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Day 12 – Q 3. What are your views on the functioning and relevance of Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in India’s context?

3. What are your views on the functioning and relevance of Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in India’s context?  

भारत के संदर्भ में प्रधान मंत्री कार्यालय (पीएमओ) की कार्यप्रणाली और प्रासंगिकता पर आपके विचार क्या हैं?


With emergence of cabinet form of government, the power of PM has increased and PMO has become the centre of power in India democracy. During times of Indira Gandhi, it had gone one step further and was called Kitchen cabinet.


Functioning and Relevance of PMO:

  • Faster decision making: It helps in faster decision making as it involved experienced and powerful decision makers.
  • Implementation: The orders coming from PMO is taken very seriously and implemented without delay.
  • Stable governance: In era of coalition government certain things needs to be kept above party politics to provide stable government.
  • Security: Certain functions like RAW, CBI, ISRO etc. report directly to them and they need to be kept out of politics of the day.
  • Complexity: increased complexity of governance needs certain set up which can bypass ordinary procedures and get things done at times of emergencies.
  • Specialists: Certain function needs specialists and also needs to be done away from public eyes for greater good. Ex: Pokhran-II, External intelligence etc.

Criticism of PMO:

  • Cabinet Secretary: It diminishes the role of Cabinet secretary and secretariat.
  • Concentration of power: In the hands of few bureaucrats (Non-Elected) and people outside executive.
  • Parallel government: The executive structure as mentioned in constitution might be overlooked.
  • Collective decision making: The culture of debates and discussion are absent and leading to High-handedness of one office over other.
  • Dictatorship: It might lead to rule of PMO rather than council of ministers.
  • Checks and Balances: The scrutiny of decision taken is not present. There will be no checks and balances since it is above all power structure.

Note: Many people have written about appointments and stressed majorly on Defence and International Affairs. There is Appointments Committee of cabinet which takes care of appointment to all top posts. There are separate ministries for Defence and International affairs. Rather u can mention anything specific for instance Nuclear Command Authority etc.


A centralizing and powerful PMO is a hindrance to collective responsibility, against parliamentary ethos and democratic set-up of executive but a weak PMO might lead to anarchy, policy paralysis and inefficiency.

Best Answer: No Best Answer

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