Difference Between Cabinet Minister and Minister of State and MOS Independent Charge

Difference Between Cabinet Minister and Minister of State and MOS Independent Charge

In the context of the Indian government, the roles and distinctions between a Cabinet Minister and a Minister of State are clearly defined. Here’s a detailed comparison:


Cabinet Minister

Role and Responsibilities:

- Senior Position: Cabinet Ministers are senior members of the Council of Ministers and hold major portfolios such as Finance, Defence, External Affairs, Home Affairs, etc.

- Cabinet Membership: They are members of the Cabinet, the highest decision-making body in the government, and participate in its meetings where key policies and decisions are made.

- Policy and Decision Making: They play a significant role in formulating national policies and strategies and making critical decisions on behalf of the government.

- Departmental Leadership: They head a ministry and are responsible for the overall functioning and administration of their departments, including implementation of policies, management of resources, and oversight of public services.

- Direct Accountability: Cabinet Ministers are directly accountable to the Prime Minister, the Parliament, and the public for their ministry’s performance and actions.

- Cabinet Minister can be appointed from any house – be it Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha. Union Finance Minister S. Jaishankar held the Foreign Portfolio being a member of Rajya Sabha.


- Minister of Finance

- Minister of Defence

- Minister of External Affairs

- Minister of Home Affairs


Minister of State

Role and Responsibilities:

- Junior Position: Ministers of State are junior to Cabinet Ministers and are appointed to assist Cabinet Ministers in managing their ministries.

- Non-Cabinet Membership: They are not part of the Cabinet and do not usually attend Cabinet meetings unless specially invited.

- Supportive Role: They are assigned specific responsibilities within a ministry and assist the Cabinet Minister in handling the workload. This could include overseeing particular areas or projects within the ministry.

- Delegated Authority: Their authority and responsibilities are delegated by the Cabinet Minister. They may handle certain duties independently but are generally supervised by the Cabinet Minister.

- Limited Decision-Making: They have limited decision-making power and typically focus on specific tasks or sectors within their ministry.


Types of Ministers of State:

1. Independent Charge:

Sometimes, a Minister of State can be given independent charge of a ministry without a Cabinet Minister above them. In this case, they have more autonomy and function more like a Cabinet Minister within their ministry.

Minister of State (Independent Charge

In contrast to a regular Minister of State, an MoS with Independent Charge oversees their own ministry and does not assist a Cabinet Minister. This position is not considered equivalent to that of a Cabinet Minister, but rather as a junior minister with an independent portfolio. The MoS with Independent Charge is an intermediate post between a Cabinet Minister and a Minister of State.

An MoS with Independent Charge does not have a supervising Cabinet Minister and can report directly to the Prime Minister. They are not involved in regular day-to-day discussions with the Prime Minister but are consulted on specific matters related to their department.

2. Attached to a Cabinet Minister:

More commonly, they work under a Cabinet Minister, assisting with the administration and execution of tasks.

Minister of State (MoS)

Unlike a Cabinet Minister, who is the highest authority in a particular department, a Minister of State (MoS) assists the Cabinet Minister and holds a junior position. For example, G. Kishan Reddy and Nityanand Rai are Ministers of State for Home Affairs, assisting Amit Shah. They do not hold separate or independent portfolios.


- Minister of State for Finance

- Minister of State for External Affairs

- Minister of State for Home Affairs


Key Differences

1. Rank and Seniority:

   - Cabinet Minister: Senior and holds a full-fledged portfolio with significant authority.

   - Minister of State: Junior, assisting a Cabinet Minister or holding a lesser portfolio with delegated authority.

2. Cabinet Membership:

   - Cabinet Minister: Member of the Cabinet, involved in top-level decision making.

   - Minister of State: Not a member of the Cabinet, generally does not attend Cabinet meetings unless invited.

3. Decision-Making Power:

   - Cabinet Minister: Significant decision-making power within their portfolio.

   - Minister of State: Limited decision-making power, focuses on specific delegated tasks.

4. Departmental Leadership:

   - Cabinet Minister: Leads and oversees the entire ministry.

   - Minister of State: Assists in managing the ministry, often responsible for specific areas within it.

5. Accountability:

   - Cabinet Minister: Directly accountable to the Prime Minister and Parliament for their ministry.

   - Minister of State: Accountable to the Cabinet Minister they assist.


In India, the distinction between Cabinet Ministers and Ministers of State is clearly defined by their roles, responsibilities, and levels of authority. Cabinet Ministers hold senior positions with significant influence over national policies and the administration of their ministries, while Ministers of State play supportive roles, assisting Cabinet Ministers in their duties. This hierarchical structure ensures that the workload is efficiently managed and that there is a clear chain of command within the government.

Modi Cabinet 3.0 List of Cabinet Ministers, MOS (Independent Charge), Minister of State 

Cabinet Minister

Serial No             Name                                Party     State

1            Raj Nath Singh                               BJP        Uttar Pradesh

2            Amit Shah                                      BJP        Gujarat

3            Nitin Jairam Gadkari                     BJP        Maharashtra

4            Jagat Prakash Nadda                    BJP        Himachal Pradesh

5            Shivraj Singh Chouhan                 BJP        Madhya Pradesh

6            Nirmala Sitharaman                     BJP        Karnataka

7            Subrahmanyam Jaishankar          BJP        Gujarat

8            Manohar Lal                                   BJP        Haryana

9            HD Kumaraswamy                         Janata Dal Secular           Karnataka

10          Piyush Goyal                                   BJP        Maharashtra

11          Dharmendra Pradhan                  BJP        Odisha

12          Jitan Ram Manjhi                          HAM (S)              Bihar

13          Rajiv Ranjan Singh

              alias Lalan Singh                           JDU            Bihar

14          Sarbananda Sonowal                   BJP        Assam

15          Dr. Virendra Kumar                       BJP        Madhya Pradesh

16          Kinjarapu Rammohan Naidu       Telugu Desam Party        Andhra Pradesh

17          Pralhad Joshi                                  BJP        Karnataka

18          Jual Oram                                        BJP        Jharkhand

19          Giriraj Singh                                    BJP        Bihar

20          Ashwini Vaishnaw                         BJP        Odisha

21          Jyotiraditya M. Scindia                 BJP        Madhya Pradesh

22          Bhupender Yadav                          BJP        Rajasthan

23          Gajendra Singh Shekhawat          BJP        Rajasthan

24          Annpurna Devi                               BJP        Jharkhand

25          Kiren Rijiju                                       BJP        Arunachal Pradesh

26          Hardeep Singh Puri                       BJP        Uttar Pradesh

27          Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya               BJP        Gujarat

28          G. Kishan Reddy                            BJP        Telangana

29          Chirag Paswan                                LJP         Bihar

30          CR Patil                                            BJP        Gujarat


Full list of Modi 3.0 Ministers of State with Independent Charge

Ministers of State (Independent Charge) Name    Party     State/UT

31          Rao Inderjit Singh                          BJP        Haryana

32          Dr. Jitendra Singh                          BJP        Jammu & Kashmir

33          Arjun Ram Meghwal                     BJP        Rajasthan

34          Jadhav Prataprao Ganpatrao       Shiv Sena            Maharashtra

35          Jayant Chaudhary                         RLD       Uttar Pradesh


Full list of Modi 3.0 Ministers of State

Serial No             Ministers of State            Party     State/UT

36          Jitin Prasada                                   BJP        Uttar Pradesh

37          Shripad Yesso Naik                        BJP        Goa

38          Pankaj Chaudhary                         BJP        Uttar Pradesh

39          Krishan Pal                                      BJP        Haryana

40          Ramdas Athawale                         RPI (A)  Maharashtra

41          Ram Nath Thakur                          Janata Dal United            Bihar

42          Nityanand Rai                                 BJP        Bihar

43          Anupriya Patel                                Apna Dal (S)       Uttar Pradesh

44          V. Somanna                                    BJP        Karnataka

45          Dr. Chandra Sekhar Pemmasani TDP       Andhra Pradesh

46          Prof. S. P. Singh Baghel                 BJP        Uttar Pradesh

47          Sobha Karandlaje                          BJP        Karnataka

48          Kirtivardhan Singh                         BJP        Uttar Pradesh

49          B. L. Verma                                      BJP        Uttar Pradesh

50          Shantanu Thakur                           BJP        West Bengal

51          Suresh Gopi                                    BJP        Kerala

52          Dr. L. Murugan                               BJP        Tamil Nadu

53          Ajay Tamta                                      BJP        Uttarakhand

54          Bandi Sanjay Kumar                      BJP        Telangana

55          Kamlesh Paswan                            BJP        Uttar Pradesh

56          Bhagirath Choudhary                   BJP        Rajasthan

57          Satish Chandra Dubey                  BJP        Bihar

58          Sanjay Seth                                     BJP        Jharkhand

59          Ravneet Singh                                BJP        Punjab

60          Durgadas Uikey                              BJP        Madhya Pradesh

61          Raksha Nikhil Khadse                   BJP        Maharashtra

62          Sukanta Majumdar                       BJP        West Bengal

62          Savitri Thakur                                 BJP        Madhya Pradesh

64          Tokhan Sahu                                   BJP        Chhattisgarh

65          Raj Bhushan Choudhary               BJP        Bihar

66          Bhupathi Raju Srinivasa Varma   BJP        Andhra Pradesh

67          Harsh Malhotra                              BJP        Delhi

68          Nimuben Jayantibhai

Bambhaniya                                                 BJP        Gujarat

69          Murlidhar Mohol                          BJP        Maharashtra

70          George Kurian                                BJP        Kerala

71          Pabitra Margherita                       BJP        Assam

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