(Last Updated on : 13/08/2014)
Indian Ministries are very essential in the organisational set up of the Government of India
. Indeed they play a vital role in the organisation of the country itself. The term 'ministry' came into vogue only after independence in 1947. The Constitution of India
requires that the Indian President
shall make rules for the allocation of business amongst ministers. This is the root of the portfolio system, and the concept of a ministry springs from this system. The administrative organisation which assists the Minister to deal with the subjects allotted to him is known as the Ministry. This may include one or more departments depending upon administrative convenience, each under the charge of a secretary. Many large ministries like agriculture, defence, education, external affairs, finance and home have more than one department included in their charge.
Each Ministry is responsible for dealing with subjects allotted to it under the Business Rules made by the President in 1966 and amended from time to time. This allotment is done by the President on the advice of the Indian Prime Minister
. These rules also specify cases or classes of cases to be submitted to the President, the Prime Minister, the Cabinet or its committees for prior approval and the circumstances in which the Department primarily concerned with the business under disposal will have to consult other departments concerned and secure their concurrence before taking formal decision.
Functions of Ministries
The ministries are essentially are responsible for the formulation of policies as well as their execution within the spheres. Their functions include- assisting the Minister in policy-making and its periodical review; framing legislation and rules and regulations; sectoral planning and programme formulation; budgeting and control of expenditure in respect of their activities and accordingly securing administrative and financial approval to operational programmes and plans and their subsequent modifications; supervision and control over the execution of policies and programmes by the executive departments or semi-autonomous field agencies and evaluation of the results; coordination and interpretation of policies, assisting other branches of Government and maintaining contact with state administrations; initiating measures to develop greater personnel and organizational competence both in the secretariat and its executive agencies, and assisting the minister in the discharge of his parliamentary responsibility.
A notable feature has been the phenomenal growth in the size of the machinery of the central government since independence. At the time of the transfer of power to India in 1947, the work of the government was carried out in the 18 ministries. Now this number has increased by leaps and bounds. Thus the number of ministries and departments has been changing from time to time.