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Indian Polity

Cabinet Committees

  • 14 Jul 2021
  • 3 min read

Why in News

After a large-scale rejig at the Council of Ministers, Prime Minister effected some changes in Cabinet committees.

Key Points

  • About:
    • Eight Cabinet Committees:
      • Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.
      • Cabinet Committee on Accommodation.
      • Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.
      • Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs.
      • Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs.
      • Cabinet Committee on Security.
      • Cabinet Committee on Investment and Growth.
      • Cabinet Committee on Employment & Skill Development.
    • All committees except Cabinet Committee on Accommodation and Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs are headed by the Prime Minister.
    • They are extra-constitutional in emergence.
    • In other words, they are not mentioned in the Constitution. However, the Rules of Business provide for their establishment.
    • The executive in India works under the Government of India Transaction of Business Rules, 1961.
      • These Rules emerge from Article 77(3) of the Constitution, which states: “The President shall make rules for the more convenient transaction of the business of the Government of India, and for the allocation among Ministers of the said business.”
    • The Prime Minister constitutes Standing Committees of the Cabinet and sets out the specific functions assigned to them. He can add or reduce the number of committees.
      • In addition to cabinet committees, several Groups of Ministers (GoMs) are constituted to look into different issues/subjects.
  • Role of Cabinet Committees:
    • They are an organizational device to lessen the enormous workload of the Cabinet. They facilitate an in-depth examination of policy issues and effective coordination. They are based on the principles of division of labor and effective delegation.
    • They not only resolve issues and frame proposals for the Cabinet’s consideration, but they also take decisions. The Cabinet can, of course, review their decisions.
  • Groups of Ministers:
    • These are ad hoc bodies formed to give recommendations to the cabinet on certain emergent issues and critical problem areas.
    • Some of these GoMs are empowered to take decisions on behalf of the Cabinet whereas the others make recommendations to the Cabinet.
      • The institution of GoMs has become a viable and effective instrument of coordination among the ministries.
    • Ministers heading the concerned ministries are inducted into the relevant GoMs and when the advice is crystallised they are disbanded.

Source: TH

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