Laxmikanth Test: Central Council Of Ministers - 2


10 Questions MCQ Test Indian Polity for UPSC CSE | Laxmikanth Test: Central Council Of Ministers - 2


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QUESTION: 1

Consider the following statements.

1. The advice tendered by Ministers to the President shall not be inquired into by any court.

2. After the dissolution of the Lok Sabha, the ministers' council does not cease to hold office with immediate effect.

3. A minister who is a member of one House of Parliament has the right to speak and take part in the other House's proceedings also.

Choose the correct answer from the codes below.

Solution:

All of the statements are correct.

QUESTION: 2

Many states in the Indian Union have instituted the post of Parliamentary Secretary. A Parliament Secretary is

1. Generally a Civil Servant/bureaucrat holding an 'Office of Profit'

2. Assigned charge of an entire government department only in the absence of Cabinet

Ministers

Which of the above is/are correct?

Solution: Parliamentary secretaries are ruling party members appointed to assist ministers. They often hold the minister of State's rank and has the same entitlements and is assigned to a government department. They have access to all official files and documents
  • Manipur, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Assam, Rajasthan, Punjab, Goa are some of the states where MLAs have been appointed Parliament Secretaries by the Government.

  • Various petitions in the High Court have challenged Parliament Secretary's appointment, including in Delhi most recently.

  • In June 2015, Calcutta HC quashed 24 Parliamentary Secretaries in West Bengal dubbing it unconstitutional.

Delhi High Court in 2016 quashed the appointment of Parliamentary secretaries as they are deemed to be Ministers, and there is a cap on the number of ministers in the government as per the Constitution (The limit is 10 per cent for Delhi, owing to its special status).

QUESTION: 3

The principle of collective responsibility is the bedrock principle of parliamentary government. The principle implies that the

1. Lok Sabha can remove the council of ministers from office by passing a vote of no confidence.

2. The Council of Ministers as a whole is bound by consensus.

Which of the above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • The ministers are collectively responsible to the Parliament and the Lok Sabha in particular (Article 75).

  • They act as a team and swim and sink together. The principle of collective responsibility implies that the Lok Sabha can remove the ministry (i.e." council of ministers headed by the prime minister) from office by passing a vote of no confidence.

  • Members of the council of ministers are bound by consensus. The government cannot have two opinions on the same issue.

QUESTION: 4

Consider the following concerning the relationship between the President, Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers.

1. In normal circumstances, the council of Ministers' advice is constitutionally binding on the President.

2. The nature of advice tendered by ministers to the President can be enquired by a higher court to ascertain malpractices in administration.

3. The council of ministers ceases to hold office immediately after the dissolution of the Lok Sabha by the President.

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

Solution:
  • Article 74 provides for a council of ministers with the prime minister to aid and advise the President in the exercise of his functions. The 42nd and 44th Constitutional Amendment Acts have made the advice binding on the President.

  • Further, the nature of advice tendered by ministers to the President cannot be enquired by any court. This provision emphasises the intimate and confidential relationship between the President and the ministers.

  • In 1971, the Supreme Court held that 'even after the Lok Sabha's dissolution, the council of ministers does not cease to hold office'.

  • Article 74 is mandatory and, therefore, the president cannot exercise the executive power without the aid and advise of the council of ministers.

  • Any executive power exercise without the aid and advice will be unconstitutional as being violative of Article 74.

  • In 1974, the court held that 'wherever the Constitution requires the President's satisfaction, the satisfaction is not the President's personal satisfaction, but it is the satisfaction of the council of ministers with whose aid and on whose advice the President exercises his powers and functions'.

QUESTION: 5

The functions of the Indian Government is carried out by several Ministry and Departments. Consider the following statements:

1. No minister can openly criticise the government's decision, even if it is about another Ministry or Department.

2. Every ministry lias secretaries, who are civil servants.

3. The secretaries provide the necessary background information to the ministers to take decisions.

4. The Prime Minister's decisions are final in case disagreements arise between Departments.

Which of the statements is/are incorrect?

Solution:
  • Cabinet Ministers are usually top-level leaders of the ruling party or parties in charge of the major ministries.

  • Since it is not practical for all ministers to meet regularly and discuss everything, the decisions are taken in Cabinet meetings. The cabinet works as a team.

  • The ministers may have different views and opinions, but everyone has to own up to the Cabinet's decision. No minister can openly criticise the government's decision, even if it is about another Ministry or Department. Every ministry has secretaries, who are civil servants. The secretaries provide the necessary background information to the ministers to take decisions.

QUESTION: 6

In appointing Ministers, which of the following arc followed by the President and the Governor?

1. Constitution of India

2. Laws made by Parliament

3. Conventions

Select the correct answer using the codes below:

Solution:
  • Constitution of India prescribes that Minister will be appointed on the advice of Prime Minister and CM, respectively, in Centre and States.

  • The 91st amendment restricts the Council of Ministers to 15 per cent of Lok Sabha's total strength. Other conventions like Majority party leader, coalition leader, etc., are also followed when appointing Ministers.

QUESTION: 7

The Central Cabinet includes which of the following?

1. The Prime Minister

2. Minister of State with Independent charge

3. Cabinet Secretary

Choose the correct answer using the codes below:

Solution: Cabinet Secretary only attends the meetings of the Cabinet. He is not a part of it.

No one except the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers is included in the Central Cabinet.

QUESTION: 8

Before the 91st Amendment Act (2003), the size of the Council of Ministers was determined by the

Solution:
  • This convention before 2003 led to widespread abuse of the system.

  • It led to the considerable size of the Council of Ministers. Besides, when no party had a clear majority, there was a temptation to win over the support of the Parliament members by giving them ministerial positions as there was no restriction on the number of the members of the Council of Ministers.

QUESTION: 9

The Council of Ministers does not include which of the following?

1. Ministers without portfolio

2. Cabinet Secretary

Choose the correct answer using the codes below:

Solution:
  • Ministers without portfolio are also ministers officially. Hence, they are a part of the council of ministers.

  • The cabinet secretary, is a bureaucrat and he cannot be a part of the council of ministers for he is a civil servant who is not responsible to the Parliament. He, however, attends the cabinet meetings.

QUESTION: 10

Consider the following.

1. Government resigns if it fails to enact a public bill in Parliament.

2. Prime Minister is a member of Lok Sabha.

3. The Council of Ministers reflects the socioeconomic diversity of India.

Which of these conventions has/have been codified into rules/regulations/laws/provisions?

Solution: The government may resign only if it fails to pass the budget in the Parliament. Failure in passing regular public bills is not considered a defeat of the government. The passing of a no-confidence motion does. Prime Minister can be a member of any house. It is not a convention that he must be from the lower house; neither has it been codified. Statement 3 is more of a political tool rather than a codified convention.

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