Narendra Modi, India's new prime minister
Narendra Modi took oath as India's 15th prime minister in a solemn ceremony held at the forecourts of the presidential palace in New Delhi.Reuters

Narendra Modi took oath as India's 15th prime minister in a solemn ceremony held at the forecourts of the presidential palace in New Delhi.

Modi's ascension to the helm of the world's largest democracy was witnessed by heads of state from across South Asia, including arch-rival Pakistan's prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

A 45-member council of ministers also took the oath of office along with the prime minister.

President Pranab Mukherjee administered the oath to the new cabinet. Outgoing prime minister Manmohan Singh, President of the Congress party Sonia Gandhi and BJP patriarch and former prime ministerial hopeful LK Advani were among the 4,000 odd people who attended the function.

Modi, who ran the western Gujarat state as chief minister for more than 10 years, chose a lean cabinet, sticking with his promise of running a small but efficient government.

Cabinet berths were given away on predicted lines, with BJP stalwarts such as Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Nitin Gadkari finding a place. Modi, who had a strained relationship with his mentor Advani ever since his anointment as the party's prime ministerial candidate, offered cabinet positions to Advani loyalists such as Sushma Swaraj and Ananth Kumar.

The BJP's allies in the election found representation in the cabinet, but Modi has made sure influence of regional parties, which have had disproportionate influence in governance in the last 25 years, will remain on the sidelines.

Modi whipped up an unprecedented wave of popular support for the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party by running a campaign rooted in strong nationalism and pitching for the revival of an underperforming economy.

This helped the party romp home to a comfortable majority in parliament with 282 of the total 543 seats, ending about three decades of coalition rule that set back the economic reforms and led, in some cases, to policy paralysis.

Arun Jaitley is expected to get the crucial finance portfolio. Rajnath Singh, who took the oath after Modi, signifying the second position in the cabinet, is certain to get the home ministry. Sushma Swaraj is tipped to be the next foreign minister.

The following is the full list of the new council of ministers:

Prime Minister - Narendra Modi,

Cabinet Ministers

Rajnath Singh
Arun Jaitley
Sushma Swaraj
Nithin Gadkari
Venkaiah Naidu
D V Sadananda Gowda
Ram Vilas Paswan
Gopinath Munde
Kalraj Mishra
Maneka Gandhi
Ananth Kumar
Ravi Shankar Prasad
Ashok Gajapathi Raju
Anant Geete
Harsimrat Kaur Badal
Narendra Singh Tomar
Jual Oram
Thawarchand Gehlot
Smriti Irani
Uma Bharti
Najma Heptullah
Radha Mohan Singh
Harsh Vardhan

Ministers of State - Independent Charge

Gen V K Singh
Santosh Gangwar
Shripad Naik
Dharmendra Pradhan
Sarbananda Sonowal
Prakash Javadekar
Piyush Goel
Jitendra Singh
Nirmala Seetharaman
Rao Inderjit Singh

Ministers of State

G M Siddeshwara
Manoj Sinha
Upendra Kushwaha
Pon Radhakrishnan
Kiren Rijiju
Krishan Pal Gurjar
Sanjeev Kumar Balyan
Mansukhbhai Vasava
Raosaheb Dadarao Danve
Vishnu Dev Sai
Sudarshan Bhagat