Difference Between Cabinet and Council of Ministers

The Prime Minister of India is the deciding authority on how the Council of Ministers will be structured. Based on factors such as experience and seniority the Council of Ministers is divided into the following:

  • The Cabinet
  • Minister of State 
  • Deputy Minister
  • Parliamentary Secretaries

It is not usual for the Cabinet and Council of Ministers to be confused with one another, the only similarity is that they both report to the Prime Minister. There are other factors that make them different from each other.

Difference Between Cabinet and Council of Ministers - UPSC 2021 Polity

This article highlights what those key factors of difference between the Cabinet and Council of Ministers within the context of the IAS Exam

Aspirants can find more Difference Between Articles, by visiting the linked page

The differences between a Cabinet and Council of Ministers are given in the table below:                                                                         

Differences between Cabinet and Council of Ministers


Council of Ministers

The cabinet consists of many senior ministers who hold important portfolios such as defence, home affairs, education etc. They consist of Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Ministers of State
It was conferred the status of a constitutional body after the passing of the Constitutional Amendment Act of 1978 (Also Known as 44th Amendment) It is a constitutional body
The Cabinet consists of some of the most experienced ministers. Thus the Prime Minister seeks their advice on important matters. The decisions of the cabinet are binding to all ministers It is up to the Prime Minister to consult with the council of ministers or not  when it comes to making important decisions 
It enforces the collective responsibility of the council to its members It enforces collective responsibility to the lower houses of the parliament
The Cabinet meets as frequently as possible to formulate policies and to decide on certain matters of national importance The meetings between the council of ministers are rare.
The size of the cabinet is about 15-20 ministers The council of ministers usually consists of about 60 to 70 ministers of the government.

The Cabinet and Council of Ministers are both important concepts in the Polity segment of the UPSC Exams. The following links will help in studying this segment along with giving more detailed information about the above concepts

Difference Between Cabinet and Council of Ministers- Download PDF Here

Frequently Asked Questions about Cabinet and Council of Minister


What is meant by Council of Minister?

The Council of Ministers is a traditional name given to the supreme executive organ in some governments. The term is usually equivalent to the word “cabinet” (Council of State is a similar term that also may refer to a Cabinet.

Who is a cabinet minister?

A cabinet minister is a member of the executive branch of a government who has been appointed to the cabinet, the group of leading policy makers, advisers, and overseers of governmental departments who report to the prime minister.

Candidates can find the general pattern of the UPSC Exams by visiting the UPSC Syllabus page. For more articles and exam-related preparation materials, refer to the links given in the table below:

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