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Council of Ministers took oath at the Rashtrapati Bhawan

Paper : General Studies 2

Why in news?

  • The newly elected government was formed when the Prime Minister took the oath along with 57 ministers.
  • The President administered the oath to the Council of Ministers. The other members of the Council of Ministers (except the PM) are appointed on the advice of the PM to the President.

What is its significance?

Article 74 of the Constitution of India states that :

  1. There shall be a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister at the head to aid and advise the President who shall, in the exercise of his functions, act in accordance with such advises. Provided that the President may require the Council of Ministers to reconsider such advice, either generally or otherwise, and the President shall act in accordance with the advises tendered after such reconsideration.
  2. The question if any, and if so what, advice was tendered by Ministers to the President shall not be inquired into in any court.

Thus, the Executive of the country at the Centre requires a Council of Ministers in our Constitutional framework to guide the President. A fresh Council of Ministers is created after every general elections from among the party that is invited by the President to form the government.


What are the different ranks of ministers?

The   Union Council of Ministers, consists of the following ministers:

  • Union Minister or Cabinet Minister.

A Cabinet minister or a Union minister is the person who commands  the utmost authority of the concerned ministry. He/she is appointed by the President following a consultation with the Prime Minister. They usually head key ministries such as Home, Defence, External Affairs etc.


  • Minister of State.

A Minister of State works under a Union Minister.The MoS reports to the Cabinet Minister. To be precise, he/she is the junior member who works in close coordination with a Union Minister .

Their activities involve day-to-day functioning of ministry and taking care of the state-centric functioning of a ministry.


  • Minister of State (Independent Charge)

A Minister of State with independent charge is a minister without an overseeing Cabinet Minister in the State or Union Government of India. He/She is in charge of his/her ministry, unlike Minister of State who is also a Minister but assists a cabinet minister.


  • Deputy Minister.

Deputy ministers are also attached to the Cabinet ministers in various ministries. They do not attend the meetings of the Cabinet.


National Register of Citizens

Paper : General Studies 2

Why in news?

Supreme Court has urged Assam National Register of Citizens Coordinator to ensure that those who have appealed against non-inclusion of their names in the NRC must get a fair hearing and due process must be followed.


What is the National Register of Citizens?

The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is the list of Indian citizens of Assam. It was prepared in 1951, following the census of 1951. For a person’s name to be included in the updated NRC list of 2018, he/ she will have to furnish:

  • Existence of name in the legacy data: The legacy data is the collective list of the NRC data of 1951 and the electoral rolls up to midnight of 24 March 1971.
  • Proving linkage with the person whose name appears in the legacy data.


The process of NRC update was taken up in Assam as per a Supreme Court order in 2013. In order to wean out cases of illegal migration from Bangladesh and other adjoining areas, NRC updation was carried out under The Citizenship Act, 1955, and according to rules framed in the Assam Accord.

Who are D-voters?

  • Out of the 40.07 lakh applicants who have been left out of the final draft NRC released,  2.48 lakh applicants have been kept on hold including the D-Voters (doubtful voters who have been disenfranchised on account of failure to prove citizenship), descendants of D-voters and persons whose cases are pending before the foreigners tribunal. The state however, has not revealed the reason for keeping others on hold.
  • The process of filing claims and objections has begun,  during which people whose names have been left out of the NRC Assam, can once again appeal to have their case reconsidered. Those left out are not yet being labelled as “foreigners” or being sent to detention centres. However, only those applicants who had submitted their applications in 2015 will be considered.



Periodic Labour Force Survey 2017-18

Paper : Prelims Specific, General Studies 3

Why in news?

Government is going to release the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2017-18.


What is the Periodic Labour Force Survey?

  • It is a nationwide labour force survey conducted by the NSSO from 2017 onward and replaces the Employment and Unemployment Surveys
  • Primary aim of the PLFS is to generate reasonably accurate indicators of labour market at a short span for every quarter for which speed of quality data collection and processing are important.
  • Results of the PLFS will be brought out in the form of an Annual Key Report, which would contain detailed tables for both rural and urban sectors, and Quarterly Bulletins, which would contain, for the urban sector, estimates of the changes in key labour force parameters like LFPR, WPR (Worker Population Ratio)  and UR (Unemployment Rate) in the current weekly status.