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Differences Between Cabinet and State Ministers

Posted by Admin on April 14, 2014 | 17 Comments to Read

Knowing one’s basic rights is the first step towards being a politically aware citizen. We are all familiar with the terms such as Cabinet (Union) Minister and the Minister of State. It often catches us unaware when we try to understand how a Minister of State for Agriculture is different from a Union Agriculture Minister. For those uninitiated, it becomes confusing to know that there are two ministers for the same ministry. It’s time to dispel the doubt and get a clearer picture of how ministers work in India and how their functions vary.

Differences Between Cabinet and State Ministers

Who is a Cabinet Minister?

A Cabinet minister or Union minister is the person who commands utmost authority of the concerned ministry. He/she is appointed by the President following a consultation with the Prime Minister. When it comes to eligibility, the individual has to be a member of either of the two houses of the Parliament. A Cabinet Minister is treated as the head of a particular ministry such as Education, Health, Home, Foreign, etc.

Every Cabinet Minister has the power to take independent decisions pertaining to his/her ministry. The PM can advise them on policies and convene cabinet meetings to assess progress and status of relevant administrative functions.

Who is a Minister of State?

A Minister of State reports to the Cabinet Minister. To be precise, he/she is the junior member who works in close coordination with a Union Minister to help the latter in meeting national goals pertaining to that Ministry. It is incumbent upon a State Minister to deal with issues of the ministry under the aegis of the Union Minister.

Minister of State with Independent Charge

Sometimes a State Minister is given independent charge of ministries, which don’t have a Cabinet Minister to oversee the operations.

It is to be understood that the power of the Minister of State is confined to the particular region, and it is his responsibility to take care of the state-centric functioning of a ministry. The Union Cabinet minister comes into picture when a bigger policy decision needs to be taken. Moreover, the PM may not always call all State Ministers to discuss issues, but only the Cabinet Minister.

Reference Links :

  • Prime Minister of India Website

  • Wikipedia Website