There has been a manifold increase in the number of ministries in the central government since independence. Do you agree with the view that there is a need to phase out many ministries and amalgamate with others?
At the time of independence, there existed roughly 20 ministries in the central government. This has increased to over 50 ministries at present and has been over 70 ministries at times.
- Article 75 provides for the existence of a council of ministers including cabinet ministers, ministers of state, and ministers of independent charge.
- 91st constitutional amendment act limited the strength of the council of ministers to be not more than 15% of the strength of Lok Sabha.
Reasons for the increasing number of ministries:
- Increasing complexity and specialization of work require constituting separate ministries.
- The emergence of a coalition government required accommodating various political party members as ministers.
- To increase regional representation and religious representation.
Drawbacks of various ministries:
- Overlapping work
- Lack of coordination
- Inter-ministry competition to get hold of larger grants
- Decision-making gets slowed
Need for amalgamation:
- To increase coordination and quick decision making
- To ensure minimum government and maximum governance
- To give effect to coordinated planning and execution
Various related ministries can be clubbed together to ensure master planning, e.g Ministry of Roads and Ministry of Railways can be clubbed to form the Ministry of Logistics, etc.