii) Censure Motion : The Ministers are acutely criticised for their short comings over taking policy decisions and executive action.
(iii) No Confidence Motion: If the Motion is carried, it implies loss of confidence and the Government has to resign.
(47) State the ways in which the Parlimentarians express opposition to the government.
Ans. (i) Rejection of a Government bill.
(ii) Passing a bill opposed by the Government.
(iii) Voting a cut in the Budget.
(iv) Passing an amendment to a bill against the wishes of the Government.
(v) Reducing the salaries of the ministers.
(vi) Rejecting some Government measures.
(vii) Asking questions and passing Adjournment motion.
(48) State the significance of the Primeminister’s position in the cabinet?
Ans. The Prime Minister forms the Council of Ministers and distributes portfolios among them. He can also remove a minister. The Prime Minister informs the President about the decisions of the cabinet. Minister can not discuss any matter of national policy directly with the President.
(1) Discuss the powers and position of the Prime Minister in relation to :
(a) The President.
(b) The Parliament.
(c) The Nation
Ans. (a) (i) The Prime Minister is the channel of communication between the Cabinet and the President. He conveys Cabinet’s decisions to the President, and keeps him informed of all matters of the government, national or foreign.
(ii) The Prime Minister advises the President to summon and prorogue the sessions of the Parliament, and to dissolve the Lok Sabha.
(iii) The Prime Minister advises the President in appointing or removing the High officials such as Judges of Supreme court, ambassadors, governors etc.
(b) (i) The Prime Minister is the leader of the Lok Sabha, and in this capacity his position is unique.
(ii) The Prime Minister is the chief spokesman and the defender of the Government in the Parliament. When a Minister is under attack from the Opposition, he comes to his rescue.
(iii) The Prime Minister makes all important announcements of the government policies on the floor of the House.
(iv) The Prime Minister makes a concluding speech on all matters of discussion and debate in the House.
(v) The Prime Minister defends his government on a motion of noconfidence in the House. He makes the final-speech, before voting takes place on a motion of no-confidence in the Lok Sabha.
(vi) The Prime Minister intervenes, and usually succeeds in bringing the order in the House, when an ugly situation is created by some MPs.
(c) (i) The Prime Minister represents the nation. When he speaks, the whole nation is supposed to be speaking through him.
(ii) During a national crisis like war, even the opposition parties support the Prime Minister.
(iii) The Prime Minister decides what kind of relations India would have with other countries.
(iv) The Prime Minister tries to protect the interests of the country in international forums. He discusses matters of mutual interest with other leaders, keeping the interests of India in mind.
(v) At the time of General Election, it is the proposed Prime Minister for whom or against whom the people vote.
(vi) The Prime Minister is also the ex-officio Chairman of the Niti Aayog and the Atomic Energy Commission.
(2) Bring out the distinction between the Council of Ministers and the Cabinet.
(3) Regarding the organisation of the Council of Ministers, discuss the following :
(a) Categories of Ministers.
(b) Term of the Prime Minister and other Ministers.
(c) “Prime Minister is the captain of the ship of the State.” Discuss this statement with regard to the Prime Minister’s relation with the Cabinet.
Ans. (a) The Council of Ministers comprise the Prime Minister selected by the President and a number of other ministers appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.
(i) Cabinet Ministers : They are the most important members of the Council of Ministers. They hold important portfolios, like Home, Defence, Finance, External Affairs, Railways, etc. A Cabinet Minister is in charge of a Ministry and some times of more than one Ministry. Only Cabinet Ministers have a right to attend meetings of the Cabinet. They together determine the policy and programme of the Government.
(ii) Ministers of State : They are the second category of Ministers. They may or may not hold an independent charge of any portfolio. The Prime Minister may or may not consult them. They do not participate in the Cabinet meetings. But they may be invited to attend meetings when matters concerning their departments are being considered.
(iii) Deputy Ministers : They are the third category of Ministers who assist the Cabinet Ministers and the Council of Ministers. They are junior ministers and are placed under senior ministers whom they have to assist. They take no part in Cabinet deliberations.
(b) The term of Council of Ministers is equal to the term of the Lok Sabha i.e. five years. In fact, the Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha. It remains in power so long as it enjoys the support of the majority in the Lok Sabha. The President cannot dismiss a Prime Minister as long as he enjoys the support of the majority. The Prime Minister has the power through President to dismiss a Minister.”
(c) In relation to the Cabinet or the Council of Ministers, the Prime Minister possesses the following powers :
(i) He forms the Council of Ministers and distributes portfolios.
(ii) The Prime Minister can remove a Minister from the Council of Ministers by asking him to give his resignation from it. He can reallocate portfolios.
(iii) The Prime Minister summons the meetings of the Council of Ministers, and presides over them. After open discussion in the Cabinet, the Prime Minister concludes the discussion and gives his decision. This decision is considered as the decision of the whole Cabinet / Council of Ministers. Under the principle of Collective Responsibility, all are bound by this decision.
(iv) The Prime Minister has the power to coordinate the policies and the working of the different departments of the government.
(4) Discuss Cabinet responsibility with regard to :
(a) Legislative Powers
(b) Financial Powers.
(c) Emergency Powers.
Ans. (a) Legislative Powers :
(i) Introduction of Bills : The Cabinet initiates more than 95 per cent of the Bills. The legislative proposals that the Cabinet formulates are called Official Bills. Formulation of these Bills involves not only preparing the draft of the proposals but also presenting them before the Parliament for approval. The Cabinet plays a very important role from the introduction stage to the final passage of the Bill. The Parliament only discusses, scrutinizes and by putting its seal of approval, legitimizes the legislative proposals formulated by the Cabinet.
(ii) Amendment to the Constitution : The Cabinet is instrumental in planning and moving the Amendment to the Constitution.
(iii) Summoning the Houses of Parliament : The Houses are summoned by the President but initiative in this matter is taken by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.
(iv) President’s Special Address : The Cabinet prepares the President’s special address to the Parliament.
(v) Issuing Ordinance : Though only the President has the authority to issue Ordinance, yet he issues the ordinance on the advice of the Cabinet.
(b) Financial Powers : Budget : The Cabinet exercises complete control on national income and expenditure. Though the budget is passed by the Parliament, usually no changes are made ‘in the budget figures against the wishes of the Cabinet. Finance of the Government : The Cabinet is responsible for the expenditure of the government, for presenting the demand for grants and also for raising necessary income by various means including taxation. Introduction of Money Bill : A Money Bill can be introduced in the Lok Sabha only by a Minister.
(c) Emergency Powers : The President cannot declare a Proclamation of General Emergency under Article 352 of the Constitution, without receiving in writing the decision of the Cabinet to this effect. Similarly, the questions of Proclamation of Financial Emergency and of President’s rule in a State are also decided by the Cabinet.
(5) Discuss the Cabinet System of government, with special reference to :
(a) Formation of the cabinet
(b) Collective or Joint responsibility.
(c) Individual responsibility.
Ans. (a) Formation of the cabinet : The Cabinet is composed of a small but important body of senior leaders of the party, who are included in the Council of Ministers. They hold important portfolios and decide major policies of the Government. They, being trusted men of the Prime Minister, form the nucleus of the administration. In fact, the Cabinet is the pivot around which the whole administration revolves.
(b) Collective or Joint Responsibility : The Council of Ministers (Cabinet) is jointly or collectively responsible to the Parliament. Once they have reached a decision after full and frank discussion in the meeting of the Council of Ministers (Cabinet) under Prime Minister’s chairmanship, all the Ministers must defend it inside the Parliament and in the public. They must not criticise it or go against it. They may, however, resign if there is a serious difference of opinion. If the No-confidence Motion is passed by the Lok Sabha against any one Minister, then the entire Council has to resign. The Council of Ministers and the Cabinet must sink and swim together. This is called Collective or Joint responsibility. The concept of collective responsibility of the Cabinet is the most important aspect of Cabinet system.
(c) Individual Responsibility : If, however, a Minister has taken a departmental decision independently in the best interest of the department, then he is individually responsible to the President, practically to the Prime Minister who can ask him to resign from his office. The concerned Minister acts accordingly. Every Minister is responsible for matters such as,
(a) personal lapse
(b) departure from official policy by him or by his department
(c) breach of oath of secrecy and so on. There are many occasions when a Minister has owned responsibility for the mistakes or shortcomings of the department under him and resigned from his post.
(6) Discuss the administrative functions of the Cabinet under the following headings :
(a) Policy Making.
(b) Implementation of Policy.
(c) Coordinates the functioning of various Minister.
Ans. (a) Policy Making : The Cabinet formulates both external and domestic policies of the Government. It takes decisions on matters such as defence, economic policy, security needs, President’s rule in State, formation of new States, industrial policy, imports and electoral reforms. Individual Ministers have reasonable freedom of action, but on all major matters they have to consult the Cabinet.
(b) Implementation of Policy : Once a policy decision is taken by the Cabinet on any subject, it is conveyed to the Minister of State and the Deputy Minister of the concerned Ministry. They work out the details and pass it to the civil servants under that Ministry to implement the decision. In this way, the business of the Government is managed jointly by the Council of Ministers and the civil servants concerned.
(c) Coordinates the functioning of various Ministers : The Cabinet coordinates the working various departments for the smooth implementation of government policies. Any govenment policy, be it eradicating unemployment, improving public health services or increase in government revenue, requires involvement of several departments for its formulation and implementation.