Top government sources say this is being done to bring synergies between ministries that have similar or overlapping domains. Silos between ministries that help achieve a common objective will be broken down and an efficient, whole of government approach will be enabled with the new work allocation. For example, the Health Ministry and the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers will now be handled by the same minister. Pharmaceuticals and other drugs are essential in the health domain and it made eminent sense to have the same minister handle both portfolios. Similar approach has been adopted in other domain ministries as well wherever such clubbing was necessary.
The mega reboot seems to now follow a new maxim of ‘Maximum Government, Maximum Governance and Maximum Representation’ with all hands brought on deck to handle the twin challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic and the economy, rewarding the performers and sending a message down the ranks to not land in controversies.
The jumbo council of ministers, including the Prime Minister, now stands at 78, just shy of the maximum strength that the council can have, with the political realities of accommodating aspirations of party heavy-weights and strengthening alliances in key states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh dawning on the government.
A senior government source described the entire exercise as “performance-based” with a message that ministers should focus on governance and not land in any controversies.
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