Indian Administration



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1.0 Objectives

1.1 Introduction
1.2 Mauryan and Gupta Administration
1.3 Major Characteristics of Moghul Administration
1.3.1 Role of the King
1.3.2 Bureaucracy
1.3.3 Army
1.3.4 Police
1.4 Structure of the Moghul Administrative System
1.4.1 Central Administration
1.4.2 Provincial Administration
1.4.3 District and Local Administration
1.5 Revenue Administration
1.5.1 Land Revenue as the Primary Source of Income
1.5.2 Types of Land Tenurial Systems
1.5.3 Administration of Land Revenue
1.5.4 Important Revenue Reforms
1.5.5 Modus Operandi of Revenue Collection
1.6 Administration of Justice
1.6.1 Administration of Civil Justice
1.6.2 Administration of Criminal Justice
1.7 Let Us Sum Up
1.8 Key Words
1.9 References and Further Readings
1.10 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

In this Unit the overall objective is to examine the political and administrative
environment in India at the advent 6f British rule. After studying this unit, you
should be able to:
Understand the administrative system prior to the Moghuls;
Explain the Moghul administration which was by and large inherited by the
East India Company; and I

Trace the roots of some of the present day adminiktrative practices and
institutions. .
There are evidences that Indian history originated with the Indus Valley
civilization. The sites at Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa and Lothal are described as
pre-Vedic period and the coming of Aryans as Vedic period. During the Vedic
period, Hinduism first arose (it was during this time when Vedas were \1~ritten).
Large parts of India were united during Ashoka's rule. It was at that time that
Buddhism spread not only in India but in other parts of Asia also. In the
Mauryan reign, Hinduism took the shape. Islam came to light in thi eighth
century and in the subsequent three centuries established as a political force.
Lodhis, Tughalaks and a number of other dynasties were succeeded by the
Moghuls. 1ndian administration in the contemporary period possesses
characteristics of heterogeneity ~ f ; ' ~ o a ideals,
ls, focus and roles. It has reflection
- . . . - -. . .- .- - . . .
Historical Context
The main focus o this Unit is on Mauryan and Moghul administration as it was
known in the days of the great emperors, Chandragupta, Ashoka, and Akbar, who
are singled out the most outstanding rulers of India known for their
administrative abi ities of a high order.
This Unit gives a detailed coverage to Mauryan and Moghul adminisetion
because these reflect the significant features of earlier administrative systems.
Before we examine the nature of the British rule, its distinguishing characteristics
and style of functioning, we must examine the administrative environment in
India at that time. In other words, we must examine Mauryan and Moghul
administration at great Length and take peep into post-Moghul developments to
get a comprehensive picture of the administrative system at the advent of British

As mentioned earlier, Indian administration can be traced to the Indus Valley
Civilisation which is about 5000 years old that forms the basis of our civilisation
and culture. -

In the ancient period we know of the Magadha, Mauryan and the Gupta Ages.
Kautilya's Arthashastra, a political treatise on ancient Indian political
institutions, written sometime from 321 to 296 B.C., examines statecraft, gives
an account of State administration and reflects the rule of the Mauryan kings.
Arthashastra, a treatise by Kautilya, a Brahmin Minister under Chandragupta
Maurya, is written in Sanskrit. It discusses theories and principles for effective
It comprises fifteen books dealing extensively with the powers and obligations of
the king; major organs of the state including the King, the Ministers, the
Janapada [territory with people settled on it], the Durga, the Treasury, and the
Army; Revenue administration; and personnel administration. A thorough
analysis of the Arthshastra brings to light the following principles of Public
Administration: welfare orientation; unity of command; division of work;
coordination; plarlning, budgeting and accounting; decentralisation; 'recruitment
based on qualificafions laid down for each post; paid civil service; hierarchy; and
delegation of authority.
In the Mauryan administration, the State had to perform two types of functions.
The constituent (component) functions related to maintenance of law and order,
security of person and property and defence against aggression. The ministrant
(welfare) functiods had to do with provision of welfare services. All these
functions were carried out by highly organised and elaborate governmental
machinery. The empire was divided into a Home Province under the direct
control of the central government and 4 to 5 outlying provinces, each under a
Viceroy who was responsible to the Central Government. The provinces had
considerable autonomy in this "feudal-federal type" of organisation. Provinces
were divided into districts and districts into villages with a whole lot of officials
in charge at various levels. There was city government too and two types of
courts corresponding to the modem civil and criminal courts. All the
administrative wark was distributed among a number of departments, a very
important department being the special tax department, managed by an efficient
and highly organised bureaucracy who was supplemented by the army and the
secret police.
The king was all-powerful and everything was done in his name. He was assisted
by the 'parishad' and the 'sabha'. The administrative system was a close
combination of military force and bureaucratic despotism. An outstanding
features of Mauryan administration was that the State, through a new class of
officials, known as 'dharma mahamantras' carried out the policy of moral
regeneration of tbe people. Ashoka, the great Mauryan King, set up a new
A n n a r h n n n t oa1lnA thn M i n i e t r v nf M n r a l c
~ h e ' ~ u ~continued
tas the legacy of the Mauryans in many respects. The divine Administrative System at
the Advent of British Rule
character of the king was upheld and the king controlled all the levels of the
administrative machinery. The empire was divided, like the Mauryan, for
administrative purposes into units styled as 'Bhukti', 'Desa', 'Rashtra' and
'Mandala'. Villages had their own headmen and assemblies and towns and cities
had special officers called 'nagarapatis' and even town councils. The king had
the help of various functionaries to share the burden of administration. Apart
from the confidential adviser, there were civil and military officials, feudatories,
district officers and many others.

The Moghuls upheld the earlier traditions in political and administrative matters.
The Moghul emperor was a perfect autocrat and the administration was 'a
centrajised autarchy'. The king symbolised the state and was the source and centre
of all power agencies. The Moghuls did succeed in building up a 'monolithic
When compared to the Mauryas, the Moghuls moved in the direction of greater
centralisation. They did not pay much attention to social services of health and
welfare as also morals which were areas of special concern for the Mauryan
i kings. But the Moghuls had an efficient civil service They recognised merit and
I accepted Hindu intelligentsia in the higher civil service. Its only drawback was
ft that it was 'land-based'. It means it was mainly concerned with revenue
functions and was a 'highly urbanised institutions'.
1.3.1 Role of the King
Administration was personalised. It has aptly been described as paternalistic. The
entire administrative machinery revolved around the king who was viewed as a
'father figure' or a 'despot' by his people. Most of the time the king was seen as a
benevolent despot who worked for the welfare of his people. The theory upheld
was that of absolute monarchy based on the divine right to rule. The king was
I everything to his people. He was the source of all authority and the fountain-head
of justice. The administrative system was highly centralised and personalised.
Everything, therefore, depended on the character and person of the king. Hence,
when Aurangzeb showed himself as a religious bigot and indulged in religious
persecution of the worst kind, while indulging in endless wars in the South, central
authority weakened, efficiency suffered and administration collapsed. Rajputs,
Marathas, Jats, Sikhs and other local elements sought their independence and thus
I set into motion, forces of disintegration.
1.3.2 Bureaucracy
Organisation of the administrative machinery was unstable. It depended on the
whims and fancies of the king. Recruitment was on the basis of caste, kin, heredity
and personal loyalty to the king. Administration was based on fear of force. In the
name of the king, the officials struck terror in the hearts of people, They wielded
much awe and respect among the people.
Officials were primarily engaged to maintain law and order, safeguard the
interests of the king from internal uprisings and revolts, defend and extend the
boundaries of the empire and collect revenue and other taxes.
Every officer of the State held a mansab or official appointment of rank and
profit and was expected to supply a certain number of tcoops for the military
service of the State. Hence, bureaucracy was essentially military in character.
Officials or mansabdars were classified into 33 grades, ranging from
Commanders of 10 to those of 10,000 soldiers. Each grade carried a definite rate
of pay, out of which its holder had to provide a quota of horses, elephants, etc.
State service was not by hereditary succession, nor was it svecialised.
Historical Context Officers received their salaries either in cash or through jagirs for a temporary
period. The officers did not have ownership of lands in their jagirs, but only the
right to collect the revenue equivalent to his salary. The jagir system provided
scope for exploitation of the masses and gave undue power and independence to
the holders of ja6rs. These evils were difficult to check when the Emperor was
1.3.3 Army
The army must b;e understood largely in terms of the Mansabdari system. In
addition, there were the supplementary troopers and a special category of
"gentlemen troopep" who were horsemen owing exclusive allegiance to the king.
The army had cavalry which was the most important unit, the infantry, made up of
townsmen and pesants and artillery with guns and navy.
The Moghul army was a mixture of diverse elements. As it grew in numbers it
became too heterdgeneous to be manageable. The soldiers did not owe direct
allegiance to the Emperor but were more attached to their immediate recruiters or
bosses and as such were b ~y with their bitter rivalries and jealousies. Above all,
the pomp and splendour ot the army proved to be its undoing. The army on the
move was like a huge moving city, with all its paraphernalia of elephants,
camels, harem, b w s , workshops, etc. Soon indiscipline set in and the inevitable
deterioration was fully manifest at the tipe of Jahangir. .No longer capable of
swift action, the' Marathas, under Shivaji, could score over the Moghuls in
1.3.4 Police
In the rural areas, policing was undertaken by the village headman and his
subordinate watchmen. This system continued well into the 19' century. In the
cities and towns police duties were entrusted to Kotwals. Among their many
duties Kotwals had to artest burglars, undertake watch and ward duties, regulate
prices and check weights and measures. They had to employ and supervise work
of spies and make an inventory of property of deceased or missing persons.
However, the Kowal's main job was to preserve peace and public security in
urban areas. In the districts, law and order functions were entrusted to Faujdars.
Check Your Progreis 1
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.
I) Explain the Mmsabdari System.

2) Enumerate the special fc.,tures of Moghul administration.
Administrative System at
1.4 STRUCTURE OF THE MOGHUL; the Advent o f British Rule
1.4.1 Central Administration
Central administration, like administration in general, was personal and paternal.
The system operated with a fair degree of efficiency as long as the king was able to
exercise control from above. As soon as his grip loosened, the system fell to
pieces, as seen in the reigns of Shahjahan and Aurangzeb.
The two highest officials were the 'Vakil' and the 'Wazir'. The Vakil, in fact,
was higher of the two. He functioned as regent of State and was in over all
charge of the State. The 'Wazir' or high diwan was the highest officer of the
revenue department. He was actually known a s 'Wazir' when he acted as Prime
The Chief Diwan supervised revenue collection and expenditure. He was head of
the administrative wing of Government. He supervised the work of all the high
officials. He controlled and guided provincial diwans who along with their
subordinates were in touch with him. He signed all kinds of documents and put
his seal authenticating government transactions.
The Moghuls had many diwans. Under the high diwan, that is, diwan-e-ala, there
was the 'diwan-e-tan' in charge of salaries and 'diwan-e-khalsa' in charge of
State (crown) lands. 'At times, the diwans were also successful military
commanders. There was also the 'mustaufi' who audited income and expenditure
and the 'waqia-navis' who kept a record of all important farmers.
Among other officials there was the 'Khan-e-sama' or the high steward in charge
of royal expenditure, the 'diwan-e-buyutat' who was the understudy of the
'Khan-e-sama', the 'Mir-e-Bakshi', the paymaster-general of the empire and the
'Sadr-e-sudur', the head of the ecclesiastical department.
Apart from the major officials of the central government, there were several
others of minor importance who kept the system going. The administrative
pattern was based on regulations, traditions and practices. ..
1.4.2 Provincial Administration
Given the centralised and personalised character of Moghul administration,
provincial authorities were only administrative agencies of the Centre.
The Empire was divided into 'subas' or provinces. At the head of the province
was the tsubedar' or Governor. He was appointed by imperial order and was
given the insignia of office and instrument of instructions which defined his
powers, functions and responsibilities. As executive head, he was in charge of
the provincial administrative staff and ensured law and order in the province. He
tackled local civil and intelligence staff with a firm hand and realised tributes
from the local chiefs under him. He also controlled the local Zamindars and
contained their political influence.
The provincial diwan was sc'ccted by the imperial diwan. Though next in
importance to the governor, he functioned independently of him and was
subordinate to the imperial diwan. He was in charge of'the finances of the
province and appointed 'kroris' and 'tehsildars' to induce ryots to pay
government dues in time. The diwan also exercised functions of an auditor and
exercised full control over public expenditure. His establishment included the
office superintendent, the head accountant, the treasurer, and clerks.
The provincial 'bakshi' performed a role similar to that of the 'bakshi' at the
Centre. He was responsible for the maintenance and control of troops and kept an
account of the salaries and emoluments of all provincial officers in terms of their
Historical Context The 'Sadr' and the 'Qazi' were the two officers at the provincial level which
were sometimes united in the same person though there was a distinction in the
jurisdiction of the two. 'Sadr' was exclusively a civil judge, but did not handle all
civil cases. 'Qazi' was concerned with civil suits in general and also with
criminal cases. .
1.4.3 District and Local Administration
The 'Suba' or province was divided into 'Sarkars' which were of two types. There
were those ruled by officers appointed by the emperor and those under the tributary
rajas. At the head of each sarkar was the Faujdar who was the executive head.
Although Faujdars were subordinate to the provincial governors, they could have
direct communication with the imperial government. On his appointment, a
'Faujdar' received advice regarding policy and conduct. He was also in charge of a
military force and saw to it that rebellions were put down and crimes investigated.
Apart from the 'Faujdar', the other head of the 'sarkar' was the 'amalguzar'. He
was in charge of revenue. Each of them had their own set of subordinate
officials. The 'kotwal' did policing of the town and its suburbs.
A barkar' was divided into 'parganas'. Each 'pargana' had a 'shiqqdar', and
'amil' and 2i 'qazi'. The 'shiqqdar' was executive head and combined in himself
the functions of the 'Faujdar' and 'kotwal' of the 'sarkar'. He took care of law
and order, criminal justice and general administration. The 'amil's' duties were
similar to those af the amalguzar and the 'qazi's' were judicial.
The 'parganas' were further divided into 'Chaklas', which were creatred to
facilitate and improve the realisation and assessment of-revenue and had their
own set of local iofficials like the 'Chakladars'. Each of the officials was
responsible and accountable to those above.
Check Your Progress 2
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit..
1) Make a list of important officials at the Central level.

2) Make a list of important officials at the p o v i s h l and district leueb.

1.5.1 Land Revenue as the Primary Source of Income
The Revenue system needs to be closely studied &cause land revenue has been
traditionally, the pr'imary source of income of the State. The State and the
cultivator were two parties to the contract. The right of the State to a share of the Administrative System at
the Advent of British Rule
produce was recognised as a principle of political economy from times
immemorial. What was disputed and had to be determined periodically was the
fixing of the share of each.
In ancient times, the State's share was defined by law-givers as one-twelfth, one-
eighth or even one-fourth. However, about one-sixth was realised. While in the
14thcentury, the State took half, Akbar kept it at one-third.
1.5.2 Types o f Land ~ e n u r i a Systems
, l
There were three types of land tenurial systems in India. The Zamindari system
was prevalent in Bengal and was extended by the British to parts of Madras. Here
the Zamindars as the intermediaries played a crucial role. In the Mahalwari system,
as seen in the North West Provinces, the settlement of land revenue was with
zamindars that held their Mahal (estate) in joint proprietorship and not on an
individual basis. The Ryotwari system, seen in North India and the Deccan, did
away with all kinds of intermediaries between the State and the ryots or peasants.
Though the actual cultivators of the soil were responsible for the annual payment
of the fixed revenue, they did not have proprietary rights. These continued to be
vested in the State.
1.5.3 Administration of and Revenue
Land tenures were pretty complex and, varied from place to place. These could be
understood through the following three groups.
i) Non-proprietary tenures were held by peasant cultivators who worked as
tenants and reht-payers. They held land on van rous conditions and got a share
ofthe produce in cash or kind. Though in theory they could be evicted by the
proprietor, yet custom recognised their right to continue as tenants as long as
they r id rent.
ii) The superior proprietary tenures were held by a mixed group. They were
descendants or representatives of ancient chiefs and nobles, military chiefs
or even middlemen called 'assignees'. They also included hereditary
officers and local influential that acted as temporary or permanent owners
of the government share of the produce or rent so long as they paid a
certain tribute or revenue to the State. They usually took 10% of
Government share and were responsible for law and order, land
improvement and even administration of justice. These various types of
assignees formed the feudal structure of society. They often farmed out
their lands and this system of revenue farming was oppressive to the
iii) - The subordinate proprietary tenures were in between the earlier two. Their
existence came to light as a result of the painstaking researches of Holt
Mackenzie and Sir Charles Metcalfe. In the North West Provinces, these
formed a large part of the proprietary community and their counterparts
were found in Punjab, Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.
Since the bulk of the State's income originated from land revenue, administration
of revenue was much critical. The machinery for collection was elaborate and
hierarchical. Apart from the ,official"bureaucracy, there were a whole lot of
intermediaries who had a role to play in revenue collection. The net result was that
the peasants were exploited and-ictimised. They were th'e worst sufferers in the
system because of undue extortion. The only gain for them was a certain amount of
security as they could not be evicted from their holdings for default of payment.
1.5.4 Important Revenue Reforms
important revenue reforms were introduced during the reign of Akbar when Todar
Mal was appointed the Diwan-e-Ashraf. Todar Mal established a standard system
of revenue coilection, with major highlights as survey and measurement of land,
classification of land' and fixation of rates. Hence, the overall success or failure of
Historical Context the revenue system depended on the king and the quality and nature of the
centralised administration. Akbar is credited with having scientifically organised
his land revenue system. It continued till the 18' century though it gradually lost its
vigour and was injurious to the interests of the peasants.
1.5.5 Modus Operandi of Revenue Collection
Mention has been made of the modus.operandi of revenue collection. The
Empire was divide'd'into 'subas', which were subdivided into 'sarkars' and
'sarkars' into 'parganas'. The 'amalguzar' was the chief revenue collector in
charge of a district and was assisted by a large subordinate staff. Among other
officials, mention must be made of the 'Qanungo' who kept revenue records, the
'Bitikchi' and the 'Potdar' or district treasurer.
Check Your Progress 3
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.
1) Distinguish between the Zamindari, Mahalwari and Ryotwari tenurial

2) Who were the "assignees"? What were their functions in the society?

3) Mention three important revenue officials.

1.6.1 Administration of Civil Justice
The Moghul State, being a Muslim State was based on Quranic law. The judges
followed the Quranic precepts, the 'Fatwas' or previous interpretations of the Holy '
Law by eminent jurists and the ordinances of the Emperors. They did not disregard
customary laws and sought t~ follow principles of equity. The Emperor's
interpretations prevailed, provided they did not run counter to the sacred laws.
For the dispensation of justice, there were two types of tribunals. There was the
Chief 'Qazi' with subordinate 'Qazi' who followed the Islamic law, both civil a d
criminal. The other was the 'mir'adl', a secular officer who took care of suits not
specifically provided for by the religious laws of the two communities. The king
was the suoreme court of both original and abbellate iurisdiction.
he' o&ce of 'mir'adl' was limited to big cltles and towns where the mixed Administrative System at
the Advent of British Rule
population and advanced commerce gave rise to cases not covered by Quranic law.
Here too, there were opportunities for corruption and misuse of authority. Where
thelLmir'adl' and 'qazi' were both present, the former exercised a general
controlling authority over the 'qazi' who acted under him as a law officer.

1.6.2 Administration of Criminal Justice
The Quran was the guide for conduct of criminal justice for Muslims as well as
non-Muslims. According to Muhammadan law, crimes were classified under three
main heads: (i) Crimes against God; (ii) Crimes against the sovereign; (iii) Crimes
against private individuals. Punishment of Crimes was on the fotlowing principles:
(a) 'Huda' @ punishment specified by Quranic law which included death,
flogging, etc.; (b) 'Qisas', or retaliation due as a right of man; and (c) 'Tazir' or
punishment inflicted at the discretion of the judge, but not defined by law. It
included admonition, exposure to public insult and even exile and scourging.
By modern standards of justice, punishments were severe and barbarous.
Whipping to death was common. Persons were flayed alive for treason and
conspiracqt against the State. In the reign of Aurangzeb, no Muslim could be
convicted on evidence of a non-Muslim, but the latter could be readily punished
on the testimony of a Muslim or any other person.
The operation of regular courts was seriously affected. With the-disintegration of
the Moghual authority and the collapse of the empire, the operation of regular
courts was confined to chief towns where the provincial governors continued to
wield a measure of autonomy.
At a later stage, one finds that attempts were made by the Britishers to improve
administration of criminal justice.
British administration was especially concerned with criminal branch and sought
to do away with the inequities and inadequacies of Islamic law and order to meet
the needs of a more advanced society as well. as to conform to principles of
natural justice and equal citizenship.
Briefly, the principles the Public Administration during the Moghul period could
be listed as: Centralisation; personalised administration; civil service; different
levels of administration; division of work; bureaucracy having military character;
revenue administration based on well laid down principles; administration based
on fear of force; administration based on regulations, traditions, and practices;
and inadequate unity of command (one could find gaps through illustrations like
the position of provincial Diwan, who was directly under the Imperial'Diwan and
not under the Governor, and the position of Faujdars, who were though under the
Governors, yet could have direct communication with the imperial government).

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.
1) Describe the types of tribunals forjudicial administration. f~?
Historical Context 2) Explain the distinguishing features of the Moghul judiciary. I

At the advent of British rule, -the administrative system was paternalistic,
centralised and personalised. There was an elaborate network of officials at the
centre constituting tlhe central secretariat which was repeated at the provincial
and local levels. The emperor had the total control of the state. Land revenue was
the principal source of income and land tenures were complex, elaborate and a
mix of rules, regulations, customs and traditions. The judicial system was under
executive dominance and was poorly structured. Society was feudal, with the
toiling masses often given a raw deal.

Bureaucratic Despdtism : Absolute and domineering rule of bureaucrats
in a society.
Centralised Autarchy : Government by an individual or a group with
absolute and unrestricted authority.
Intelligentsia : The educated or intellectual people in a
Monolithic Administration : Undivided and unitary administration.
Paraphernalia : Miscellaneous.

Majumdar, R. (et al) 1967, An Advanced History ofIndia; Macmillan, New York
Misra, B.B., 1959, The Central Administration of the East India Company
1773-1834, Manchester University Press, Manchester
Puri, B.N. 1975, History of Indian Administration Volume II; Medieval Period,
Bharatiya Vidya Mandir, Bombay

Check Your Progress 1
1) Your answer must include the following points:
Functions of the officers holding 'mansabs'
Classification of mansabdars into grades
Exploitative nature of mansabdari fibtern
2) Your answer must include the following points:
Amy .
Mansabdari System
Check Your Progress 2 Administrative System at
the Advent of British Rule
1) See Sub-section 1.4.1.
2) See Sub-section 1.4.2 and 1.4.3.
Clteek Your Progress 3
1) Your answer must include the following points:
Differences relating to role of intermediaries
Differences relating to payment of revenue
Differences relating to places where they existed
2) Your answer must include the following points:
Composition of Assignees
Source of Income of Assignees
Resp~nsibilitiesof Assignees
3) See Sub-section 1.5.5.
Cbeck Your Progress 4
1) Your answer must include the following points:
Two types of tribunals .'
Role of the dhief 'Qazi' and subordinate 'Qazis'
Role of 'mir'adl'
2) Your answer must include the following points:
Justice in Moghul period was based on Quranic Law
Classification of crimes into three main heads
Nature of punishment
Discrimination between Muslims and non-Muslims
Dominance of executive authority
~radati;d of Courts
2.0 Objectives
2.1 ~ntrodktion
2.2 The Nature of Administration
2.2.1 Characteristic Features of the East Iridia Company
2.2.2 The Regulating Act of 1773
2.2.3 The Amending Act of 178 1
2.3 Constitutional Changes from 1784-1834
2.3.1 Pitt's India Act 1784
2.3.2 The Amending Act of 1786
2.4 The Central Secretariat
2.4.1 The Departments of Secretaries to Government
2.4.2 Changes in the Secretariat from 1787-1 808
2.4.3 Financial and Colonial Departments
2.4.4 Reconstruction of Departments in 1815
2.5 Departments under the Governor General and Other ~ i v i b e ~ a r t m e n t s
2.6 The Administration of Revenue
2.6.1 The Imperial Grant of the Diwani
. 2.6.2 Formation of the Board or Council of Revenue
2.5.3 District Administration and the District Collector
2.7 Board of Revenue
2.8 Role of Divisional Commissioners
2.9 The Administration of Criminal Justice and Police
2.10 The Civil Service
2.1 1 Let Us Sum Up
2.12 Key Words
2.1 3 References and Further Readings
2.14 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

- - -

After studying this Unit, you should be able to:
Understand the important landmarks in the British East India Company
administration from 1757-1857;
Discuss the features of Regulating Act of 1773 that brought major changes in
administration in India and Pitt's India Act of 1784 that effected major
changes in England;
Describe the structure of Central Secretariat as it took shape in its formative
Highlight the administrative system of revenue, criminal justice and police;
Explain the features of dhisional and district administration during the days
of the East India Company.

British administration in India. till 1858 was mainly that of the East India
Company. Though the British Government passed Acts from time to time, and%
interfered with and regulated the Company's administration, the complete
takeover by the Crown took place in 1858. Also, the Company, which began as a
purely commercial corporation, gradually attained the status of a Government or

While the British started tmding operations from 1600 A.D., other foreign British Administration:
powers like the Portuguese, the Dutch and the French were already in the trading
1757 1858

business. So the British were in competition with other European pbwers to
capture the trade in the East. Simultaneously, they acquire territorial
supremacy. This was possible because of the collapse of the Moghul Empire and
the mutually destructive wars between princes and nawabs. For instance, through
the Carnatic wars, the English secured the Northern Circars which were
i previously administered by the French. By winning the Battle of Plassey in
Bengal in 1757 and through the Treaty of Allahabad, the ~ r i t i m int 1765, the
Diwani of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa and the right of administering these
provinces andcollecting their revenue.
In a hundred years, from the Battle of Plassey (1757) to the Sepoy Mutiny
(1857), the British virtually captured the whole of India and India soon became
the brightest jewel in the British Crown.

2.2.1 Characteristic Features of the East India Company
The East India Company, established on 31* December 1600, was a monopoly,
mercantile Company, which was granted by the British crown the right-to trade
in the eastern parts. A trading station, with a number of factors was called
Factory. A settlement (number of factories) was under ah Agedt. Factor was the
term applied to an agent transacting business as a substitute for another in
mercantile affairs. Employees were graded as &;,irentices, writers, factors and
Recruitment of officials, their nomenclature, terms and conditions of service
were governed by rules and practices apptopriate to commercial business.
Generally, patronage was the method of recruitment and promotion in the
services. Patronage was in the hands of the Proprietors or Directors of the
In the early years of Company rules, officials were frequently moved around,
from one district to another. They had no training on the job and learnt the hard
way by trial and error. They were ignorant of the laws, customs and languages of
the local people. Given very low salaries, the Company's servants were known to
be corrupt.
The system of governance was commercial in character. It was basically
government by Council. The Council had eb;ecutive and legislative powers with
the overn nor or the Governor-General having the casting vote. With the
acquisition of more territorial sovereignty and the need to take prompt decisions,
more power came to be concentrated in the head or Chairman of the Council, but
the fundamental principle of collective rule and responsibility remained.
, It was also a government by Boards. ,After the Board of trade, the next in
importance was the Military b a r d . But the Board of Revenue bad the longest
history and the most distinguished record of work. Later, there was also the
Railway Board. The Board made possible counseling, discussion, deliberation
and even legislative and judicial activities. Questions of policy and principle,
conduct and action were settled in the Board.
It was a government by record. When transactions were commercial, records
were brief and manageablg. But political dealings made record keeping
cumbersome and voluminous. Notes, minutes, despatches and reports became an
integral part of British administration. All this was in a w& necessary because
only through written reports and records could control be exercised by officials
in the governmental hierarchy. With the Company headquarters in far away
England, record keeping helped check absolutism and uncontrolled power.
Historical Context The East India Company mismanaged administration of acquired territories in
India. One example of it is through Clive's Double or Dual Government of
Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. While the Company took over direct responsibility for
defending these territories from outside attack, internal matters, like revenue
collection was still left to the Nawab and his officers who worked on behalf of
the Company. This was because the Company did not know the local customs
and practices and felt comfortable leaving the existing system of revenue
collection intact. But this resulted in exploitatiorl of the worst kind as maximum
revenue was extracted from the people. Though it was done in the name of the
Company, which got a bad name on this account, the Nawab and his men
pocketed a lot and grew rich at the cost of the Company.
2.2.2 The Regulating Act of 1773
This Act deserves special mention because it was the first actron on the part of
the British Government to regulate the affairs of the Company in India. The
Company, through a Charter, had only been given trading rights by the British
Crown. When it acquired territories in India and slowly but surely converted
itself into a ruling body, the Parliament could not accept and regularise this
development. Moreover, it was believed that whatever lands the Company
acquired were in the name of and on behalf of the King. Therefore, the
administration of these territories had to be controlled by the Crown.
Again, merchants and traders could hardly equal the task of administration. This
was proved by the growing level of corruption and mismanagement of territorial
acquisitions: While the shareholders of the Company were looking for bigger
dividends because the Company was playing a double role of trading and ruling,
the Company was making big losses and had to be bailed out. To tide over a
critical period when finances were low because of Indian wars and growing
demand for increased dividends, the Company asked the British Parliament for a
loan of E 1,400,000. This gave Parliament a long-awaited chance to assert its
right to control the political affairs of the East India Company. They granted the
loan on condition that administration in India would be according to directions of
the British Parliament. Hence, the Regulating Act of 1773 was passed.
Changes Introduced by the Regulating Act in England
The Court of Proprietors of the Company was reformed. Formerly, a shareholder,
holding a stock o f f 500 and over, became a member of the Court of Proprietors.
The Regulating Act raised it to the minimum to E 1000. This made the Court of
Proprietors a compact, better organised body to discharge both its duties and
Changes were also made in the. Board of Directors. It was now to consist of 24
members elected by the Court of Proprietors every 4 years, 6 directors retiring
every year - instead of all the Directors being elected every year as before. This
gave the Board some continuity and facilitated better management.
Changes Introduced bj. the ~ e ~ u l a tAct
i n ~in India
The Governor of Bengal was now designated as the Governor-General of Bengal
and Governors of other provinces in India were subordinate to him. The Governor-
General was to be-assisted by a council of four members sent from England.
Decisions were to be taken by majority vote and the Governor-General Warren
Hastings had a casting vote. The British territories in India came to be controllkd
from Bengal and that in turn was subject to control from England.
The Regulating Act set up the Supreme Court at Calcutta with Lord Chief Justice
and three judges. This was the Supreme Court of Judicature, the highest court in
British India. It had power to exercise civil, criminal, admiralty and ecclesiastical
jurisdiction. It had jurisdiction over British subjects and Company's servants. But
its relations with the existing courts were not defined.
Effects of the Regulating Act British Administration:
1757 1858
The changes in the Company's organisation in England made it more effective
managing body at headquarters.
The Act created a centralised administration in India, making the Bombay and
Madras Governors subordinate to the Governor-General of Bengal. There was a
felt need for a uniform policy for the whole of British India, thus, avoiding much
wasteful expenditure.
'The creation of the Supreme Court made for better justice to British subjects.
The Regulating Act brought in a system of checks and balances. It made the
Governors subordinate to the Governor-General, the Governor-General
subordinate to his Council and the Supreme Court effective in its control over the
Governor-General in Council.
The Regulating Act laid the foundation of a Central administration and instituted
a system of Parliamentary control. It marked the beginning of the Company's
transformation from a trading body to a Corporation of a new kind, entirely
administrative in its object and subordinate to Parliament.
Defects of the Regulating Act
Though the Act was expected to regulate and centralise administration to
provide better justice and bring in a system of checks and balances, it was
found to have serious drawbacks in practice. For example, it had the
following defects relating to the Supreme Court:
i) The ambiguity of jurisdiction between the Supreme Council, and the
Governor-General in Council was a drawback in the Act of 1773. The
Regulating Act entrusted the entire civil and military administration of the
diwani prot-inces to the Governor-General and Council. But the Supreme
Court was also autborised to take cognizance of cases not only against
British but also native \employees of the Company. It could punish all
persons who committed' acts of oppression either in the exercise of civil
jurisdiction or in the collection of revenue. But the Act did not specify
whose authority would be final in case of a conflict between the Council and
the Court. These difficulties arose because the Company which was the
virtual sovereign of the diwani provinces was not declared to be so by
ii) The Regulations passed by the Governor-General in Council had to be
registered by the Supreme Court before they were executed as law. Court's
refusal to do it could amount to hamper the smooth working of the
administration and there was no explanation provided to this effect.
iii) The Act did not clearly specify which law had to be applied while trying
cases. The Court applied English law in all cases even where Indians were
charged with offences. This was resented by the Indians.
IV) The Provincial and other Courts were not recognised. All these defects did
much harm. The British Government corrected these defects through the
Amending Act of 1781.
The drawbacks relating to the Governor-General-in-Council included:
The Governor-General was answerable to the Directors and was held responsible
for all acts pertaining to the administration in India. But he was not given a free
hand as he was bound by the majority decisions of his council. Though this is
understandable as part of the system of checks and balances, yet it resulted in the
Council taking decisidns for'which the Governor-General alone was held
accountable. There was constant friction between the Governor-General and his
Council, as a result, administration suffered.
Historical Context Though the Governors were subordinate to the Governor-General, yet, in actual
practice, they acted independently of Bengal. They justified their action by
saying, the matter was urgent and decisions could not be delayed. In this way, the
idea of unity and uniformity sought by the Act was defeated in practice.
According to the Regulating Act, the East India Company was to supply all
c&espondence relating to military, administrative and financial matters to the
British Government. This indirect control did not work satisfactorily in practice
and the Proprietors and Directors followed a policy based on personal
consideratiofis rather than administrative need.
2.2.3 - The Amending Act of 1781
This Act amended the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. It was deprived of its
right to action arising in the collection of revenue. Landholders, farmqrs or other
persons connected iri,land revenue work were not covered by the Supre* Court.
In the same way, no person, just by virtue of being the Company's employee,
could be subjected to the Court's jprisdiction. Even though the Court's
jurisdiction extended over all the inhabitants of Calcutta, the Court had to take
into account personal.laws of Hindus in case of Hindus and Quranic law in case
of Muslims.
The Amending Act recognised the appellate jurisdiction o'f the Governor-General
and Cou?cil and confirmed their judicial authority to entertain all such pleas and
appeals as they had done all along as a Court of record.
The Oovernor43ener~land' Council were. further itivested with "power and
authority, ftonl time to time, to frame regulations for the provincial courts and
councils". Their legislation under this Act, was not to be subject to registratiop in
the Supreme Court of Judicature, but was requifed to be finally approved by h e '

Check Your Progress 1
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.
1) Explain the Statement: "The Company's governance was commercial in

Discuss the major defects of the Regulating Act of 1773.
3) How did the Amending Act of 1781 affect the working of the Supreme British Administration:
1757 - I858
Court and the Governor-General in Council?


2.3.1 Pitt's India Act 1784
The shortcomings of the ~ e g u l a t i nAct
~ soon became manifest. To remedy these
defects was not easy because it involved a complete separation of commercial and
political functions of the Company which was viewed with disfavour in England.
The urge for a change was very strong and it could not be suppressed for long. In
1783, a bill was introduced by Dundas, but it failed. In the same year, Fox
introduced two bills but these were rejected in the House of Lords. When
William Pitt came to head the Government he was determined to introduce a bill
on India and see it through. At the first attempt, it was defeated by a narrow
majority and on second attempt after Pitt's party was returned to power it was
Pitt's India Act provided for a body of six commissioners popularly known as the
Board of Control. It consisted of one Secretary of State, the Chancellor of the
Exchequer and four Privy Councillors appointed by the king and holding office
during his 'pleasure. Three of the six formed a quorum and the President
possessed a casting vote in case opinion was equally divided. The Secretary of
State was to preside over the meetings of the Board, which in his absence, done
was by the Chancellor of the Exchequer or a Senior Commissioner.
The Board of Control was empowered to superintend, direct and control the
Company's'affairs in India with regard to civil, military and revenue work. The
Directors of the Company had to deliver to the Board, copies of all
correspondence with the compahy. The orders of the Board on civil and military
government or revenues of India became binding on the Directors. According to
the Act, the Board could transmit, through a secret committee of three Directors,
secret orders to India on the subject of war, peace, or diplomatic negotiation with
any of the country powers.
The Propri'etors lost most of their powers. They could no longer revoke or
modih a decision taken by the Directors with the approval of the Board of
The Directors retained their control of commerce and right to patronage except in
the appbintment of the Governor-Generalkthe Governors of Madras and Bombay
and the Commanders-in-Chief of the three Presidencies.
The arrangement made by Pitt's India Act operated till 1858. Indian Government
was subjected to a system of dual control in which the Company could initiate
proposals subject to the revising and directing authority of the Board.
The Act reduced the number of members of the Governor-General's Council to
three. One of them was to be the Commander-in-Chief. This change enabled the
Governor-General to get a majority even if he could get the support of only one
... . . . ..
Historical Context The Act clearly indicated the subordinate character of the Governments of
Bombay and Madras and made independent action on their part, impossible. The
Governor-General-in-Council had the power and authority to superintend, direct
and control other Presidencies in all matters. The entire diplomatic relations of
the Company in India as also the finances necessary to support them were
entrusted to the Governor-General-in-Council. The subordinate governments
were directed not to disobey any of the orders of the Supreme government on the
ground of competence. They had to obey such orders in all cases except when
they received positive orders and instructions from the Directors or the Secret
Committee. They also had to send true and exact copies of all such orders,
resolutions or acts to the Governor-General-in-Council.
Pitt's India Act invested the Governor-General-in-Council with much
discretionary power to deal with emergencies. Though they had to obey orders
from home, they could act on their own when the situation warranted it.
Generally, in matters of war and peace, the Governor-General-in-Council was to
be guided by instructions of the Court of Directors.
Hence, through Pitt's India Act, the Control of the Crown over the Company, of
the Company over the Governor-General-in-Council and of the supreme
government over the subordinate Presidencies was greatly improved and fairly
well defined.
2.3.2 The Amending Act of 1786
The Amending Act of 1786 took care of the problem related to the Councils of the
Governor-General and Governors. The Act invested the Governor-Qeneral or
Governor with power to override the decision of his Council and act without its
concurrence in extraordinary cases involving in his judgment the interests of the
Company or the safety and tranquility of British India.
If the Governor-General or Governor had to use this extraordinary power, to
overrule the majority, both sides had to put in writing their respective positions
on the issue under dispute. If the Governor-General or Governor finally chose to
act in his own way, he was personally to bear the responsibility of the measure
adopted without the concurrence of the Council.

In 1784, the Central Secretariat had three main branches: General, Revenue and
Commercial. Judicial. branch was later established in 1793. Between 1793 and
1834, the Central Secretariat worked through four branches. Of these, the civil
section of the General branch was under the immediate control of the Supreme
Board which consisted of the Governor-General-in-Council and it was
administered through Secretaries to Government in various departments.
2.4.1 The Departments of Secretaries to Government
Before 1756, all transactions of business were handled by one general department
with the help of a Secretary and a few Assistants. Due to pressure of business and
exigencies of war, the General Department had to be reorganised to secure
efficiency and despatch. Accordingly, a plan was drawn up to have two
Departments, that is, the Public Department which dealt with the affairs of trade,
shipping, revenues, accounts and other matters of a public 'nature and the Secret
Department which dealt with military plans and operations and all transactions
with country powers. Separate records should be maintained for each. The two
departments had to be jointly managed by a Secretary and an Assistant Secretary,
with a sub-secretary attached to each Department. There were eight Assistants for
the Public Department and seven for the Secret Department. Their specific duties
were defined. The President and Council at Fort William accepted this plan and
implemented it in 1764, But this arrangement lasted only for a year. The functions
n f thn Cnornt nnonrtmnnt X r r a r a tnLnn nxrnr hxr Plkrn nnrl hir Pnnnnr-;I in n A n + tn
centralise authority in the office of the Governor. In 1774, the Governor-General British Administration:
and Council took over the entire civil and military government of Bengal under the
1757 1858

Regulating Act.
With increase in the volume of administrative work and the supervision of
military operations against the Marathas and Mysore, the Public and Secret
Departments had a Secretary each. The post of Assistant Secretary was abolished
and a sub-secretary was attached to each of the two departments. The duties of
each were specified again and the Secret Department was removed to a separate
house so that its records and papers were not 'exposed to improper inspection'.
Foreign Department
The affairs of foreign nations in India were part of the business of the Secret
Department. These were now separated and vested in a Foreign Department, which
was established in 1783 and placed under the charge of the Secretary to
Government in the Secret Department.
Military Department
Matter relating to military expenditure, ranks, pensions and other claims of a
military nature were previously dealt with by the Government in its General or
Public Department. Warren Hastings, in 1776, suggested that military matters
spread over different departments should be brought together under a new Military
Department. This was done in 1777.
Revenue Department
When the Company acquired Diwani provinces in 1765, the collection of revenue
was left to Indian officers who acted as agents for the British. This arrangement
continued till 1769 when the Governor-General and Council appoiited Supervisors
in all districts to acquire knowledge of revenue resources and report on abuses in
the current systCm. But since their powers were limited and they failed in their
duties, a new management was created. There was to be a Controlling Council of
Revenue at Murshidabad and another at Patna. Since these lacked co-ordination, a
Controlling Committee of Revenue was set up in 1771 at Calcutta with powers to
inspect, control and direct revenue affairs.
In 1772, the Company decided to stand forth as diwan and carry out all revenue
administration through its own men. So a Committee of Circuit was formed
which worked along with the Controlling Committee of Revenue. Finally in
1772, it was decided to have a Revenue Department at Calcutta in place of these
various bodies. The Department had a Secretary, an Assistant Secretary, and a
sub-secretary, a Persian TransIator, an Accountant-General and several
In addition to Department Secretaries to Government who acted under the
direction and control of the Council, there were three inferior Boards to take care
of details of execution. These were:
1) The Committee of Revenue formed in 1781 to take care of revenue, justice
and police.
2) The Board of Ordinance, formed in 1775 to manage military stores.
3) The Board of Trade formed in 1774 for commercial transactions.
In 1785, these were reconstituted as the Board of Revenue, the Military Board and
the Board of Trade.
In 1786, the old Secret Department was renamed as Secret Political Department.
The Foreign Department was designated as Secret and Foreign Department. A
n e w Secret and Militam nenartment w a s e t iln, with Edward RRV a9 the
Historical Context Secretary of all the three departments. The old Military Department was
reconstituted in 1786 as the Military Department of Inspection and was distinct
from the Secret and Military Department. With slight changes in nomenclature
like dropping the words Secret in titles of Departments and creating a new Secret
Department these continued after 1 787.
2.4.2 Changes in the Secretariat from 1787-1808
Cornwallis reorganised the Secretariat. A Secretary-General was appointed for the
Public, Secret and Revenue Departments while each continued to have a sub-
Secretary. This arrangement preserved the independence of each department while
uniting all under the Secretary-General.
Cornwallis also established a separate Judicial Department with proceedings kept
under two distinct heads, civil and criminal.
Wellesley reconstituted the Secretariat and the changes he effected proved to be
of a permanent nature. By now there were four groups of Departments. They
a) The Secret, Political and Foreign Departments.
b) The Revenue and Judicial Departments.
c) The Public Department including Commercial branch.
d) The Military Department.
Each of these departments had a sub-secretary and all acted under the orders of a
Secretary-General who was usually nominated as Secretary to Government. Sub-
Secretaries became 'Secretaries'. The Chief Secretary had powers of general-
control and authority, but execution of details was not his job. Individual
Secretaries were filly responsible for transaction of business in their respective
Departments. There was a considerable increase of salaries as well. He also
opened new Departments since new territories were acquired by the Company.
Wellesley, in sum, raised the status of the Secretaries to Government by raising
their salaries and augmenting their responsibilities to include research and
2.4.3 Financial and Colonial Departments
With ~ ~ l l e s l e ~arrangement,
's secretaries had come to shoulder greater
responsibility and distinguished themselves as extraordinary administrators. When
Minto took charge, he chose to depend on his Secretaries and be guided by them
rather than act on his own views and principles.
Minto added two new Departments Financial and Colonial. The Financial
business of Government was separated from the Public Department in 1810 and
established as a distinct Financial Department.
The Colonial Department was designed to manage the affairs of Mauritius and
Java which had come under the Company.
2.4.4 Reconstruction of Departments in 1815
The organisation of the Secretariat was again revised in 1815 in conformity with a
plan proposed by the Governor-General. This was partly in conformity with the
requirements of the Charter Act of 1813 which had directed that separate accounts
to be maintained of the Company's territorial and commercial revenues. This
separation had also been ordered by the Court of Directors and was necessitated by
the policy laid down by the Parliament and the home authorities. According, a new
Temtorial D e p m e n t was created.
Check Your Progress2

Note: i) : Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.
1) . How did Pitt's India Act alter the administrative machinery in England? British Administration:
1757 1858

2) Between 1793 and-1834, the Central Secretariat worked through the
following four branches. (Tick those 4).
1. General 4. Public
2. Judicial 5. Commercial
3. Secret 6. Revenue

3) Enumerate the five stages in the setting up of the Revenue Department.

4) ......................... reorganised the Secretariat and appointed a Secretary-
5) ..........................brought in the post of Chief ~ e h e t a r y .
6) ......................... added the Financial and Colonial Departments.

- -

The office of the Governor-General consisted of the official establishment of his
Private Secretary, his Interpreter and a number of Assistants.
One of the main duties of the Private Secretary was to administer Darbar charges
which were stipends paid to the Nawab of Bengal and others. Residents were
appointed in various parts of the country. A Resident was appointed to get
complete knowledge of what transpired at Courts of native rulers and uphold
.British interestXagainst those of other foreign powers. The administration of
political residencies, though conducted through the Secretary to Government in
the Secret and Political ~ e ~ a h m e n twas
s , essentially linked up with the office of
the Private Secretary to the Governor-General. Residents soon became very
powerful and had large administrative staff.
The other civil Departments included the Treasury which handled money,
managed the financial resources of Government and control of its expenditure,
the Department of Audit and Accounts, the Persian Department and the Agencies
specified as the Agent for stationery, agent for Indigo and agent for despatching
ships to Europe. There was also the Post Office, the Mint and other
establishments like that of Surgeons and Chaplains, the Clerk of the Market and
the Coroner, under the Civil Department.
Historical Context
Land revenue was the most important source of income for the Government and
revenue settlement was one of the most complicated functions of the Government.
It involved the consideration of a multiplicity of rights and obligations' and it I
differed in fundamental principles and details fiom place to place. The Company's
servants had to gather proper information as to the economic resources and social
traditions of the people and the methods of revenue administration followed in the
past. On the basis of facts thus collected, they had to frame suitable regulation for
imposition of revenye and suitable machinery for its collection.
2.6.1 The Imperial Grant of the Diwani
The Company got the grant of Diwani, that is, the right to collect taxes in Bengal,
Bihar and Orissa in 1765. But it did not assume direct charge. Expediency and
policy dictated such a course of action wherein the Company through the
Resident, restricted its authority only to the superintendence of the collection and
disposal of revenues. Because the British lacked knowledge and experience of
revenue collection and they did not want to antagonise or alienate the natives,
they preferred civil administration to continue in the hands of the Nawab or his
minister. This meant that power was divorced from responsibility.
The native oRce;s, zamindars and others exploited the peasants. They were
guilty of acts of oppression without any fear of punishment from the British
Government as long. as they satisfied its revenue demands. Soon in 1769, the
Government appointed supervisors in the districts of the diwani provinces to look
into the produce of the land, revenues, taxes, etc. In 1770, two controlling
Councils of Revenue, one at Murshidabad and another at Patna were appointed.
No appointment could be made by the Nawab's men without their permission.
These piecemeal measures did not go far in solving the basic problems which
related to power being divorced fiom responsibility. The outbreak of famines,
especially the one of 1770, added to the sufferings of the common people.
However, the Supervisors did do some good work in reconstructing revenue
In 1771, the Direcqon stated that they would takeover, through the agency of the
Company's servants, the entire managerrient of the revenues of Bengal, Bihar
and Orissa. To give effect to his decision, a Committee of Circuit was appointed
in 1772 and supervisors were nominated as Collectors.
2.6.2 Formation of the Board or Council of Revenue
With the collection of revenue.given over to Collectors, the Committee of Circuit
favoured the discontinuance a f the Controlling Committee of Revenue at
Calcutta. Control had to be exercised by the Supreme Council. In 1772,
therefore, the Committee of Circuit recommended the formation of the entire
Su reme Council into a Board or Council of Revenue. This Board first met on
13 October 1772, when the Controlling Committee of Revenue at Calcutta also
came to an end. The Committee of Circuit was abolished in 1773. The structure
of Revenue admihistration was greatly simplified. It consisted of the Board of
Revenue at the Presidency, with Collectors in the districts, assisted in joint
responsibility by the native diwans.
2.6.3 District Administration and the District collector
The position of the District Officer was the foundation on which British rule in
India rested. Disttkt administration by the agents of the Central Government has
been a basic feature of our Governmental system since times immemorial. The
Mauryah Empire was divided into a number of provinces and each province was
further divided into districts. Villages were governed by village communities.
The district officer was responsible to the Provincial Governor and ultimately to
the Emperor. A similar arrangement prevailed under the Guptas. The District
continued to be m important area of administration even under the British.
In 1772, Warren Hastings placed a district under a Collector who was a British. British Administration:
1757 - 1858
Two years later this arrangement was abandoned and again picked up in 1781. I

By 1786, the district came to occupy a central place in the scheme of local
In 1829, some districts were grouped together and formed a Division which
was under a Commissioner of Revenue and Circuit, This Commissioner was
given powers of supervision and conbol over the administration of the districts.
Later, districts were sub-divided into sub-divisions each under a sub-divisional
One school of British administration readily accepted the theory that an oriental
principle of government was that all power and authority should be concentrated
in one officer at the head of each unit. Though it was not generally accepted,
given the anarchy in the lathcentury, there seemed to be no way out but to have
such an arrangement.
After the district was made the basis of administration in 1786, the Collector
performed the duties of a Revenue Collector, Judge and Magistrate. The District
Officer had to assess and collect the revenue, try civil and revenue cases and
maintain law and order.
Lord Cornwallis was not happy with this arrangement for an officer who
assessed the revenue, and had to hear complaints against that assessment. The
temptation would be to justify in his judicial capacity what he had done as a
Revenue Officer. Accordingly, in 1793, a new Regulation was adopted by the
Governor-General-in-Council by which Collectors would not try the
revenue cases any longer.
In each district, there were two important officers - Collectors for collection of
Revenue and the Judge Magistrate to maintain peace, supervise police work,
apprehend thieves and robbers, try them as Magistrate and functions as the Civil
In 1 83 1, there was a further change in the duties of District officers. Until this
time, Collector collected revenue, while Judge-Magistrate was to act as the Civil
Judge, maintain law and order, discharge other duties of general and administer
lower criminal justice. These civil judicial duties were now (183 1) handed over
to a separate Civil Judge while the rest of the functions of the Judge - Magistrate
were entrusted to the Collector. The Collector now discharged all functions of
the Chief Executive officer of the district including the collection of revenue,
administration of lower criminal justice and maintenance of law and order.
This was much too heavy a burden for the Collector especially because he did
not have a well organised police force at his command nor trained assistants to
help him. Lawlessness became a rife and in 1836, Lord Auckland appointed a
Committee called Bird Committee (presided over by W.W. Bird) to investigate.
The Committee was of the opinion that these functions were too exacting and
District Officer could not cope up with them. Since he paid more attention to
revenue collection and neglected duties of general and police administration,
something ought to be done. The Committee recommended that revenue
functions should be placed in the hands of separate functionaries called
Collectors. This was affected and put into operation by 1845. But thjs division of
labour did not improve the efficiency of police administration. Towards the close
of 1853, change5 were again effected and there was a reunion of magisterial and
revenue funcdons, because the separation of the offices of C~llector and
Magistrate had been injurious to the character of the administration and the
interests of the people. The oriental theory of government was clearly enunciated
and the principle of unity of authority in District administration advocated.
In fact, there were three officers in a district, between 1838 and 1859 namely the .
District Magistrate, District Collector and District Judge. In 1859, there was a
reunion of officers of Collector'and Districj Magistrate and henceforth they were
held hv nne nnd the snme n f f i r e r
Historical Context ' Later, the British'came firmly to believe that if District Magistrate could not
punish the law-breakers himself, his authority would be undermined. They
upheld the combination oftriminal justice with executive administration.

British administration in its initial stages had a number of Provincial Revenue
Councils at work and above them was a Secretariat at Calcutta. These Provincial
Revenue Councils came to be replaced by a Board of Revenue which came to
assume tremendous importance both in revenue collection and general
administration for nearly 140 years. The jurisdiction of the Board extended to the
whole field of revenue administration including settlement, collection and receipt
of public revenues.
In 1788, Cornwallis revised the constitution of.the Board of Revenue. The Board
was concerned with the deliberdtion, superintendence and control. The details of
management of revenue were left to Collectors who were responsible to the
Board. In the exercise of its powers, the Board could summon any officer to
explain his conduct, fine him or even suspend him with the final consent of
. Government.
The Collectors became very important because they supplied, in the first
instance, all the data on the basis of which the Board's report to Government
would be prepared. Once decisions were taken and instructions issued, the
execution of details was left to the Collectors who with the discretionary power
they wielded, became supreme in district administration.
Two more reforms were affected in the Board of Revenue on the
recommendations of John Shore in 1788. They sought to effect total control of
revenue administration by the covenanted civil servants.
In 1790, a regulation was passed which empowered the Board to Act as a Court
of review as well as appeal in all revenue cases. In the same year the Governor-
General in Council, constituted the Board of Revenue into a Court of Wards.
This was to bring under the Board, the affairs of all such estates as belonged to
females, minors, idiots, lunatics and persons of doubtful character. From time to
time, regulations were issued to guide the Board in this activity. Subsequently,
Divisional Commissioners came to be appointed.

In the history of the Board of Revenue from 1786, one sees two main
developments - one jurisdictional and the other functional in character:
Jurisdictionally, the extent of territories under its control increased progressively
till 1807, when it covered Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Banaras as well as the
conquered Provinces. It was followed by a process of decentralisation which was
first marked by the establishment of the Board of Commissioners for the ceded
and conquered Provinces. This process continued until two district Boards of
. Revenue came to be established in 1831 with a namber of Commissioners of
Revenue to take care of local supervision.
Functionally, the controlling and supervisory character of the Board of Revenue
remained unchanged. As for judicial powers, the Cornwallis principle (which
favoured separation of judicial fiom revenue work) was reversed. This was
necessitated by the exigencies of periodical assessment in the ceded and
conquered Provinces where frequent judicial matters came up.
A third development was the tendency of the Government to reduce the number
of Board members or to vest in a single member, the powers and authority
exercised by the Board as a whole. This was done for the sake of speedy conduct
of business, economy, and the want of trained men.

The territorial jurisdiction of the Board of Revenue was unmanageable. So in 1822,
separate Boards of Revenue were reconstituted. These were the Board of Revenue
for the Lower Provinces or the Sadar Board, Board of Revenue for the Central British Administration:
Provinces or the Western Board. -
1757 1858

Despite this arrangement, each Board found that it was unable to manage the
territory under its jurisdiction. Conduct of business was slow and corruption was
on the increase. The major problem was that of distance between the Board o f '
Revenue at the Presidency and the Collectors in the districts. The need was felt
for effective local supervision, especially in the ceded and conquered Provinces.
Holt Mackenzie felt the solution lay in appointing local commissioners. William
Butterworth Bailey improved on this arrangement by suggesting that these
Commissioners of Revenue be given the duties and powers exercised by the
Courts of Circuit and Superintendents
of Police. Accordingly, a new plan was
adopted on 1" January 1829.
Under this new regulation, all British owned land was to be divided into 20
divisions excluding the territory of Delhi which was under a separate
Commissioner and stood on a slightly different footing. The Governor-General-
in-Council could transfer any district from one division to another and increase
or reduce the number of Commissioners according to administrative needs.
The Divisional Commissioners were to exercise the duties, powers and'authority
vested in the Boards of Revenue and Courts of Wards. In the exercise of their
powers they were subject to the control and direction of a Sadar or Head Board
of Revenue stationed at the Presidency and guided by the orders of Government.
Check Your Progress 3
Note: i) Use the space given below fdr your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end ofthe unit.
1) . Describe the khanging functions of the Collector from 1786 to 1853.

2) What were the functions of the Board of Revenue?

3) Examine the role of Divisional Commissioners.
Historical Context
We have examined in the earlier Unit, the Moghul administration of criminal
justice and police. It was based on Quranic law wh'.. h was applied to Muslims and
non-Muslims alike. With the collapse of the Moghul Central authority, there was a
breakdown of the law and order machinery. Zamindars, farmers and other agents
of revenue took over control though they did not have the right to do so. However,
they prevented a sibhation of anarchy.
Hastings had the fdllowing four objectives when he sought to improve criminal
1) To reconstitute the criminal courts.
2) To establish an efficient machinery of supervision and control.
3) To offset the inadequacies of Muslim criminal law.
4) To restore power of Faujdars.
Hastings, as per his plan in 1772, had a criminal court in each district and a
superior court of criminal jurisdiction at Murshidabad. The Ckllector had to
exercise supervision and control and keep an eye on judicial proceedihgs.
In 1781, the Governor-General and Council abolished the office of Faujdars and
transferred their duties to the Company's covenanted servants acting primarily as
judges of the Courts of diwani adalat. They were designated as Magistrates.
In 1787, on orders from the Directors. Cornwallis united in the office of
Collector, the duties of Magistrate and Civil judge. In addition, he conferred on
the n~agistracy,part of the authority exercised by the criminal courts themselves.
Though contrary to Islamic jurisprudence, police and judicial functions were for
the first time united in the office of the Magistrate on a general plan.
Cornwallis wanted the authority of the Magistrate to be more effective and
cor;lplete. But the administration of criminal justice remained practically
unaltered. It was still outside the sphere of the Company's responsibility.
Cornwallis Europeanised and functionalised the Civil Service. He did not have
faith and trust in Iddians especially in the administration of Criminal justice. He
set up four courts of circuit, one for each of the four divisions of Calcutta,
Murshidabad, Dacoa and Patna in place of the darogas of criminal courts. Each
of these courts of circuit was under two covenanted civil servants who were
designated Judges of the Court of Circuit. They were assisted by a qazi and a
mufti as law officers.
The police duties of the Magistrate continued. He was to apprehend criminals
and peace b~eakersand have them tried before the Judges of Circuit.
Cornwa4lis introduceql measures to r e f o h the administration of police in 1792:
These had three features:
1) Landholders and farmers who maintained thanedars and chowkidars were
divested~oftheir entire police authority.
2) Districts were divided into thanas or police jurisdictions. At the head of each
was an officer of Government called daroga of police.
3) Duty of rural police like chowkidars and others was to .assist the daroga in the
apprehension of criminals and to undertake intelligence work.
In his police reforms of 1792, Cornwallis had been guided by administrative and
political .considerations.
Administratively, police administration at the hands of the zamindars was
unsound in principle. There was much. exploitation and personal revenge.
PolitiCally, the thanedari system was risky because it meant continuance of small
pockets of local influence which was prejudicial to the Company's interests. British Administration:
Cornwallis' daroga system was hailed as an innovation which strengthened the
1757 1858

But after 1793, the crime rate steadily increased. Bengal was known for gang
robbery. Thugs operated in the Upper Provinces. Many more social evils
increased considerably. The police system of Cornwallis suffered because it did
not have roots in society. Moreover, the resumption of the whole or part of the
lands previously adjusted in the rentals of the zamindars for the support of their
police establishments was resented. The resumption of service lands of village
watchmen and zamindari servants led them to combine with the zamindars and
make common cause against the darogas of Police. A gap developed between the
official police under Magistrate and rural police under zamindars with their roots
in society.
The darogas of police were unfit ~ n negligent.
d But they had extensive powers.
Ill-paid, they indulged in corrupt practices. The administration of police suffered
in addition from the union of the Magistracy with the office of the Judge.
Between 1793 and 1 8 13, several measures of reforms were designed to:
1 ) seek the cooperation of zamindars,
2) remove the inadequacy of the stipendiary police,
3) to impart efficiency and speed to criminal administration, and
4) to modify Muslim criminal law as well as the established mode of trial.
Responsible Hindus and Muslims were appointed as amins and commissioners of
police who could assist a daroga in maintenance of law and order. The police
amins were to preserve peace, help suppress crime, control village watchmen and
the like. The idea was to unite the influence of zamindars with the power of
darogas through the police amins.
The Government increased the establishments of the Kotwali and Thana police.
Apart from a general increase in the establishment of the stipendiary force,
provisions were made to meet local exigencies. Also, not only was there an
increase in the powers of the Magistrates, Joint and Assistant Magistrates were
appointed. Above all, modifications were introduced in criminal law.
The necessity of decentralising the powers of superior courts arose mainly
because of increase in the bulk of crime. Magistrate's powers were increased,
courts of circuit appointed and later on in their place, divisional commissioners
assigned tasks.
By and large in administration of criminal justice and police, an attempt was to
have an effectual administration of justice and liberalise criminal law by
reducing severity of punishment, by having trial by jury and bringing dangerous
social customs under purview of law. In short, the effort was to make the law
conform to principles of liberalism and natural justice.

With responsibilities of ruling territorial possessions in India, the British
Governors and Councillors needed assistants in the Central offices and in districts.
They also had to study the manners and customs of the people, collect necessary
facts and make timely recommendations. To begin with, the men to fill this
important role in public service were drawn from the ranks of writers, factors and
merchants of the Company. It was not till 1769 that some of these officers were
appointed supervisors over large areas and charged with responsibilities. Though
most of the men did not prove equal to their tasks there were a few like John
Shore, Charles Stewart, Charles Grant and Jonathan Duncan who did outstanding
work. The Court of Directors continued to send every year fresh batch of writers
without realising that a revolutionary change had taken place in the Company's
role and functions and. therefore. better e a u i ~ ~ emen
d were reauired. None of the
Historical Context Acts of Parliament between 1773 and 1793 looked into the education and training
of civil servants inIndia.
To the open question as to whether administration would be efficiently conducted
by only 1ndians;a mixed agency or exclusively by the British, Cornwallis provided
the answer by deciding on the policy of complete Europeanisation. All higher
positions in Government service were filled by the Company's British covenanted
servants. The Charter Act of 1793 took care of this and provided the Charter or
Rights of civil servants. Promotion was by seniority. Duties of different
departments were defined. Salaries were proportionate to responsibility.
Wellesley realised that civil servants of the Company had to discharge functions of
Magistrates, Judges, Ambassadors, etc. To discharge these duties efficiently they
had to be not only well acquainted with the languages, laws and usages of the
people but be well-informed on the British Constitution and be well versed in
Ethics, Civil Jurisprudence, the laws of nations and general history. To provide all
these, Wellesley set up the College of Fort William in Calcutta. The civil servants
of Bombaypd Madras had to undergo training at the College like those of Bengal
for three years.
The three year course provided for instruction in liberal arts, classical and Modern
History and Literature, Law of Nations, Ethics and Jurisprudence. The syllabus
also included Indian languages, different codes and regulations. f i e college
aroused mental and intelleckal powers of the civil servants and imbroved thkir
morals to a considerable extent. But the College was short-lived. After seven years
it continued as only a language school.
In 1805, the Hailey bury college was set up in England and that really spelt the end
of the College at Fort William. The young recruits to the covenanted Civil Service
had to spend two years at Hailey bury and for the next 50 years the ICS was the
product of the Hailey bury College.
The syllabus drawp up by Wellesley for his College was followed at the Hailey
bury College. The young civil servants had to continue their mathematical and
classical education for two years under expert guidance. They had also to read
Political Economy, principles of jurisprudence, elements of Indian history and
rudiments of Indian legal codes and regulations and Indian languages.
But admission was still on the basis of patronage. Each of the Company's
Directors could nominate one candidate while Chairman and Deputy Chairman
could nominate two candidates each. Though there was an entrance test, it was so
simple, that no one ever failed it. Though candidates did equip themselves with
liberal education, the standard at Hailey bury was not really high or else it woqld
have resulted in a high rate of failures. The admission system, though modified
later, was at best, one of qualified patronage.
Despite this, the College had a good name and its products were known for their
corporate outlook and spirit comradeship yvhich they brought to India. These meh
in far-flung part. of India still upheld old Hailey bury ties. They set healthy
traditions especially in honesty and integrity. But at the same time they felt high
and mighty and some did become despotic in outlook and dictatorial in behaviour.
In 1837, an arrangement was made for the preliminary examinations to .Hailey
bury College. Yet it did not achieve the expected results. The men who came out to
India were not of the level of competence demanded by the work.-Meanwhile,
opposition was developing in England against patronage since 1833, when the
Company lost the last vestige of commercial monopoly. The Northcote Trevelyan
Report submitted to Paliament in 1854 suggested that patronage must give place
to open competitive examination. Among those happy to promote merit system
was Macaulay. Once the principle of competition was accepted, the necessary
regulations had to be framed. For this an expert body was appointed of which
Macaulay was Chairman. The committee recommended that candidates be
between ages 18 and 23 and the examination should be in subjects of liberal study.
First competitive examination was held in 1855. From 1858 the exams were British Administration:
conducted by the British Civil Service Commission. -
1757 1858

It must be noted that the Civil Service established a great reputation for itself as a
most efficient, honest and upright organ of government. But civil servants had
limited functions to perform. They were essentially concerned with law and order
and revenue administration.
Check Your Progress 4

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers. 13

ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.
1) How did Hastings improve criminal administration?

2) Critically evaluate Cornwallis' darogas of police.

3) . What was the contribution of Wellesley to improving the civil service in
India? .

We have seen how administration in India ti11 1858 was in the hands of the East
India Company which was a monopoly trading body. To regulate its management
of Indian affairs, the British Parliament passed two major Acts, the Regulating
Act and Pitt's India Act. Subsequently, Acts of 1793, 1813, 1833 and 1853 were
passed by which the Company was steadily deprived of its authority and power
in India and its privileges curtailed. Finally, the Act for the better Government of
India, 1858 passed after the Sepoy Mutiny, brought the governance of India
directly under the Crown.
The Central Secretariat took shape over the years and responded to the
exigencies of the time. Important departments were those dealing witti military.
nnl it icnl fnreiun 2nd revenlie mntterc
Historical Context Administration of Revenue has had a long and interesting history with the
Collector emerging as the kingpin at the district level. Administration of criminal
justice and police was very much the concern of the British though they did not
achieve much here. What is creditable is the Indian Civil Service tradition that
was built up and which continued through the Indian Administration Service to
modem times.
Court of Wards : The Board of revenue, looking after matters of
estates belonging to females, minors, lunatics, etc.
Eccleriastfeal Matters : Matters relating to the Church.
Patronage : The practice of making appointments to the
Company's Office through favour.
Quorum : The minimum number of members required being
present in an assembly or any meeting before any
business can be transacted.
'Agganvala, R.N., 1962, National Movement and Constitutional Development of
India; 4' ed., Metropolitan Book Co. (P) Ltd., Delhi
Mahajan, V.D., 1956, Constitutional History of India; S. Chand and Co. (P) Ltd.,
New Delhi
Mishra, B.B., 1956, The Central Administration of the Em India Company
1773-1834; Oxford University Press, Mumbai
Roy, N .C., 1958, The Civil Sewice in India; K.L. Mukhopadhyay, Kolkata
Check Your Progrew 1
1) Your answer must include the following points:
The East India Company was a mercantile company.
Its ruks and practices were appropriate to commercial business.
The system governance was commercial in character.
2) Your answer must include the following points:
Ambiguity of jurisdiction between the Supreme ~ o m i land the
Supreme Court.
Uncertainty in the application of law.
Non-recognition of provincial and other courts.
3) Your answer must include the following points:
Curtailing of the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
Govemr Qeneral having appellate jurisdiction and 'acting as a Court of
Governor bieneral-in-Council legislation was to be approved by the
Coutt, and dot subject to the registration in the Supreme Court.

1) Your answer must include the following points:
. Setting up cif the Board of Control.
Powers of the Board of Control.
In'dian ~ovkrnmentsubjected to a system of dual control.
2) 1,2,5,6. British Administration*
1757 - 1858
3) See Sub-section 2.4. I.
4) Cornwallis.
5) Wellesley.
- 6) Minto.
Check Your Progress 3
1) Your answer must include the following pbints:
Combining the Collections duties as Revenue Collector, Judge and
Magistrate in 1786.
In 1793 the Collector could not try the revenue cases.
The functions of the Judge-Magistrate given to the Collector in 183 1.
Appointment of separate functionaries for revenue functions in 1845.
a Revision of magisterial and revenue functions in 1853.
2) Your answer must include the following points:
Jurisdiction of the Board over revenue administration.
Board of Revenue as a Court of review and appeal in revenue cases.
Board of Revenue as a Court of Ward.
3) See Section 2.8.
Check Your Progress 4
1) Your answer must include the following points:
Reconstitution of the criminal courts.
Establishment of an efficient machinery of supervision and control.
Offsetting the inadequacies of Muslim Criminal Law.
Restoration of powers to the Faujdars.
21, Your answer must include the following points:
It brought an end to exploitation and personal revenge.
Discontinuation of local influence which was based on the company's

Strengthening of the Magistracy.
Development of gap between the official police under Magistrate and nual
police under Mindars.
Negligence, corrupt practices among the Darogas.
The administration of police suffered due to union of magistracy and
office of the Judge.
3) ~ & answer
r must include the following points: -
Eurpoeanisation of Civil Service under Cornwallis.
Setting up of four courts of circuit.
Designation of civil servants as judges of the Court of Circuit.
4) Your answer must include the following points:
Realisation of variety of functions to be performed by the civil servants
as Magistrates, Judges, Ambassadors, etc.
Need to make them well acquainted not only with the laws, languages of
people, but also about the British constitution, ethics, jurisprudence, etc.
Setting up of College of Fort William in Kolkata to provide training on
various as~ectsto the civil servants.

3.0 Objectives
3.1 Introduction
3.2 The War of Independence and After
3.3 The Indian Councils Acts
3.3.1 The Need for Policy of Association
3.3.2 The Indian Councils Act 1861
3.3.3 The Indian Councils Act 1892
3.4 The National Movement and Administrative Reforms
3.4.1' The ~ a t h n aMovement
l and Constitutional Reforms
3.4.2 Demandb for ~dministrativk~cforms
3.5 The Motley Minto Reforms 1909
3 3.1 The Maih Provisions
3.5.2 Examination of the Reforms
3.5.3 Pointer to Further Reforms
3.6 The Administbative Structure
3.6.1 Reorganisation of Departments
3.6.2 The Civil Service
3.6.3 Financial Administration
3.6.4 Police Administration
3.6.5 Cocal Administration
3.7 The Montagus Chelmsford Reforms 1919
3.7.1 The Preamble of the Government of India Act 191 9
3.7.2 The Central Government
3,7.3 Machinery of Dyarchy at the Provinces
3.7.4 The Balance Sheet of Refarms
3.8 Let Us Sum Up
3.9 Key,Words
3.10 References and Further Readings
3.1 1 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

After studying this Unit, you should be able to:
Understand the reforms in British administration in India from 1858 to 1935;
Explain the features of Indian Councils Acts; and
0 Examine the impact of Nationalist movement on administrative reforms.

So far we have covered the administrative system of India at the time when the
British arrived here and its evolution to their need9 first as traders and then as
rulers of this colony. In this Unit, we shall try to account for the main reforms
introduced by the British government in India during the period 1858-1935, as it
adjusted itself to the growing needs of administration. We will also read these
enactments in the context of changing political and economic demands of an
awakening nation.

The outbreak of 1857, called by Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya as the First War of
Independence, was a shock to the British government and its bureaucracy. -
Economic exploitation, social deprivation, and political unrest made 1857 outburst
inevitable. The British rulers had to revise their policy of conquest and annexations
and to a d o ~at cautious and calculated wlicv of association and coo~eration.
The Act of 1858 ended the Company rule and the system of Double Government Reforms in British
by Board of Control in England and €he Court of Directors of the company 1858 to 1919
introduced by the Pitt's India Act, 1784. Indian Administration came directly
under the-Crown. The Act created the office of the Secretary of State who was a
cabinet minister in the British cabinet. His salary and establishment was paid
from the Indian revenue. He was assisted by a council of fifteen members to
make him familiar with Indian affairs. With the end of the East India Company,
British Parliament lost much interest in Indian affairs and the Secretary of State
for India became the defacto government of India. He had overriding powers
over. the Council in deliberations, appointments and the supremacy of Home
government over the Government of India as firmly established. The enlightened
Indian opinion always criticised the constitutien and functioning of this council.
The various changes introduced by the Act of 1858 were formally announced by
a proclamation of Queen Victoria. The Queen felt that such a document should,
lead to feeling of generosity, benevolence and religious toleration. It assured the,
native princes their rights, dignity and honour. This would pacifj them and
would make them act as a reactionary block against any progressive force raising
its head against the British rule.

3.3.1 The Need for Policy of Association
The war of 1857 was an eye opener for the British rulers. Ruling such a vast
colony form a distance was a great risk - if such instihitions were not provided to
get the feel of the Indians. The addition of the native element to the Council,
therefore, became necessary unless one was prepared for the perilous experiment
of continuing to legislate for millions of people with few means of knowing
except by a rebellion, whether the law suits them or not. Also there was much
inadequate representation for provincial governments on the Central Council.
Along with the administrative need for larger association, the British government'
wanted to distinguish between Executive and law making functions and stop the
legislative council moving towards a 'petty Parliament'. Industrial capitalism
needs enlightened section as an associate and representation becomes the sign of
development of the society.
3.3.2 The Indian Councils Act 1861
The advance made by'the Indian Councils Act 1861 over the 1858 Act was mainly
in the inclusion of a number of non-official members in the Executive Council of
the Governor-General. The Governor General's executive council consisted of five
members. And for the purpose of legislation, the council was reinforced by six to
twelve nominated members for a two-year term. Half of these were to be non-
officials, both European and Indian not in the service of the Crown. There were
similar councils at the provinces.
The powers of the Governor-General increased more in the field of legislation.
The Council was presided over by the Governor-General. His Ijrior approval was
necessary to introduce measures affecting public finance, religion, discipline and
maintenance of military and naval forces and relations of the Government with
foreign princes and States. His consent was nec9sary for any Act passed by the
legislature and his Ordirances had the validity of an Act. The idea was that the
legislature should conduct its business like a 'Com~ittee' or a 'Commission',
their publicity being limited to official reports on . The aim of the Act,
according to Sir Charles Wood, Secretary of State for ndia, was to prevent the
legislature from interfering with the functions of the executive government. In
the official despatch he avoided the word 'legislative council' and there was no
mention of session in the rules of business. The Executive government became
too strong as legislature had power without control, association without
representation. The belief of the British rulers was that the most merciful rule
over conquered millions is despotism and the most tyrannical is that of the lowest
memhers of a dominant claw
Historical Context The earlier non-official members were mostly ruling princes, or their diwans or
big landlords. Thuy had little interest or initiative in its working. And their
representation was hardly 'public'. European interests settled in India differed
from the purely imperial interests rooted in Britain. The practice of private
correspondence between the Secretary of State and the Viceroy bypassed the
majority of the council. Also as the functions of the council were merely
legislative, it was a step backward with the provisions of the 1853 Act. It looks
as if that the British Statesmen and thinkers, both conservative and liberals, felt
sincerely (though wrongly) that Parliamentary form of government was
unsuitable for India. Even John Stuart Mill, the liberal, believed that India was
not in a sufficiently advanced state to aspire for a representative government.
3.3.3 The Indioln Councils Act 1892
The Indian Councils Act 1861 naturally could not satisfy the progressive public
opinion in India. h its very first session the Indian National Congress passed
resolution to make these councils broad based, elective and with powers, over
budget and powers to interpellate the Executive. To move too fast is dangerous, but
to lag behind is more dangerous still (Lord Ripon). The liberal Governor-Generqls
and Viceroys advocated the need for making councils more popular. Also the
Government of India felt that it would strengthen its position vis-a-vis the British
government with the help of elected Indian members. European business interests
in India also favoured larger elective element and broader functions enpsted to
the councils. Lord Dalhousie's policy of providing for legislation on the basis of
petitions from individuals and their associations contributed to the organisation of
opinion for reforms. Constitutionalism and consultative machinery thus moved
towards a government based on popular representation.
Lord Dufferin's Egyptian experience in the establishment of elected provincial
councils was encouraging. He wanted to experiment the same in India. The main
recommendations of the Dufferin Committee (1888) were: (i) the expansion of
Presidency councib and enlarging their functions; (ii) providing representation to
important interest; (iii) representation to Muslims in proportion to their population;
(iv) reservation of a few seats to be filled by nomination as a safeguard against any
inequality in the results of elections. The provincial iouncils would be of two tiers.
The first representing hereditary trade, professions, commercial interest. The first
directly elected and the second indirectly. The provincial administration would also
be divided in two parts - general and local and the councils would have larger
powers in local matters.
As the British Statesmen were still influenced by the feeling that 'constitutional '
principles could not be applied to a conquered country' and that there would be no
relaxation of 'bureaucratic despotism', The Indian Councils Act 1892 did not much
satisfy local aspirations. It expanded the Executive Council of the Governor-
General. Nominations were to be made by provincial councils, local bodies,
professional bodies, etc. The members had now a right to put questions and discuss
on matters of budget. Though a previous notice was necessary and the question
could be disallowed without assigning any reason, this right was more than
symbolic. Obviously, official majority was main$ined in both the Supreme as well
as provincial councils.
The Act really was an advance over the 1861 legislation as it gave rights to the
council which wey Parliamentary in nature. It was an attempt at a compromise
between the official views of the council as 'pocket legislature' and the educated
Indian view as emqryo Parliaments. The right of interpellation without the right to
veto carries little meaning and less weight. The extremist element in the National
Congress was dominating and the practice of the Act also defeated its purpose of
'giving fiwther opportunities to the non-officials and the native element in Indian
society to tab part in the workof the government'.
Check Your Progress 1
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check vour answers with those niven at the end of the unit,
Comment on the changes brought about by the Act of 1858. Reforms in British
1) Administration:
1858 to 1919

2) Explain the features of Indian Councils Act of 1861

3) Explain the impact of National Movement on administrati* reforms.
------------ --

3.4.1 The National Movement and Constitutional Reforms
While the British established a regular system of government in India from 1857 to
1947, the slow pace of constitutional experiments showed uneasy compromises,
the British Statesmen were making with the exigencies in the Indian situation. The
policy of apparent association, therefore, went had in hand with the policy of
oppression, and constitutional advances were always barbed with restrictive
conditions so that the core of executive bureaucratic responsibility would remain
untouched. Such contradictions seem to be inevitable with imperialism because
imperialism itself is incompatible with democratic theory and practices.
The contradictions were clearly exposed in Lord Lytton's repressive policy, the
Arms Act, the Vernacular Press Act, holding of Imperial Darbar during severe
famine, abolition of cotton import duty to serve British textile interest. (This was
the first time when the veto power was exercised by the Governor-General in
India). The Ilbert Bill controversy (1 883) also was an eye opener to Indians. The
Bill was to empower Indian magistrates to try criminal cases of white people which
were objected by the whites. Equally eye opening were the attempts to keep
Indiafis out of higher jobs, especially the Indian Civil Service. All these clearly
indicated the imperialist belief in white man's supremacy.
The Indian National movement organised itself in the Indian National Congress
(1 885). Initially influenced by the Western educated upper middle class, it aimed at
securing reforms through peaceful and constitutional means. The British rulers also
Historical Context fett that this wouM remove misunderstanding about the intkxtions of the
government and wouM save thc empire. The moderats had faith in the British
sense ofjustice and fair play.
Their aim was gradual rc~rms with constitutional means. The Congress
progromrne tossed Mlwecn extremists and liberals till it became a mass movement,
in the real sense and &manded nothing short of 'Puma Swmj'.
3.4.2 Demands for Administrative Reforms
The early Congress quested the British Government to reform administration by
making it broad baed and representative. Various issues that rose during its early
phase revealed that thre National Congress was concerned with wider interests and
larger sections of the people. It advocated reduction in expenditure on military and
hdme departments and establishment of military colleges in India. On the
economic side it advacated repeal of eotton excise duties, reduction of salt duties,
reduction in land revaue and opening of agricultural banks. It proposed changes in
tenancy3lawsto help peasats. On the industrial side, it advocated establishment of
technical and industrial educational institutions, revival of old industries and
establishment of new ones, protective tariff for new industries and extension of
irrigation work In Social and individual field, it promoted temperance, repeal of
various laws, restricting individual liberty and appointment of Indians to higher
posts. In the political field, it advocated the abolition of Indian Executive Council
and reforms in the Legislative Councils established under the Indian Councils Act
1861, more powers to local bodies, reducing official interference in their
functioning and removing restrictions on press. The Indian National Congress thus
wanted to be representative of all classes and interests that were Indian. It was an
interesting blend of liberals and extremists. Constitutional in means, it turned
agitational in spirit. Further, constitutional dose became necessary to boost liberals'
faith and to prevent the National Congress going progressively under the influence
of the extremists. The Morley Minto Reforms 1909 as the Indian Council's Act
1909 indicate the line of action taken by the British government - the line of
apparent association a d adoption of the divide and rule principle.

3.5.1 The Main Provisions
The Indian Councils Act (1909) substantially increased the strength of legislative
councils - the Imperiql and provincial. For the Imperial, the Supreme Council, the
?umber of additional members was raised fiom 16 to 60. For major provincial
councils, the number was raised to 50 and for minor provinces it was fked to 30.
The additional members were both nominated and elected. The principle of
election was hctioncil representation. In the Supreme Legislative Council, the
official majority was maintained by in h e provincial councils, the non-officials
formed the majority. The A& definitely expanded the functions of the legislative
councils. These canaerned discussions on' the budget (The Annual Financial
statement), discussion on any matt& of general public interest and thirdly the
power of asking questions. T b Act also increased the number of Executive
~duncillorsin the thnx major Presidencies - Bombay, Madras and Bengal, Indians
were now appointed as members of the Secretary of States' Council (1907) and
members of the Governor-Generals' Council (1909). Some other important
f e a W of the Act of 1909 included: right of separate electorate to the Muslims;
the Secretary of the state for India was empowered to increase the number of the
Executive 43ouncils of Madras and Bombay fiom two to four; two Indians were
nominated to the Cquncil of the Secretary of state for Indian affairs; and
empowering Governor-General to nominate one Indian Member to his Executive
Council. etc.
3.5.2 Examination of the Reforms , , Reforms in British
Both Lord Morley, the then Secretary of Statc, and Lord Minto, the then Governor 1898 to 1919
General of India, felt that it wes not desirable to introduce a responsible
government in India and it would never suit the Indian conditions. 'The safety and
welfare of this country must depend upon the supremacy of the British
administration and that Bupremacy can in no circutllstances be delegated to' any
kind of representative assembly' (Lord Minto). .
The reforms introduced Indians to the legislative culture - developing opinions out
of the interaction of different interests. This is the essence of Parliamentary
institutions. The transfer of Parliamentary responsibility now became the logical
next. Introduction of elections.(though indirect-elections), the power of asking
supplementary questions (though restricted), the right of voting on some part of the
budget (the votable part), the right of moving resolution on the matters of public
interest strengthehed legislative practices. The non-offtcial and elective base also
was sufficient1 hvanced as compared to the earlier Acts. The Indian Netional
Congress, dom~ht d by the Moderates, said that the scheme was a 'large and
liberal installment o reforms'. Morley had discussed these reform proposals with
Gokhale, the liberal leader.
But the rules and regulations made under the Act and the implications of certain
provisions defeated the liberal spirit. The indirect system of.elections inspired little
interest and offered less political education. The representation of different
functional interests affected the team spirit of the non-officials. The most harmful
was the provision for separate representation for Muslims. This was the beginning
of the communal representation, the communal electorate which logically led to
the partition of the country on communal basis. The Muslims objected to the joint
electoral colleges but the role of the Government has also been very evident and
positive in introducing communal electorates. The Muslims had got
proportionately more representation than their population on the assumption of
their political importance. Similar protection was not extended to Hindus minority
in Muslim majority provinces. Also the Governor General had powers to reject the
appointment of any elected member to the council. And this provision restricted
the freedom of the electorate.
The non-official majority in provincial councils yas n.ot elective. The Europe'ans in
the Indian eyes were as good as officials. The fantilords and nominated members
habitually voted with the government. The representation gave Indians only
personal influence but not power in legislative councils. The constituencies were
small (the largest which returned a Member directly had 650 voters).
Even with enlarged functions, the powers and position of legislative councils were
secondary. The resolutions of the council were not binding on the Gbvemment. Its
deliberations were of advisory nature. The official members were fully controlled
by the official mandate and had tittle freedom in legislative participation.
3.5.3 Pointer to Further Reforms
The policy of change with caution was bound to fail. As the reforms did not
provide responsible government, the moderates in the National Congress were also
unhappy. The association of the Government of India with the Allies in the First
World War, the Congress League Lucknow Pact of 1916, the Extremists rejoining
the National Congress and the Home Rule Movement made it necessary for a
further attempt of constitutional reforms leading not only towards a good
government but a responsible government. Montague, the Secretary of State for
India, declared in August 1917 the policy of increasing association of Indians in
every branch of administration and gave direction and purpose for future
constitutional development. Montague toured India with Lord Chelmsford, and the
Montague-Chelmsford report, an expression of liberal philosophy, proposed the
rpfnrmc n f 1919 It hac heen a mile~tnne
in the ~nnctit~ntinnal
rle\mlnnment n f Inti;=
Historical Context
3.6.1 Reorganigation of Departments
Constitutional r e f m s were reflected in the changing structure of the
governmntal machihery as the government moved towards the federal form.
Creation of new departments, their reorganisation and setting procedures for
smooth conduct of department business naturally became inevitable.
Departmental orNsation not only makes administration smooth but also
streamlines its processes and secures economy in its operation. In the beginning,
administration was grouped under two broad segments one covering General,
Foreign and Finance and the second covering Secret, Revenue and Judicia:
departments. In 1843, administration was divided into four departments, Military,
Foreign, Home and Finance. The Home'department dealt with legislation also. In
1855, a separate department of Public Works was established with the
development of irrigation and railways. In the cause of time three main
departments were established. The Legislative Department (1869) took over the
ledslative work of the Home Depment. Obviously, it did not initiate or originate
legislation. The second department was Agriculture, Revenue and Commerce
created in 1871 mainly to work as a guiding agency in the context of recurring
famines. The third dbpartment was Industries and Commerce established in 1905.
The Railway Board also yas constituted in the same year. It was to look after the
Industrial and commercial development of the country. Due to the controversy
between Cumn atrd Kitchner over the military administration in India, the
Military department was divided into two separate departments, the Army
Department and theiMilitiuy Supply Department. In 1911, Education department
was created. The ctljation of departments reflects the growinguolume of work
attended by them.
It is during this peribd that the concept of departmental responsibility grew: Lord
Dalhousie assigned each member of the Council some specific departments and
introduced the classification of papers as urgent, routine, unimportant and
important. Only urgent papers would go directly to the Governor-General. Findly,
in 1862 the portfolio system came into operation. The distribution of work was
made specific and t h system
~ of noting was introduced. In 1882 the flat file system
was adopted. Lord Cunon improved upon this system to reduce delay to minimise
official pedantry. The emphasis was on discouraging excessive noting and
encouraging personal communication.
3.6.2 The Civil Service
Before the Charter Act of 1833, the kourt of Directors of the East India Company
controlled the selection and appointment of Civil Servants. The nominations were
made individually by the Directors. Young Englishmen took writership as a career
and they entered into a covenant to serve the company faithfully and honestly.
They were, therefgre, called as 'Covenanted Servants'. The uncovenanted
personnel were nqt a part of regular graded service. Abo the security of service
was limited. The distinction between the two was, however, getting blurred over a
period. With the Act of 1833, the disciplinary control 6f the Government of India
was established over civil servants. The important issues in the development of
civil service were thb age of reMtment, division of service between executive and
judicial branches d d the need and en* of Indians into these services. Lord
Salisbury in 1874 keduced the upper age limit to nineteen and the lower to
seventeen. This affkted Indian candidates. Though the division of service into
administrative and judicial branches was not favoured, Sir Campbell &vised the
system of Parallel lines of Promotion and a covenanted servant would choose after
some years of service one or the other line. As the number of covenanted servants
was restricted, the need for expanding uncovenanted services to fill in subordinate
services was felt. ?this became obvious with provincial services and growth in
governmental work. This subsequently led to the demand of Indianisation of these
n-.:ran In+--,6la,.+-rl :
, ,.I+ T Pnmm:rr:n.r
D a . . ~ d (1 0 ? A \
Reforms in British
3.6.3 Financial Administration Administration:
A centralised financial system was introduced in 1833 as the earlier structure was 1858 to 1919
too diffused for effective control and economy. Lord Ellenborough created the post
of a Finance Secretary at the Central level and brought all financial operations
under the review of the Government of India. It realised effective control and
economy but ended in delay in final approval. Ellenborough really wanted to have
a Finance Member on his council. For Central control the ofice of the Comptroller
General of Accounts was created and he remained in charge of appropriation audit.
In 1860, the system of budget was introduced. Financial relations were
decentralised for the first time in 1870 when Lord Mayo made provincial
government responsible for the management of local finance in some areas which
were primarily of provincial interest. This relieved the Imperial Finance too
because provincial governments were expected to raise additional revenue by
raising local taxes. Obviously provincial budgets were required to be submitted to
the Government of India for approval.
3.6.4 Police Administration
The law and order was earlier a community function and was administered by a
non-official force controlled by individual zamindars. Lord Cornwallis introduced
bthe daroga system in 1792, replacing zamindari thanedars under the direct control
of the district head and on its payroll. At the village level, village patels performed
the functions, both revenue and police. With the experiment in Sindh by Sir
Charles Napier, a separate self-contained expert police force came into existence.
At every district there was a Superintendent who was subordinate to the District
Magistrate but departmentally under the control of the Commissioner of Police. In
1860, the Government of India appointed a Police Commission. It recommended
the establishment of a single homogenous force of civil constabulary. It was
controlled by the Inspector General of Police. He was assisted in his work at the
district level by a District Superintendent. The District Magistrate retained his
judicial authority in the administration of criminal justice. The codification of
penal and procedural law also was undertaken.
3.6.5 Local Administration
Local government institutions are both n itural and useful. Village community
government existed in India with a vil1ak.e headman performing both civil and
judicial functions. But the present system of local government is entirely a British
creation. The principle of election and Lie concept of representativeness were
foreign to the old local government systeni. The Mayo resolution of 1870 stressed
the need for introducing self government in local areas to raise local resources to
administer locally important services and also to provide local interest and care in
the inanagement of their funds. Municipal Acts were accordingly passed in many
provinces with elective local bodies coming into existence. The first local
government, the Madras Corporation was established in 1687. In a course of time,
other Presidency towns also formed local governments. Lord Ripon's resolution in
1882 has. been regarded as the landmark in the history of local government in
India. The resolution declared that 'it was not primarily with a view of
improvement that this measure is put forward - It is chiefly desirable as an
instrument of political and popular education'. The resolution extended election
principle with an elected non-official Chairman. Ripon wanted to provide for the
new educated middle class an opportunity for association and thereby check rigid

3.7.1 The Preamble of the Government of India Act 1919
'It is the declared policy of the Parliament to provide for the increasing association
n f Indians in everv hranch n f lndinn ndminirtrntinn 2nd fnr the wndiinl
- --
Historical Context development ~f seI$,governing institutions with a view to the progressive
realisation of respowible government in British India as an integral part of the
Empird'. In response:to the spirit'of the preamble, the Act provided eemplete
popular control as far as possible in local government areas. There was also
maximum popular repesentathn e d freedom to provincial government. This is
reflected in the s y s t p of diarchy. The Government of India was still to be
responsible to the British Parliament. But Indian legislative council was enlarged
and made more populbly representative. In tune with the spirit of the declaration,
the control of British flarliament over the Indian G~vernmentwas relaxed and that
of Central Governmedt over the provincial .government was reduced. The basic
contention wai that v ~ k q the Government of India and the Central legislature
were in agreement, the Home Government would not interfere. Main features of
the 1919 Act include& (a) the Council of the Secretaq of state to have eight to
twelve members with thee Indian Members and at least one-half of them to have
spent a minimum of ten years in India; (b) the Secretary of the state to follow the
advice rendered by the Council; (c) the Secretary of state was not allowed to
interfere in the administrative matters of the provinces concerning 'Transferred
subjects'; (d) to carryout their administrative affairs, the Governors were given
'ln&&t of instructions' z& a guide; (e) other than Muslims, the minorities
including Sikhs, Anglo-Indians, Christians and Europeans were given right of
separate electorate; etc. ,
3.7.2 The Central Government
The Central Government was more representative and responsive but not
responsible. The Govetnor General at the apex of administration was still an
autocrat. He had the powers of superintendence, direction and control over the
entire administration and these were very effective powers. Ih theory, the
Government of India was ruled by the Government of England and the Governor
General who differed fiom the policy of the Secretary of State had no alternative
but to resign. But in actual practice, the Governor General as the man on the spot
carried a great deal of power and influence. He could werrule the decisions of his
Executive Council. He was 'the executive'. The executive councillors were
virtually his nominees. He had full control over foreign and political department
(department dealing with princely States in India). Every bill passed by the Central
or Provincial Legislature needed his assent, in certain cases his prior ascent. He
could put any bill on the statute, also restore cuts. He has used his powers to
overtide the legislature (for example, Princes' Protection Act 1923, the Finance
Bill 1925 raising salt duty).
The Legislature was broad based (the strength of the Council of States 60, and the
Central Legislative Assetnbly 140). But its composition was faulty and powers
very much restricted. The Communal representation introduced in the 1909 Act for
Muslims was now extended to other communities like the Sikhs, the European thus
encouraging separatist teqdencies in tbe Indian people. The Governor General thus
had too many powers and was not responsible to the Legislature.
3.7.3 Mschinev of'Dyarchy at the Provinces
The division of subjects into Central and Provincial '(Federalism) and the further
division at the provincial level between Reserved and Transferred subjects was a
novel feature of the Mont-Ford Reforms. Dyarchy means double government at the
provincei. The 'Resewed' subjects in charge of councillors, 'nominated' by the
Governor and transferred subjects in charge of councillors - Ministers 'appointed'
by him. The reserved subjects were really 'key' departments while transferred
subjects were felt 'safe' even if placed in the Indian hands. The councillor in
charee of rerewed rilhiecd w m not rernonsihle to the Secretarv of State and the
British Parliament. The ministers in charge of transferred subjects were responsible Keforms in British
to the provincial legislature. -rhk Governor exercised effective powers over the 1858 to 1919
whole administration through the Instrument of Instruction and Executive Business
3.7.4 The Balance Sheet of Reforms '
The experiment of diarchy failed. The Indian National Congress boycotted the first
elections (1920). Though it participated in the second election (1924), its expressed
objective was to wreck the reforms.
Dyarchy was bound to fail. It was structurally weak and insincere in spirit. It could
not, therefore, evolve those conventions and practice which are very n e c e s w for
administration of any constitutional experiment of such ia kgnitude. Thd division
of subject also was wrong as a subject would be partly oouwed as mserved and
partly transferred, e.g., irrigation was reserved but agriculture which very much
depended on alsb the concept ofjoint responsibility of the council. The division of
Council between councillors and Ministers and the excessive control of Finance
~ e ~ a r t r n e n(reserved
i shject) over the administration of transferred subject
affected their smooth functioning. Transferred subjects starved financially as they
needed more money for development. And to their disadvantage the sources of
revenue were 'jointly' kept. The Secretaries of the Departments, belongng to ihe
ruling class also did not cooperate with ministers in charge of transferred subjects. '
But it created parliamentary atmosphere in the legislature and gave people an
opportunity to have a look in administration. Some major reforms pertaining to
local go&mment (Bombay, Bengal) and Education Social Welfare (Madras) were
carried out during this period. Almost in every province, right to vote was extended
to women.
Dyarchy failed but it showed the way to further reform - a federal government
which should be more representative and more responsive.
Check Your Progress 2
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.
1) Bring out the main provisions of Morley Minto Reforms.

2) Explain thk important features of Montague Chelmsford reforms.
Historical Context 3) What are the reasons for the failure of diarchy introduced by the Montford
Act of 19191

The British govemment was trying to reconcile between the interests of the Empire
and national interests of the Indian people. The government needed the association
of native people in the 'adminis9tion of this vast colony but abo reatised the
potential danger in such an association. The constitutional experiments w i g
with the Indian Councils Acts which tried therefore to obstruct the tnnsfer of
effective power to the Indian people by making the GovemorIGovemor Omcnl
autocratic and the Legislative Council dominated by official element and divided
in it. The reforms in effkct could not satis6 the Indian people and the National
Congress representing their interests moved to its goal of Puma Swamj.

Dyarchy : It is the two-level government introduced at
the provincial level under the Montford Act
of 1919. It divided the whole administration
between the 'reserved' (controlled by
Councillors) and 'transferred' (controlled by
the Ministers) subjects.
Imperialism : It is a system where the advanced nations
(mostly Europeans) control the less
advanced nations (mostly Afro-Asian)
mainly for economic reasons. This is
regarded as the last stage of development of
a capitalistic system).
Libtrals : The group of people who dominated the
Indian National Congress in its early years.
They believed in constitutional refoms and
had a faith in the British sense ofjbtice.
SccretaryofState ter India ; It was a ministerial post in the British
cabinet to look after the afiirs of the Indian
colony. The Government of India Act 1919,
created the post of the Indian High
Commissioner to assist him in his duties.
Tbe I.d&n Comaeib Ada ; These Acts &It with the omposition,
powers and &tiow .
of LBgislativc
Councils assisting and (Pdvising the
Governor General of India in legislative

Aggarwala, R.N., 1964, National Movement and Constitutional welopment of
India; S. Chand & Co. (P)Ltd., New Delhi
Johari, J.C., 1977, Indian Government and Politics; Vishal Publications, Delhi
II Mahesh wari, S.R., 1984, Indian Administration; Orient Longman, New Delhi
Mishra, B.B., 1 970, The Administrative History of h a ; Oxford University
Press, London
Robert, P.E., 1952,History of British India under the Company and the Crown;
Oxford University Press, London
Thomson, Edward and Garratt, G.R., 1958,Rise and Fulfilment of British Rule
Reforms in British
1858 to 1919

in India; Central Book Depot, Allahabad

Check Your Pmgrcss 1
1) Your answer must include the btlowing points:
Significant changes were brought about by the Act of 1858, which ended
the rule of Company and the system of Double Government.
Indian administration put directly under the crown and creation of the
Ofice of the Secretary of State.
Powers of the Secretary of Stato.
Establishment of supremacy of Home Government over the Government
of India.
2) Your answer must include the following points:
Increase in powers of the Governor General in the field of legislation.
Inclusion of non-official members in the Executive Council of the
Governor General.
Strengthening of the Executive government.
3) ~ i of
m the Indian National Movement to bring about reforms in administration
through Constitutional means.
Various types of refohs advocated by the National Congress in political
field, economic, industrial, fronts, social and individual field.
Check Your Progrtss 2
I) Your answer must include the following points:
Increase in the strength, functions and powers of the Legislative
Increase in the number of Executive Councillors.
Representation of Indians in the Council of Secretary of State and
Governor General.
2) Your answer must include the following points:
Provision of complete popular control as far as possible, even in local
government areas.
Increase in poweri of the Governor General who was at the apex of the
administration, which strengthened his position as an autocrat.
Introduction of diarchy at. the provinces.
Creation of Parliamentary atmosphere in the legislature.
3) Your answer must include the following points:
Failure to evolve conventions and practices necessao for administrakion
of machinery of diarchy.
Improper division of subjects under transferred and reserved categories.
Lack of coordination between the Secretaries of the Departments and
' I

1935 ACT
Objectives I

Prelude to the Refortps
4.2.1 The Simon (=ommission (1927)
4.2.2 The Nehm $cheme
4.2.3 Response ,
The Governmerit of India Act 1935
4.3.1 Main Featuhs
Admin-tive $ystem at the Centte
4.4.1 All India ~e&ration
4.4.2 Failure oft& All India Federation
Provincial Autonomy
4.5.1 Legislature &Id Executive at the Provinces
4.5.2 The Working of Provincial Autonomy
4.5.3 The Gains
The Administrative Structure
4.6.1 Organisation of Departments
4.6.2 The Public Service
4.6.3 Administratibn of Finpce
4.6.4 Administration of Ju liict
4.6.5 Local Administration
4.7 Towards the Ney Constitution
4.7.1 The Deadlock
4.7.2 f i e Process of Change
4.7.3 The Legacy of British Rule
4.8 LetUsSumUp I
4.9 Key Words '

4.10 References and E*urtherReadings
4.1 1 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

After studying this Unit, you should be able to:
Explain the prelude to the Government of India Act 1935;
Discuss the features of the Government of I?dia Act 1935; and
Understand the administrative structure under the Government of India
Act 193 5.

In the previous Unit, we have covered administrative developments during the
period from the War of Independence (1857) to the Montagu-Chelmsford
Reforms (1919). The general observation was that the policy of the British
government to associate people with the system of government seemed to be
more apparent than raal and, therefore, failed. In this Unit, we will discuss
developments that led to the Government of India Act 1935 and its main
provisions affecting the structure of government and administrative
arrangements. We will also locate the reasons for the failure of the Act of 1935
and highlight the events inevitably leading to the New Constitutional exercise for
Free India.
Administrative System

4.2.1 The Simon Commission (1927)
'The 1919 Act had provided for the appointment of a Commission to review the
provisions of the Act in the light of its working and to extend, modify or restrict
'the degree of responsibility of government of India. The Commission was to be
appointed in 1929 as per the provisions of the Act. it for various political
reasons, it was appointed in 1927 with Sir John Simon as its Chairman. The all-
European composition of the Commission was taken as an insult to Indian
nationalism. The Indian National Congress, therefore, decided to boycott the
Commission at every stage and in every form. The slogan 'Simon Go Back' had an
electrifying effect. There was also a revival of terrorist activity reflecting the anger
of the people due to the manner in which the national leaders like Lala Lajpat Rai
were treated by the police. The Commission, however, completed its work. The
1 recommendations of the report were further examined by the Joint Select
Committee of the Parliament.

The Simon report recommended the discontinuation of the dyarchy and leave
provincial government in the hands of ministers responsible to provincial
legislatures. some safeguards, however, were retained in the interest of minorities
in the grant of special powers to the Governor. It recommended a Federation like
structure at the Centre - a 'Council of Greater India' representing both the interests
-the British India and the princely States. Political atmosphere in India was hostile
to acceptance of the report. Otherwise, some of the recommendations of the Simon
Commission would have hastened the process of fully responsible government in
the provinces as well as at the centre.

I 4.2.2 The Nehru Scheme
Boycotting the Simon Commission was a negative way of response. The
challenge was to frame a proposal of constitutional reforms acceptable to all. An
All Party Conference was, therefore, called at-Delhi in February 1928 and it
came out with a report within six months (August, 1928) known as the Nehru
Report. It was named after Pandit Motilal Nehru,;the Chairman of the Committee
which was constituted to draft the recommendations. The Indian National
Congress ratified the Nehru report in its Calcutta session held in December 1928.
The report recommended responsible governments both at the provinces and the
Centre. The Central government had bicameral legislature. Its lower house (The
House of Representatives) was directly elected from joint non-communal
constituencies. The distribution of power was on federal basis with residual
powers retained with the Centre. It recommended settina up a defence committee
with advisory functions. It also provided Fundamental Rights in the constitutipn.
The Report suggested reorganisation of provinces (creation of Sindh, and raising
the status of North West Frontier province) so as to help Muslims have majority
in four provinces. It recommended princely states to hasten the introduction of
similar changes.
4.2.3 Response
Though Congress accepted the Nehru Report, Muslims rejected it. Under
Jinnah's Fourteen points (1929), they favoured residuary powers to the
provinces, one-third representation to Muslims in Central legislature and
ministers, concurrence of three-fourth members of a community before a Bill
affecting its interests is passed, protection of Muslim culture and due
representation in governmental services.
Congress also was not happy with the goal of dominion status as recommended
by the Nehru Report. Obviously, the Report had favoured Dominion status not as
an ultimate goal but the next immediate step in constitutional reforms. The
Simon Commission's recommendations were discussed in three Round Table
- - --. .- -- - - - A
Historical Context GandhiY$Civil Disobedience Movement. The second met when sympathet~c
labour party was voted out of power in Britain. he Third worked in the shadow
of the Communal Award of MacDonald (August 1932) which accorded separate
electorates on communal basis thereby perpetuating communal tensions' and
encouraging separatist tendencies. The Poona Pact (September 1932) between
Mahatma Gandhi and B.R. Ambedkar modified the provisions of the Communal
Award with respect to the depressed classes. Ambedkar agreed to joint
electorates and in (exchange got more representation. The Third Round table
finalised the sub-committee recommendations. The three conferences
collectively shaped the most important constitutional reforms in the Indian
history - the Government of India Act 1935.

'4.3.1 Main Feijtures
The White Paper and the Joint Select Committee report shaping the Government of
India Act 1935 dropped and altered many suggestions of the Simon Commission
and the recommendations of the Round Table conferences. This confirms that
'British nation has no intention whatsoever of relinquishing effective control of
Indian life and progress' (Winston Churchill). The Act retained the supremacy of
the British Parliament and also the Preamble of the Act of 1919. It meant 'gradual
realisation of self governing institutions' as the goal and there was no mention of
Dominion status and the inclusion of provisions to attain it. All rights of amending,
altering or repealing the provisions were kept with the British Parliament. The Act
removed dyarchy of the provincial level but introduced it at the Central level. It
also introduced safeguards operated in the interest of the British. For the first time,
the wide range of subjects were classified in the three list system and assigned to
appropriate level of government. This was a novel experiment.
Looking at the providions of the Government of India Act 1935 it appears that the
Joint Select Committee moved away from some of the recommendations of the
Round Table Conferences and the White Paper, for example, introduction of
indirect system of election for the Federal Council or the restrictions on the powers
of the Federal court to preserve the supremacy of the Privy Council. The nature of
safeguards, residuary powers with the Governor General, composition of the
Federal legislature make it clear that the Act provided a Federal form, but lacked
Federal spirit.
4.4.1 All India Federation
The Act proposed a federation bf British provinces and Princely States in India.
The Princely States had an option to join the Federation and the nature of
relationship would differ from state to state according to the Instrumeht of
.Accession. But the Instrument of Accession once extended would be irrevocable.
The Act provided a bicameral legislature - the Lower House elected directly and
the Upper House with a composite representation to princely states and affluent
classes. The Act also gave more powers to the Upper House (The Council of
States) -that of voting grants and making ministers responsible to the Council too.
The subjects allotted to the Federal Provincial governments were detailed in the
Three list system. Muslim representatives wanted the United States of America
model with strong provincial governments. The Liberals favoured the Canadian
model with strong Centre by keeping with it the residuary powers. At the Round
Tables, Lord Sankey, the Chairman of the Federal Structure Committee, therefore,
suggested the model of three list system detailing powers of both the centre' and
the provincial governmhnts and doing it exhaustively so as to leave very little
Dowers in the residuarv area. The subiects of common interest for the whole
country and which demanded a uniform treatqent were covered by the Federal list. Administrative System
under 1935 Act
These included 59 items. Subjects primarily of provincial interests and where no
uniform treatment was necessary were put in the provincial list. This contained 54
items. A third list covered subjects primarily of provincial interests where uniform
action was or would be desirable. These numbered 36. Residuary powers to
accommodate future needs were vested in the hands of the Governor-General. The
Act provided a Federal Court to interprd the provisions and to decide over inter-
province disputes. The principle of Dyarchy, that is, dividing governmental
administration into reserved and transferred subjects and treating them
differentially, was introduced at the Centre. The Act thus proposed a Federal form
of government for India and for the first time tried to bring British provinces and
Indian States under one common constitution. It carried the essential features of
Federation - a written constitution, division of subjects between federal and
provincial governments and thirdly, a Federal Court to interpret the provisions of
the Constitution. The Act not only pointed out the direction of our constitutional
development but also greatly influenced our constitution making in independent
4.4.2 Failure of the All India Federation
The proposed All India Federation did not materialise. It was conceptually
inadequate and structurally defective. It could convince nobody - the Indian
National Congress, the Muslim League, the Hindu Mahasabha or the Princely
States. Muslims opposed the majority rule. Princes opposed the forces of
democracy and Congress opposed Federation by courtesy. It thus remained 'a lost
ideal '.
Federation is a political mechanism. The members entering into a union should be
independent, legally equal and should voluntarily form the union. Here the
Princely States had an option to join the Federation and also to decide their
relations with the Federal government through the provisions of the Instrument of
Accession. Also undue weightage was given to the Princely States. They could
send their nominees (and not elect representatives like British provinces) and the
representation was proportionately larger than their geographic or demographic
strength. With roughly one-fourth of the population of British India, the princely
states had 104 seats out of 260 in the Council of State and 125 out of 375 in the
House of Assembly. This created a reactionary block in the legislature as the
Princely States were lagging behind the provinces in the introduction and practice
of democratic reforms.
In a federation, Constitution is supreme. But in the Act, supremacy of the British
Parliament was retained. The Secretary of State for India and the Governor-
General were the ultimate authority and they were above the Act. The Act gave
area of discretion, area of individual judgement and special responsibility to the
Governor-General. This made the Governor-General not responsible to the
legislature. As the dyarchy was introduced at the Centre, his control over reserved
subjects was absolute and over transferred subjects very effective. All the
Governors and ICS officers acted under .his instructions. Federal constitution on
the other hand tries for a balance in power in its different organs and levels.
Provincial autonomy was also restricted in practice in the context of safeguards
provided in the Act. Such provincial governments with an unrepresentative and
powerless Central legislature made negation of the spirit of Federalism. Though
the distribution of power through the Three-list system could be condoned as being
the first attempt and could have been improved upon, keeping residuary powers
with the Governor General was harmful.
The Act could have developed some healthy conventions and certain powers given
to executive been accepted as natural if the executive would have been responsible
to the legislature and the legislature supreme, in its field. Both these aspects were
missing. Atlee called, therefore, the keynote of act as 'mistrust and distrust'. The
Historical Context line of thinking now changed and Congress felt that the struggle for self-
government could not further be carried within a constitutional fiame but need to
be carried on a mass base. This indicated the full decline of the liberals and the
endorsement of Mahatma Gandhi's mass agitational movements. The logic of Quit
India thus becomes clear.
Check Your Progress 1
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.
1) What are the recommendations of Simon Commission?

2) What are the features of Nehru Scheme?

3) What are the features of Government of India Act, 1935?

4.5.1 Legislature and Executive at the Provinces

The 1935 Act discontinued the application of dyarchy introduced at the provincial

level under the ct of 1919 as the experiment failed miserably. The distinction
between transf rred and reserved subjects was removed and the whole
administration was entrusted with the ministers responsible to the legislature. The
provinces were given a separate legal status, specified subjects to operate
according to the three-list system and provided a federal relationship with the
Centre. But the All India Federation did not materialise and the powers given to the
provinces became delegated authority under the devolution rules of the 1919 Act.
Significantly, the Joint Parliamentary Committee report stated that each province'
will possess executive mechanism and legislature. It meant duality of power in
ministers and the Governor at the provincial level. The special powers of the
n_ _- _- _ _I -.. -3.1 - I. _.
I - _ 3 .. -.A - 2 - -r LI - 0 -.- -
General show that the legal meaning to these phrases had significance in practice. Administrative System
under 1935 Act
The Governor-General was the final authority in case of conflict between the
Centre and provinces over the concurrent list. Many Bills in the provincial
legislature needed prior approval of the Governor-General. The executive authority
of the provincial government was restricted. The Governor-General could give
direction, issue instructions to the Governor regarding the manner in which
executive authority could be exercised in certain matters. Also in all matters where
the Governor acted in his discretion or in his individual judgement, he was bound
by the instructions of the Governor-General. On the face of it, many of these
provisions would be formal and natural in the context of the formation of a federal
state from the otherwise unitary administration. Restrictions of similar nature have
found place in our present constitution too. Centre-State relations are more political
than administrative. As it would have it, the 1935 Act put these powers in the
executives who were politically not responsible to the elected legislature.
Governor's power of acting in his discretion and in individual judgement to
discharge his special responsibilities was very comprehensive. He had special1
powers with regard to Police Department and Services besides the power of
making ordinances. Further the powers under 'Governor's Act' were more drastic
than the power of certification given to him under the 1919 Act. Here he could
bypass the legislature. The legislatures were broad based and elections direct. But
the principle of communal representation was extended to promote, new classes.
Yoting qualifications were minimum level of literacy and other Monetary-
qualifications like payment of income tax, etc. The voters thus constituted hardly
27 per cent of the adult population of British India. It was an advance\ over the
1919 Act, but it was too short of adult franchise which would make democracy
broad based. The legislative and financial powers too were restricted because of
the ordinary and extraordinary powers of the Governor.
4.5.2 The Working of Provincial Autonomy
In the elections, Congress obtained clear majority in six provinces. In three
provinces, Bengal, Assam and North-West Frontier provinces, it was the single
largest party. Only in the Punjab and Sindh, it could not come close to power.
Congress victory in North-West Frontier provinces was more significant giving it
the real national representative character. After receiving assurance from the
Governor-General that Governor will not interfere in the day-to-day
administration and that he would reach his decisions with full understanding of
the ministers' arguments, Congress assumed power. The ministries were
entrusted with large developmental activities and engaged in introducing social
change. These covered primary education, prohibition, tenancy laws, agricultural
indebtedness, rural development, industrial wage disputes, cottage industries and
improvement of weaker sections of the society. But political issues created
problems and made clear the reality of Governor's overriding authority, for
example, release of political detenues in U.P. and resignation of the Congress
ministries in October 1939 on the issue of unilateral declaration by the British .
Government of India's joining the World War I1 on the side of the Allies.
4.5.3 The Gains
Whatever the powers, the record of provincial ministers was satisfactory. It gave
administrative expertise and Indian people proved worthy of it. It also proved that
the Indian National Congress while agitational in political programmes was
equally a constructive force in Indian politics. The Act gave first taste and practice
of parliamentary self-government and established good parliamentary conventions.
The working of provincial autonomy thus furthered the cause of nationalism.
Check Your Progress 2
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.
Historjcal Context , 1 What are the reasons for the failure of All India Federation proposed in the
Act of 1935?

2) Elaborate the gains of provincial autonomy.

4.6.1 Organisation of Departments
h the reorganisation of departments, natural grouping of subjects and
administrative branches was the main consideration. The workload of the
department also was a factor in reorganisation. The whole administration was
organised into eleveh departments. Council of Agricultural Research was
established in 1929. In 1937, the Foreign and Political Department was divided
into two departments. Similarly, Department of Industries and Labour was
bifurcated into two saparate departments. In 1942, there was reorganisation in
Food Department and 'also three separate Departments of Education, Health and
Agriculture were established. However, departmental reshuffling was not always
rational but influenced by economy considerations and the exigencies of war. In
1947, there were hineteen departments, Home, External Affairs and
Commonwealth relatipns, Finance, Transport, Railways, Education, Health,
Agriculture, Food, Industries and Supplies, Political (States), Legislative Works,
Mining and Power, Labur and Information, and Broadcasting.
Procedural changes aimed at reducing delay in administrative process. The
Secretariat Procedure Committee, 1919 advocated delegation of power (Financial
delegation), simultaneous circulation of papers to concerned levels and intormal
communication between the Member, Secretary and Deputy Secretaries in a
Department. The Maxell Committee (1937) looked into the Minister-Secretary
relationship in the context of administrative continuity. Gorawala Committee
(1951) looked into ihe question of administrative integrity while Appleby
Committee (1953) focused on training needs of officials especially the middle level
officials and the need to establish Organisation and Method Department for
continuous appraisal of administration structures and processes.
4.6.2 The Public Sewice
The 1935 Act classified services as superior and other services. The Indian Civil
Service, Indian Police and Indian Medical (Civil) Services were classified as
superior services and controlled by the Secretary of State. These continued to enjoy
<A c n ~ r i a lriohtc anrl n r i v l l p n ~ c (hTn a r l v ~ r nnrd,ar
~ aoainct a mpmhpr nf the ciin~rinr
service could be passed without concurrence of the Governor. They had right to Administrative System
under 1935 Act
appeal to the Secretary of State against an adverse order.) The 1919 Act had
recommended for the establishment of the Federal Public Service Commission and
through it, Indianisation of Services was realised. The profile of service that
developed was that of a generalist associated with the formulation of policies and
their implementation. As a whole Public Service retained an All India character.
4.6.3 Administration of Finance
The financial arrangements under the Government of India Act 1935 were based
on the recommendations of the Niemeyer Committee. Revenue sources followed
the list system. As such receipts from provincial subjects formed the main income
source for provinces. Provinces were given some additional sources of revenue
too; for example, share in succession duty other than landed property, share in
income tax, grant in aid, etc. The provinces were also given power to raise loans on
the security of their resources. The Centre to secure financial stability for itself
could for a period retain such sums as might be prescribed in the form of a fixed
percentage of income tax assigned to the provinces. The Auditor General of India
occupied a key position in financial administration. He controlled the accounts
both of the Centre as well as the provinces. The Reserve Bank of India was
established in April 1935. Financial control over expenditure ww exercised
through the Public Accounts Committee of the legislature. The centralised
machinery of finance has been a feature of the Indian system since the Charter Act
of 1833. The position of the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General in
India, a statutory office in our present*constitution, derives strength from this
historic fact.
4.6.4 Administration of Justice
The Government of India Act 1935 established the Federal Court to interpret the
provisions of the Act and also to deal with inter province conflicts. It is a
prerequis'ite of a federal form of government. The Privy Couneil still continued as
the highest court of appeal for India (it indicates uneasy compromise). The Federal
court made substantial contribution to the constitutional development of India.
Much credit for this goes to Sir Maurice Gwyer, as the first Chief Justice in the
formative period of its working. It established the cardinal principle of
'tldependence of Judiciary in the critical period of its functioning. The immediate
aim was to protect the autonomy of provinces and to emphasise order in the
;~oliticallyactivated atmosphere.
4.5.5 Local Administration
Local government being a 'transferred, subject' received attention since the
introduction of dyarchy under the Act of 1919. All provisions enacted in this field
made local governments more representative and popularly controlled. The
legislation also provided for representation for backward and depressed classes and
for labour class. But as local bodies were drawn in the nationwide political surge
through civil disobedience movement, they lost the priority of attention. The
traditional panchayat system had long been defunct. ~ n d t h new
e local government
could not take firm roots. The fact is that local government rural or urban grew as
administrative necessity of managing local funds. Ripon's objective of political
education was lost in executive directions that followed the Resolution. Older
village panchayat system was based on a corporate spirit and the British tenancy
legislation affected this base. The British administration of Justice was also
centralised. The defunct panchayats, therefore, became a sink of lacalism and a den
of narrow mindedness (Ambedkar). The Decentralisation Commission also looked
at the problem from administrative angle. It was only with the experiment of
Community Development Movement and its subsequent development in
Panchayati Raj that rural government structure became meaningfully involved in
the larger processes of participative development.
. Historical Context

The Government of India Act 1935 was introduced in provinces. It was expected
that the All India Federation would follow and provinces would get status of
Federal units. But the All India Federation did not materialise, the Governor-
General-in-Council exercised the executive authority on behalf of His Majesty.
Even though the Federation did not come into existence, Federal Court, Federal
Public Service Commission and Federal Railway Authority started functioning.
Unilateral decision on the part of the British Government of India's participation in
the Second World War on behalf of the Allies provoked Congress. It wanted the
British Government to declare that India would be free after the war. The
Government declared that it would undertake the review of 1935 Act immediately
after consulting with various representatives of communities and Princely States.
Participation in the Advisory Consultative Group suggested by the Governor-
General was felt inadequate as the Governor-General could accept its advice at his
will. Under these circumstances, Congress ministries under the resolution of the
Working Committee resigned from their offices in October 1939 creating a
political deadlock. Declaration of constitutional breakdown by the Governors was
no solution to this situation. Therefore, the British Government in response to the
Poona resolution of the Congress Working Committee (July 1940) renewed its
offer conceding some of the demands of Congress. But the precondition that such a
transfer needed the acceptance of minorities (in essence the Muslim league) made
the offer ineffective. ?he 1935 Act thus became a 'lost ideal7.
Political developments were now quick, like individual Satyagraha (1940),
inevitable failure of the Cripps Mission (1942), the Quit India Movement (1942),
the Cabinet Mission Plan (1946) and the Mountbatten Plan (1947) leading to
partition and ultimate independence of the country.
4.7.2 The Process of Change
Change is a continuous - discontinuous process. It is a development from earlier
systems taking something from these and at the same time rejecting the other. As
it moves through interaction with the old' institutions, it shapes them and while
doing so itself too undergoes a change. The outcome is a mix of the old and new
together. The administration of free India inevitably contains the impact and
influence of the earlier experiments carried by the British government. The
legacy of British rule is, therefore, natural and obvious.
4.7.3 The Legacy of British Rule
The Free India inherited governmental machinery, as developed by the British.
More than the machinery, it received from the British rule the feeling of
importance attached to these institutions - the feeling of Raj, the importance of
having a government, its necessity and. accepting its strength. The traditional
respect the 'Sarkar' carried was as if passed on to the new government. The
government is everywhere - One cannot escape it. There is an awareness of it, a
sense of importance and acceptance that it needs to be strong and stable. The
Federal structure of government is also an important legacy. India is a federal
state with important unitary features. The 1935 Act which influenced its structure
was unitary with strong federal features.
The British administration was district-centred. It was headed by a generalist
head with an overriding authority. The district head not merely represented
government at the district level; he was in fact governmint at the district level.
The district was subdivided into talukas consisting of villages and also grouped
upwards into firkas. This framework still continues.
The All India services, especially the Indian Administrative Service and the
Indian Police Service strengthen integration. It gives an All India character to
governmental personnel and provides a steel frame to the administrative Administrative System
under 1935 Act
machinery. The structure of these services, their built and shape, their manner of
functioning, inter-service and intra service relations and the ethos has influenced
not only governmental functioning but governmental thinking too not only of the
government but also of people at large.
Constitutional experiments were enlarging and strengthening legislatures. Along
side legislative institutions, legislative culture also was spreading even though
the national environment was becoming uncongenial. The Indian National
Congress under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi was becoming agitational,
anti-governmental and extra parliamentary. The essence of legislative culture is
discussion and dialogue between different interests, answerability of the
executive and acceptance of responsibility in case of failure of its actions. This
was accepted and necessary skills were developed as people took part in the
working of councils.
The legacy of judiciary, respect for the judicial structure, acceptance of its
independence, and regard for its values has also taken firm root in the soil. The
boycott of courts was not as strong as the boycott of legislature. Many of the
leaders in the early freedom struggle were from law profession who respected
this tradition. The debates in the constituent assembly regarding judicial system
also reflect this aspect. Considering various reforms leading to independence it
looks that the thread of British legacy runs through and reflects a degree of
continuity in the process of change in later year.
Check Your Progress 3
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.
1) Explain the features of administration of Finance.

2) Bring out the significance of British legacy in India.

The Montford Reforms gave a responsive autocracy at the Centre and a truncated
government at the provinces in the form of dyarchy..Its failure was confirmed and
the Round Table Conferences indicated the nature of the new constitutional
refirms. The 1935 Act, as it was ultimately drafted through these conferences,
proposed an All India Federation at the Centre and provincial autonmy at the
Historical Context acceptance by a requisite number of Princely States before coming into force.
Provisions regarding provincial governments were implemented. Provincial
autonomy was a success in its operations as well as in bringing out its limitations.
The Act of 1935 as a whole, however, was important. It not only acted as an
interim constitution but also provided a basis for the constitution of Free India. The
Acts along with earlier constitutional reforms gave direction to the process of
change as well as influenced its contents. It is this aspect which provided
continuity in change.

Bicameral Legislature : Legislature with two Houses. Normally
the lower house is broad based and
representative and is politically more
important. The Upper House has special
1 significance in a federal form of
Civil Disobedience Movement : One of the nationwide movements
launched by Mahatma Gandhi in 1930
expressing his techniques of Satyagraha.
It covered voluntary withdrawal of
association with British Government
including non-payment of taxes.
Independence of Judiciary : Provisions keeping judiciary away from
the executive influence. It gives them
security of tenure and freedom in the
administration of justice. This
independence is an indicator of
Three List System : This is the detailed division of subjects
between the Central and Provincial
governments. Subjects were divided into
three types - Federal, Provincial and
Concurrent. The subjects which were of
common interest for the whole country
were covered under the Federal list.
Subjects which were primarily of
provincial interests were put in' the
provincial list. The rest of the subjects
where uniform action was or would be
desirable were put under Concurrent list.

Aggarwala, R.N., 1964, National Movement and Constitutional Development of
India; S. Chand & Co. (P) Ltd., New Delhi
Johari, J.C., 1977, Indian Government and Politics; Vishal Publications, Delhi
Maheshwari, S.R., 1984, Indian Administration; Orient Longman, New Delhi
Mishra, B.B., 1970, The Administrative History of India; Oxford University
Press, London
Robert, P.E., 1952, History of British India under the Company and the Crown;
Oxford University Press, London
Thornson, Edward and Garratt, G.R., 1958, Rise and FulJillment of British Rule
T--L--. ~ - - - - in - - t - n---~
Administrative System
Check Your Progress 1
1 ) Your answer must include the following points:
Discontinuation of the dyarchy.
Setting up of a Federation.
Special powers given to the Governor.
2) Your answer must include the following points:
Setting up of responsible governments at the Centre and provinces.
Constitution of Bicameral Legislature at the Centre.
Distribution of powers between the Centre and provinces.
Provision of Fundamental Rights in the Constitution.
Reorganisation of provinces.
Other recommendations.
3) Your answer must include the following points:
Constitution of a Federal form of government.
Written Constitution.
Division of subjects between the federal and provincial governments.
Setting up of Bicameral Legislature.
Federal Court for interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution.
Check Your Progress 2
1) Your answer must include the following points:
Retention of supremacy of the British Parliament.
Absolute powers given to the Secretary of State for India and Governor
General, who were above the Act.
Unrepresentative provincial governments and Central Legislature with
no powers.
Undue weightage given to the Princely States.
Restricted provincial autonomy.
2) Your answer must include the following points:
Provided administrative expertise to Indians.
Proved the worth of Indian National Congress as a constructive force in
Indian politics.
Establishment of good parliamentary conventions.
Working of provincial autonomy furthered the cause of nationalism.
Check Your Progress 3
1) Your answer must include the following points:
Sources of income for provinces and Centre.
Key role of the Auditor General of India.
Financial control exercised over expenditure by the Public Accounts
Establishment of the Reserve Bank of India.
2) Your answer must include the following points:
Inheritance of governmental machinery as developed by the British.
Awareness of importance of government, which is to be strong and
Historical Context Framework of District Administration headed by a generalist.
All India Services.
Independence of judiciary, judicial structure, regard for its values.
POST 1947
5.0 Objectives
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Continuity in Indian Administration
5.3 Departmental Organisations
5.4 The Public Services: Structure
5.5 Public Service Commissions
5.6 Development and Welfare Content of Administration
5.7 Administrative Implications of Federalism
5.8 Political Involvement and Popular Participation in Administration
5.9 Let Us Sum Up
5.10 Key Words
5.1 1 References and Further Readings
5.12 Answers to Check.Your Progress Exercises
After studying this Unit, you should be able to:
, 0 Understand the continuity and change in Indian Administration after
Explain the structure of public services on the comparative backdrop of the
British administration in India; and
Highlight the main directions of Indian administration in post-1947 India.

This .Unit analyses the salient features of Indian administration after
indepeodence on the comparative backdrop of the conditions obtained
under the British rule. The organisation of the various departments and
ministries indndependent India is dealt with reference to the departments
that existed before Independence.
The growth of the public services in tho aspects bf structure and Public Service
Commissions is delineated thereafter.
The main directions of the welfare content of the Indian administration and of the
economic developtnent that has taken pIace are indicated in the next section. This
is done in the follow-up of the Constitutional directives.
The main features of the federalism in regard to the administration are depicted
later and finally, the phenomena oE political involvement and popular
participation are examined. .

- -- -
- - -

There has been continuity in the Indian Administration after 1947 from the pattern
that existed before independence. At the same'time the political background and
the psychological atmosphere and the objectives of administration have changed
completely after independence.
The most important reason for this continuity was the sudden and peaceful
transfer of power from the British rulers to the Indian people. Another reason
Historical Context was that millions af'fefugees migrated between the two post-partition countries,
India and Pakistan, partly due to communal violence and partly due to the willing
option of sections of population to settle in the other country. Most of the cadres
in Administration got depleted as most of the Muslims and European Civil
Servants resigned md left the country. So there were neither the resources nor
the people to set up new administrative machinery. A stable and well-founded
administrative organisation comprising departments and civil services was the
critical need of the hour. So, the then existing administrative framework
continued after independence.
However, free India adopted its own Constitution within three years after
Independence. The objectives and nature of this Constitution are altogether
different from those of the constitutional Acts prevailing under the British rule.
Free India's has been a democratic constitution - free periodic elections to the
national Parliament and the State legislatures, adoption of laws, amendments of
the Constitution, control over the executive and expression of popular opinion.
The liberties of the individuals, of the political parties, minorities and other
organisations are guaranteed by the Constitution. An independent judiciary
protects these rights and freedom. The Constitution contains the ideal of welfare,
socialist State. A federal political 'system based on the Union (Central)
Government and State Governments is set up by the Constitution. Local
Governments, urban and rural, looking after the civic and also developmental
fbnctions, are provided for by the Constitution. Public Service Commissions at
the Union and the State levels ensuring the selection of meritorious public
services are established by the Constitution.
These and other provisions of the Constitution have increased the responsibilities
of Public Adminisfration in the country. Moreover, the public services are
accountable to the Parliament and State legislatures. They also have to be
sensitive to the aspirations and grievances of the people who elect the
government in the country.
The Constitution has establidhed parliamentary democracy in the country. Before
independence tht country had legislature at the Centre and in the Provinces.
These did not possess full powers and authority as under the present
Constitution. During the periods of partial legislative control, 1920-35, 1937-39
and 1946-47, the public services were to an extent accountable to the popularly
elected representatives and the ministers responsible to them. This was another
feature of administrative continuity after independence.

The pre-independence era saw the administrative organisations of the Central and
the State (then called 'Provincial') governments intact. This was a factor
contributing to the undisturbed transfer of power from the British to the Indian
hands. The administration of the country's security, law and order, finances,
communication system, educational organisation and other elements of the
infrastructure after 1947 continued as before.
At independence on 15 August 1947, the following eighteen departments
(redesignated as 'Ministries') fbnctioned under the Government of India: (1)
External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations, (2) Defence, (3) Finance, (4)
Home, (5) States, (6) Legislative (Law), (7) Commerce, (8) Industries and
Supplies, (9) Railways, (10) Transport, (1 1) Communications, (12) Labour, (1 3)
Agriculture, (14) Food, (15) Education, (16) Health, (17) Information and
Broadcasting, (1 8) Works, Mines and Power.
From five departments in 1858, at the transfer of the government in India from the
charge of the East India Company to the control of the British Parliament (actually
handled by British Government), to eighteen in 1947 indicated an enormous Continuity and Change in
Indian Administration:
increase in the administrative activity. These nine decades of the British rule Post 1947
witnessed the beginning of the elementary social services like primary education,
health and medicine, agricultural research, fiscal incentives for industries, etc.
Legislative activity had commenced. The two World Wars introduced price and
physical controls over the essential supplies including food, cloth, petrol and
kerosene, etc., besides growth in armed services, war industries and supplies. In
1921, the number of departments stood at nine, which were increased to twelve in
1937, After 1919 the main administrative activities in agriculture, education,
health, and labour were conducted by the provincial governments, due .to
decentralisation under the 1919 and 1935 Government of India Acts.
The following are the typical present-day secretariat departments in the State
governments: (1) General Administration, (2) Home, (3) Revenue and Forests, @)
Agriculture, Food and Cooperation, (5) Education and Social Welfare, (6) Urban
Development and Public Health, (7) Finance, (8) Buildihgs and Communication,
(9) Irrigation and Power, (10) Law and Judiciary, (1 1) Industries and Labour, (12)
Rural Development.
Though the volume and variety of the administrative activities in the State have
increased after independence, the number of Secretariat departments has not grown .
much. The administration in the States has changed in nature and size in rural
development, in education, agriculture, health and medicine and related matters.
The administrative work both at the Centre and State levels has, after
Independence, become more complex and challenging. New forms of organisation
of these administrative activities have come up which did not exist before
independence. The types of knowledge and skills required among the
administrative personnel have also become more complex. The new economic
social welfare, scientific and technical activities assumed by the state in India
account for their variety and complexity. The growing international and defence
responsibilities of the Indian state have also partly contributed to the strengthening
and speeding up of this process. The low levels of literacy and awareness of
numerous people have also added to the responsibilities and tasks of the
Usually, the ministries at the central level will be having one or more departments,
depending on the need for specialisation. For instance, the Ministry of Personi.:l,
Public Grievances and Pension, as the name suggests, has three departments. The
number of Ministries and their constituent departments go on increasing on both
political and administrative grounds. Need to accommodate many ministries leads
to proliferation of Ministries and Departments. Also, specialization asks for
creation of new ministries and departments. Science and technology, Atomic
Energy, Non-Conventional Energy are such instances of new needs. In short
terms, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment exemplifies the need for
new administrative set up to deal with social justice and empowerment. The new
economic activities undertaken by the Union Government are reflected in the
departments of coal, power and non-conventional energy sources in the Ministry of
Energy, departments of chemicals and petrochemicals, industrial development and
public enterprises in the Ministry of Industry, departments of planning and
statistics in the Ministry of Planning, and Ministries of Petroleum and Natural Gas,
Programme Implementation and Steel and Mines. Nationalised banks are looked
after by the Finance Ministry. Concerns for the development of Science and
Technology are imbibed by the Ministries of Science and Technology and
Department of Atomic Energy, Electronics and Space. The electronic media and
the computers have brought about a change in methods of information, storage and
retrieval, and communication. The forum of Parliament and State legislatures have
brought in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and increased the work of the
Ministry of Law and Justice. The tremendous growth in the strength of
Historical Context in administration has led to the creation of the new Ministry of Personnel, Public
s Pensiw. The new Departments of Family Welfare, Youth Affairs'
~ i e v a n c e and
and Sports and Womell and Child Development mark the compulsions of a social
awakening among the families, youth and women and the awareness of social
responsibilities towards them, after independence. The Planning Commission,
though not a department in the strict sense of the term, belongs to that species.
The innovated forms of public corporations, government companies and joint
companies have appeared on the post-independence administrative scene, giving
rise to the demand for new categories of administrators. Attached ofices like the
Ndisnal Academy of Administration at Mussoorie and subordinate ofices like the
N a i g d Fire Strvice Colkge at Nagpur are new off-shoots of administration.
Scientific laboratories and research stations have broadened the scope of
nQminis&&h.Numerous advisory bodies like the Central Board of Education and
the C~ntralLabour Advisory Board evoke the participation of concerned interest
groups in the policy-making in those areas.
In terms of internal organisation and relationships within the departments and
outsih, the working of the Departments has not changed much after indtpendence.
Hierarchy and i m p o m e of the written word and communication have continued.
Red-tapism and &lay still haunt the administration. Prelindependence manuals
prepared during the colonial rule still &ern in most of the older departments with
modification here and there.
The Chief Secretary of provincial administration before 1947 continues today; but
at the Centre, the Cabinet Secretary, de faeto head of administration, is an
Another recent development is the growth of independent regulatory agencies like
TRAI in telecommunication, SEBI in shares and stock exchanges, etc. These
agencies have been set up to lend a ckgrge of independence, away from normal
executive departments, to quasi-judicial arbitration, rate-fixation and conflict
resolution functions of the government.
Check Your Progress1 1
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit..
1) Which elements at the time of Independence accounted for the continuity in
Indian A$ministration?

2) How has the Indkn Constitution brought about a change in the nature and
activities of the M i a n Administration? a
I 3) What are the new departmental activities undertaken by the Central
Cqntinuity and Change in
Indian Administration:
Post 1947


The post-independence administration in India was fairly stable due to the
continued tenures of the public services which were in office before independence.
1 The Indian Civil Service and the Indian Police Service were the two All India
Services that helped the country to hold together. The other All India Services
included the medical, engineering, forest, educational and others.
The Indian Civil Services was the most pivotal and prized of these services. Its
members occupied positions in the executive councils of the Governor General of
India and the provincial Governors. Most of the posts of Secretaries to the
departments in the Central and provincial governments and of heads of executive
departments were held by them. ICS men were district collectors- and
magistratesldeputy commissioners. Before independence, the officers of the ICS
1 and other All India Services were appointed by the Secretary of State for India.
After independence, under the India Independence Act, 1947, the ICS and other
officers in All India Services, who continued in ofice, became officers in the
service of the Government of India. At independence about two hundred and fifty
European ICS officers retired, while about fifty of them opted to be in office here.
Vallabhbhai Patel, India's Home Minister realised the dire need of the Indian
members of the ICS continuing in service here after 1947. He assured to honour
the existing terms and security of their tenure. They did contribute to the stability
and continuity of the Indian administration.
, After independence the Indian Civil Services was repIaced by the Indian
Administrative services. A larger number of the officers in the IAS and the Indian
Police Service (that replaced the Imperial Police Service) were required to replace
-the former services. They had to man the posts in the recently merged princely
states. Much more than that, the character of these All India Services had changed
after independence. India became a democracy after independence. The services
had now to serve the people of the country, and not the imperial masters. The ICS
men were not only officials; they were a part of the colonial government. The
officials of independent India - no more rulers - had to imbibe the democratic
temper of its polity. This marked a change from the pre-1947 scene.
The All India Services Act, 1951 of the ~ndianParliament provided for the
formation of two services, the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police
Service. This was an outcome of the deliberations in the Constituent Assembly of
India. The Constitution contains a separate Part XIV titled 'Services under the
Union and the States': Article 312 of the Constitution relates to the All India
A new All India Services, the Indian Forest Service, was constituted in July 1966,
I though an amendment to the All India Services Act, 1951 effected in 1963
provided for the formation of three new All India Services, viz., the Indian
Services of Engineers, the Indian Folest Services and the Indian Medical and
lJ--l&L c--.:,.-..

HistwkaI Context 'ihs pr~0~#1 belo~$ng to the Central Services work in the vuious dcputments
of* Central Govenumnt. They are o r p i s e d into foru p u p s , A, 8, C and D, on
thc b i s of the pay scaks of the posts in them. The followin8 are of the
Central Services: Centrail Engiweting Services, Central H e r b S-crvkc, Central
ktetariat Service, Indian Audit and Accounts Ssrvice,Indian Dcfoncc kccounts
Service, Indian Forcip Sewice, Mien Postal Service, Mian R e d Service,
Central Leg4 Service, Cantral InfannatiQn Service, Indian !Whhl Semjce,
Indian Economic Service. B c f i 1947, spcialisr oficials w d in various
h n c t i m l departments of the Central Govemanent, brtt a i k ,
diffmnt services (cadres) were formed. Statistical Scrvioe, lkommk Servioe,
Information Service and Foreign Service wtze some of the m v rdsoe Gymad to
cater to the meqpnt ntods of tkc C o d Gowmmt. Th Wm Foreign
!kvice attracts intelligaat young p d w b s a h g with tho ~ n d i n~dministrrtive
Service; the entrants @ it reach the highest position of Am to h i p
countries. After Indtpendanee, as the firnctions undertaken by the St&
governments have diversified s e v d specialist services in Class I and 11 were
formed. Some of t b s e m: Forest Service, Agricultural Service, Animal
Husbandry, Prohibitio~and Excise, Judicial, Police, Jail, Medical, Public Health,
Educational, Engineering, Accounts, Sales Taxmd Industries Service. A few of
these services did exist before 1947, but now the strength of these has gone up.
Besides, Class I11 and lV Services are on roll.
The new public sen+ces share, to a long extent, the attrhutes af political
impartiality, selection on merit and integrity like in the ICS and edrcr services
before in&pendmw. ,The public services in fie? India are com~lictadto the
objectives of the Consdtution.
The local bodies and cdoperative's have their own personnel.


To ensure impartial qelection of meritorious civil servants, a Public Service
Commission in India 1 was established in 1926 with the Chairman cmd four
members. This (Central) Public Service Commission was vested widt two
functions in the main, necruitment to All India and Central Services, and scmaing
of disciplinary cases. It was also to advice in the matters of stpnQrBs of
qualification and methods of examination for the civil services, so f a as
recruitment in India was concerned. The Commission was redgsignstbtd as the
Fadcmi Public Service omm mission h the 1935 Act.
Under the 1935 Act, provincial goverarnents were to fbh Public Sarvice
Commissims independently or in groups or in single commissioh for all of h m .
By agreement of the Governor and the Governor-General, the Federal Commission
mt&t act for Provinces, like Bombay, Madras set the Provincid Public Serviw
Commissions with fbnptions similar to those of the Federal Commission. The
Constituent Assembly df the country had, therefbrc, a model and p & t before
it in the Public Service Commissiorts set up barlie! at the Centre and in eemc of the
prwimm. Mowam, ttlc functions of the Coinmissions after ~~ have
increased. The responsibilities in regard to m i t m e n t of public cqAayees
h u g k wdlten test d o r irrterviews are enormous in view of the large number of
qualified offick$s the qovemmcnts at the Union and.the States requinc in Wit
employment. Promatids and tra&ers to another service are also refenad to the
c o m m b s i i for their Bdvicc. Costs in legal defence and awards m m i o n arc
dm referred for advice to them.
The Chaiian and members of these Commissions are appointed by the Prusident
in the eases of the Unian Commission and by the Governor in the case of a State
Commission (obviously~in consultation with the council of ministers). Nearly one-
A - - -
an office in the government. A short term of six years for C h a i m or members Continuity and Cbanga in
Indian Administration:
and the age limit of sixty five years for UPSC and sixty two years for State Post 1947
Commission, so also bar of hrther government appoi~tmentto them, prevents
them from being vested interests.
It may be noted that the recommendations of the commissions to the government
concerned are advisory, and not binding. But safeguard in this respect is the
obligatory presentation of the annual reports of the commissions to Parliament or
respective State legislatures for discussion by the members. The governments
concerned have to give reasons for the non-acceptance of the Commissian's
Check Your Progress 2
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.
1) What are the characteristics distinguishing the IAS from ICS?

2) What are the Central Services? List the functions they carry out.

3) Describe the structure of the Public Service Commission sunder the
Constitution. How do tKey differ from the Public service. Commission of
pre-independence priod?


After Independence, the welfare and development content of the administration has
become very prominent. It might be said that this content is predominant over the
law and order and regulatory content. It does not that during the British rule the
development and welfare aspect did not exist at all. 1t was there, but it was
subordinate to the chief motivation of the foreigners to rule over this country and
its people. Railways, posts and telegraph, highways, canals, ports, banking and
insurance, capital cities, were set up; a foundation was laid for the future
A ,. 1,
,, + ,C ,
.lc ,. c,,,, .,, Qn:a..+:C, +,rL-:,rl .-A l:Llul a
Historical Context at primary, secondary and University levels began. Health and medical facilities at
an elementary level were started. Agricultural research was commenced. After the
First World War, fiscal incentives were given for industrial development through
individual initiative. But the Public Administration under the British was not
deeply involved in the development of the country and welfare of the people.
The Preamble of the Constitution seeks to secure to all citizens social and
economic justice and equality of status and of opportunity. This object is further
- elaborated in Part IV of the Constitution which deals with Directive Principles of
the state policy. The& principles give guidance to the government in making
laws and administering them. Thus, the following are the most important among
these Directive Principles. The State is to strive to minimise the inequalities in
income and fa eliminate inequalities in status, facilities and opportunities among
individuals and groups -territorial and vocational. ~ o t men
h and women have an
equal right to an adequate means of livelihood. Equal pay for equal work is
another Directive given by the Constitution. The moral and material health of
children and youth is protected. Equal justice and free legal aid are assured.
Within the limits of the economic capacity and development of the state, the right
to work, education and public assistance in old age, unemployment, etc., is
secured. Humane conditions of work and maternity relief are provided for. A
living wage and a decent standard of life would be sought to be attained.
Workers' participation in industrial management would be promoted. Free and
compulsory education for children up to the age of 14 years would be provided.
The welfare of the scheduled caste and scheduled tribes and other weaker
sections would be adv nced. However, these directives cannot be enforced
through resort to courts o law.
The pressures of the people in a democratic set up have brought the welfare state.
Planning has guided the economic development of the country since the
beginning of the first five year plan from 1" April 1951. Plans formulated by the
Planning Commission set up in March 1950, aimed at the rapid all round
economic development of the resources of the country. The progress achieved in
development is also checked from time to time and remedial measures are
adopted. Planning evokes public cooperation for its success. Plans set the targets
of development in different sectors including industry, agriculture, electricity,
minerals, transport and communication, education, health, etc. The
administration at different levels, Central, State and local, is geared to the
realisation of the goals of the plans. It also furnishes data and statistics to the
Planning Commission to enable it to frame the plans and check the progress in
their implementation. Besides the national plan, State and District Plans are also
prepared by the administration at these levels. Planned development has been the
hallmark of the activities of the administration since independence, specifically
the fifties. Blueprints of post-war reconstruction plans in specific sectors like
education (Sergeant Plan) and health (Bhore Plan) had been prepared by the
Central Government on the eve of independence but it was left to the
governments of free India to implement these.
Rapid all round industrial development posed a chal.lengekrthe administration in
free India. To attain industrial self-sufficiency, basic and heavy industries like
steel, machine-building, heavy electrical machinery, extraction and processing of
minerals were established. The execution of the Industrial Policy Resolution of
1948 and 1956 required industrial development through the growth of public
sector as the private sector did not possess the requisite capital and technical
personnel. The administration and management of the public sector industries
and business called for the recruitment and training of the managerial and
technical personnel in the public enterprises. The realisation of the targets set
before the public enterprises depended upon the efficiency, skills, innovation and
hard work of the directing, managerial and administrative personnel of the public
enterprises. Operating various physical and financial controls over the industry,
trade and business necessitated by the planning also created special
a""l.l:+n" c + A : + + r+
.-l..'r Ln..,n.rn.. +La err. tar..-ar+
policy towards industrialization and the public enterprises is changing. he ~otitinuityand Change in
Indian Administration:
preference, since the 1990s has been for a larger side of the private sector and Post 1947
gradual 'divestment' of government shares in public enterprises. Loss-making
enterprises are slowly being closed down or privatized.
The development administration in the rural areas has been faced with much
more difficult tasks than the administration of the public enterprises. Increasing
agricultural production, helping raise the milk yield of the milch cattle,
promoting the public health and medical standards, spreading education as well
as taking care of its quality; provision of civic amenities - all these and other
tasks in the rural areas had to be realised by breaking the walls of illiteracy and
prejudice and providing needed economic means, technical tools and inputs.
Involvement of the rural people in the transformation was sought by entrusting
some of these tasks or their aspects to their political and administrative
institutions. Fruits of development have also to reach the poor farmers and rural
The welfare of the women, the scheduled castes and tribes and other backward
sections had also to be advanced on the part of the administration in terms of the
Directive Principles and also Fundamental Rights mentioned in the Constitution.
Not that the achievements of the administration in regard to the above tasks were
uniformly satisfactory in different regions or different functions, but the
administration of free India has been engaged in the; performance of these tasks,
in response to the new social demands after independence.
Check Your Progress 3
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.
1) What are the Constitutional directives of State Policy? How far are they
useful in promoting welfare and development?

2) In which sense has the Development Administration in the rural areas been
faced with much more difficult tasks than the administration of the public

Federalism integrates a nation by distributing governmental hnctions and powers
between the federal, that is, the Central and the constituent State governments.
H i ~ t o r i c aContext
l The Constitution of India has introduced a federal political system. ~ e f o r e1947, a
federation was to be set up under the Government of India Act, 1935. But it was
not due to the opposition of most of the princely states. But, for all practical
purposes, due to the provincial autonomy a d the (elected) ministers' rule in the
provinces under the 1935 Act, the provinces experienced the federal reality. The
princely states, with few exceptions were, however, princely autocracies, handling
all domestic subjects. Treaties existed between a few princes and the British
government, but the latter could find excuses to interfere in the former's
administration, even to change a ruler. Defence and foreign affairs were the
prerogative powers d the Suzerain British government. It could, therefore, be said
that the federal principle was absent even in the relations between the British
government and the princely States.
The Constitution has divided the country's administration into two spheres,
administration of the Union, that is, national and of the States. The Union
administration looks after the subjects in list 1 of the Seventh Schedule of the
Constitution and the States administer the subjects enumerated in list 2. List 3 is
the Concurrent list ~f subjects on which both the Union and the States are
competent to legislate and, therefore, to administer, but a Union law takes
precedence over a Stdte law on a matter in this list.
The administration of the States covers the matters which are easier to tackle from
a closer distance and those which conduce in better way to the welfare and
development of the people. Police, jails land tenure and revenue, public works
(except national, that is, inter-state hig.tways, and river valleys, etc.), local
government, etc., are examples of the fortrier. Agriculture and animal husbandry,
Health and medicine, social welfare, arL illustration of the latter. The States
administer (that is, levyi collect and use) the taxes on agricultural income, estate
and succession duties in respect of agricultural land, taxes on land and buildings,
electricity duties, vehicle and profession taxes, etc. Some of these, for example,
octroi, property tax, etc., are given over to the local bodies for levy collection and
use by the State govetnments through legislation.
The Union administers those subjects which are essential for national security and
integrity, for the maintenance and growth of a nationwide infrastructure, and for
national economic development. Defence, foreign affairs, atomic energy,
citizenship, etc., enisure national security and integrity. Railways, airways,
maritime and inter-State transport and communications, etc., maintain the national
infrastructure. Curredcy and coinage, foreign and inter-State trade and commerce,
industries of national interest, banking, insurance and national finance, facilitate
economic development of the country as a whole. The Union is vested with
expanding financial.resources. These are taxes on income other than agricultural
income, customs, exoise duties on manufactured and produced commodities (with
some exception), succession and estate duties on properties other than agricultural
land, etc.
The common subjects in the Concurrent list enable both the Union and the States
to legislate and administer matters of special and economic significance and of
legal nature imptying concern to both economic and social planning, transfer of
property and contracts relating to other than agricultural land, population control
and family planning, trade unions and industrial labour, employment and
unemployment, etc. Civil and criltlinal laws are of conccl.n to both, hence, are
vgsted in both the achpinistmtions. Education and forests and protection of wild life
snd bkda have been recently transferred fiom the State to the Concurrent list due to
growing national concern in them.
The depwtmmts in $rate subjects at the Union are engaged in coordinating the
work of the States, research, pilot projects, 'training and advice to the States on the
concaned subjects.
Tho remaining ('resicbay') subjects are vested in the Union.
Governors and heads of the State governments are. appointed by the President of
India. They are, for all practical purposes, formal heads. But in times when the
Constitutional provisions do not work, on Governor's report or otherwise, the Continuity and C k ~ d g cin '

Indian Admiitbtratkn:
Presideit's rule comes into operation. Such situations arise when the political p&y Post 1917
in power loses majority support in the State legislative assembly. In normal times
the Governor acts on the advice of the Cpuncil of Ministers led by the Chief
The Parliament adopts several laws every year; a large number of these are
administered by the State administration as the Union does not have its own
personnel in the States. The Union Government provides financial assistance to the
States as the former possesses larger financial resources and latter fall short of
these due to their growiig development functions. The States call fci the help of
the Union forces during disturbed times. On account of planning, even in regard to
the State subjects, consultations are held between the Union and the State
administrations regarding planning and progress of the plans. On matters in the
Concurrent list such consultations are essentially held.
India's is a cooperative federation. But it has undergone stresses and strains. The
federal polity has to hiumonise national integrity with constituent States'
aptonomy, so necessary for a live democracy. Financialty, the Union is stronger
than the States, so it has to help them. The Indian federalism is no doubt titled in
favour of the Union, but this was inehtable from the point of view of national
security and development.
Check Your Progress 4
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answqs.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.
1) Which are the subjects that are within the competence of the Union

2) Fnumerate the matters within the competence of State Administration.

3) Cite the matters in the Concurrent list.
Historical Context 4) Give example's of areas in which consultations between the union and the
state administtation are held.

The involvement of the political parties, groups and workers in the administrative
processes of decision making and implementation is implicit in a democratic
political system. Policy-making in government bears the imprint of the
programme(s) of the political party/parties in office. The opposition political
parties also seek to influence policy-making through the debates in the
parliament and the legislatures and propaganda outside these forums. The normal
expectation is that the projection of the political parties, groups, and workers, as
also of the pressure and interest groups, should not violate the laws and the rules.
It is within their functions and activities to point out the lacunae in the framing of
the laws and the rules and the shortcomings and aberrations in their execution. It
is also expected that1the off~cialsexercise their direction in public interest and f0.r
the good of the individual citizens.
Before independence under the colonial rule, the involvement of the political
parties, groups and workers in the administrative processes was very limited.
This was because in the first place, a democratic political system did not exist in
the country. It was by and large a rule of the bureaucracy. Under the Dyarchy
laid down by the 1919 Act, the influence of the ministers who were political
heads of the transferred subj&ts only was confined to these subjects and that too,
subject to the exercise of discretionary powers and financial veto by the
Governors of the provinces. The major, that is, dominant political party in the
country, the 1n'dian National Congress, had kept aloof fiom the administration for
most of the time during 1920-47 excep brief interludes of 1937-39 and 1946-47.
Under the provincial autonomy laid down by the 1935 Act, therefore, the
political parties had some scope of influencing the administration. The term
'political involvement' is used here to refer to the extra-governmental influence
of the political parties, groups and workers on the administration. The Central
administration was kept away fiom the sphere of political accountability even
under the 1919 and 1935 Act. Whatever political influence was cast on it was
through the debates in the Central legislature, and that too was little. Secondly, as
the functions of the State were limited to law and order and regulation, the
people did not have many occasions for contact with the governments.
Lobbies or pressure and interest groups do operate in the
system. Before Independence, the lobby of the Indian
currency. Now, the industrialists, exporters and
are some examples of the lobbies who do
and decision-making of the Union government and administration. Similarly, at
the State administration level big farmers, builders, trade unions, motor transport
owners, traders, are some of the pressure and interest groups influencing the
decision-making. The political parties also take up their causes and seek to
change the government policies and decisions. The opposition parties organise
demonstrations, public meetings, resort to 'gheraos' and lead delegations to the
ministers and other dignitaries in the government.
At the district level and below the political projections are quite visible. The Continuity rod Change in
Indian Administration:
District Collector and his officers, the Chief Executive Officer of Zilla Parishad, Post 1947
the Block Development Officer and a host of administrative officials, are visited
by the people and their representatives with pleas to meet their demands and
solve their grievances.
Particularly, during the tours of the ministers people and their representatives
wait on them and present their demands and grievances. Due to the government,
cooperatives and banks, supply of irrigation water, availability of drinking water,
location of irrigation projects, resettlement of the persons displaced due to the
hydro-electric and irrigation projects, slums improvement and removal, octroi
abolition, and several such issues are raised in the citizens' and their
I representatives' meetings with the ministers and the administrative officials.

i During the sessions of the pariiament and the State legistatures also, people with
tlikir representatives lead demonstrations and delegations to s5e the ministers
with pleas to deal with their demands and grievances. There is nothing wrong in
this, provided violence does not occur and copstitutional norms are not violated.
Popular participation in administrative processes has assumed prominent
proportions after Independence. Before independence, it was confined to the mle
of the popular representatives in the local self-governing bodies. AAer
Independence, specifically from the iate fifties, panchayati raj has been the most
significant channel of the participation of the rural people in the rural
development administration. Community development was the earlier phase of
this popular participation. But it w~ dominated by the officials, so it could not
evoke adequate participation of villagers in rural development. So, panchayati raj
was introduced in late fifties by a few Stat.. governments, like Rajasthan,
Andhra, Maharashtra and Gujarat. But its progress was uneven in other States.
Lately, West Bengal, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka introduced
progressive measures relating to the panchayati raj. Thp 73rd constitutional
amendment has given a further boost to popular participation in rural areas.
Much still needs to be done to make it more meaningful and beneficial in terms
of increasing agricultural production and improving the standard of life of the
rural people. Cooperatives are another channel of popular participation in

Municipal government is another mode of popular participation in civic
administration,. Much requires to be done to step up its efficiency and usefulness
to the urban dwellers.
Voluntary organisations can do a lot in accelerating the pace of development -
both rural and urban, through their participation in the developmcnt processes
and education of the people. Women's organisations in particular can help in the
implementation of the women's and children's welfare and deveiopment
programmes and schemes. These organisations can be a liaison between the
administrative agencies and the people.
Check Your Progress 5

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.
1) Name a few lobbies or pressure and interest groups.that have been working
since Independence.
Historical Context 2) How do the people ventilate their demands and grievances at the district
level and below? What kinds of demands and grievances do they air?

3) -Whatare the main institutional channels of popular participation in rural and
urban areas?

4) What role can the voluntary organisations play in the developme~rocess?
-- .-

The important factors of change in Indian administration after Independence in
comparison with that before are the advent of democracy and the compulsions of
development and a .welfare state. The elements of stability are found in the
continuity of some of the departments and the smooth induction of new public
services with the characteristics of political impartiality, selection on merit,
integrity and commitment to the Constitutional objectives.
The number of (economic) development and welfare departments has grow
after Independence. Growth of scientific and technological knowledge and its
application has influenced the administration. However, the influence of
organisational features such as hierarchy, predominance of the written words, red
tapism, old time manuals, still persists.
Various new public services have been constituted in free India. The Indian ICS
incumbents continued in office, but as a service it was replaced by the IAS. The
Indian Police Service and the Indian Forest Service were the other two All-India
Services constituted after 1947. Besides, the Central Services man the
departments of the Union government. The States have also their own services
including the generalist one and those serving various functional departments
like agriculture, education, cooperation. Local bodies have their own personnel,
so also the cooperatives. Public Service Commissions have been set up to ensure
r e m ~ i t m ~ nntf nemnnnel nn merit nnd tn a d v i r ~nn diccinlinaw caws nn
transfers and promotions. Chairman and members of these 'bodies have a fixed Continuity and Change in'
Indian Administration: '
short term and are prevented fiom having any government appointment after the Post 1947
completion of the term in the commission.
The Constitutional directives seek to promote the ideals of a just social and
economic order and of a welfare state. Planning sets the targets of development
to the administration in both the Union and the States. Now, besides national
planning, State and District planning has also come into being. A large public
sector to bring about rapid, all-round and self-sufficient industrial development
has posed great challenge for efficient managerial and administrative personnel
in the public enterprises. The development administration in rural areas has to
fulfil much more difficult tasks.
Before 1947, the administration was centralised, though in reality administration
at provincial level exercised a good deal of autonomy. The Constitution has
created a federal political system. The Union administration operates subjects
like defence, foreign affairs, etc., mentioned in the Union list (list 1 of 7'
schedule) while the State administration covers subjects intimately connected
with the development and welfare in List 2. The matters in the Concurrent list
can be legislated by both the Union and State Governments, but even the Central
legislation in these matters are mostly administered by'the State administration.
The Governors are appointed by the President of India. The President's rule
operates when the Constitutional provisions do not work. It is said that the Indian
federalism is titled towards the Centre but this was inevitable fiom the points of
view of national security and development.
The democratic compulsions have brought in projection of political parties,
groups and workers in the administration. 'Lobbies' or pressure and interest
groups influence the administration. At the district level and below the politkal
pressures are exerted often and more intensely as the people whose demands and
grievances are sought to be ventilated through the political elements are
numerous and pressing. Popular participation in administration, particularly of
development, occurs through the panchayati raj institutions, municipal
governments, cooperatives and voluntary organisations.

Devolution of Power : A transfer of authority fiom a central government to
regional governments.
Pressure Group : A group of people who seek to exert pressure on
legislators, public opinion, etc. in order to promote
their own ideas or welfare.
Suzerain : A state or sovereign exercising some degree of
dominion over a dependent state.

Basu, D.D. 1998, Constitutional Law of India; Prentice Hall of India Pvt. Ltd.,
New Delhi
Chanda, A. 1968, Indian Administration; George Allen and Unwin Ltd., London
Divekar, V.D., 1978, The Planning Process in India Polity; Popular Prakashan,
Gopal, S. 1979, 1984, Jawahar La1 Nehru: A Biography, Volumes 2 and 3;
Oxford University Press, Delhi
Jain, R.B.(ed.) October 1983, Public Services in a Democratic Context; I.I.P.A.,
KT-... n-I&:
Historical Context Muttalib, M.A., 1967, Union Public Service Commission;I.LP.A., New Delhi
Prasad, Bishwanath, 1968, The Indian Administrative Services; S.Chand and Co.,
New Delhi

Check Your Progmh 1
1) See Section 5.2. .
2) Your answer must include the following pints:
The objectives and nature of the Constitution of India were altogether
different from those of the Constitutional Acts under the British rule.
The differences between the present democratic administration and the
earlier bureaucratic administration.
The Constitution of India contains the ideal of a Welfare Socialist State.
Administration has to work according to the objectives of the
3) See Section 5.3.
Check Your Progress 2
.I) Your answer must include the following points:
ICS was the most pivotal and prized service during the British rule.
ICS members occupied the positions in the executive councils of the
Governor-General and tfie Governors.
IAS has to setve the people and not the imperial masters.
2) See Section 5.4.
3) Your answer must include the following points:
PSCs are established at the Central and State levels.
Constitution of PSC (Public Service Commission).
Appointment of members of PSC.
. Advisory role of PSC.
The non-compliance of the recommendations of the Commission has to
be explained to the parliament.
PSC in pre-Independence has a limited role.
Check Your Progress 3
1) Your answer must include the following points:
Directive principles are contained in part IV of the Constitution.
Nature of Directive Principles; goals underlying the Directives.
2) Your answer must'include the following points:
Walls of illiteracy and bias in rural areas have to be broken.
Technical tools, economic means and inputs have to be provided to the
lvement of the rural people.
Check Your Progresd 4
1) See Section 5.7.
*\ 0-- I
0--.:-- C
3) See Section 5.7. Continuity and Change in
Indian Administration:
4) See Section 5.7. Post 1947
Check Your Progress 5
1 ) See Section 5.8.
2) Your answer must include the following points:
People visit the district collector and other offtcers at the district level
with their grievances.
People put up their demands during the tours of the ministers.
Political parties take up the cause of people.
Role of Government cooperatives and banks.
Opposition organise demonstrations.
Kinds of demands like proper supply of irrigation water, drinking water,
3) Your answer must include the following points:
Role of Panchayati Raj.
Role of Cooperatives.
Municipal government as a mode of popular participation.
Functions of voluntary organisations.
4) See Section 5.8.
Constitutional Framework
~ Structure
6.0 Objectivks
6.1 Introduction -
6.2 Basic Features
1 6.3 Powers of Central Government
6.4 Role of Council of Ministers
6.5 Constitutional Authorities and Commissions
6.5.1 Comptroller and Auditor General of India
6.5.2 Attorney-General of India
6.5.3 The Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities
6.6 . Constitutional Commissions
6.6.1 Finance Commission
6.6.5 Election Commission
' 6.6.6 Official Language Commission
6.6.7 Union Public Service Commission
6.6.8 National Commission for Scheduled Castes
6.6.9 National Commission for Scheduled Tribes
6.7 Let Us Sum Up
6.8 Key Words
6.9 References and Further Readings
6.10 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

After studying this Unit you should be able to:
Understand the constitutional framework of India;
Throw light on the basic features of our Constitution;
Discuss the powers are distributed between the Central Government and
State Governments; and
Analyse the role of Council of Ministers, various constitutional authorities
and constitutional commissions.

The Constitution of India is a remarkable document. It occupies an important
place not only among the newly emerged States but also in the constitutional
history of the world. The Constitution of India deals, in an elaborate manner with
the problem of relations between Union and the States, probleins relating to
public services, special classes like Anglo-Indians, scheduled castes and
scheduled tribes. The Constitution embodies an elaborate list of Fundamental
Rights and also the Directive Principles of the State Policy. The Preamble of the
Constitution declares India to be a sovereign socialist secular democratic
republic. A study of its features reveals that it is a unique document in size, form
and content. In this Unit, we shall study the important features of our
Constitution, role of council of ministers, constitutional authorities, constitutional
commissions and the powers of the central government. This will give you a
clear idea of how our constitutional set up is working at the central level.

Written Constitution

I Constitution can be of two types, written or unwritten. Unwritten constitutions are
those where most of the provisions are not laid down in a codified manner-but are
bnnnrl n n t h n r m n v n n t ; n n n n n A f ; n A ; t ; n n r n f t h n lnnA n n R r ; t n ; n hnn n n nnn-;iton
Central Administration constitution. On the other hand, the written constitutions are those where most of
the provisions of the constitution are laid down very clearly in black and white,
e.g., Constitution of the United States of America is a written constitution.
Indian Constitution is a written constitution. It is the most lengthy and detailed
constitutional document in the world. It has borrowed most of its provisions from
all the known constitutions in such a way that they suit the existing conditions and
needs of the country. The constitution makers framed the chapter on Fundamental
Rights upon the model of American constitution. Parliamentary system of
government has been adopted from the U.K. Idea of the Directive Principles of
State Policy was taken from the Constitution of Eire Republic of Ireland.
Provisions regarding emergencies were added in the light of the Constitution of
German Reich and the Government of India Act, 1935.
Our Constitution is very lengthy because it had embodied the medified results of
judicial decisions in other countries to minimise uncertainty. We have detailed
provisions in our Constitution regarding judiciary, the Public Services, the Public
Service Commission, relations between Union and the States and the like. Another
reason for our Constitution being lengthy is the vastness of the country and the
peculiar problems existing in the country.
Value Premises
Like other constitution in world the constitution of India also contains a Preamble,
which reflects the aims and aspiration of the people of India. The basic philosobhy
of our constitution is also reflects in the Preamble. It is true that it is not
enforceable in the course of law. But the Supreme Court has taken the help of the
Preamble I several decisions. The Preamble runs as follows:
"We, the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a
Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic and to secure to all its citizens:
Justice, social, economic and political;
Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
Equality of status and of opportunity, and to promote among them all;
Fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the
In our constituent Assembly this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do hereby
adopt, enact and give to ourselves this constitution."
Thus the Preamble sets out the system of government and its objectives, the ideas
and values. It is the responsibility of the administration to enforce the constitution,
and to create an environment in which the application of the ideals enshrined in the
Preamble may be possible.
Parliamentary Democracy
Another important feature of our Constitution is the establishment of a
parliamentary system of government both at the centre and in the states. In a
parliamentary system of government the executive is responsible to the
Parliament and not to the President. It creates a strong centre and vests the
constituent and residual powers of legislation in central legislature called
Parliament. The reasons behind adoption of a parliamentary democracy are two:
Firstly, our past experience is working with parliamentary system during the
British rule and secondly, the parliamentary system of government harmonises
with the demand for 'a strong centre which the Presidential system with divided
auth'ority does not. In the Parliamentary system of government, the executive and
legislature are not independent of each other, instead the executive is a part of the
legislature a n 4 therefore, unlike in a presidential system, conflicts are less likely
to arise between them.
Federalism Constitutional Framework

The political structure of the Indian Constitution is based on the twin principles of
parliamentary system of government and federalisni though the term 'Federation'
has not been used in the Constitution. A survey of our Constitution indicates that it
possesses all the essential features of a federal system. While in a unitary state
there is only one government, namely the~ationalgovernment, in a federal state,
there are two governments - the national or federal government and the
governments of the component states.
A federal state is a fusion of several states into a single state in regard to mattes
affecting common interests, while each state enjoys Autonomy in regard to other
matters. The states are not agents of federal government but both the federal
government and the state governments draw their authority from the Constitution.
The states do not have a right to secede from the federation.
A federal state derives its existence from the Constitution. Every power -
executive, legislative or judicial, whether it belongs to the federation or to the
component states, is subordinate to and controlled by the Constitution. Courts have
the final power to interpret the Constitution and nullify any action on the part of
the federal and state governments or their different organs which violate the
provisions of the Constitution. Another important feature of a federal state is that
there is a division of powers between the federal government and the governments
! of the components states.

All these features are present in the Indian political system. The Constitution of
India can be both federal and unitary according to requirements and circumstances.
It is framed to work as a federal system during normal times. But in times of war,
insurrection or the breakdown of constitutional machinery in the states, it works
more like a unitary system. A proclamation of emergency in the country
automatically transforms a federal state into a unitary state.
Fundamental 'Rights
The constitution guarantees the fundamental rights t~ Indian citizens. They are
contained in part 111 of the constitution from articles 12 to 35. The framers of the
constitution drive inspiration from the constitution of USA in this regard. The
Parliament can repeal or curtail these rights only by amending the constitution in
accordance with the procedures mentioned in the constitution itself. The
Supreme Court is also made responsible for the protection these rights i.e. the
aggrieved person can directly go to Supreme Court for the enforcement of these
rights. Though these rights are justifiable they are not absolute and hence the
, government can impose reasonable restrictions on them. However, whether such
restrictions are reasonable or not is to be decided by the Courts.
Directive Principles of State Policy
The Directive Principles of State Policy are contained in the part of the
constitution from article 36 to 51. These principles are borrowed from the
constitution of Ireland. These principles are fundamental in the governance of
the .country and it shall be the duty of the state to apply these principles in
making laws. The Directive Principles are non-justifiable i.e. they cannot be
enforced in the court of law for their violation.
Fundamental Duties
These Fundamental Duties were added by the 42ndConstitutional Amendment of
,1976. There are 10 duties which are specified in the article 51A of part 4A of the
constitution. Like the Directive Principles these are also non-justifiable. The
constitution does not provide for their directive enforcement. Moreover, there i c
no legal sanction against their violation.
Unique Combination of Rigidity and Flexibility
In a federal system the Constitution is generally rigid. The rigidity of the
Central Administration Constitution depends upon two factors. First, it depends on the degree of difficulty
in the amending process. Secondly, it depends upon the content of the Constitution.
The Indian Constitution is partly flexible and partly rigid. It is only the
amendment of a few provisions of the Constitittion that requires ratification by
the state legislatures and even then ratification by only half of them is needed.
The rest of the Constitution may be amended by a simple majority of the Union
Parliament as is required for general legislation. Soine example where
ratification by States is not needed are: (a) changes in the names, boundaries,
area of the states and amalgamation and separation of states (Article 4), (b)
abolition or creation of the second chamber of a state legislature (Article 169),
(c) administration of scheduled areas and scheduled tribes (paragraph 7 of the srn
Schedule and [email protected] 21 of the 6' Schedule). Our Constitution is fl&xible
because the Parliament can supplement the provisions of the Constitution by
n e flexibility of the constitution can also be seen from the fact that in [email protected] one
years, the Constitution has already been amended eight five times.
Independence of Judiciary
Another most important feature of ow Constitution is the independence of
judiciary and power of judicial review. India has a single integrated system of
courts for the Union as well as the States which administer both Union and State
laws, and at the head of the entire system stands the Supreme Court of India.
Below the Supreme Court are the High Courts and below the High Courts are
subordinate courts.
The judges of the Supreme Court and High courts are appointed by the
President, but in order to ensure their independence, the terms and conditions of
their service are regulated by the Constitution and they cannot also be removed
by the President at his pleasure. The judges of the Supreme Court and High
Court can be removed by the President upon an address to that effect being
passed by a special majority of each House of Parliament (viz., a majoriy of the
total membership of that House and by majority of not less that 213 of the
members of that House present and voting) on the grounds of proved
misbehaviour and incapacity. This ensures judiciary to act in a just and
independent manner and makes the provisions in the Constitution meaningful.
The Supreme Court performs three important functions.
i) It is protector Bnd guarantor of fundamental rights.
ii) It has to act as a check on executive authorities and enforce the rule of law.
iii) It maintains federal equilibrium.
Power of judicial review is yet another feature of our Constitution. Judicial review,
broadly speaking, means the powers of the courts to pronounce upon the
Constitutional validity of the acts of public authorities both executive and
legislative. The expression 'judicial review' does not figure in the Constitution but
has been derived by the judiciary through various provisions. In India, judiciary
ultimately determines what would be the limits,of Fundamental Rights. Supreme
Court has to see that all legislative measures are in accordance with the procedure
established by laws. Judiciary also has the power to interpret the Constitution and
to determine the relationship of the .different organs in the Constitution.
A unique fea,ture of our constitution is that constitutional status has been accorded
to the local government as a third stratum of government. By the 73d Constitution
Amendment Act, 1992 Panchayats in the rural areas, and by the 74' Constitution
Amendment Act, 1992 three types of Municipalities in the urban areas have been
introduced. It will be discussed in detail in Block 4.
Another important feature of the constitution is that there is a special chapter
dealing with civil services. This indicates a prominent place attached to services
The framers of the constitution constitute an independent body like Public Servicc
Commission for the recruitment of civil servants. They went further and made Constitutional ~ramework
certain special provisions (Article 31 1) dealing with the protection of the civil
servants. This is foreign to other constitutions.
Check Your Progress 1
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.
1) The Constitution makers*~'ramedthe chapter on Fundamental Rights upon
the model of:
a) British Constitution
b) American Constitution
c) Canadian Constitution
d) French Constitution '
2) Why is the Constitution of India so lengthy?

3) What does Parliamentary Democracy mean?

- I. ' .
4) What are the essential features of a Federal System?

5) What does judicial review mean?
Central Administration
Having discussed the special features of the Indian Constitution which have an
impact on the federal balance, we shall now turn to the division of powers between
the Centre and the States which forms the core of the doctrine of fecteralism.
The distribution of legislative powers between the Centre and the States has been
provided for in the Constitution according to three lists of subjects, these are
Union, State and concurrent. The union list gives the Centre exclusive hthority
to act in matters of national importance and includes among its ninety nine items
like defence, foreign affairs, currency, communication, banking, income taxation
and custom duties.
The State list has sixty one entries like law and order, local government, public
health, education and agriculture.
There are fifty two entries in the Concurrent list. These include the legal system,
trade and industry and economic and social planning. In respect of Concurrent
items the laws passed by Central Parliament prevail over those passed by State
The residual powers lie with the Union and in conflict between Union and State,
the Union law prevails.
Thus, the Constitution gives vast powers to the Central Government as compared
to the State governments. During emergency, the Parliament can make laws for
the whole or any part of the territory of India with respect to any of the matters,
enumerated in the State list. The President, if advised by the Governor, or on his
own, feels that the government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance
'with the provisions of the Constitution may proclaim a state of emergency and
assume all executive functions to himself and declare the powers of State
Assembly to be under the authority of the Parliament. Even, the Rajya Sabha by
a two third majority can ask the Parliament to make laws on the items in/State list
for a temporary period.

At the head of the Union executive stands the President of India and the States, it is
the Governor who is the executive head. Though the executive power of the Union
is vested in the president, he in practice is aided and advised by the Council of
Ministers headed by the Prime Minister. The Union legislature is called
Parliament. It consists of the President and the two Houses. The Lower HOW; is
called the House of People or 'Lok Sabha'. Entire responsibility of enactment of
laws rests with the R h e Minister who heads the Council of Ministers. The
Constitution provides that there shall be a Council of Ministers with the Prime
Minister at the head to aid andadvise the President who shall, in exercise of his
functions, act in accordance with the advice rendered after such reconsideration
(Article 74). While the Prime Minister is selected by the President, the other
Ministers are appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister
(Article 75(1)).
The number of members of the Council of Ministers is now specified in the
Constitution. As per the constitution (Ninety-first Amendment) Act, 2003 the total
number of Ministers, including the Prime Minister, in the Council of Ministers
shall not exceed fifteen per cent of th; total number of members of the House of
the People (Lok Sabha). All the Ministers do not belong to the same rank. They
are classified under three ranks.
a) Cabinet Ministers Constitutional Framework
b) Ministers of State
c) Deputy Ministers
Thus, the Council of Ministers is a composite body, consisting of different
categories. The rank of the different ministers is determined by the Prime Minister. .
He also allocates portfolios among them. Ministers may be chosen from members
of either house and a minister who is a member of one house has a right to speak
and take part in the proceedings of the other House, though he has no right to vote
in the House of which he is not a member. Under the Constitution, there is no bar
to the appointment of a person from outside the legislature as minister. But he
cannot continue as minister for more than six months unless he secures a seat in
either house of Parliament. Though theoretically the function of the Council of
Ministers is to only aid and advise the President, practically the vast power
provided to the President by the Constitution is actually exercised by Council of
Ministers with the Prime Minister as their head.
Our Constitution is based on the concept of collective responsibility. The Council
of Ministers is collectively responsible to the lower house of the Parliament. The
essence of collective responsibility is that once a decision is taken by the
government, it is binding on all the ministers. Ministry as a body, is under a
constitutional obligation to resign as soon as it loses the majority in the lower
House (House of People) of the legislature.
In practice, the Council of Ministers seldom meets as a body. It is the Cabinet, an
inner body within the Council, which makes all the government policies.

The Constitution provides for the creation of the following Authorities and
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (Articles 148-151).
The Election Commission (Article 324).
The Union Public Service Commission (Article 3 15-323).
The Attorney-General for India (Article 76).
The Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities (Article 350 B).
The Finance Commission (Article 280-28 1).
The Official Language Commission (Article 344).
The Committee of Parliament to Examine the Report of the Language
Commission [Article 344(4)].
The State Public Service Commission (Articles 3 15-323).
The Advocate-General for the State (Article 165).
Administrative Tribunals (Article 323 A).
National Commission for Schedule Castes (Article 338).
National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (Article,338 A).
! Constitutional Authorities

6.5.1 Comptroller and Auditor-General i f 1ndia
With the enactment of the Constitution in 1950, the Auditor Genera1,of India was
t redesignated as Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). The CAG is
appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal. He can be removed
I from the Office in the like manner and on the like grounds as a Judge of the
Supreme Court.
The CAG is not given re-employment under the State after his retirement. This
i pnclnrpc h i c inrlen~nrlpntf i l n r t i n n i n o Hic cnlslrv allnwanrpc nnrl n p n c i n n are nnt
Central Adminlstratlon subjected to vote of Parliament; these are charged upon the Consolidated Fund of
India. The Constitution does not define the terms and conditions of his service and
,his duties and powers. It is the Parliament that defines them.
The CAG performs such duties and exercise such powers in relation to the audit of
accounts of the Union and of the States and of any authority or body as may be
prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament. The report of the CAG of
India relating to the Union ts submitted to the President who causes it to be laid
before each house df ~drliament.The report relating to State is submitted to the
Governsf ~ h lays d it before the State legislature. Earlier CAG was engaged both
in maiiitenance of accounts as well as audit. Since 1976, the CAG has shed his
responsibilities in regard to the compilation and maintenance of accounts. Now he
audits all expendihkres fiom the revenues of the Central Government and State
governments in and outside India and sees whether the disbursed money shown in
the accounts was regally available and whether expenditure conforms to the
authority that governs it. So the CAG scrutinises the financial affairs of the
executive and submits his tepott to the parliament to which alone he is resporlsible, -
He audits all tnznsactiofis of the Central and State governments relating to
Contingency Pund ilnd Public account^. lie audits all trading, manufacturing profit
and loss accounts and balance sheets in any department of the Centre or the State
and in each case reparte ig~ the expediture, timsactions or accounts audited by
him. He wdltg the teceipts and expenditure of organisations substantially financed
hffl central or State revenues.
6.5.2 The ~ttorney-~eneral of India
The [email protected] fdia:is Sppointed by the President and holds Office
during the ia€tet.'s pl&istire. His emoluments and conditions of servihe are
determined by the Ptesident. His hnction is to advise the Central Government
upon legal mdhers as may be referred to him and to carry out d l l t i ~of B legal
character as assigned to him.
The Ofice of the A~8fM~-Generai is one of the offices placed on a speeial footing
by the [email protected] is the first Law Officer of the Government of India. His
ddiies are: C

i) to give advice on such legal matters and to perform such other duties of a
legal character as may, from time to time, be refeired-or assigned to him by
the President, and '
ii) to diecharge the functions conferred on him by the Constitution or any law
for the time being in force (Article 766).
Though the [email protected]=Qeneralof India is not a member of the Cabinet, he has a
kghl te speak in thd Houses of Parliament or in any Committee thereof, but he has
no fight to vote,
6.5.3 The Sptxtial Officer for Linguistic Minorities
The Specla1 Offlceif for Linguistic Minorities is appointed by the President to
inteatigate matters relating to the safeguatds provided for tinguistic minorities
under the Constitution and reports to the President upon those matters. His report is
laid before Parliament. The Constitution did not originally provide for this
functionary; this came into being when article 350 B was inserted in the
Constitution in 1956 (at the time of reorganisation of States).
Check Your Progress 2
,Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.
1) How many entries are there in the State List?
I 2) What does collective responsibility mean? Constitutional Framework

3) What are the duties of Comptroller and Auditor-General of India?

4) What are the duties of Attorney-General of India?

-- .
6.6.1 ~ ~ f i a n Commission
Articles 270, 273, 275 and 280 provide for the constitution of a Finance
Commission to recommend to the President measures relating to the distribution of
financial resources between the Union and the States. The distribution between the
union and the states of the net proceeds of taxes which are to be or may be, divided
between them, and the allocation between the States of respective shares of such
proceeds. It also determines the principles, which should govern the grants-in-aid
of the revenues of the States, out of the Consolidated Fund of India and any other
matter referred to the Commission by President in the interests of sound finance.
The Twelfth Finance Commission is expected to be constituted in the current year.
The constitution of the Finance Commission is laid down in Article 280. The
Commission is constituted by the President every five years. It consists of a
Chairman and four members to be appointed by the President. The Chairman must
be a person having experience in public affairs, and the other four members must
be appointed from amongst the following:
a) High Court judge or one qualified to be appointed as such,
b) Person having special knowledge of the finances and accounts of the
c) Person having wide experience in financial matted and administration, and
Person having special knowledge of economics.
Central Administration Similarly in every state there is a State Finance Commission created by the 73d
and 741h Constitution Amendment to review the financial position of the local
government and make certain recommendations to the Governor. It has been
discussed in the Block dealing with ~ o c aGovernment.
6.6.2 Election Commission
For conducting free and fair elections, an impartial and independent agency for
conducting elections is needed. For this purpose, Constitution has set up the
Election Commission. The Election Commission has to supervise the entire
procedure and machinery for election.
The Election Commission consists of a Chief Election Commissioner and the
Constitution provides for other commissioners in the Commission as President
may fix from time to time. To begin with the Election Commission consisted of
the Chief Election Commissioner were appointed by the President. The Chief
Election Commissiondr is also appointed by the President. After.the ninth Lok
Sabha Elections the Election Commission again became a single-member
Commission. Election Commission has again been converted into a multi-
member body with the appointment of two Election Commissioners in 1993.
This is now a present amgement. The Chief Election Commissioner and the
Election Commissioners have equal say in the decision-making of the body. In
order to ensure the independence of the Chief Election Commissioner, two
provisions have been made:
i) the conditions of his service shall not be varied to his disadvantage after his
appointment and
ii) he cannot be removed from his office without an impeachment process.
The main function of Chief Election Commissioner is to direct, control and
conduct all electoral operations, including preparation of electoral rolls and
conduct of all elections to Parliament and State legislature as also of the election
of the President and Vice President. The Election Commission has not only
administrative but also some quasi-judicial fimctions. It has the power to settle
the election disputes.
Similarly in every state there is a State Election Commission created by the 73rd
and 74" Constitution Amendment for the conduct of all elections to the
Panchayats and Municipal bodies. The State Election Commissioner is
appointed by the Governor. It will be discussed in the Block dealing with the
Local Government.
6.6.3 Official Language Commission
The official language of the Union of India according to our Constitution is
Hindi in Devnagari script. The Constitution authorises the President at the
expiration of every teh years since the commencement of the Constitution, to
constitute a Commission which shall consist of a Chainnan and other members.
The Official Language Commission makes recommendations to the President as
to the:
a) Progressive use of Hindi language for the official purposes of the Union;
b) ~estriktionin the use of the English language for all or any of the official
purposes of the Union;
c) Form of numerals to be used for any one or more specified purposes of the
d) Matter (Any other) referred to the Commission by the President as regards
the official language of the Union and the language for communication
between the Union and a State or between one State and another and their
use. Thus, the Oficial Language Cominission tries to establish linguistic
harmony within the Union and between the States.
6.6.4 Union Public Service Commission Constitutionai Framework

In India a limited role has been assigned to the .Union Public Service
Commission (UPSC) in personnel administration. The UPSC is a recruiting
agency to the All India services, and the Central Civil Services - Class I and
Class I1 - the responsibility for staffing lower services and posts rests with the
departments concerned. The Constitution endows the UPSC with advisory
functions. UPSC is required to submit an annual report of its functioning in
which it draws particular attention to the non-acceptance, if any, of its advice by
the government, and which is discussed in Parliament.
The UPSC is consulted by the Central Government on:
a) Matters relating to methods of recruitment to civil services and civil posts;
b) Principles to be followed in making appointments to civil services and in
making promotions and transfers from one service to another and on the
suitability of candidates for such appointments, promotions or transfers;
c) Disciplinary matters affecting a person serving under the Government of
India or the Government of State in a civil capacity, including memorials or
petitions relating to such matters;
d) Any claim by or in respect of a person who is serving or has sewed under the
Government of India or the Government of a State or under the Crown in
India or under the Government of an Indian State, in a civil capacity, that any
costs incurred by him in defending legal proceedings instituted against him
in respect of acts done or purporting to be done in the execution of his duty
should be paid out of the Consolidated Fund of India, or, as the case may be,
out of the Consolidated Fund of the State; and
e) Any claim for the award of a pension in respect of injuries sustained by a
.person while serving under the government.
The Constitution does not prescribe the number of members of the Commission. It
only says that at least half of the members must be government employees with at
least ten years governmental experience, that the members would hold Ofice until
the age of sixty five years or for a term of six years whichever comes first, and
finally that the Chairman is debarred from accepting any employment under the
government of a State while other members are eligible for appointment to only
one position, i.e., Chaipnanship of either UPSC or a State Public Service
6.6.5 National Commission for Scheduled Castes
The 89Ih Constitution Amendment Act 2003, provided for the constitution of
National Commission for Scheduled Castes. The Commission shall consist of a
Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and three other Members. The President
determines the condition of service, the tenure of the office of the Chairperson,
Vice-Chairperson and other Members from time to time. The President will
.appoint them by warrant and under his hand and seal. The duty of the
Commission are as follows:
1 ) The Commission shall have the power to regulate its own procedute.
2) It shall be the duty of the Commission -
a) to investigate and monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided
for the Scheduled Castes under this Constitution or under any other law
for the time being in force or under any order of the Govemment and to
evaluate the working of such safeguards;
b) to inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of
rights and safeguards of the Scheduled Castes;
Central Administration C) to participate and advise on the planning process of socio-economic
development of the Scheduled Castes and to evaluate the progress of
their development under the Union and any State;
d) to present to the President, annually and at such other times as the
Commission may deem fit, reports upon the working of those
e) to make in such reports recommendations as to the measures that should
be taken by the Union or any State for the effective implementation of
those safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and
socio-economic development of the Scheduled Castes; and
f ) to discharge such other functions in relation to the protection, welfare
and development and advancement of the Scheduled Castes as the .
President may, subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament,
by the ru1.e specify.
3) The President shall cause all such reports to be laid before each House of
Parliament along with a memorandum explaining the action taken or
proposed to be taken on the recommendations relating to the Union and the
reasons for the non-acceptance, if any, of any of such recommendations.
4) Where any such report, of any part thereof, relates to any matter with which
any State Government is concerned, a copy of such report shall be forwarded
to the Governor of the State who shall cause it to be laid before the'
Legislature of the State along with a memorandum explaining the action
taken or proposed to be taken on the recommendations relating to the Statt
and the reasofis for the non-acceptance, if any, .of any of such
5) The Commission shall while investigathg any matter referred to in such-
clause (a) or inquiring into any complaint referred to in sub-clause (b) i f
clause (Z), have all the powers of a civil court trying a suit and in particular
in respect of the follower matters, namely:-
a) summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person from any part of
India and examining him on oath;
b) requiring the discovery and production of any document;
c) receiving evidence on affidavits;
d) requisitioning any public or copy thereof from any court or ofice;
e) issuing comrhissions for the examination of witnesses and documents;
f) any other matter which the President may, by rule, determine.
6) The Union and every State Government shall consult the Commission on all
major policy matters affecting Scheduled Castes.
6.6.6 National Commission for Scheduled Tribes
The 89Ih Constitution Amendment Act 2003, provided for the constitution of
National Commissiop for Scheduled Tribes. The Commission shall consist of a
Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and three other Members. The President
determines the condition of service, the tenure of the office of the Chairperson,
Vice-Chairperson 'and other Members from time to time. The President will
appoint them by warrant and under his hand and seal. The duty of the
Commission are as follows:
1) The Commission shall have the power to regulate its own procedure.
2) It shall be the duty of the Commission -
- a) to investigate and monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided
. for the Scheduled Tribes under this Constitution or under any other law
for the time being in force or under any order of the Government and to
evaluate the working of such safeguards;
b) to inquire into specific complaints'with respect to the deprivation of Constitutional Framework
rights and safeguards of the Scheduled Tribes;
c) to participate and adv~seon the planning process of socio-economic
development of the Scheduled Tribes and to evaluate the progress of
their development under the Union and any State;
d) to present to the President, annually and at such other times as the
Comm~ssion may deem fit, reports upon the working of those
e) to make in such reports recommendations as to the measures that should
be taken by the Union or any State for the effective implementation of
those safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and
socio-economic development of the Scheduled Tribes; and
f) to discharge such other functions in relation to the protection, welfare
and development and advancement of the Scheduled Tribes as the
President may, subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament,
by the rule specify.
3) The President shall cause all such reports to be laid before each House of
Parliament along with a memorandum explaining the action taken or
proposed to be taken on the recommendations relating to'the Union and the
reasons for the non-acceptance, if any, of any of such recommendations.
4) Where any such report, of any part thereof, relates to any matter with which
any State Government is concerned, a copy of such report shall be forwarded
to the Governor of the State who shall cause it to be laid before the
Legislature of the State along with a memorandum explaining the action
taken or proposed to be taken on the recommendations relating to the State
and the reasons for the non-acceptance, if any, of any of such
5) The Commission shall while investigating any matter referred to in such-
clausc (a) or inquiring into any complaint referred to in sub-clause (b) of
clause (2), have all the powers of a civil court trying a suit and in particular
in respect of the follower matters, namely:-
a) summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person from any part of
India and examining him on oath;
b) requiring the discovery and production of any document;
c) receiving evidence on affidavits;
d) requisitioning any public or copy thereof from any court or office;
e) issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses and documents;
f) any other matter whioh the President may, by rule, de'termine.
6) The Union and every State Government shall consult the Commission on all
major policy matters affecting Scheduled Tribes.
Check Your Progress 3
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
1) What are the functions of a Finance Commission?
Central Administration 2) Discuss the role of Official Language Commission in India.

. .. . . -.-

3) What is the main hnction of Chief Election Commissioner?
-.... .

Our Constitution is ,a borrowed one: its provisions have been taken from various
sources and are properly codified in written form. It is unique combination of
rigidity and flexibility and combines in it both federal and unitary features. The
legislative powers are divided between the Union and the States in accordance with
three lists: Union, State and Concurrent. Formally, the executive power is vested
with the President, but in practice it is the Council of Ministers headed by the
Prime Minister who have the real powers of policy making. There are various
constitutional authorities and commissions which see that work of the government
is camed on in a just manner and according to tKe provisions' underlying the

6.8 .KEYW O R D S v

Impeachment Procedure : It is one of the ways of removal of the President
of India, the judges of the Supreme Court,
Comptroller and Auditor General of Indian and
he Chief Election Commissioner. According to
this procedure, a resolution containing .the
proposal is moved after a 14-day notice in
writing signed by not*lessthan 1/4Ihof the total
number of members of either house of -
Parliament and passed by 2/3d of the total
membership of the House.
Ratification : To give formal approval or consent.
Residual Powers : The power to legislate with respect to any matter
not enumerated in any one of the three lists in
Union legislature and the final determination as
t~ whether particular matter falls under residual
power or is that of the courts.
Right to Secede : Right of formal withdrawal of membership from
*?,,. L'r?lon by the States. Indian states do not
have d r1t;ha of secessioil
Constitutional Framework
Basu, D.D., 1993, introduction to the Constitution of ~ndia;Prentice Hall of
India Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi
Kapur, A.C., 1970, Selection Constitutions;S. Chand and Co. Ltd., New Delhi
Narang, A.S., 1985, Indian Government and Politics; Gitanjali Publishing
House, New Delhi
Pyle, M.V., 1997, (6thed.), Constitutional Government in India; S . Chand & Co.
Ltd., New Delhi

Check Your Progress 1
1) b)
2) Your answer must include the following points:
Our Constitution embodies the modified results of judicial decisions in
other countries.
Detailed provisions.
Vastness of the country.
Peculiar problems of the country.
3) Your answer must include the follow~ngpoints:
Executive is a part of Legislature.
Executive is responsible to the Legislature.
4) Your answer must include the following points:
Presence of two governments - at the national and state levels.
Fusion of several states.
Federal state derives existence from the Constitution.
States do not have right to secede.
Division of powers between Centre and the States.
3) see Sub-Sectlon 6.2.5.
Check Your Progress 2
1) c)
2) See Section 6.4.
3) See Sub-section 6.5.1.
4) See Sub-section 6.5.2.
Check Your Progress 3
1) Your answer must include the following points:
Finance Commission sees to the distribution between the Union and the
States of the net proceeds of taxes.
Principles which determine grants-in-aid.
2) Your answer must include the following points:

Official Language Commission makes recommendations on the
I progressive use of Hindi language.
I Restriction in the use of English language for official purpose.
The forum of numerals to be used.
1 1) CPP C i t h - C ~ r t i n nh h 7
7.0 Objectives
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Evolution of Central Secretariat
7.2.1 Mean~ng
7.2 2 Role
7.3 Functions of Central Secretariat
7.4 Structure of Secretariat
7.4.1 DepartmentlMln~stt-y
7.5 Functions of Different Grades of Officers of the Secretariat
7.6 Tenure System
7.7 Executive Agencies
7.7.1 Meaning
7.7.2 Classification
7.7.3 Relat~onBetween Executive Agencies and the Secretariat
7.8 Subordinate Offices
7.9 Let Us Sum Up
7.10 Key Words
7.1 1 References and Further Readings
7.12 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises


After studying this Unit you should be able to:
Explain the meaning, role and functions of the Central Secretariat;
Describe the structure and functions of different grades of officers of the
Explain the significance of the tenure system;
Explain the meaning and classification of Executive Agencies; and
Describe the relation between Executive Agencies and the Secretariat.

The Central Secretariat stands for the complex of departments or ministries
whose administrative heads are designated as Secretaries and whose political
heads are ministers. In this Unit, we shall briefly trace the evolution of the
Secretariat, and describe its structure and hnctions. The tenure system, and the
staffing of the Secretariat will also be discussed. Under the Secretariat there is a
network of agencies which are responsible for the execution of the government
policies. The relation between these agencies and the Secretariat will also be
explained in this Unit.


To begin with, the Secretariat in India referred to the office of the Governor
Gei~eralin British India. However, the size of the Central Secretariat and the scope
of its activities have undergone considerable change over the last hvo hundred
years of its evolution in keeping with the changes in the aims, objectives and
nature of the central government in India.
At the end of the eighteenth century the ce~tralgovernment consisted of a
Governor General and three Councillors, and the Secretariat of four departments.
Each of them was under a Secretary, and there was a Chief Secretary heading Central Secretariat:
them all. A hundred years later, on the eve of the Montford Reforms in 1919, the Organisation and
Government of India consisted of a Governor General and seven members and
there were nine secretarial departments. This number remained the same till the
outbreak of the Second World War in 1939.
Prior to 1919, the Central Government, while administering certain subjects
directly like the army, posts and telegraphs and railways, had by and large left
the task of implementation of other subjects to the local provincial governments.
A major change came in the above position with the inauguration of the reforms
of 1919 which for the first time, made a division of functions between the
Central and provincial governments. Both the Central and provincial
governments became responsible for both policy and administration. As a result,
the role of the secretariat began to change from a merely policy-formulating,
supervising and coordinating agency to that of an executive agency as well. The
inauguration of provincial autonomy in 1937 and the outbreak of the Second
World War accelerated the above process. In consequence, there was a four fold
increase of the Central Secretariat and its total strength rose to about two
The Government of India was still struggling with the post-war problems of
demobilisation and reconstruction, when Independence came, accompanied by
the partition of the country. At its very inception, therefore, the new government
found itself faced with tremendous problems like rehabilitation of refugees from
Pakistan, external aggression in Jammu and Kashmir, integration of princely
states into the Indian Union, internal security,.shortage of essential articles, at a
time when there occurred serious shortage of personnel due to the British
Officers returning home and many Muslim officers opting for Pakistan. Soon
after, the adoption of the goal of a welfare state made unprecedented demands on
the already over burdened administrative machinery. At the same time, the
Industrial Policy Resolution of 1948 started the process of a vast expansion of
the public sector.,The inev~tableconsequence of such a vast expansion, in the
functions and responsibilities of the government was a marked increase in the
number of departments, and personnel. Thus, the number of departments in the
secretariat, which stood at four in 1858. (9 in 19 19, 10 in 1939, 18 in 1947) had
risen to 74 by 1994. Correspondingly has also multiplied.
7.2.1 Meaning
The Central Secretariat occupies a key position in Indian administration. The
Secretariat refers to the conglomeration of various ministries/departments of the
central government. The Secretariat works as a single unit with cpIlective
responsibility as in the case of the Council of Ministers. Under existing rules, each
secretariat department is required to consult any other department that may be
interested or concerned before disposing of a case. Secretaries, thus, are secretaries
to the Government as a whole and not to any particular minister.
7.2.2 Role
The Secretariat assists the ministers in the formulation of governmental policies.
Ministers finalise policies on the basis of adequate data, precedents and other
relevant information. The Secretarial makes these available to the minister, thus,
enabling him to fornulate policies. Secondly, the Secretariat assists the ministers
in their legislative work too. The Secretariat prepares legislative drafts to be
introduced in the legislature. It engages In the collection of relevant information
for answering parliamentary questions. and, also, for various parliamentary
committees. Fourthly. it carries out a detailed scrutiny of a pioblem bringing an
overall comprehensive biewpoint on it., getting approval, if required, of other
i lateral agencies like the Ministry of Lab and the Ministry of Finance; and also,
consulting. other organisations concerned with a particular matter. The
i C o r r o t ~ v i g ti e the rle3r;nn nr~l;m~nor
h n l l u ~ \ ,n n l
i n irrnmont-1 A e r i c i n n r F i C t h l x r it
Central Administration functions as the main channel of communication between the ~overnmentand
other concerned agendies like the Planning Commission, Finance Commission,
etc. And lastly, the Secretariat also ensures that field offices execute, with
efficiency and economy, the policies and decisions of the Government.

The Central Secretanat system in India is based on two phnciples:
1) The task of pblicy formulation needs to be separated fiom policy
2) Maintaining Cadre of Officers operating on the tenure system is a
prerequisite to the working of the Secretariat system.
The Central Secretariat is a policy making body of the government and is not,ko
undertake work of execution, unless necessitated by the lack of official agencies to
perform certain tasks. The Central Secretariat normally performs the folkwing
1) Assisting the minister in the discharge of his policy making and
parliamentary functions.
2) Framing legislation, rules and principles of procedure.
3) Sectoral planning and programme formulation.
4) a) Budgeting and control of expenditure in respect of activities of the
b) Securing administrative and finaocial approval to operational
programme and their subsequent modifications.
c) Supervisian and control over the execution of policies and
programmes by the executive departments or semi-autonomous field
d) ~luuatlngsteps to develop greater personnel and organisational
competenae h ~ t h in the ministry/department and its execgtive
e) Assisting in increasing coordination at the Central level.
Cbek Yoar Progress.1
Note: i) Use the ~ ~ a c e ' ~ i below
v e n for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with thoc; given at the end of the Unit.
1) What are the role and objectives of the Central Secretariat?

2) What are the,functions generally performed by the Central Secretariat?
Central Secretariat:
The Central Secretariat is a collection of various ministries and department.
A ministry is responsible for the formulation of the policy of government within its
sphere of responsibility as well as for the execution and re\ iew of that policy. A
ministry, for the purpose of internal organisation, is divided into the following sub-
groups with an officer in charge of each of them. 5

Department - SecretaryIAdditionallSpecialSecretary
Wing - AdditionalIJoint Secretary
Division - Deputy Secretary
Branch - Under Secretary
Section - Section Officer
The lowest of these units is the section in charge of a Section Officer and consSsts
of a number of assistants, clerks, typists and peons. It deals with the work relating
to the subject allotted to it. It is also referred to as the office. Two sections
constitute the branch which is under the chqge of an under secretary, also known
as the branch officer. Two branches ordinarily form a division which is normally
headed by a deputy secretary. When the volume of work in a ministry exceeds the
manageable charge of a secretary, one or more wings are established with a joint
secretary in charge of each wing. At the top of the hierarchy comes the department
which is headed by the secretary himself or in some cases by an additionalkpecial
secretary. In some cases, a department may be as autonomous as a ministry and
equivalent to it in rank.
7.4.1 DepartmentlMinistry
The distinction between 'department' and 'ministry' may be explained by
referring to 'ministry' as the minister's charge and 'department as the secretary's
charge. Although a ministry stands for the minister's charge, its administrative
divisions are not uniform. A ministry may not have a department: or may have
one or more than one department in which it is formally divid . , '
While a department may be referred to as the secretary's charge, all secretaries,
although they get the same salary, are not necessarily of equal 'rank'. A Ministry
may have two or more secretaries, each in charge of a specified segment of the
Ministry's work, or of a department in it, but there is, in addition, one ~ e c r e ~
who is head of, and represents, the entire ministry. Although all of them are
secretaries, the former are subordinate to the latter who, in addition to his own
work, coordinates the work of these secretaries of departments/segments of wnrlr
within the ministry.

At present the grades of officers it1the Central Secretariat are as follows:
1) Secretary
2) Additional Secretary
3) Joint Secretary
4) Deputy Secretary
5) Under Secretary
The first three grades constitute what is administrative parlance may be called 'Top
Management' while the grades of deputy secretary and under secretary, are
referred to as the 'Middle Management'. The Secretary is the administrative head
of the ministryldepartment and the principal adviser to the Minister. He represents
his ministryldepartment before the committees of Parliament.
Central Administration He is supposed to keep himself fully informed of the work of his
ministry/department by demanding weekly summaries on the nature of cases
disposed of by lower levels and the manner of their disposal.
Where the charge of a Secretary is too large, he may be assisted by a joint or
additional secretary who formally functions as Secretary in relation to the subject
allotted to him in the ministryldepartment. The function of the latter is to relieve
the Secretary of a bloc of work and to deal, where necessary, direct with the
minister. The Secretary, however, is invariably kept informed on all these direct .
dealings with the minister, for he is not formally relieved of his responsibility as
head of the ministryldepartment.
The deputy secretary is an officer who, as his designation implies, acts on behalf of
the Secretary. He should dispose of as many cases as possible on his own. Only on
more important cases he should - in fact must - seek the Secretary's instruction
either by refening to him in writing or discussing with him orally.
The under secretary should dispose of minor cases on his own. He should submit
more important matters to the deputy secretary in such a form that the latter is able
to deal with them quickly.
It must be stressed here that the functionaries at these different levels are supposed
to perform their functions, keeping in mind the interests of the Government of
India as a whole. The Secretary, in other words, is the Secretary to the Government
of India, not to his minister alone. This is true of lower levels as well.


The system of filling senior posts in the Secretariat by officers who come from the
States (or from the Central Services) for a particular period and who after serving
their tenure, revert back to their parent States or services is known as the tenure
system. It has been a principle of Secretariat staffing since 1905 and continued by
the Government of India, even after Independence. The reasons for the
continuance of the system may be summed up as follows:
1) A joint pool of officers at the reserve of both the centre and the states helps
in administrative coordination at the centre and state level and exercises a
unifying influence on the functioning of our federal policy.
2) The Central Secretariat benefits from the administrative experience of a
number of bureaucrats who have first hand work experience at the district
and state levels.
3) A prolonged stay in the Secretariat may get senior bureaucrats out of touch
with actual administrative reality at the field level. The tenure system
enables them to get a constant feedback from the field and from the general
4) The states also benefit from having at their service senior experienced
officers with a wide national perspective on all problems.
5) Under the tenure system most officers are promised a chance of work at the
Secretariat thus equalising opportunities for all.
6) It strengthens the independence of the civil service. It is a check against the
possible dangers of subservience by a few to the political masters for narrow
personal gains.
Though the tenure system is still in operation many arguments have been put forth
against it. They may be briefly sumrnarised as below:
1) Bureaucratic work in the Secretariats is gradually becoming specialised. The
tenure system is essentially based on the myth of the superior efficiency of
the generalist civil servants.
2) District experience is really not necessary in many areas of Secretariat work.
The tenure system has led to the bureaucrats getting too dependent on the Central Secretariat:
3) Organisation and
office establishment to get things done. This had. . led to 'over Functions
bureaucratisation' of the Secretariat.
The tenure system, however, was never prevalent in all the departments of the
Government of India. Foreign Affairs, Indian Audit and Accounts, Post and
. Telegraphs, Customs and Income Tax Departments had been the Well-known
exceptions even during the British-peridd. The creation of the Central Secretariat
service has, thrown a new challenge to this piactice (even in depa&ents where
tenure system officially operates). The specialists whose numbers are increasing in
the Secretariat are also not subject to rotation t2areas away frcfrfi the Secretariat.
The creation in 1957 of the Central Administrative'Pool has also made a significant .
1 impact on the system. This 'Pool' was established by the selection of officers from
I the Indian AdministrativeServices. There are two categories of posts in it - general
purpose and specialised. The 'Pool' system was meant to overcome the
uncertainties in the matters of quality and quantity inherent in the tenure system.
Finally, despite the tenure system, there are numerous officers in the Secretariat
who have never goneback to their parent State. Therefore, the original intention of
the tenure system does not necessarily hold good in the changed conditions today.
Check Your Progress 2
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
I) What are the functions of the Joint Secretary and the Under Secretary, in the
Government of India?

2) What are the"disadvantages of the tenure system?

- -

All over the country, there are various types of administrative agencies which are
meant to carry out the policies of the government as decided upon in the
secretariat. Such agencies are called executive agencies and can be grouped into
various categories as discussed below..
7.7.1 Meaning
Under the Secretariat there are a network of agenkies which are responsible for the
execution of the government policies. With the steady expansion in, and increasing
complexity of, the governmental functions, the executive agencies have been
variously organised to suit the requirements of the job.
Central Administration 7.7.2 Classification
The executive agencies may be classified into the following types:
1) An attached office (e.g., The Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New
2) Subordinate office (e.g., Inspectorate of Explosives, Nagpur)
3) Departmental undertaking (e.g., Ordinance ~ a d o r i e s )
4) A company registered under the ~ompanie:~ Act (e.g., Hindustan Steel
5) A Corporation or Board set up under a special statute (e.g., ONGC, Tea
Board, etc.)
6) A society registered under the Societies Registration Act (e.g., Institute of
Foreign Trade)
There are also instances of executive agencies hnctioning as an integral part of the
ministry itself (e.g., Directorate of Exhibition in the Ministry of Commerce). These
are, however, exceptlions.
7.7.3 Relation between Executive Agencies and the Secretariat
The existence of Secretariat as an entity separate from the executive agencies is
based on the belief that the task of policy-making needs to be separated from that
of its execution. Development administration must necessarily move towards
decentralisation which means that effective power and authority must be possessed
by the executive agencies. Though the number of executive agencies have steadily
risen over the years there has not been an increase in their power corresponding to
their responsibilities. It is common knowledge that the Secretariat performs a lot of
polic): execking tasks of an original nature which cgyld readily be passed on to the
executive agencies. However, what need to be noted is that the relations between
the Central Secretariat and the executive agencies have been quite strained and
tension-ridden instead of gradually becoming cooperative and amiable.
There are six principal patterns of relationship developed at the Central level,
between the secretariat and the executive agencies. These may briefly b e
discussed here:
1) There is complete merger between the ministry and heads of executive
departments. The examples are the Railway Board and the Ministry of
Railways, the Posts and Telegraphs Board and the Ministry of
Communications. This pattern is most suitable for organisation undertaking
work of an operational or commercial nature.
2) In the second pattern, a senior officer of the ministry concurrently operates
as head of the executing department. In this way he becomes responsible
both for formulation of policies and for its implementation with the
assistance of the common ofice located in the Ministry. The Additional
Secretary in the Department of Agriculture is the Director-General of Food.
But the main disadvantage of this pattern is that the system completely blurs
the functions of the Secretariat and the head of an executive department.
3) The ministry's Ofice is merged in the office of the executive department.
The common office serves both the Secretariat offices and the officers of the
executive office.
The advantages of this arrangement are that any administrative proposal is
examined only once, thus, expediting the disposal of cases, and, secondly it
results in sizeable economy - office maintenance becomes more economical.
4) The ministry and the executive department continues to have separate
officers but have common files and common file bureau, all located in the
organisation of the executive agency. This pattern has significant advantages
but it does not do away with the problems of separate offices with duplicate Central Secretariat:
Organisation and
staff and double scrutiny. A good example is the Ministry of Defence and Functions
the Air Force Headquarters.
5) The ministry and the executive depaiiments continue to have separate offices
and separate files but the head of the Executive Office is given an ex-officio
Secretariat status. Thus, the Textile Commissioner is the ex-officio Joint
Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce.
This pattern has the following advantages:
Under this arrangement, there is considerable saving of time as well as the
paper work, as every matter does not travel up to the Secretariat for
i finalisation. Also, the accepted policy is implemented in a more efficient
manner, as the head of the office, because of his secretariat status is fully
aware of the background in which the policy was framed.
Its major drawback, however, is that it goes against the fundamentar
principle of secretariat system, namely, policy-making must remain
separated from policy implementation.
6) Both the Ministry and the executive agency have separate and distinct
offices and files of their own, and consultation between them occurs through
self-contained letters. This is the standard pattern both at the Centre and in
the States. This pattern is based on the dichotomy between staff and line.
The mqnistry is Staff:the executive office is Line.
An example is the DirectorateGeneral of All India Radio in relation to the
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
In other words, in this pattern, a wider perspective is brought to bear on the
examination of a proposal. Secondly, it is always desirable to have a specialist's
scheme scrutinised by a layman. Thirdly, this arrangement provides for a division
of work between the Secretariat and the executive agencies. The former
concentrates on policy-making and the latter on the execution of the policy. The
disadvantages of this arrangement is that, this scheme is processed twice in two
different offices. This involves duplication of work and cause delay.
Each pattern has thus advantages as well as disadvantage. No hard and fast rules
can be laid down regarding the pattern of relationship which could be appropriate
to a particular sphere of governmental activity. The pattern has to be so tailored
as to suit the nature of activities or the past experience of the organisation.
Nevertheless, neither absolute separation nor absolute merger ofboth is normally

A Subordinate Office functions as the field establishment or as the agency
responsible for the detailed execution of the decisions taken by the Government. A
Subordinate Office normalIy functions under an Attached Office. But where there
is no Attached Office under a ministry, it operates directly under the ministry. The
criteria of classifying a certain organisation as the Attached Office and another one
as the Subordinate Office are neither well defined nor consistently followed.
Although it is the Subordinate Office, which is responsible for the execution of the
policy or decisions of the Government, it has.been accorded a distinctly inferior
status, as is indicated by the label, 'Subordinate'. The pay scales of personnel in
the Subordinate Offices are the lowest; and their future prospects are not bright.
The employees in these offices very often do the same type of work and possess
the same qualification as the Secretariat personnel. Despite that, the Subordinate
Offices continue to be accorded an unreasonably lower status.
Central ~dminisbation Check Your Progress 3
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
I) What are Subordinate Offices?

2) Explain the relationship between the executive agencies and the Secretariat.

In this Unit you have read about:
The evolution of the Central Secretariat.
Its meaning, role and functions:
The structure and functions of different grades of ofices at the Secretariat.
The tenure system.
The meaning and classification of executive agencies.
The relation between executive agencies and the Secretariat.

Amiable : Agreeable
Precedents : Standard
Sectoral Planning : Under sectoral planning, specific sectors are kept in
mind while planning, e.g., planning for agricultural
sector, industrial sector.
Subservience : Serving as a means to an end.

Avasthi, A., 1980, Central Administration; Tata McGraw. Hill, New Delhi
Chanda, AshoF, 1967, Indian Administration; Allen and Unwin, London
. Khera, S.S., 1975, The Central Executive; Orient Longmarl, New Delhi
Maheshwari, S.R., 1986, Indian Administration; Orient Longman, New Delhi
Misra, B.B., 1986, Government and Bureaucracy in India 1947- 76; Oxford
University Press, Delhi
Central Secretariat:

Check Your Progress 1
1) Your answer must include the following points:
Meaning of Central Secretariat
Evolution of Central Secretariat
Role at the time of independence
Role after the independence
2) Your answer must include the following points:
Assistance to Ministers
Framing Legislation
Control of expenditure with respect to departmental activities
Supervision and control over executive departments
3) Your answer must include the following points:
Executive is a part of Legislature.
Executive is responsible to the Legislature.
Check Your Progress 2
1) Your answer must include the following points:
Five grades of officers in the Central Secretariat
Role of the Joint Secretary
Role of the Under Secretary
2) Your answer must include the foltowing points:
Meaning of tenure system
Reasons for its continuance
Disadvantages of the tenure system
Check Your Progress 3
1) Your answer must include the following points:
Meaning of subordinate offices
Types of ~ubordin~te'offices
Role of subordinate offices
2) Your answer must indlude the following points:
Six principal patterns of relationship
Advantages and disadvantages of each pattern.


Powers and Functions of Prime Minister
Institutional Support to Prime Minister
Evolution of Prime Minister's Office
8.4.1 Organisation
8.4.2 Functions
Changing Role of Prime Minister's Office
Cabinet Secretariat
8.6.1 Evolution of Cabinet Secretariat in India
8.6.2 Organlsation and Functions
Role of the Cabinet Secretary
C h n e t Committees
88 1 Slze
8.8 2 Functions and Role
Let Us Sum Up
Key Words
References and Further Readings
Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

After studying this Unit you should be able to:
Explain the structure, changing role, functions and significance of the Prime
Minister's Office in providing institutional support to the Prime Minister in
his public activities and governmental functions;
' Describe the evolution of the Cabinet Secretariat in India, its organisation
and functions; and
Describe the role and functions of the Cabinet Secretary and the Cabinet

The most distinctive feature of the Indian Constitution is the parliamentary
system of government. It provides the basic organisational setting in which
public policies are formulated. Essentially this system of government means that
there is (i) a Parliament directly elected by the people on party lines; (ii) and
there is also a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister at the need to aid and
adivse the President who acts in accordance with such advice. The real executive
is the Prime Minister and his Council of Ministers. In this Unit, we shall describe
the various bodies, which provide institutional support to the Prime Minister in
his official and policy-making functions.

Being the head of the Council of Ministers, and therefore of the Cabinet, the
Constitution authorises the Prime Minister to advise the President about the
appointment of ministers and to act as a link between him and the administration.
As the leader of the political executive, the Prime Minister is expected to provide
direction in policy' formulation to ensure administrative efficiency, and to
establish liaison with the people and Parliament.
As the chief executive, his functions may briefly be described as determining the Prime Minister's Office
and Cabinet Secretariat
main lines of administrative policy, issuing necessary directions and orders,
coordinating organisational details, controlling the management of finance,
appointing and removing of personnel, supervising and controlling
administrative operations, and conducting public relations.
The Prime Minister's main role in regard to administrative management in
government consists in identifying capabilities of his colleagues and senior
officials, and stimulating action and teamwork in organisation and method.

Institutional arrangements have evolved over the years in the form of secretarial
agencies or thinking cells to give direct assistance to the Prime Minister in his
oficial functions. The main institutions involved in helping the Prime Minister in
decision-making in the realm of politics and administration have, since
Independence, been the Cabinet Committees, the Cabinet Secretaries and the Prime
Minister's Ofice.

The Prime Minister's Ofice came into existence after India became independent.
The Prime Minister's Secretariat, as it was then known, provided the Secretarial
assistance needed by the Prime Minister in his public activities and functions as the
head of the government. In 1948-49, during the Premiership of Nehru, the ofiice
staff included a modest number of 117 members, which steadily increased over a
period of time. During La1 Bahadur Shasti era, the Prime Minister's Secretariat
emerged as a regular department under a full-fledged Secretary and its influence in
top-level policy making increased. It was, however, during Indira Gandhi's Prime
Ministership from 1966 to 1977 that the Prime Minister's Secretariat not only
swelled in size but in power and authority as well. The Prime Minister's Secretariat
had a personnel of about 200 in 1968-69 and during the internal emergency of
1975-77, emerged as a real centre of extra-constitutional power and authority.
During the Janata regime (1977-80) the Prime Minister's Secretariat was cut down
to size both in terms of number and authority. In June 1977, the Prime Minister's
Secretariat was renamed as the Prime Minister's Ofice. Though the number of its
personnel has again been growing steadily in the last ten years, the ofice now
maintains a low public profile, assisting the Prime Minister in his public activities
rather than always attempting to exercise extra-constitutional power and authority.
8.4.1 Organisation
The Prime Minister's Ofice is headed politically by Prime Minister and
administratively by the Principal Secretary. Additionally it consist of one or two
b Additional Secretaries, three to five Joint Secretaries, a number of
DirectorsAIeputy Secretaries and Under Sec taries. There are also other oficers
like Oficet on Special Duty; Private Secretpries, and so on. These oficers are
supported by regular ofice establishment.
The background and experience of the key personnel in the Prime Minister's
Office is not stated in a formal manner and the incumbents are appointed in this
office to essentially provide 'secretarial help' to the Prime Minister. It has a
Secretary who may or may not come from the civil service. Other personnel are
generally drawn from the civil services and posted for varying periods. The work
is shared between the Secretary, the Additional Secretary, Joint Secretaries, the
Deputy Secretary and other personnel. Being a small office and because they
I should interact freely among themselves, no fixed duties are laid down for the
. members of staff. The division of work is made according to the convenience and
t ex~erienceof the staff in the office.
Cqntral Administration 8.4.2 Functions f
The main task of the secretariat is to help the Prime Minister in the performance of
his functions as the head of the government. It is responsible for assisting him in
maintaining, on the official side, liaison with union ministers, the president,
governors, chief ministers, representatives of foreign governments in India and
others, and,,on the public side, in handling various requests or complaints from
members of the public addressed to the Prime Minister. In general, the jurisdiction
of the Secretariat may be said to extend over all such subjects and activities which
are not specially allotted to any individual ministrytdepartment. It also prepares
answers for questions raised in parliament on some .general subjects which could
not, on strict classification, be allotted to any particular ministry. The Prime
Minister's Office performs several functions:
Assisting the prime minister in respect of his overall responsibilities as head of
the government like maintaining liaison with cenhl ministries/departments
and the state governments.
Helping the prime minister in respect of his responsibilities as chairman of the
Planning Commission, and the National Development Council.
Cooking after the public relations of 'the prime minister like contact with the
press and general public.
Dealing with all references, which under the Rules of Business have to come
to the prime minister.
Providing assistance to the prime minister 'in the examination of cases
submitted to him for orders under prescribed rules.
Maintaining liaison with the President, Governors, and Foreign
Representatives in the country.
Acting as the 'think-tank' of the prime minister. '

However, the Prime Minister's Office is not responsible for functions devolving on
the Prime Minister in his capacity as the head of the cabinet: except to the extent
to which matters gre handled in personal correspondence between him'and
individual ministers, or for 'handling correspondence either relating to party
policies or of a domestic nature.

The role of the Plime Minister's Office has evolved and varied from Prime
Minister to Prime Minister. Under Nehru the size of the office was limited, so was
its role. Under his benure, a greater reliance bn the Ministries and their advisers
seems to have been a characteristic way of working and the Cabinet Secretary
provided a primary link. In subsequent periods the Prime Minister's Secretariat has
been performing same of these functioq, though all Cabinet mattes must go
through the Cabinet Secretariat. Demarcation between the two is not rigid and
indeed it cannot be so.
It was Nehru's sucaessor Shastri, who took the first step towards establishment
of a powerhl Secretariat. He appointed L.K.Jha as the Secretary to the Prime
Minister and he became the head of the Secretariat. Jha's powerful and dynamic
personality raised the status and stature of the Secretariat and also added to its
tasks. Under Jha's stewardship the Prime Minister's Office started commanding
a f6rmidable influehce in the making of decisions, a trend which got further
strengthened during Indira.~andhi'sPrime Ministership. At the time of assuming .
office she had a very limited experience of administration; hence, her
dependency on htr Secretariat became greater, especially, on complex-economic
.-.-A F---:-- -,I:,.. :rn..-- X I - T V lL- ...---..-,--rlsrl
L.. X I - D kP U.-.lrn.-.-
whom the Prime Minister's Secretariat grew to such an extent that it became an prime' Minister's OMce
and Cabinet Secretariat
independent executive force. Much of the domestic and foreign policy took shape
at the secretariat and a lot of authority came to be concentrated in the Prime
Minister's Oftice. This became all the more marked during the period of the
Internal emergency (1975-1977) which ushered in an era of authoritarian Prime
Ministerial rule. As a consequence the Prime Minister's Secretariat became the
focus of all authority and its writs began to be obeyed by all central ministries,
departments and other executive agencies. During Indira Gandhi's reign the
Prime Minister's Secretariat virtually became a national policy formulation body
and the Cabinet Secretariat its enforcement arm.
During the Janata period, an effort was made to diffise the existing concentration
of power in the Prime Minster's Secretariat and reduce it to the status of a mere
'office' whose functions were merely secretarial in nature. As a result the
Secretariat was divested of its various policy making cells.
However, in the last eight years there is a noticeable trend towards concentration
of policy making power in the Secretariat, once again. There remains a feeling
often articulated by the opposition and newspapers from time to time that the
Prime Minister's Secretariat is in fact a 'micro-cabinet', since it often attempts to
supplant the Cabinet in all major policy making functions.
Check Your Progress 1
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
1) Enumerate briefly the powers and functions of the Prime Minister.

2) Name the various bodies which provide institutional support to the Prime
.. Minister in his official functions.

i Describe the functions of the Prime Minister's Office
Central Administration
On the attainment of Independence in 1947 a popular cabinet headed by the Prime
Minister replaced the Executive Council of Viceroy. The Executive Council
Secretariat formally became the Cabinet Secretariat. Consequently the Secretary
of the Executive Coun~ilof the Viceroy was renamed as the Cabinet Secretary.
The Cabinet Secretariat is a staff body, which has an important coordinating role in
the process of decision-making at the highest level and operates under the direction
of the Prime Minister. The Cabinet Secretary is the administrative head of the
Cabinet Secretariat.
8.6.1 Evolution of Cabinet Secretariat in India
In 1948, the cabinet decided to start the Economic and Statistical Coordination
Unit as a part of the Cabinet Secretariat. Its work was to secure all available
information from existing statistical cells of the various ministriesldepartments and
to present this information periodically to the cabinet. It was also required to
coordinate the activities of various ministers and to give them advice about future
work. The Unit also took over the work relating to development schemes from the
Secretariat of the Development Board pending the constitution of the Planning
Commission. In this capacity, its function was to examine various development
schemes of the Centre and the States and report to the cabinet about them. After
the setting up of the Planning Commission in March 1950, this work was
transferred to the Commission.
In 1949, the cabinet qpproved the Central Statistical Office to be attached to the
secretariat and to establish a Central Statistical Unit which was set up in 1950. This
Unit was to hnction in an advisory capacity. Later in February 1951, the work
relating to statistical coordination and statistical publication of a general nature,
which was previously being handled by the Economic Adviser to the government
of India in the then Ministry of Commerce was transferred to the Cabinet
Secretariat. In May 1961, a Central Statistical Organisation was set up which
together with the Statistical Unit was attached to the Cabinet Secretariat.
Following the report on the reorganisation of the machinery, of the Government
(1949) the Cabinet decided that the Economic Committee of the Secretariat which
was previously located in the Ministry of Finance should be treated as a part of the
Cabinet Secretariat and called it Economic Wing. The Economic Wing was
intended to develop eventually into a Central Economic Office. However, the
proposal did not materialise, and it was decided that the work done by the
Economic Wing should be transferred to the Finance Ministry which had already
set up a Central Economic Office. Early in the same year the work relating to the
Joint Communication - Electronics Committee, which was a sub-committee of the
Chiefs of Staff Committee was transferred from the Ministry of Defence to the
Cabinet Secretariat and attached to its Military Wing.
Organisation and Method Division (O&M) of the Government of India started
functioning in March 1954, continued to remain as a separate wing of the Cabinet
Secretariat till 25 March 1964, when a new department called Administrative
Reforms was set up in the Ministry of Home Affairs and the O&M Division was
transfeped to this new department. It was decided on 15 February, 1961 that the
Central Statistical Organisation, an attached office of the Cabinet Secretariat,
should be given the authority and status of a department of the government.
Accordingly, the Department of Statistics was created in April 1961 as a part of the
Cabinet Secretariat with adequate authority to consider statistical methods; to
advise on and issue general directions regarding the setting up of standards, norms
and methods of data collection to 811 central and state agencies; and to deal with
references from them on such questions. This department had under it two attached Prime Minister's OMce
and Cabinet Secretariat
offices, namely, the Central Statistical Organisation and the Computer Centre. In
addition, it had one subordinate office - the Directorate of National Sample
Survey. This department, however, was later taken out of the cabinet secretariat.
With the Chinese aggression in October 1962 and the consequent declaration of a
state of national emergency, the cabinet decided to set up an Emergency
Committee. To provide secretarial assistance to the Emergency Committee, an
Emergency Wing was created in the Cabinet Secretariat.
In July 1965 a new wing known as the Intelligence Wing, was added to the
Secretariat to provide secretariat assistance to the Joint Intelligence Committee.
Following the armed conflict with Pakistan in September 1965, the cabinet decided
on October 7 that a Unit called the Directorate-General of Resettlement, should be
set up in its Secretariat for the formulation and implementation of schemes of relief
and rehabilitation in the areas affected. This Unit functioned under the overall
guidance of the Committee of Secretaries headed by the Cabinet Secretary. This
Unit was later abolished and residuary work transferred to the Department of
Rehabilitation on 1 July 1966. In January 1966 the Bureau of Public Enterprises
was shifted form' the Ministry of Finance to the Cabinet Secretariat but was soon
re-transferred to the ministry.
Perhaps the most important change made, as a result of the recommendations of
the Administrative Reforms Commission, was the creation of a Central Personnel
Agency in the Cabinet Secretariat in August 1970 and the transfer of the
Department of Administrative Reforms from the Home Ministry to the Cabinet
Secretariat in February 1973.
The issue of the location of the Central Administrative Reforms Agency, however,
proved to be controversial. When the Government of India decided to set up an
Organisation and Method Agency, there was a controversy as to its location. Both
Home and Finance Ministries put forward their claims, but it was ultimately
decided to locate it in the Cabinet Secretariat. But the Home Ministry ultimately
succeeded after an interval of ten years to get the Organisation and Method Agency
shifted from the Cabinet Secretariat to the Home Ministry with the elevated status
of a department. However, again after nearly a decade the Department of
Administrative Reforms was once again located in the Cabinet Secretariat in 1973.
But, during the Janata Government period the Department of Personnel and
Administrative Reforms was again transferred back to the Ministry of Home
Affairs in 1977. But presently it is located in the Ministry of Personnel and Public
8.6.2 Organisation and Functions
The organisation of the Cabinet Secretariat and its role has been constantly shifting
with the reorganisation of the executive functions of the union government.
The Cabinet Secretariat is organised in three wings - the Civil Wing, the Military
Wing and the Intelligence Wing. The main Civil Wing provides secretarial
machinery for the cabinet. It prol/ides secretarial services for the various standing
committees and ad hoc committees of the cabinet and also to a number of
committees of secretaries which function under the Chairmanship of the Cabinet
Secretary. It also deals with the framing of the Rules of Business of the Union
government. The Military Wing is responsible for all secretarial work connected
with the meetings of the Defence Committee, National Defence Council, Military
Affairs Committee and a number of other committees concerned with defence
matters. The Intelligence Wing concerns itself with matters relating to the ~ o i n t
Intelligence Committee of the Cabinet. In addition to the three wings there is a
Joint Communication Electronics Committee located in the Cabinet Secretariat.
The head of the Cabinet Secretariat is the Cabinet Secretary.
Central Administration The efficiency of the Cabinet depends to a large extent on the Cabinet Secretariat
whose duty is to prep& in a meaningful way the agenda of the Cabinet meeting,
to provide information and material necessary for its deliberations, and of drawing
up records of the discussions and decisions both of the Cabinet and its committees.
It also oversees the implementation of the necessary decisions by the ministries
concerned. This last hnction involves the calling of information from various
ministries and deparbnents. It keeps the President, the Vice President and all the
ministries informed of the major activities of the Government conducted in several
ministries by circulating monthly summaries and brief notes on important matters.
It serves the Committees of Secretaries which meet periodically under the
Chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary to consider and advise on problems
requiring inter-ministerial consultation and coordination. It finalises the Rules of
Business and allocates the business of the Government of India to the ministries
and departments under the direction of the Prime Minister and with the approval of
the President. In addition, the Cabinet Secretariat supplies secretarial assistance to
Cabinet Committees.

The office of the Cabinet Secretary and its functions has evolved over a period of
time. The Administrative Reforms Commission 1969 recommended that Chief
Secretary should appointed for the period of three years. This term of three
years was recommen ed to enable the functionary to provide effective leadership
to the Civil Service. Recently, N.D.A. Government accepted the recommendations
of the Administrative Reforms Commission that Cabinet Secretary should be
appointed for the fix term of two years. The first two benefits was T.R. Prasad.
He is a member of the civil service and presides over the committees of secretaries.
These committees examine inter-ministry matters, and issues that concern the
Government as a whole. The Cabinet refers certain matters to them as well. The
committees, however, recommend a decision to the concerned Ministry; they do
not decide.
The Cabinet Secretary directly handles all senior appointments in the Government.
From the early 1950s, the practice followed is that the Cabinet Secretary usually
does not prepare papers for the Cabinet or its committees, nor does he take upon
himself the responsibility for a comprehensive scrutiny of the agenda papers for
the Cabinet. All that he does is to ensure that the notes are self-contained and that
appropriate details for discussion are provided, occasionally seeking clarification
or raising points for Modification with the ministry concerned.
The Cabinet Secretary is present in all meetings of the Cabinet and its committees.
He is responsible for preparing the agenda, priorities of items and allocation of
subjects to Cabinet committees. The Prime Minister approves these. In these
matters the Cabinet Secretary has to exercise his judgement taking into account the
national priorities arid what is considered important by the ministries. The Cabinet
minutes are prepared by the Cabinet Secretary,and decisions communicated to the
ministries by him.
The Cabinet Secretary has to play varied roles. He must keep track of urgent
problems in socio-economic and political aspects, on bottlenecks in the
implementation of Government programmes, on issues that the Prime Minister
should know urgently and matters requiring his decisions. The Cabinet Secretary
must use his discretion in all these matters and keep himself up-to-date with
relevant data. As there are no fixed sources for such data, and, indeed there could
not be, the interpersonal, skills of the incumbent and the confidence he evokes are
two important requirements of the job..
cheek Your progress 2
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers withthose given at the end of the Unit.

1) Describe the evolution of the Cabinet Secretariat in India. Prime Minister's Omce *

and Cabinet Secretariat

2) Describe the role and significance of the post of the Cabinet Secretary in

The Cabinet makes use of the committee system to facilitate decision-making in
specific areas. The Business Rules provide for t'he constitution of standing
committees of the Cabinet to ensure speedy decisions on vital questions of political
and economic significance and other matters of importance as also to ensure
coordination in well-defined fields of administration. These committees change
according to the requirements of the situation and occasionally ad hoc committees
are appointed.
8.8.1 Size
The number of such committees has been changing fiom time to time and no
outsider could tell exactly what the existing committees are at a given time.
However, the membership of the Cabinet Committees normally varies from three
to eight. The Chairmanship of them is shared between the Prime Minister and
Home Minister. The committees which function on a more or less permanent
basis are the Political Affairs Committee, Economic Affairs Committee,
Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, Appointments Committee, Committee on
Accommodation, Committee on Industry and Trade, and the Committee on Food
b and Agriculture etc. Of these the most powerful is the Political Affairs
Committee. Consisting as it does of the seniormost ministers, it functions as a
super Cabinet in providing direction to the government.
8.8.2 Function and Role
The Cabinet Committees are instruments to organise coordination in clearly
defined fields of administration and relieve the Cabinet of their burdeh of work.
The flexibility in membership of these committees enable interested Ministers to
exchange views, and amve at agreed solutions without involving the Cabinet, thus,
reducing pressure of work upon the latter. Lastly, there is considerable sharing of
work, with the result that many matters which could otherwise travel upto the
Cabinet for decision-making are settled at the level of Cabinel Committees. This
ensures continuous coordination on vital economic and political issues, and speedy
rl~ricinn-makinowhen r ~ n i i i r ~ r l
Central Administration Any matter which calls for a Cabinet decision may come directly to the
appropriate committee before the Cabinet takes a decision. The Cabinet may
often mergly accept the decision already taken by the Cabinet Committees.
However, despite the fact that some Cabinet Committees have often exercised
real authority, these committees have not been uniformly or consistently
.effective. Firstly, they do not cover all important areas @I governmental
functioning. Secondly, they can take up a matter only when it is referred to by
the Minister concerned or by the Cabinet. Lastly, they do not meet regularly,
which is absolutely necessary if sustained attention is to be given to complex
problems and the progress in implementation of important policies and
programmes is to be kept under constant review.

Check Your Progress 3
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
1) What are Cabinet Committees?

2) Explain the functions and actual significance of cabinet committees in
influencing decision-making in the cabinet.

In this Unit you have read about:
The powers and functions of the Prime Minister as the real executive,
a The bodies which provide institutional support to the Prime Minister in his
official functions,
a The evolution of the Prime Minister's Office, its organisation, functions and
changing role,
The evdution of the Cabinet Secretariat in India, its organisation and
The role of the Cabinet Secretary, and
a The size, functions and role of the Cabinet Committee.

Devolve : Entrust
Extra-constitutional : Not mentioned in the Constitution
Prime Minister's Office
Micro-cabinet : A small body which performs similar functions as
and Cabinet Secretariat
that of the Cabinet.
National Emergency : Emergency declared due to war, external aggression
or armed rebellion (Article 352). It is different from
emergency declared in states on account of
breakdown of Constitutional Machinery (Article
356) and Financial Emergency (Article 360) in
which ,%Presidentcan modify the provisions of
allocation of financial relations between the Union
and the States.
Real Executive : The real executive is the one to which the legal
powers of titular executive pass. Legally all powers
are vested with titular executive but he does not
exercise them in practice. Real executive legally
does not have any powers but in practice exercises
all the powers vested in the titular chief executive.
In England, the Queen and in India, the President are
titular executives while President of USA and PM of
India are examples of real executives.

Avasthi, A,, 1980, Central Administration; Tata McGraw Hill, New Delhi
Chanda, Ashok, 1967, Indian Administration; Allen and Unwin, London
Jain, H.M., 1969, The Union Executive; Chaitanya Publishing House, Allahabad
Khera, S.S., 1975, The Central Executive; Orient Longman, New Delhi
Maheshwari, S.R., 1995, Indian Administration; Orient Longman, New Delhi
Sharma, L.N., 1976, The Indian Prime Minister; Macmillan, New Delhi

Check Your Progress 1
1 ) Your answer must include the following points:
PM as the head of Council of Ministers
Advisory role of Prime Minister
PM as a link between the President and the administration
Supervisory role of PM
Appointment and removal of personnel by the PM
Issuing directives and formulating policies.
2) See Section 8.3.
3) Your answer must include the following points:
Briefly touch upon evolution of Prime Minister's Office
Organisation of Prime Minister's Office in brief
Functions with regard to assistance to the Prime Minister in maintaining
relations with Ministers and representatives of foreign governments
Prime Minister's Office handles complaints from public which are
addressed to the Prime Minister
Prepares answers for questions raised in the Parliament on general
Central Administration 4) Your answer must include the following points:
Role of Prime Minister's Secretariat under different Prime Ministers
Prime Minister's Secretariat was very important in Congress period
a, During the Janata period, Prime Minister's Secretariat was reduced to the
status of a mere 'Office'
Prime Minister's Office is gaining importance once again.
Ch'eckYour Progress 2
13 Your answer must include the following points:
Meaning of Cabinet Secretariat
In 1948, Cabhet Secretariat had Economic and Statistical Coordination
Unit (ESCU) as its part
In 1950, Planning Commission took over the work of ESCU
In 1951, Central Statistical Unit was set up and work relating to
statistical coordination and publication was transferred to Cabinet
In 1961 itself, a Central Secretariat was created as a part of the Cabinet
In 1962, Emergency Wing was created in Cabinet Secretariat
In 1965, an Intelligence Wing was added in Secretariat
0 & M from 1954 to 1964 was a separate wing of Cabinet Secretariat.
. 2) See Section 8.7.
Check Your Progress 3
I ) See Section 8.8.
2) Your answer must include the following points:
Cabinet Committees are instruments of bringing coordination in
a Views are exchanged and agreed solutions are anived at in Cabinet
a Cabinet Committees settle matters which would otherwise overburden
the Cabinet
Facilitates speedy decision-making
Reasons behind the ineffectiveness of Cabinet Committees.
9.0 Objectives
9.1 Introduction
9.2 Evolution of UPSC
9.2.1 Development of Public Service Commissions in India
9.2.2 First Period 1926-37 (Government of India Act 1919 and Lee Commission)
9.2.3 Second Period (1937-50)
9.2.4 Third Period (I950 Till Date)

i 9.3 Constitution of UPSC
9.3.1 Composition, Appointment and Terms of Members
9.4 Functions of UPSC
9.5 Advisory Role of UPSC
9.6 Let Us Sum Up
9.7 Key Words
9.8 References and Further Readings
t 9.9 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

After studying this Unit you should be able to:
Explain the evolution of UPSC over the years into its present form;
Discuss the constitution of UPSC with reference to its composition,
appointment, terms of members;
Describe the various types of functions of UPSC; and
Critically analyse its advisory role.
The work of a modem government in any country is carried on by its
administrative agencies. There has been a phenomenal expansion in the fbnctions
of the state and reliance is laid heavily on the organisational and administrative
capacity of the government. Sound administrative .organisation, methods and
procedures, competent public servants devoted to public interest, are some of the
essential requirements for proper performance of the fbnctions of the present day
1 State. When civil servants occupy such an important role, especially in these
days of State assuming overwhelming responsibilities, the important aspects
relating to their recruitment, training, emoluments, conditions of service,
promotion policies, etc. assume importance. The impartial consideration of these
matters relating to civil-servants requires an independent and expert authority -
the institution of Public Service Commission.
In India, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) occupies an important
position in our constitutional scheme and its relation with the government are
complex. It is an independent constitutional body for impartial consideration of
* service matters of government employees. It has important constitutional
functions and duties but has only an advisory role, while the ultimate authority
rests with the government. In a democratic system, the selection commission has
to strive towards an efficient and economical management and creation of public
service maintaining the ideals of a democratic government. In a welfare state, the
objective of service to the people further complicates the task of personnel
Central Administration administration. The success or failure of a system is gauged by the ability of the
- -
organisation in personnel management to meet the above objectives.

9.2.1 Development of Public Service Commissions in India
Today, the recruitment of civil servants is done by the Union Public Sevkice
Commission. The name civil servants was first assigned to those servants of the
East India Company who were concerned with the administration of its
commercial affairs in India. The servants of East India Company were then
selected and recruited by its court of directors in England. For purposes of
recruitment, a rudimentary knowledge of eastern trade and commercial accounts
was considered to be a qualification for the candidates, but on the whole the
recruitment was made on the basis of patronage. Since appointments had been
exclusively reserved to the nominees of the directors, this led to more compt
practices in the recruitment of the services.
It was as early as in 1933, that Lord Granville, who was then an influential
member of the House of Lords advocated the practice of recruitment of
candidates through competition instead of nominations by the directors. Yet
nothing was accomplished in this direction till 1853. However, in 1833, a clause
was inserted in the Charter Act granted to the Company declaring that henceforth
fitness was to be the criterion of eligibility to the civil services irrespective of
caste, creed or colour.
The right of the directors to make nominations for appointments to civil services
in lndia was allowed to continue only till end of April 1854. A Committee under
the Chairmanship of Lord Macaulay was appointed in 1854 by Sir Charles
Wood, to advise on the measures to be adopted to give effect to the Act of 1833,
which at least in theory threw appointments in the Indian Civil Service open to
competition without any discrimination. The Committee recommended the
selection of candidates on the basis of a competitive examination, the
requirement of a period of probation before they were finally appointed and the
abolition of the College at Haileybury.
The system of competitive examination had its first trial on the Indian soil and
was then adopted gradually in England. But the process of Indianisation of the
service continued at a bery slow pace until 1909, when the Minto Morley reforms
were introduced. But the reforms failed to satisfy the Indians.
9.2.2 First Period 1926-37
(Government of India Act 1919 and Lee Commission)
The Government of India Act 1919, which was based on a joint report submitted
by Lord Montague, the then Secretary of State and Lord Chelmsford, the then
Viceroy and Governor General of India, was the first step towards the
establishment of a Public Service Commission (PSC) in India. The Act
recognised the importance of having a competent and independent civil service.
It felt that there is a need for recruitment of civil servants by an expert body,
without any political interference and establishment of a permanent office
entrusted with the regulation of service matters of civil servants. Selection 96(c)
of the Act provided for the setting up of a Public Service Commission which was
to 'discharge in regard to recruitment and control of public services in India such
functions as may be assigned thereto by rules made by the Secretary of State in
Council'. The farmers of the Act contemplated that the institution of a Public
Service Commission in India would help in increasing entry of Indians in thc
public services and would also provide protection to the civil servants from
According to the provisions of the Act, the Public Service Commission was to Union Public Service
consist of not more than five members, including the Chairman. Each member Commission
was to hold the Office for five years and was eligible for reappointment.
The Lee Commission 1923
In 1923, the British Government in pursuance of their declared policy of
associating Indians with every branch of administration constituted a Commission
under the Chairmanship of Lord Lee to inquire into the organisation and general
conditions of services and also the methods of recruitment for Europeans as well as
Indians. As it was concerned only with the Superior Civil Services it came to be
known as Royal Commission on the Superior Civil Services in India.
The Commission was of the opinion that the establishment of a Public Service
Commission was necessary to assist the government in the discharge of its
responsibilities. It considered that its recommendation regarding the
establishment of the Public Service Commission 'as one of the cardinal features'
of its report 'and as forming integral and essential part of the whole structure' of
its proposals for the future of the services.
The Commission, therefore, suggested that the statutory Public Service
Commission as contemplated by the Government of India Act 1919 should be
established without delay. The Commission was to consist of five members.
About the members' qualification it was in favour of their being detached from
all political associations, and at least two of them to possess judicial or legal
qualifications. They were to be full time officers and their emoluments were not
to be any way less than those of High Court judges. Another important feature of
the Commission's recommendations was that they did not suggest similar
Commissions for the provinces and held that expertise of the Public Service
Commission at the Centre should be placed at the disposal of the provincial
governments. -. ,

Regarding the functions of the Public Service Commission, the Lee Commission
maintained that they might be of two kinds. The first was recruitment of
personnel for the public service and maintenanie of proper standards of
qualification for entry to public services. The second function was quasi-judicial8
connect with the disciplinary control and protection of the services.
The recommendations of the Lee Commission, however, remained in abeyance
for about two years and it was in February 1926 that the decision was arrived at
by the Secretary of State to constitute a Public Service Commission. It had a
Chairman and four other members. The Commission started functioning from
October 1, 1926. It was to advise the Governor-General-in-Council on any
question connected with recruitment to All India Services, Central Service Class
I or Class 11. The hnctions assigned to the Commission were no more than of an
advisory character. The Lee Commission wanted the Public Service Commission
to be the final authority as far as recruitment to services in India was concerned.
But the Government of India, then, did not pay any heed to its recommendations
and so the Public Service Commission was constituted only with advisory
In 1930, the first Round Table Conference was held in London to provide an
opportunity to the representatives of different interests in India and those of
Britain for evolving an agreed scheme regarding the services and the Public
Service Commissions. It adopted a resolution that 'in every province and in
connection with the Central Government a Statutory Public Service Commission
shall be appointed by the Governor or the Governor-General as the case may be'.
(Proceedings of the Indian Round Table Conference (12 November 1930 - 19
January 1931 ) Report of Sub-committee on Series No. 8 (London, 1931); P 67).
Central Administration The Constitutional proposals of the British Government published on 15 March
1933 also provided for the establishment of Public Service Commis$ion in
provinces besides the Fede-iixt Public Service CommissioPI.
The Joint Committee on Indian Constitutional Reforms (1933-34) also agreed to
the same proposals and recobised the need for setting up more than one Public
Service Commission for the whole of India.
9.2.3 Second Period (1937-50)
(Government of India Act 1935)
The working of the Indian Public Service Commission during 1930-36 indicates
that the Commission was farm from being a powerful personnel agency. It was not
independent of the executive. The Government of India Act, 1935 under which the
provinces became fully responsible, extended the statutory authority of the duties
of the Civil Service Commission. With this Act coming into effect in 1937, the '
Public Service Commission was renamed the Federal Public Service Commission.
It also required the provinces to set up Public Service Commission of their own.
The Chairman and other members of the Commission were to be appointed by
the Governor-General. The number of members of the Commission, their tenure
of office, conditions qf service, etc. were to be determined by the Governor-
General. One requirement was that at least one half of the members of the
Commission, were to be those, who held office for at least ten years under the
Crown in India.
The functions and responsibilities of the Federal Public Service Commission
were also laid down in Section 266 of the Government of India Act 1935, many
of which were later incorporated in the Constitution of India. It was for the first
time that these functions were given a statutory sanction. The Commission was I

required to conduct examinations for appointment to the services. It was also ,
required to advise the government:
a) on all matters relating to methods of recruitment of the civil services and for
the civil posts.
b) on the principles to be followed in making appointments to civil services and
posts and in making promotions and transfers from one service to another
and on the suitability of the candidates for such appointment, promotion or
c) on all disciplinary matters affecting a person serving in a civil capacity.
d) matters relating to any claim for reimbursement of expenses incurred if any,
by a government.servant is defending legal proceedings levied against him
for acts done in performance of his duties, and
e) questions of award of pension for injuries sustained by a government servant
in a civil capacity; and ahy other matter referred to the Commission by the
9.2.4 Third Peri~d(1950 Till Date)
The Federal Public Service Commission continued to function in its present form
between 1947 and 1950. This was finally replaced by the Union Public Service
Commission (UPSC) after the new Constitution of India came into force on 26
January 1950.
India's independence ushered in a new era in certain respects for the Union
Public Service Commission (UPSC). The authors of the Indian Constitution
regarded the UPSC along with the judiciary and the Comptroller and Auditor
General as a bulwark lof democracy. They, therefore, not only vested it with a
constitutional status, but also provided elaborate safeguards for its independence
to enable it to be the watchdog of the ment system of staffing.
Check Your Progress 1 Union Public Service
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers. Commission
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
1) What were the important recommendation of the Lee Commission?


2) The First Public Service Commission in India was set up in
a) 1919
b) 1937
c) 1926
d) 1909
3) Describe the functions of the Federal Public Service Commission as laid
down by the Government of India Act 1935.

The constitution of India envisages three categories of Public Service
Commissions. The Union Public Service Commission is to serve the needs of the
services of the Union, a Joint Public Service Commission for the services of two or
more States and a State Public Service Commission (SPSC) for the services of a
State. While UPSC and SPSCs are constitutional bodies, a Joint Public Service
Commission is to be created by an Act of Parliament.
Composition, Appointment and Terms of Members
The UPSC is composed of a Chairman and other members of the Public Service
Commission. The Chairman and other members of the Public Service Commission
(Union or Joint) shall be appointed by the President and in the case of a State
Commission by the Governor of the State. The constitution does not fix the
number of members of the Commission, which is left, for the President to
determine. One half of the members of the Commission should be persons who
have held Office under the Government of India or of a State at least for ten years.
The Chairman and members of the UPSC hold Office for a term of six years or
until they attain the age of 65 years whichever is earlier. But a member's office
may be terminated earlier if (i) he resigns his Office in writing to the President or
(ii) he is removed from Office by the President.
A member may be removed from Office by the President if he is an adjudged
insolvent, OF engages in any paid employment outside the duties of his Office or,
is in the opinion of the President infirm in mind or body. Me cannot be removed
Central Administration from Office on any other ground except if the Supreme Court finds him guilty of
proven misbehaviour on a reference made to it by the President. The word
'misbehaviour' has been explained in the Constitution. A member shall be
deemed to be guilty of misbdhaviour if (i) he is interested or concerned in any
contract or agreement made on behalf of the Government of India or of a State or
(ii) if hd participates in any way in the profit of such contract or agreement in
common with the other members of an incorporated company.

The functions of the UPSC as specified under Article 320 of the Constitution bear
resemblance to those of the Federal Public Service Commission as specified in
Government of India Act 1935.
These functions may be broadly classified into three categories, viz., (1)
regulatory; (2) executive and (3) the quasi-judicial.
1) Regulatory: Among the regulatory functions the UPSC advises the
government in matters relating to (i) methods of recruitment and (ii) the
principles to be followed in making appointments, promotion and transfer
from one service to another. However, unlike the regulatory jurisdiction
vested in the United States Civil Service Commission (USCSC), the UPSC
in India has hardly any such powers. The UPSC's jurisdiction is purely
advisory. Article 320 (3) of the Constitution merely states that it is the duty
of the Commission to advise the government on all matters relating to the
methods of recruitment to civil services, promotions and transfers. Thus,
unlike the USCSC, the UPSC cannot make regulations on personnel matters
which will be binding on all government departments. Although certain
functions of the UPSC are often described as being regulatory ones but in
reality these are purely advisory functions.
2) Executive Functions: The Commission has a specific constitutional duty of
conducting examinations for appointments to the services of the Union.
Under this provision the UPSC conducts many written examinations for
different categories of post annually, besides the holding of interviews for
selection of candidates for specialised and other categories of positions. Here
too it may be noted that the Commission's jurisdiction is narrowly restricted
to gazetted officers who constitute an insignificant proportion of the total
number of government employees. This means that the executive jurisdiction
of the Commission extends to only 1.9% of the total employees of the
Central Government.
Another executive function of the UPSC is to present annually to the
President a report of the work done by the Commission during the preceding
year. The President is obliged to place the report before both houses of the
Parliament with a memorandum explaining the cases, if any, where the
advice of the Commission was not accepted and reasons for such non-
3) Quasi-judicial Functions: The quasi-judicial jurisdiction of the UPSC is
limited both in scope and extent. In fact it has no true appellate jurisdiction.
It can only advise on disciplinary actions taken against employees.
According to the Constitution, the government should consult the
Commission on the following matters: ,

i) All disciplinary actions affecting a government employee like censure,
withholding of increments or promotion, reduction to a lower grade,
compulsory retirement, removal or dismissal from service, etc.
ii) Claims far reimbursement for costs incurred by an employee in legal
proseedinks instituted against him in respect of acts done in the
execution of his duty.
iii) Claims for the award of pension in respect of injuries sustained by an Union Public Service
employee and any question as to the amount of any 'Zuch reward Commission
(Constitution of India, Article 320(3)(C)).
The UPSC derives its functions, apart from the Constitution of India as discussed
above, from other sources too like (a) the laws made by the Parliament, (b) rules,
regulations and orders of the executive, (c) conventions.
Under Article 321 of the Constitution, the parliament through legislation, can
c~nferadditional functions on the UPSC pertaining to the services of the Union or
the States. If necessary, the Parliament can place the personnel system of any local
authority, corporate body or public institution within the jurisdiction of the
According to Article 318 and 320 of the Constitution, the Central Government
through certain regulations and orders entrust certain fbnctions to the Commission.
Also the President may define fiom time to time through regulations, the matters in
which the Commission need not be consulted.
The Commission also discharges certain functions, which through conventions
have been entrusted to it, though these are not stipulated in the Constitution. Under
the Constitution, recruitment to the Defence forces is beyond the purview of the
Commission, as the defence service is not a part of the Civil Service. But since
1948 the Commission has been conducting written tests for the selection of
scientists and technicians for the pool of highly qualified scientists and
technologists, who are deputed to Central Government, scientific institutions,
national laboratories, universities etc. These fbnctions are being discharged by the
UPSC on the basis of conventions only.
Limitations of the Functions of the UPSC
There are certain matters which have been kept outside the scope of the functions
of the UPSC. These include:
a) The Constitution of India, under Article 335, requires the government to .take
into consideration the claims of the members of the Scheduled Castes and
Tribes in the matters of appointment to various posts. As per Article 320(4)
the UPSC need not be consulted as regards the extent to which the
reservations are to be made for the candidates belonging to the Scheduled
Castes and Tribes. But once these conditions are determined, the
Commission as a recruiting agency proceeds with the process of selection.
b) The President has been empowered to make regulations excluding matters
from the purview of consultation with UPSC. All such regulations must be
laid before each House of Parliament for approval for a period of not less
than fourteen days. The Parliament if necessary can modify or annul them.
The posts, the recruitment of which does not require the advice of UPSC include
membership or chairmanship of tribunals, commissions, high powered committees,
posts of a highly technical and administrative nature and filling up of temporary
positions where appointments are made for less than a year.

Though the Commission has been entrusted with important constitutional duties
and functions, it has been assigned only an advisory and consultative role. Under
the Government of India Act 1935, the position of the Federal Public Service
Commission also was advisory in nature. It was then felt that vesting of excessive
authority with the Commission would lead to its interference with the powers of
the executive. The fbnction of the UPSC is just to advice the government and the
executive is under no legal obligation to accept its advice.,
Central AdmlnistraCion The basic issue that i s raised is whether the Commission can effectively
discharge its functions with an advisory role. Therefore, the problem is whether a
Corn1nission constituted on the limited advisory basis would command the
confidence of the public and of the services to the degree which is necessary, if it
is to function effectively. But there is a viewpoint that Public Service
Corn1nission's role should be advisory in nature. This question was debated in
the Constituent Assembly also and the Constitution makers gave an advisory role
to the: Commission.
It may be held that under the Constitution, there are certain matters regarding
which the government is bound to take the advice of the Commission. Any
violation of this provision would be considered unconstitutional. But the
government is under no obligation to accept the advice of the Commission. At
the same time, a constitutional restraint is imposed on the non-acceptance of the
Commission's advice by the introduction of a new Article 323 in the
Constitution. In cases where the advice of the Commission is not accepted, the
government is required by this article to lay before the parliament a
memorandum explaining the reasons for such non-acceptance. Further, in dealing
with the Commission's advice, the power of Ministry or Department has been
deliberately restricted under which the advice cannot be rejected unless it has the
approval of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. No action can be taken
by any administrative department against the advice of the Commission unless it
has the concurrence of the Committee. On account of these checks, internal and
external, the number of cases of non-acceptance of the Commission's advice has
been negligible.
Check Your Progress 2
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
1) The Chairman and other members of the UPSC are appointed by the:
a) Prime Minister
b) Chief Justice of India
c) President
d) Parliament
2) What qre the executive functions of the UPSC?

3) What are the constitutional restraints imposed on administrative departments
in cases of non-acceptance of Commission's advice?
Union Public Service
9.6 LET US SUM UP Commission/Selection
The UPSC is an independent institution which has an important role to play as an
impartial and expert advisor to the government in matters of administration of
personnel. It occupies a very important place in our system which assists the
Government to maintain an efficient and impartial public service. In India, the
Government of India Act 1919 for the first time made the provision for the creation
of a Public Service Commission which was later strongly advocated in 1923 by the
Lee Commission. Finally, in 1926 the Public Service Commission was constituted,
with mainly advisory powers.
The Government of India Act 1935 categorically specified the functions of the
FPSC, most of which were later incorporated in the Constitution of India. After
I independence, the Federal Public Service Commission was replaced by the
UPSC in 1950, which was given a constitutional status. Article 320 of the
Constitution specifies the functwns of the UPSC which are broadly of three types
- regulatory, executive and quasi-judicial. Apart from the Constitution, it derives
its functions from the laws made by the Parliament, rules, regulations, orders of
the executive, conventions.
The Constitution has vested the Commission with only advisory powers. Though
the government is not bound by the advice tendered by the Commission, it is
mandatory to submit to the Parliament an explanatory memorandum about cases
of non-acceptance.
All possible steps have been taken by the Constitution makers to ensure smooth
and effective functioning of the Commission without being influenced by any
political pressures. In a democracy the impartiality of the public service is very
important, which can be ensured only if the Commission hnctions

Censure : Severe disapproval
Patronaqe :. Practice of making appoints to Office through favour

Bhale RF, C.N., 1966, Public Service Commlssions of India: A Study; Sterling
Publishqrs, Delhi
Jain, d . ~ . ,1967, A Compurutive Study of the United States Civil Service
Commissioq und the UPSC in India; (Ph.D. Thesis Indian School of International
Muttalib, M.A., 1967, The Union Public Service Commission;IIPA, New Delhi .

Pai Panandiker, V.A., 1966, Personnel System for Development Administration;
Sinha, V.M., 1986, Personnel Administration, Concepts and Comparative
Perspective; R.B.S.A. Publishers, Jaipur

Check Your Progress 1
1) Your answer must include the followingpoints:
Main objective of settin9 ua o f Lee Commission in 1921
Central Administration Recommendations of the Commission regarding
- Establishment of Public Service Commission
- Membership, qualification of members
- Functions of the Commission
2) 1926
3) See Sub-section 9.2.3.
Check Your Progress 2
1) President
2) See Section 9.4.
3) Your answer should cover the following points:
Provisions of Article 323 of the Constitution
Concurrence of the Appointment Committee in case of non-acceptance
of Commission's recommendations.
Meaning of Planning
Need for Planning
Types of Planning
Genesis of Planning in India
Planning Machinery at Central Level
10.6.1 Orgarhation and Role of the Planning Commission
10.6.2 Internal Organisation
10.6.3 Committees on Plan Projects
10.6.4 Programme Evaluation Organisation
Role of National Development Council (NDC)
Problems of Centralised Planning
Let Us Sum Up
Key Words
References and Further Readings
Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

After studying this Unit you should be able,to:
0. Analyse the importance and meaning of planning and discuss its evolution in
Examine the planning machinery at the central level;
Discuss the role of National Development Council; and
Explain the problems of centralised planning.

Planning represents the ethos of the age. The debate as well as the faith in
planning moves almost like pendulum from one end to the other. Intellectual
i origin of planning can be traced back to many sources and circumstances but the
primary impetus for planning came from the Soviet experience. The importance
of planning was felt during the worldwide economic depression in the 1930s. It
I also led to prolonged debate on the need and the nature of planning.
Many countries in Europe and elsewhere resorted to some kind of planning with
an eye on military preparedness. The widespread destruction during World War

I1 in many countries in Europe and elsewhere projected the importance of
planning as a tool for reconstruction and the rehabilitation of the devastated
After World War 11, where many countries in Asia and Africa attained
independence, planning was regarded as an important and effective tool for rapid
socio-economic development. It was recognised that planning in thp developing
F countries attained a central positioh of importance because in the developing
societies, state has to play a much more activist role in the economy in order to
fulfil the expectations of the people.,

Planning is preparation for action. Planning is a conscious effort to achieve desired
ends. It is a rational method of application of resources for the blfillment of
specific objectives. Planned economy would mean an economic system in which
Central Administration the government controls and regulates production, distribution, prices, etc., through
deciding on acts, purposes and strategies for development beforehand. The term
planning has been widely defined and in most cases the definition camed the same
viewpoint. Dimock defines planning as 'the use of rational design as contrasted
with chance, the reaching of a decision before a linesf action is taken instead of
improving after the action has started'. Millett defines, "Planning is the process of
determining the objectives of administrative effort and of devising the means.
calculated to achieve them". According to Urwick, "Planning is hndamentally an
intellectual process, a mental pre-disposition, to do things in an orderly way, to
think before acting, and to act in the light of facts rather than guesses. It is the anti-
thesis of.speculative tendency." Seckler-Hudson defined it as "the process of
devising a basis for a course of hture action'" Thus, planning is 'thinking ahead'
or thinking before doing. It is an intellectual process of determination of course of
action undertaken in a conscious manner.
In short, planning is the conscious process of selecting and developing the best
course of action to accomplish defined objective. Planning is thus the exercise of
foresight and network of action for defined goals.

The growth of human knowledge and its extending control over the environment
made human beings realise the increasing importance of planning in a society.
Planning is no more restricted to communist methodology nor associated with'
totalitarianism and authoritarianism.'~heold prejudice that plannifig is unfit for
democratic way of living is fast vanishing. Today planning has become riopular,
the politicians at the highest level plan a policy manning the hture of a nation, or
seeking the survival of humanity. Every aspect of governmental action is relating
the hture of a nation, or seeking the survival of humanity. Every aspect of
governme'ntal action is to be planned - objectives, policies, organisation,
finances, work methods, incentive systems and public relations. Programmes
based on well-reasoned priorities are invaluable for such countries as they cannot
afford to waste time, people or materia1. Drawing up plans, usually in the form of
five year programme& for public expenditures, in particular relating to capital
formation, has in many developing countries become the accepted practice under
whicb the responsible government agencies must look ahead, determine their
long objectives and agree upon certain priorities in the light of the probable
demands of the various sectors of the economy. The programmes of the
individual government agencies are usually coordinated by a central planning
office in the light of overall available financial resources.

As the planning is of continuous process it is impossible to suggest water-light
categories of planning, None of the [email protected] of planning are self-contained, they are
mere ideal types. Following may be stated as the types of planning:
a) Overall Planning
b) Limited Planning
c) Administrative Planning
a) Overall Planning: The overall planning commonly called socio-economic
planning is more comprehensive. It is more than laying down a few economic
targets here and a k w physical targets there. It is an overall effort to achieve an
all round development of the country. This type was first adopted by Stalin in
USSR and being used in Russia since then. Most of the third world countries
are adopting this type. Four years and seven year plans are manifestations of
this type.
b) Limited Plannin~: Limited planning does not centralise all. the socio-
economic activitiq at one focal point. The state opting for this type of
~lanningselects the main obiectives which the .society as a whole considers
fundamental. Through proper planning and regulation of the activities of the Planning Process
individuals and group it directs the life and activity of the society in such a
way that those objectives are attained.
c) Administrative Planning: Government planning is nothing but administrative
planning. The administrative planning is mainly concerned with administrative
programmes. It seeks to provide a broad framework for action as it defines
major objectives, establishes inter-bureau policy and links departmental policy
and programmes with the related depaments. Its main purpose is to give a
detailed shape to the policy plan, to make objectives clearer and more
Administrative planning may be divided into four different phases, viz., policy
planning, administrative planning, programme planning and operational planning.
A brief explanation of these phases is given below:
i) Policy Planning: Policy planning is concerned with developing broad general
outlines of government in power.
ii) Administrative Planning: According to Pfiffner it seeks 'to provide a broad
framework for action by defining major objectives, establishing inter-bureau
policy and to a lesser extent, linking departmental policy and programmes with
those of related departments'. This policy is formulated by the chief executive
in consultations with the departmental heads to give effect to the policy
planning and to make objective clearer and more workable for the public
iii) Programme Planning: According to Millett, it is 'concerned with the
preparation of the specific purposes to be realised and the procedures to be
employed by administrative agencies within the framework of existing public
policy'. It is an overall review of the proposed programme to determine the
volume of services involved, the resources in man and money needed to
provide them, the general procedures required and the organisation structure
necessary to use these resources to the best advantage. It is a detailed plan for
implementing the programmes in a particular department.
iv) Operation Planning: According to Pfiffner, it is 'concerned with &c
systematic analysis of an authorised programme and determination of ke
detailed means of carrying it out. After the objectives have been determined
and the means and methods of achieving those objectives have been found,
then comes operational planning by the divisional and sectional heads who lay
down specific procedures and how those have to be used to save time,
accelerate production and increase net output. The different units are assigned
specific functions and their performance measured in terms of time, quantity
and quality of production and overall product. It is, in fact, a 'workshopstage'
of the programme planning.
Besides the above types of planning, several new types of planning have emerged
in the recent years known as perspective planning, rolling plan, short range or
long-range planning, and district planning or grass root planning.
Check Your Progress 1
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
1) Define the tefm Planning.
Central Administration 2) Discuss need of Planning.

3) Explain the types of Planning.

india has attempted to bring ab6ut rapid economic and social development of the
country through a planned effort. Although an awareness of the importance of
planning was manifest in the pre-independence era, realistic and ambitious
planning on an all-India basis could not be started effectively until India became
free in 1947 and its major problems growing out of the partition of the country and
the task of unification of the native Indian States were resolved.
The first effort at introducing social planning in India was made by an individual
noted for his pioneering zeal and breadth of vision, the late Dr. M.
Visveswarayya. In 1936 he published an essay underlining the desirability and
feasibility of planning for industrialisation of the country. For the formulation,
implementation and administration of the plan he had suggested formation of a
60-member advisory body, with political leaders, economists, businessmen,
administrators, etc., and a Planning Commission of five to seven members for
discharging day-to-day functions. He also recommended the setting up of a
development department at the Centre and Economic Councils in the provinces.
Though interesting as an intellectual exercise, this could not directly influence
any social actton or ady governmental move.
In 1937, soon after the assumption of pomr in the provinces, the Working
Committee of the Indian National Congress initiated planning preliminaries by
adopting a resolution which recommended to the Congress Ministry the
appointment of a committee of experts to consider urgent and vital problems the
solution of which wad necessary to any scheme of national re-construction and
social planning. Following this resolution, a Planning Committee was constituted
by Subhash Chandra Bose, the then President of the Indian National Congress
under the Chairmanship of Jawaharlal Neh~u.Later in 1944, the [email protected]&nt
established a Planning and Development Board and publishkd three private
development plans - the Bombay Plan, the Gandhi Plan and the People's Plan. A
Planning Advisory Board was also constituted in 1946 after the establishment of
the interim government headed by Jawaharlal Nehru. These pre-Independence
efforts at planning tend to bring out a certain unity of approach to the problems
of national reconstruction in as much as each of these plans mooted not only had
certain objectives in common but also sought to achieve them through similar
.,leans. All the plan proposals explicitly accepted the rapid improvement of the Planning Process
living standards of the people as the central objective of development.
The central theme of public policy and philosophy of national planning in India
since Independence has been promotion of balanced economic development so as
to provide foundations for sustained economic growth; for increasing,
opportunities for gainful employment, for promoting greater equality in incomes
and wealth and raising living standards and working conditions for the masses.
Even the Directive Principles of State Policy carries the same spirit of balanced
economic development. The Constitution of India includes the subject of social
and economic planning in the concurrent list. The legal basis for national
planning for the country as a whole, therefore, has been provided through a
parliamentary statute on the subject. The discussions on the setting up of a
planning machinery in 1949 had envisaged the establishment of a Planning
Commission and the creation of National Economic Council which would work
as an organ of intergovernmental cooperation in the economic and social fields.
Following the recommendations of the Advisory Planning Board of 1946, the
Planning Commission was established by a Cabinet resolution of March 15,
1950. The National Development Council was later constituted in 1952.

The Planning Commission is the machinery for planning at the central level. The
Planning Commission is essentially a non-political advisory body which makes
recommendations to the government. It has no sanction of its own. Care has been
taken to organise it neither as a pure research institute, out of touch with the
various political, economic or administrative problems nor as an administrative
ministry, which is too closely involved in day-to-day affairs and is prone to lack
the perspective and detachment required of a national planning agency. Now we
are in the Tenth Plan process.
10.6.1 Organisation and Role of the Planning Commission
The Planning Commission is a multi-member body and the number of members
has varied from time to time. In the 'initial year of its inception, the Commission
concentrated mainly on plan formulation. It was composed of only full-time
members. The Prime Minister as Chairman of the. Commission provided the
needed close relationship with the Central Government. But over the years the
Commission got invdlved in a number of administrative matters and also gathered
to itself certain functions of a purely executive nature. The composition of the
Commission underwent a substantial change and a number of Union Ministers
were appointed as a part time member of the Commission. The Planning
Commission was reconstituted in August 1967 on the lines suggested by the ARC
except that the Prime Minister continued to be the Chairman of the Commission
and the. Union Finance Minister, its part-time member. In addition 'to full-time
members, which varies from three to eight, other Ministers of Central Government
have also been appointed as Members for certain specific reasons connected with
the portfolios. The appointment of Ministerial Members and Full Members varies
according to the party, which comes to power at the center.
Members of the Planning Commission
The composition of the Planning Commission as in 2004 is as Eollows.
Prime Minister - Chairman;
Deputy Chairman;
Minister of State (Planning);
Seven Full time Members; and
Central Administration '
The Planning Commission functions through several divisions and sections, each
headed by a Senior officer, usually designated as Advisor or Chief or Consultant or
Joint Secretary or Joint Advisor. The full time members of the Planning
Commission assume responsibility for the day-to-day work of particular divisions,
although the Commissioh functions as a composite body and tenders advice jointly
on all-important matters.
The Prime Minister of India being the Chairman of the Planning Commission
ever since its inception has added considerably to the prestige of the Comrfiission
and helped it a great deal in its coordinating functions at the political level.
Role of Planning Commission
The Planning Commission has been assigned a lot of functions.
1) The Commission makes an assessment of the material, capital and human
resources of the country, including technical personnel and investigate the
possibilities of augnlenting such of these resources as are found to be deficient
in relation to the nation's requirements;
2) It formulates a plan tor the most effective and balanced utilisation of the
country's resources;
3) On a determination of priorities, the Commission defines the stages in which
the plan should be camed out and propose the allocation of resources for the
due completion of each stage;
4) It indicates the factors which are tending to refund economic development
and to determine the condition for the successful execution of the plan;
5) It also determines the nature of machinery which would be necessary for
securing the successful implementation of each stage of the plan in all its .
6) It appraises from time to time the progress achieved in the execution of each
stage of the plan and to recommend the adjustment of policy and measures
that such appraisal might show to be necessary; .
7) Moreover, it makes lsuch interim or ancillary recommendations as might be
appropriate on the prevailing economic conditions, and current policies.
In addition to the above, the Government of-India Allocation of Business Rules,
has assigned responsibility to the Planning Commission in respect of:
a) Public cooperation in national development
b) Hill Area Developmpt Programme .
c) Perspective planning
d) Directorate planning,and
e) National Informatics Centre (NIC)
fi is, thus, that the Planning Commission was established as a staff agency to
prepare national plan for economic development of the country.
10.6.2 Internal Organisation
The Office of the Planning Commission consists of three types of divisions (1)
General Division, (2) Subject Division and (3) Services Divisi0.n. The work of
the first two types of divisions is primarily technical, of the third administrative
or secretarial.
The General Divisions are concerned with certain special aspects of the entire
economy. These are:
I ) Economic Divisions: Financial Resource Divisiort, Development Policy
Division, International Economics Division and Socio-Economic ~esearch
2) Perspective Planning Division;
3) Labour, Employment and Manpower Division;
Planning Process
4) Statistics and Surveys Division;
5) State Plans Division, including multi-level planning. Border Area
Development Programme, Hill Area Development and North Eastern Region
6) Project Appraisal and Management Division;
7) Monitoring and Information Division;
8) Plan Coordination Division; and
9) National Informatics, Yojana Bhawan Unit.
Among the General Divisions, the perspective Planning Division provides general
guidance for work on long-term development which is undertaken in detail in
different divisions. Coordination of work within the Planning is undertaken by the
Plan Coordination Division.
Subject divisions are concerned with certain specified fields of development.
Some Subject Divisions are:
1 ) Agriculture Division
2) Backward Classes Division
3) Communication & Information Division
4) Development Policy Division
5) Education Division
6) Environment & Forest Division
7) Financial Resources Division
8) Health, Nutrition & Family Welfare Division
9) Housing, Urban Development & Water Supply Division
10) Industry & Minerals Division
1 1 ) International Economic Division
12) Labour, Employment and Manpower Division
13) Multi-level Planning Division
14) Monitoring Division
15) Perspective Planning Division
16) Plan Coordination Division
17) Power & Energy Division
1 8) Programme Evaluation Organisation
19) Project Appraisal & Management Division
20) Rural Development Division
2 1 ) Science & Technology Division
22) Social Developmetn & Women's Programme Division
23) Social Welfare Division
24) State Plans Division
25) Transport Division
26) Village & Small Enterprises Division
27) Water Resources Division
28) Administration & Services Division
29) Other Units
Border Area Development Programmes
Socio-Economic Research Unit
Western Ghat Development
The Subject Divisions of the Planning Commission maintain close contact with
their counterparts in the various Ministries and the State Governments. They are
I responsible for collecting, processing and analysing all relevant information
required for the formulation, processing and evaluation of the policies and
programmes included in the Plan.
Central Administration Advisory Board on Energy which was functioning as a Unit under the Cabinet
Secretariat was transferred to the Planning Commission with effect from Is'
September 1988. Consequently, a new technical division, viz., 'Energy Policy
Division', has been setup in the Planning Commission.
The National Informatics Centre, which was earlier under. the Department of
Electronics, was transferred to the Planning Commission with effect fiom ~ 1 4 ' ~
March 1988. Since then, it has become a part of the Planning Commission. The
Computer Services Division, which was earlier functioning under the Advisor
(Monitoring and Information) has now been merged with the National
Informatics Centre. Apart fiom research and plan formulating structural units
described above, the Planning Commission has Services Division which is
conceked with the administration, accounts and general services, required for
the commission. The general administration including accounts is under the
overall charge of the Secretary, Planning Commission. The Accounts Branch
functions with an Intcmal Finance Advisor and Controller of Accounts who
works under the ambit of General Administration.
Check Y ~ u rProgress 2
Note: i j Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) chick your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
1) How did Planning evolve in India?

2) Write about the organisation of Planning Commission,

. ___________________-------------------------------------------------------------------------------y-----------------------------

3) Discuss the role of Planning Commission.

------- ------------------ - ---------
10.6.3 Committee on Plan Projects
An analysis of the Second Five Year Plan indicates the traditional view of
economy, namely reduction in the staff strength, which has become outmoded in
the context of the Plan. The real issue in the plan expenditure requires a great deal
of thought and effort in standardising the practices and procedures of execution in Planning Process
order to ensure realistic estimation of costs; to achieve basic economy based on
scientific development of the techniques from the inception of the projects; and to
set ur.dnorms and standards for evaluation. It was against such background that the
T'Pf P was established in 1956 for exploring the possibility of achieving economy
consistent with efficiency in the projeLts included in the second Plan. It had the
Home Minister as Chairman and Ministers for planning and finance and Deputy
Chairman, Planning members. In addition, the Prime Minister, as
Chairman of the National Development Council nominated two Chief Ministers of
the States as members of the Committee for each 'class of Projects. The Union
Member concerned with a project under investigation was also a member of the
Some of the important functions entrusted to the COPP were to:
a) organise investigation, including inspection in the field of important projbcts,
both at the Centre and in the States, through specially selected teams.
b) initiate studies with the objectives of evolving a suitable form, of
organisation, methods, standards and techniques for achieving economy,
avoiding waste and ensuring efficient execution of projects.
C) promote the development of suitable machinery for continuous efficiency
audit in individual projects and in agencies responsible for their execution.
d) secure the implementation of suggestions made in reports submitted to it and
to make the results of studies and investigations generally available and
e) undertake such other tasks as the National Development Council may
propose for the promotion of economy and efficiency in the execution of the
Second Five Year Plan. The COPP, as a separate entity was wound up in
1970. 1

. 10.6.4 Programme Evaluation Organisation
Evaluation has been an essential aspect of formulation and execution of
development plans and programme? since the beginning of the plan process. The
Programme Evaluation Organisation was set up in 1952 as an independent
organisation working under the general guidance and direction of the Planning
Commission. Initially, it was entrusted with the specific task of evaluating the
Community Development Programme and other intensive area development
schemes. But in recent years the organisational sphere of work and activities has
been extended. and diversified to cover evaluation studies of '

Plan/Programmes/Schemes in a variety of sectors, viz., kgriculture, Cooperation,
Rural Industries, Health, Family Welfare, Rural Development, Public Distribution,
Tribal Development, etc.
The Programme Evaluation Organisation evaluates projects and programmes
periodically and undertakes ex-post evaluation of a few selected major projects
in different sections.
The main function of the Prneramme Evaluation Organisation is to undertake
evaluation studies which encompass: (1) assessment of programme results
,against the stated objectives and targets; (2) the measurement of their impact on
beneficiaries; (3) the impact on the socio-economic structure of the community;
(4) the delivery of service to the target group. In addition to this Pr~gramme
Evaluation Organisation has also been discharging two more functions, viz., (a)
giving technical advice and guidance to the State Evaluation Organisations and
(b) imparting training to the State Evaluation Personnel.

The NDC is headed by the Prime Minister and consists of \he Central Ministers,
Chief Ministers of the States and Lt. Governors, Administrators of Union
Central Administration Territories and Members of the Planning Commission. a nodal body, whicl
considers and approves policies and strategies of development planning. The
Secretary of the Planning Commission acts as the Secretary of the Council. From a
strictly legal point of view, NDC is essentially an advisory body. Since, it
comprises the highest political authority in the country it has assumed an important
position, The meetings of NDC are held at least twice a year. The role of the NDC
is discussed briefly:
i) It acts as a kind of bridge between the Union Government, the Planning
Commission and the State Governments.
ii) NDC prescribes guidelines for the formulation of National Plan including the
assessment of resources for the Plan.
iii) NDC considers the National Plan as formulated by the Planning
iv) NDC considers important questions of social and economic policy affecting
national development.
v) It also reviews the work of the Plan from time to time and recommends such
measures as are necessary for achieving the aims and targets set out in the
national plan including measures to secure the active participation and
cooperation of the people, improve the efficiency of the administrative
services, ensure the fullest development of the less advanced regions and
sections of the community and, through sacrifice, borne equally by all the
citizens, build up resources for national development.
The NDC gives its advice at various stages of the formulation of the Plan and it is
only after its approval has been obtained that a Plan is presented to the Parliament
for its consideration. The Council has been largely responsible for giving Indian
plan a national character and for ensuring unanimity in approach and uniformity in

Ever since 1951, when the First Five Year Plan went into operation, right through
the formulation of the Seventh Five Year Plan in recent years, India has been
following national policy of central planning for controlled and unified
development. This has given rise to a number of problems in administration:
1 ) Whether planning should come from above or below?
2) To what extent should the society be subject to planning and how the people
should be associated in the formulation and execution of plans?
3) What modification should be made in the relationship between the Centre
and the States which have distinct powers in a federal constitution so as to
make centralised plqnning effective?
4) Who should constitute the members of the planning body?
5) If the planning body is set up outside the normal executive organisation of
the government, as the Planning Commission in this country is, should its
advisory services be arranged in the existing organisation or should it have
an administration of its own for this purpose?
6) To what extent should the Planning Commission concern itself with the
details of the Plan?
7) What should be the Planmng Commission's responsibility in reviewing the
progress of the Plan and what reports is the Planning Commission entitled to
ask from the executive authorities?
8) What is the mechanism for dove-tailing the work of the planning machinery
in the states with thak of the centre, etc.?
Although some of these problems have been taken care of in the initial
establishment of the Planning Commission and its subsequent reorganisations, it
must be confessed that the administrative organisation for planning has grown
haphazardly without any systematic examination of these problems. The result is Planning Process
that Planning Commission today is a mammoth organisation, almost 'a parallel
government' in the words of Pandit Nehru.
It is to be noted that the Planning Commission and the National Development
Council are not constitutional bodies. Now we have a constitutionally mandated
District Planning Committee in every District, for further reading vide-the
planning process.
Check Your Progress 3
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
I) Describe the functions of Programme Evaluation Organisqtion.

2) Discuss the importance of National Development Council.

3) Examine the problems of centralised planning in India.

We have seen in the foregoing pages what is the importance and meaning of
planning and how it has evolved in India. We have analysed the organisation and
role of the Planning Commission. With NDC playing an imporllnt role, we have
also seen that since India has opted for a centralised planning, she is faced with
several administrabive problems. Though many of these problems have been
tackled with, a systematic examination of these is yet to be done.

Planned Economy : detailed scheme, method, etc. put together for
achievement of development goals.
Central Adminlstration Rolling Plan : During the three years (1977-79) of Janata-Lok Dal
rule an attempt was made to change the planning
system by introducing the concept of rolling plan.
The Rolling Plan system had the following features:
i) year to year targets were to be se t fir sectoral
outlays and output for major sectors within the
five year plan, and
ii) the horizon of the five year plan was to be
extended by working out these selected sectoral
targets for one additional year at the end of each
Totalitarinism : Characterises a dictatorial one party state that
regulates every realm of life.

i o . i i R E F ~ N C E AND
Dubhashi, P.R., 1976, Economics, Planning and Public Administration; Somiya
Publications Private Limited, Bombay
Krishnamachari, V.T., 1962, Fundamentals of Planning in India; Orient
Longmans, Bombay
Paranjape, H.K. 1970, The Reorganised Planning Commission: A Study in the
Implementation of Administrative Reforms; Indian Institute of Public
Administration, New Delhi
Prakasha Rao, V.L.S., 1963, Regional Planning; Indian Statistical Institute,

Check Your Progress 1
1) See Section 10.2.
2) See Section 10.3.
3) See Section 10.4.
Check Your Progress 2
1) Your answer should cover the following points:
Important features of the essay published by the late
Dr. M. Visveswarayya in 1936 emphasising on the desirability of
planning in India.
Establishment of planning and Development Board in 1944.
Constitution of Planning Advisory Board in 1946.
Setting up of planning Machinery af&r Independence.
2) See Section 10.6.
3) See Sub-section 10.6.1.
Check Your Progress3
1) See Sub-section 10.6.4.
',2) See Section 10.7
3) Your answer should cover the following points:
Constitution of members of the planning body
Modifications in the relationship between the centre and the shtes to make Planning Process
centralised planning effective .
Association of people in the planning process
Nature of the Planning Commission's responsibility in review of progress
1 1.0 Objectives
1 1.1 Introduction
1 1.2 Historical Development
1 1.3 Constitution of All India Services
1 1.3.1 Indian Administrative Service
1 1.3.2 Indian Police Service
1 1.3.3 Indian Forest Service
1 1.4 Importance of Indian Administrative Service
1 1.5 Recruitment of All India Services
1 1.5.1 Training of All India Services Personnel
1 15.2 Cadre Management
1 1.6 Need for All India Services
1 1.7 Central Services
1 1.7.1 Recwihent
1 1.7.2 Tra~ningand Cadre Management
1 1.7.3 Indian Foreign Service
1 1.8 Let Us Sum Up
1 1.9 Key Words
1 1.10 References and Further Readings
1 1.1 1 Answers to Check Your Progregs Exercises

'lfter studying this Unit you should be able to:
Explain the historical development, importance and need of the All India
Discuss the recruitment and training methods of the All India Seryice; and
Through light on the classification, recruitment and training of the Central
Civil Services.

A unique feature of the Indian Administration system, is the creation of certain
services common to both - the Centre and the States, namely, the All India
Services. These are composed of officers who are in the exclusive employment of
neither Centre nor the States, and may at any time be at the disposal of either. The
officers of these Services are recruited on an all-India basis with common
qualifications and uniform scales of pay, and notwithstanding their division among
the States, each of them forms a single service with a common status and a
common standard of rights and remuneration.
Like other federal polities the Centre and the constituent states, under the Indian
Constitution, have their separate public services to administer their respective
affairs. Thus, there are Central or Union Services to administer Union subjects,
like defence, income tax, customs, posts and telegraphs, railways, etc. The
officers of these Services are exclusively in the employment of the Ur~ion
Government. Similarly, the states have their own separate and independent

Ever since the creation of the Indian Civil Service in the days of the East India
Cnmnnnv thew hna alwnvs existed i n lndin nn All-Tndia cadre of service T h e All-
India cadres were introduced almos~in all departmehts of the Central Goveniment. All Irdla and-Central
These services were, however, not under the control of the Governor-&grid; Services
they were directly under the Secretary of State for India and his Council,,,No.All-
India service officer could be dismissed from his service by any tither' ailthoiity
than the Secretary of State-in-Council, An officer had a right of appeal to that body
.if he was adversely dealt with in important disciplinary matters. His salary,
pension, etc. were not subject to the vote of any Indian legislature. I

These elitist Services, unresponsive and unaccountable to public opinion, found
i it difficult to adjust themselves to the reform-era introducing every limited
responsible government under the Government of India Act of 1919. The ~ e e
Commission in 1924 recommended the abolition of certain all India Services,
particularly those dealing with departments that had been 'transferred' to Indian
hands under the Act of 1919 namely the Indian Educational Service, Indian
Agricultural Service, Indian Veterinary Service and the Roads and Building
Branch of the Indian Service of Engineers. It, however, recommended the
retention of the Indian Civil Service, Indian Police, Indian Forest Service, Indian
Medical Service and the Irrigation Branch of the Indian Service of Engineers. It
also recommended the increasing Indianisation of these Services. The
Commission further recommended that any British officer should be free to retire
on a proportionate pension if at any time the department in which they were
employed should be transferred to the control of responsible Indian ministers.
These recommendations were implemented in practice.
Further changes were made in the position of these Services by the Government
of India Act of 1935. Indians had always been demanding the abolition of All
India Services. It was argued before the Joint Select Committee of the British
Parliament considering the draft of the Act of 1935, and emphasised by the
British India delegation in their Joint Memorandum. It stated that further
recruitment by the Secretary of State of Officers serving under the Provincial
Governments which were to be handed over to popular control was undesirable,
and that Services in future be recruited and controlled by the authorities in India.
The Joint Committee, however, only partly accepted such demands, and
recommended the continuance of ICS, IP and IMS (Civil). This recommendation
'was embodied in Section 224 of the Act of 1935. Thus, at the time of transfer of
power in 1947 recruitment was open only to two all India services, namely the
ICS and the IP, the recruitment to the IMS had been suspended. The most
important and the highest ranking of all such services was the Indian Civil
Service commonly known as the ICS which owing to its very high remuneration
and enormous authority and prestige, constituted the 'steel frame' of the British
Government of India. When the British were leaving India, there were ten all
lndia services and twenty-two Central Services. While guaranteeing the rights of
the old Services, the new Indian Government had foreseen the need for replacing
them with Services controlled and manned by Indians. In fact, as early as
October, 1946, Sardar Patel, the then Home Member in the Governor General's
Executive Council, had secured the agreement of the Provincial Governments to
the formation of the two new all India services, namely the Indian Administrative
Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS), which were to replace the old
ICS and IP.

- - --

The Constitution also provides for the all India cadre of Civil Services. It adopts
specifically the IAS and the IPS cadres which had already been created earlier
(Article 312-2). It empowers the Union Parliament to create more of such all
India services whenever it is deemed necessary or expedient in the national
interest, provided the Council of States (the Upper House) passes a resolution to
the effect supported by not less than two-thirds of the members present and
voting (Article 312-1). Since the Council of States is composed of the

Central Administration representatives of different States, its support will ensure the consent of the
States to the creation of new Services. The Constitution also authorises the
Parliament to regulate by law the recruitment and the conditions of services of
persons appointed to these Services. Accordingly, the All India Service Act was
passed by the Parliament in October 1951. Since the inauguration of the
,.. only one, namely, the Indian Forest Service, has been setup.
111-1951 All India Services Act was passed. By virtue of powers conferred by
sub-section (1) of section (3) of this Act the Central Government framed new
sets of rules and regulations pertaining to the All India Services. It became
necessary because the old rules at certain places had become redundant. The
rules that were in force before commencement of the Act were also allowed to
continue. Thus, there came into existence two sets of rules regulating the
conditions of All India Services. The old rules made by the Secretary of State, or
the Governor General in Council, which regulated the conditions of service of
ICS and IP officers, and the new rules made under the 1951 Act were applicable
to the officers of the Indian Administrative and Police Services.
11.3.1 Indian Administrative Service
The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is the direct descendant of the old Indian
Civil Service. As an all India service, it is under the ultimate control of the Union
Government, but is divided into State cadres, each under the immediate control of
a State Government. The salary and the pension of these officers are met by the
States. But the disciplinary control and imposition of penalties rest with the Central
Government which is guided, in this respect, by the advice of the Union Public
Service Commission. On appointment, the officers are posted to different State
cadres. The strength of each State cadre, however, is so fixed as to include a
reserve of officers who can be deputed for service under the Union Government
for one or more 'tenures' of three, four or five years before they return to the State
cadre. This ensures that the Union Government has at its disposal the services of
officers with first hand knowledge and experience of conditions in the States, while
the State Governments have the advantage of their officers being familiar with the
policies and programmes of the Union Government. Such an arrangement works
for the mutual benefit of both governments. The majority of individual officers
have an opportunity of serving at least one spell of duty under the Union
Government; many have more than one such spell. The practice of rotating senior
officers in and out of the Secretariat position is known in official parlance as the
tenure system.
Another distinctive feature of this Service is its multi-purpose character. It is
composed of 'generalist administrators' who are expected, from time to time, to
hold posts involving a wide variety of duties and functions; for example,
maintenance of law and grder, collection of revenue, regulation of trade, commerce
and industry, welfare activities development and extension work, etc. In brief, the
IAS is intended to serve all the purposes formerly served by the ICS except
providing officers for the judiciary. Thus, this Service is a kind of generalist
service, and its officers are liable for posting in almost any branch ,of the
11.3.2 Indian Polite Service
The Indian Police Service is an original all India Service (it had pre-independence
origins) which differs frbm its compeer - the IAS in two ways: (i) most of the
officers in this service work only in the state since there are only a few police posts
at the Centre and (ii) its pay scale apd status are lower than those of the IAS. The
officers of the IPS are recruited from the same unified All India Civil Service
examination which recruits all members of the IAS, IFS and other Central Civil
Services. Recruits to the IPS are first given a five months foundational training and All India and Central
later special training at the Sardar Pate1 National Police Academy, Hyderabad. The
subjects of study and the training is drill, handling of weapons, etc., which have a
direct bearing on the normal work of a police officer. The syllabus of training
includes studies of crime psychology, scientific aids in detection of crime, methods
of combating corruption and emergency relief. After completing a year's training,
the probationer passes an examination conducted by the UPSC. He is, then
appointed as an Assistant Superintendent of Police. But, before this appointment he
has to undergo a year's programme of training; he is given practical training which
requires him to do the work of various subordinate officers. It is only after this that
he is appointed an Assistant Superintendent of Police.
As an all India Service it is under the ultimate control of the Union Government,
but is divided into state cadres, each under the immediate control of a state
government. The Indian Police Service is managed by the Ministry of Home
Affairs, though the general policies relating to its personnel are determined by
the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms.
1 1.3.3 Indian Forest Service
The Indian Forest Service is the only all India Service that has been set up after
independence. It became operational by an Act of Parliament in 1963. Its pay scale
and status is lower than that of the two original all India Services - the IAS and the
IPS. Its recruits are chosen from an exclusive examination conducted by the Union
Public Service Commission which consists of a written test and interview. Though
it is an All India Service, its nature is not that of a generalised civil service, but is
specialised and fbnctional. It is managed by the Department of Personnel and
Administrative Reforms which is in charge of making rules of recruitment,
discipline and conditions of service regarding all India Services.
After selection the appointees undergo a foundational course lasting three months
along with successfbl candidates of the other all India and Central Services. After
the foundation course, the probationers move to their own Academy (Indian Forest
Institute) at Dehradun for a rigorous two year training course, the end of which
they have to pass an examination before fonnal posting.
The Indian Forest Service is cadre-based as in the case of other All India Services.
Like all other All India Services, a member of this Service can comq to the Centre
on deputation but has to go back to his cadre after the period of deputation is over.
Immediately, after being posted in any Office within the cadre he is kept on
probation for one year whereafter he gets his regular posting at a different Office in
the same cadre. The outer parameter of the operational area is a state or union
Check Your Progress 1
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
i ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
1) Trace the evolution of the All India Services after the Government of India
Act of 1919 till the advent of independence in 1947.
Central Adminbtrdon 2) What are the constitutbnal provisions regarding the All India Services?
- - -----------
.---.--------. 6---.-- ------.------- ---- ---------

3) Explain the 'tenure' and the system of 'dual control' with reference to the
Indian Adrninispative Service.

4) What are the major points of difference between the AS and IPS?

We will now discuss the distinct role of the Indian Administrative Service. The
Indian arrangement cteating a common pool of officers, who are in the exclusive
employ of neither theicentre nor the states and fill the top posts in both Union and
State administrations, comes nearest to the ideal of joint action, co-operation and
co-ordination, between the two levels of government as envisaged in a federal
polity. On'the one hand, a single integrated federal service common to both the
Centre and the States would be a negation of State autonomy. On the other hand, if
the federal government is denied its own services, one of the two results may
follow - either the State services will be reduced to the status of being mere agents
of the Central Goveniment, or the Central Govemment may find itself helpless in
case of non-cooperative attitude on the part of the State services. The Indian
experiment avoids both by providing separate and independent Union and State
services and yet facilities coordination and cooperation, and, if necessary, joint
action between the two levels of government by creating a common cadre of
officers at the top level. It also avoids the possibility of the best brains preferring
Federal service to State service, leaving the latter to be manned by the second or
the third best. As it is, the all-India services, being recruited by the Union
Government on an all-1ndia basis, attracts the best persons who are then posted to
different states. Such service cadres, thus, are a means for carrying a wider stock of

talent to States. No better way of strengthening the State services can possibly be All India and Central
suggested. Again, constant transfers of such officers from the States to the Centre
and back makes them aware of and conversant with the administrative p r o b l q at
both levels of the Government. Such officers, therefore, can be the best agents for
carrying out administrative coordination between the federal and State

We shall now describe briefly the method of recruitment to the All India Services
in India. As mentioned earlier, the recruitment is made by the Central Government
on the basis of a competitive examination annually conducted by the Union hblic
Service Commission (UPSC). The examination is a combined one - for a numb&
of services like the IFS, IAS, IPS and the Central Services Class I and 11. To appear
at the examination, a candidate must be between the age of 21. and 30. Only a
University graduate (one holding B.A. or B.Sc. or an equivalent degree) can appear
at the examination. The examination combines a written test of a high standard
with a 'personality test' by the Union Public Service Commission in the form of a
personal interview. The former aims at judging the level of intelligence and
academic learning and the latter attempts to make a measure of the qualities of
personality and character. The examination system is .modelled on the British
'general' type rather than the American 'specialised' type.
There is a provisidn for relaxation of age upto a maximum.of five years for SCIST
candidates and three years for candidates belonging to OBC category. The number
of permissible attempts to appear in the examination has been restricted t~ four,
with relaxation for OBC candidates (seven attempts) and SCIST candidates (no
Prior to 1979 a single competitive examination used to be held. There were three
compulsory papers: Essay, General knowledge and General English - each
carrying 150 marks. But of a number of optional papers three papers of 200 marks
each, and two additional subjects (for IAS and IFS only) out of another list of
subjects each carrying 200 marks were to be offered. The candidates who
qualifJed in the, written examination were called for interview, which carried 300
marks. The candidates who failed to secure a minimum of 33% of qualifying
marks in the interview were declared unsuccessful, and it wasabolished in 1958.
The interview marks were added to the marks obtained in the written papers. After
this, the Commission recommended the list of selected candidates in order of merit
to the government.
The above system ~f recruitment in the All India Services was criticized from a
number of view points, and the UPSC decided to_wview the system thoroughly.
For this purpose a Committee on Recruitment and Selection Methods under the
Chairmanship of Prof D.S: Kothari was appointed by the UPS
Committee submitted its report in 1976 and made the following
1) To hold a Preliminary examination to screen the candidates for the Main
2) To hold the Main examination to select candidates for entry to the LBS
National Academy for a foundation course of about nine months;
3) To hold a post-training test of 400 marks to be conducted by the UPSC on
completion of the foundation course, the purpose being to assess personal
qualities and attributes relevant to the civil services;
4) To assign candidates to a particular service on the basis of the total marks
obtained in the Main examination and the Post-Training Text at LBS
Academy, taking into account the candidate's for the services;
Central Administration 5) To allow the catldidates to answer all papers, except the language paper, in any
language listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, or in English.
The Kothari Committee's recommendations regarding the examination scheme
(preliminary and main) was accepted by the government, and it was implemented
by the UPSC in 1979.
Satish Chandra Committee
The UPSC set up another Committee in 1988 under the Chairmanship of the
former UGC Chairman Satish Chandra to review and evaluate the system of
selection to the higher Civil Services and to make suggestions for further
improvement. The Committee submitted its Report in I993 and the government is
gradually implementing some of th recommendations with effect from the Civil
Service Examination of 1993. The main recommendations as accepted by the
government are:
1) The practice of holding a common examination should continue;
2) An essay paper should be introduced fiom 1993 examination, and the
candidates should be allowed to answer this paper in any one of the languages
included in the Eighth Schedule or in English;
3) The marks for the personality test should be raised from 250 marks to 300;
4) From the list of optional subjects certain languages like French, German,
Arabic, Pali should be excluded;
5) For both Preliminary and Main Examinations Medial Science should be
included as an optional subject;
6) Allotment of services should be on the basis of the candidate's rank and
7) LBS Academy of Administration should be developed into a high level
professional institution;
8) Adequate infiastructural facilities and proper faculty support should be
provided to the training institutions;
9) The UGC may review the scheme of conducting coaching classes for students
belonging to the minority communities to enable them to compete in various
competitive examinations.
Present Pattern of Civil Services Examination
The competitive examination comprises three successive stages: (a) Civil Services
(Preliminary) ~xamination, (b) Civil Services (Main) Examination, and (c)
a) The preliminary Examination consists of two papers of objective type
(multiple choide questions) and carry a maximum of 450 marks: on paper on
general studies having 150 marks, and another paper of 300 marks on one
subject to be selected from a list of optional subjects. The question papers
are set in English and Hindi. The Preliminary Examination is meant to serve
as a screening test only; the marks obtained in this examination by the
candidates who are declared qualified for admission to the Main
Examination are not counted for determining their final order of merit. The
number of candidates to be admitted to the Main Examination is twelve to
thirteen times the total number of vacancies in the year.
b) The Main Examination consists of a written examination and an interview
The written examination consists of 9 papers of conventional essay type.
The nine ~ a ~ e rm:
All India and Central
Paper-I One of the Indian 300 marks Services
languates to. be
selected by the
candidate from the
languages included in
the Eighth Schedule
of the constitution

Paper-I1 English 300 marks

Paper-111 Essay 200 marks

Paper-1V General Studies 300 marks for each

Paper-VI Any two subjects to 300 marks for each
be Paper
Paper-VII & VIII Selected from the list
of optional subjects

Paper-IX Each subject will have
two papers.

It is to be noted that the papers on Indian languages and English are of
Matriculation or equivalent standard and are of a qualifying nature; the
marks obtained in the papers will not be counted for ranking. Moreover, the
papers on Essay, General Knowledge and optional subjects of only such
candidates will be evaluated as attain such minimum standard fixed by the
UPSC. The Paper-I on Indian Languages is not, however, compulsory for
the candidates hailing from certain North-Eastern States like Manipur,
The question papers for the examination are of conventional (Essay). type,
and each paper is of three hours duration. The candidates may answer all the
question papers, except the language papers in any one of the languages
included in the Eighth Schedule. The question papers other than language
papers are, however, set both in Hindi and English.
c) The candidates securing minimum qualifyiwmarks in the civil Services
(Main Examination, as stipulated by the UPSC, are called for an interview
for personality test. The Candidates are interviewed by a Board and are
asked question of general interest. The o b j h of the interview is to assess
the personal suitability of the candidate. for a career in Public Service. The
test is intended to judge the mental caliber of a'caiklidate. The interview
carries 250 marks.
The rank-order list of candidates is prepared on the basis of total marks
secured in the -Main Examination and interview. The alIocation of
candidates to different services is made on the basis of their rank in the tests
and preferences. The rank order list is forwarded by the UPSC to the
government for hrther necessary action.
11.5.1 Training of All India Service Personnel
Recruits to .tKe- All India and Central Services are given a five months'
foundational course and then special training in the training institutio-ns for their
Central Admlnlstration

and social fitpxxv*
respectin acivicg$.- e idmi-un&lyinb fhe {f~und~tional) course is that officers of
the higher semi& s td acquire an understanding of the constitutional, economic
with& which they ,have to function, .as these largely
determine the &[email protected]$ and &ogrammes towards the fmming and execution df
which they w'ill,hiivel ta make their contribution. They should, further, acquaint
themselves witk'the &hi,ery of Government and the broad principles of Public
Administration.. The foundational course is also intended to cover such mattes as
. aims kid obligati&ns of the Civil Service, and thk ethics of the profession.
Foundational course ailsu'develops among recruits to different services a feeling of
'belongingness to c o b o n public service and a broad common outlook. After
completing this five months' foundational course the probationers of the services
other thatl the IAS, Mave for their respective training institutions for institutional
training, but the TAS hmbationers stay at the Academy to undergo a M h e r course
of institutional training.
From 1969, the Government has introduced a new pattern of training called the
. '~'sandwichbcourse,for the Indian Administrative Service. The new entrants to I ~ S
-undergo two spells of training at the Academy with an interval of about a year
- whbh is utilised for foundational course. After completion of the foundational
course and spell of institutional training at the Academy, the probationer, as he is
called, is sent to the State (to which he has been allotted) for practical training. At
the end of this training, he again comes to the Academy for a second spell of
training where emphasis is placed on the discussion of administrative probIems the

probationer has either encountered or observed in the course of practical training in
the State. This part of the training is, thus, more problem-oriented. At the end of
; the second spell of training at the Academy, the IAS probationer has to sit for a
UPSC examination bdore being given the charge of a sub-division in a district.
, 11S.2 Cadre Mlnagement
Management of public services in 'lndia was until 1970 shared between the
Ministry of Home AiTain and the Ministry of Finance. The responsibility of the
former pertained to general conditions of service other than 'those having a
financial bearing, while the latter was ultimately responsible for laying down
conditions of service involving financial implications. The function of the Ministry
of Finance is to consider the financial impli&s of these matters and that of the
Home Ministry to take into account -their effects on the efficient funhioning of the
services in general.
The Ministry of Home Affairs was the Central personnel agency in the
t India. Its respohsibility ran both vertically and horizontally. It
~ o k m m e n of
administered and controlled the all India services. It regulated all matters of
general applicability to the services in order to maintain a common standard of
recruitment, disciplinb and conditions of service as well. Besides, it looked after
the following matters:
i) implementation of reservations for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in
various services,
ii) re-employment of displaced or retrenched employees and also persons who
join the army during the national emergency,
iii) setting up of Whitley machinery for joint consultation and compulsory
arbitration of unresolved diffhnces between the Government and its
employees. I

After 1970 the Department of Personnel and qdrninistrative Reforms (DEPAR)
under the Home Ministry has become the managing authority in the case of the two
All India and Central
all India services, namely, (i) the Indian Administrative Service, and (ii) the Indian Services
Forest Service. The Indian Police Service, which is'- an all India service, is
managed by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

[email protected] on the need for the setting up of all India Services, in a speech before
the Constituent Assembly, B.R. Ambedkar, the Clyirman of the Constitution -
Drafting Committee, said: ". .. It is recognised that in every country there are
certain-posts in its administrativegetup which might be called strategic from the
point of view of maintaining the standard of admipistration ... There can be no
doubt that the standard of administration depends upon the calibre of thk civil
servants who are appointed to these posts ... The Constitution provides that, there
shall be All India Services, the members of which alone could be appointed to
these strategic posts throughout the Union." Ambedkar, thus, emphasised the
contributian such a Service could make in bringing about greater efficiency in the
administration of the Union as well as the States. Secondly, there are others wbo
emphasised the cohesive aspect of such Services, which, it is claimed, will ensure
the uniformity of the administrative system throughout the country, We, in India,
are fortunate enough to be able to carry out, if we will, that experiment in large
measure, thus, providing afi effective check to fissiparous tendencies and secure for
its recruits attractions which no other Services can have. In the fifth place, since the
responsibility for the administration of a Stare, in the event of the breakdown of the
normal constitutional machinery, is vested in the President, the existence in the
State of a certain number of officers of All 1ndia Services occupying key posts in
the administration will certainly be helphl to him, He can count more on the
cooperation of officers, who, in the last analysis, are Union Government's
employees, than on the officers of the State Government proper.
Check Your Progress 2
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
1) What are the unique and distinctive features of the Indian Administrative

2) Briefly describe the method of recruitment of the All India Services.
Central Administration What is the major content thrust of the common training of recruits to the All
India Services in the first five months of training period?

4) Who manages the service conditions of the IAS and the IPS?

Unlike the all India services, the Central Civil Services are under the exclusive
control of the Central Government, its member positions only in the Central
Government. The Civil Services of the Central Government comprise established
services known as central civil service as well as civil posts created outside the
established services, which constitute the general central service. Both the
established central civil services and the civil posts are classified in the
descending order of importance into Class I, Class 11, Class 111 and Class IV.
It has often been poinied out that since the appointing authority is the same, there
is ho justification for classifying the services into the all India and central
services. Though the appointing authority is the same, yet there is a significant
difference between the two. Officers of all India services are employed to serve
under the central as well as the state governments. Further, the members of IAS
can be appointed to any office calling fqr duties of a general supervisory nature,
while th9 officers of the central services are employed in jobs of specialised
nature. Therefore, the distinction can be said to be justified.
11.7.1 Recruitment
Recruitment to the Central Services Class I and I1 are made by the Union Public
Service Commission on the basis of the unified all India Civil Service
11.7.2 Training and Cadre Management
Recruits to the Central Services Class I have to attend a five months foundational
course at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration,
Mussoorie and other Central Training Institute before they go to the caining
institutions for their respective services. As the central services are unifunctional
and specialised in nature, the syllabus of training differs from that of the all India
services is as much as the courses of study have a direct bearing on the work
which a mekber of the particular cihl service has to perform. A recruit to the
Central Service is also given practical training or training on the job during his All India and Central
training period. At the end of his training, the probationer passes a departmental
examination 'in subjects directly related to his work before he or she is sent for
her or his first posting. The basic pattern of training is the same for all recruits to
the central services.
The day-to-day administration of these services rests with the individual Ministry
under which the posts exist. Also, involved in the management of these services
are the Department of Personnel which determines the conditions of service (of
administrative nature) and the Ministry of Finance which is concerned with the
pay scales and other financial aspects of conditions of service like fixation of
pay, grant of increments, pension and gratuity, contribution to provident fund,
11.7.3 The Indian Foreign Service
The Indian Foreign Service (IFS) comes under Central Civil Service - Class I and
was created after Independence. It is under the exclusive control of the Central
Government and its members are recruited from the top few positions of the All
India Civil Services examination. Among the Central Civil Services it is the
topmost in prestige, status, pay and emoluments and its recruits are asked ,to serve
in Indian mission and embassies abroad. It is managed by the Ministry of External
Affairs. Also, involved in the management of the IFS are the Department of
Personnel which deteimines the conditions of service and the Ministry of Finance
which is concerned with the pay scales and other financial aspects of conditions of
service. In matters of allowances the members of the 1Gian Foreign Service are
more fortunate compared to other services. They are entitled to foreign allowance
which are fixed with reference to: (a) local cost of living, (b) other expenditure
which an officer serving abroad necessarily incurs either at home or abroad, over
and above that an officer of corresponding grade serving in India, (c)
representational expenditure, i.e., expenditure which while optional for a private
individual is obligatory for a member of the service resident, by virtue of his
The recruit of the IFS undergoes a training programme which covers a period of
three years. He is attached to a district for some time to enable him to pick up
contact with practical work, he also undergoes a period of secretariat training.
Training programme for IFS, however, puts emphasis upon the study of language
(Hindi and a foreign language) and of subjects, the knowledge of which is
considered essential to a member of the IFS,
Check Your Progress 3
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
1) What are Central Civil Services? How are they different fiom All India
Central ~dslihistr~tion 2) Why is the Indian Foreign Service considered to be in a more privileged
position than the other Central Services?

3) Which agencied are responsible for managing the Central Civil Services?

In this Unit we read about:
The evolution of the All India Services.
The constitutional provisions regarding All India Services and their need.
The distinctive features of the Indian Police Service and the Indian Forest
The impqrtant features and uniqueness of the Indian Administrative Service.
The methods of recruitment and training of All India Services personnel, and
the agencies responsible for their management.
The Central Services, the difference between Central and All India Services,
their classificatioq, recruitment, training and cadre management.

Lee Commission : The Royal Commission on the Superior Civil
Services in India set up in 1923, under the
chairmanship of Lord Lee. It was appointed to
inquire into the 'organisation of civil services in
India and also the methods of recruitment for
Europeans s well as Indians, to the Services.
Parlance : Specialised manner of speaking.
Whitley Machinery : Whitley councils had their origin in England during
the first world war. In Whitley Councils the
representatives of the government and employees
association sit together to resolve various personnel
: The he'aring and determination of a 'dispute by an
impartial refree selected or agreed upon by the
parties concerned.
Probationers : A new recruit undergding a test period. All India and Central
I I Services
Sandwich Course : Course consisting of alternate period of study and
practical (field) work.

Bhambhri, C.P., 1976, Public Administration in India, Vikas Publishing House,
New Delhi.
Jain, R.B., 1976, Contemporary Issues in Indian Administration,Visual
Publications, Delhi.
Maheshwari, S.R., 1986, Indian Administration, Orient Longman, ,New Delhi.
Mehta, S.M., 1988, Civil Servants and Administration, Deep and Deep
Publication, ~ e Delhi.
Misra, B.B., 1986, Government and Bureaucracy in India, 1947-1976: Oxford
Publishing House, New Delhi.

I Sinha, V.M., 1985, The Superior Civil Services in India, The Institute for
Research and Advanced Studies, Jaipur.

Bhattacharya, Mohit, 2000, Indian Administration, World Press, Kolkata.

Check Your Progress 1
1 ) Your answer should cover the following points:
Lee Commission in 1924 recommended the abolition of certain All India
Lee Commission recommended the retention and Indianisation of ICS, IP,
IMS, Indian Forest Service and the Imgation Branch of the Indian Service
of Engineers.
Government of lndia Act brought further changes in the position of the
The Joint Select Committee of the British Parliament considered the draft
of the Act of 1935 and recommended the continuance of ICS, IP and IMS
In October 1946, Sardar Patel secured the agreement of the Provincial
Government to the formation of the two new All India Service, IAS and
IPS to replace the old ICS and IP cover.

I 2) Your answer should cover the following points:
Article 3 12-2 empowers the Union Parliament to create more of An India
Services whenever it is deemed necessary in the national interest.
All India Service Act was passed by the Parliament in October 1951.
Two sets of rules regulate the conditions of All India Services, old rules
made by the Secretary of State, or the Governor General in Council and
the new rules under the 1951 Act.

I 3) Your answer should cover the following points:
All India Services are under the ultimate control of the Union
All lndia Services are divided into state cadres, each under the
immediate control of a state government.
Central Administration The salary and the pension of these officers are met by the states.
The strength of each state cadre is fixed as to include a reserve of
officers who can be deputed for service under the Union Government for
one or more 'tenures' before they return to the state cadre.
4) See Sub-sections 11.4.1 and 11.4.2.
Check Your Progress 2
1) Your answer should cover the following points:
Creation of common pool of officers, who are in the exclusive
employment of neither of the Centre nor the states, but who occupy top
posts in both the Union and State administration facilitating cooperation
and coordination between the Centre and States.
Enables the Officers of the Indian Administrative Services, to become
conversant with the administrative problems at both levels of the
Since the Indian Administrative Services attracts the best persons, it is a
means for carrying a wider stock of talent to states.
2) Your answer should cover the following points:
Recruitment on the basis of a competitive examination conducted by the
Combined examination f o All
~ India Services and Central Services class I
and 11.
Nature of examination and interview.
3) [See Sub-section 11.6.1.
4) Your answer should cover the following points:
Role of Ministry of Home affairs and Finance in the management of
All India Services till 1970.
Role of Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms as the
managing authority since 1970.
Check Your Progress 3
1) Your answer should cover the following points:
Unlike All lndia Services, the Central Civil Services are under the
exclusive control of the Central Government.
Its members man positions only in the Central Government.
Officers of All India Services are employed to serve under the Central as
well as the State governments.
Members of IAS can be appointed to any oftice calling for duties of a
general nature while the ofticers of the Ceritral Services are employed in
jobs of specialised nature.
2) Your answer should cover the following points:
Its members are recruited from the top few positions of the All lndia
Civil Services examination.
It is the top most in prestige, status, pay and emoluments and its recruits
are asked to serve in Indian Missions and embassies abroad.
In matters of allowances the members of the Indian Foreign Service are
most fortunate compared to other services.
3) Your answer should cover the following points:
The day-to-day administration of these services rests with the individual
ministry under which the posts exists.
Also involved in the management of these services is the Department of All India and Central
Personnel which determines the conditions of service for administrative
nature. \

Ministry of finance which is coricerned with the pay-scale and other
financial aspects of conditions of service like fixation of,pay grant of
increments, pension and gratuity, contribution to Provident Fund etc.
12.0 Objectives
12.1 Introduction
42.2 Powers of the State Governments
12.3 Role of the Governor
12.4 Statc Legislature
12.4.1 Legislative Procedure in a Bicameral Legislature
12.4.2 Legdative Control over Administration
12.5 State Council of Ministers
12.6 Role of the Chief Miqister
12.7 Emerging Trends
12.8 Let Us Sum Up
12.9 Key Words
12.10 References and Further Readings
12.1 1 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

After reading this Unit you should be able to:
a Understand the Constitutional provisions regarding the functioning of the state
a Explain the role of the Governor in state administration;
a Describe the powers and the functions of the Chief Minister in relation with
bureaucracy and Council of Ministers; and
a Explain the working of the State ~ e ~ i s l a t u r and e its control over
- - -

The very first Article of our Constitution says, "India, that is 'Bharat', shall be a
Union of states." The word 'Union' has been used to mean 'Federation' in the US
Constitution. In our Constitution, however, the Union is not a Federation of the
type set up by the US Constitution. The Indian Constitution has several features of
a Federation like the dual government; distribution of powers between federal and
state governments, supremacy of the Constitution and final authority of courts to
interpret the Constitution. On the other hand, there are several unitary features like
a unified judicial system; integrated machinery for election, accounts and audit;
power of superintendence of union government over state government in
emergencies and to some extent even in normal times; single citizenship, etc. Due
to these features, our Constitution lays down a quasi-federal polity. Granville
Austin has on the other hand called our Federation a 'Cooperative Federalism' due
to the need for close cooperation between the Union government, and the state
governments. The purpose here is not to discuss in detail the nature of Indian
Federation, but to put the study of state administration in proper context. It is,
therefore, enough for us to know that our Constitution envisages a two-tier
structure of governance - one at the Union or Central level and the other at the
state level. The powers and functions of the Central or Union government and the
state governments are specified in the Constitution. The Union and the state
governments function independently in their own spheres. Of course, there is an
area of overlapping responsibility and there are certain powers of superintendence
State Administration In this Unit, we propose to study the functions assigned to the state governments in
the Constitution ahd the way in which the state administration is organised to
perform these functions.

As already mentioned, the Union government and state governments derive their
powers ,directly fim the Constitution. The Constitution has adopted a three-fold
distribution of legidlative powers between the Union and the states (Article 246).
Schedule VII of the Constitution enumerates the subjects into three lists. List I or the
Union List consists of the subjects over which the Union has exclusive poweks of
legislation. Similarly, List I1 or the State List comprises subjects over which the state
has exclusive powers of legislation. There is yet another List (List III) known as the
Concurrent List that comprises subjects over which both the Union and states have
powers to legislate. The residual powers are vested in the Union. We would now
briefly discuss List I1 and List 111, which enumerate the subjects over which the states
have jurisdiction either exclusively or concurrently with the Union.
State List
The State List comprises 61 items over which states have exclusive jurisdiction.
Some of the important ones are - Public Order and Police, Agriculture, Forests,
Fisheries, Public Health, Local Government, etc. These are subjects of maximum
concern to the people which can be better dealt with at the state level. Thesf subjects
are generally under the exclusive jurisdiction of the states, but under the following
circumstances, the Parliament can legislate on these matters.
i) In national interest, Council of States by a resolution of 2/3rdof its members
present and voting may authorise the Parliament to legislate on a state
subject. Such authorisation may be for one year at a time, but can be renewed
by a fresh resolution;
ii) Under a proclamation of emergency, the Parliament may legislate on a state
iii) With the consent of two or,more states, the Parliament may legislate on a
state subject with respect to the consenting states;
iv) Parliament has powers to legislate with reference to any subject (including a
state subject) for the purpose of implementing treaties or international
agreements and conventions; and
v) When a proclamation is issued by the President on the failure of
Constitutional machinery in any state, he may declare that the powers of the
state legislature shall be exercised by or under the authority of Parliament.
Concurrent List
The Concurrent List comprises 47 items over which the Union and state legislatures
have concurrent jurisdiction. The important ones are: Criminal Law and Procedure,
Marriage, Trusts, Civil Procedure, Insurance, Social and Economic Planning, etc.
While the Union and states can legislate on any of the subjects in the Concurrent
List, predominance is given to the Union Legislature. It means that in case of
repugnancy between the Union and a state law relating to the same subject, the
former prevails. If, however, the state law was reserved for the assent of the
President and has received such assent, the state law may prevail notwithstanding
such repugnancy, but it would still be competent for the Parliament to override
such state law by subsequent legislation.
Any dispute about the interpretation of the entries in the three lists is to be decided
by the Courts. Following principles have been followed in such interpretation:
i) In case of overlapping of a subject between the three lists, predominance is to
,be given to the Union Legislature; .
ii) Each entry is given the widest importance that its words are capable of,
iii) In order to determine whether a particular enactment falls under one entry or Constitutional Profile of
State Administration
another, its 'pith and substance' is considered.
Distribution of Executive Power
In general, the distribution of executive powers follows the distribution of the
legislative powers. It means that the state government has executive powers in
respect of subjects in the State List.
klowever, the executive power in respect o f subjects in the Concurrent List
ordinarily remains with the state governments except in the following cases:
i) Where a law of Parliament relating to such subjects vests some executive
hnctions in the Uni6n, e.g., in Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.
ii) Where provisions of Constitution itself vest some executive functions upon
the Union, e.g., implementation of an international treaty or obligation.
Moreover, the Union has the power to give directions to the state governments in the
exercise of their executive powers in the following cases:
i) In Normal Times, the State Governments have to ensure:
Compliance with Union laws
Exercise of executive power of the state does not interfere with the
exercise of the executive power of the Union
Construction and maintenance of the means of communication of
national or military importance by the state
Protection of railways in the' state
Implementation of schemes for the welfare of Scheduled Castes and
Scheduled Tribes
The administration of a state is camed on in accordance with the
provisions of the Constitution.
ii) In Emergencies
The state government functions under the complete control of the Union
The President may assume to himself all or any executive powers of the
state on proclamation of failure of Constitutional machinery in a state. .
iii) During a Financial Emergency
The President can give directions to the state government to observe
canons of financial propriety
The President may reduce salaries and allowances of employees
Money bills and other financial bills could to be reserved for
consideration of the President.

- - - - -- - - - -

Our Constitution provides for the Parliamentary form of government at the Union
as well as the state levels. The Governor is the Constitutional head of the state and
acts on the advice of the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister. He is
appointed by the President for a term of five years and holds office during his
pleasure. He can be reappointed after his tenure as Governor of the same state or of
another state.
According to the Constitution, the Governor has many executive, legislative,
judicial and emergency powers. For example, the Governor appoints the Chief
Minister and on his advice the Council of Ministers. He makes many other
appointments like those of members of the State Public Service Commission,
Advocate General, ~ e d i o rCivil Servant, etc. In fact, the entire executive work of
the state is carried on in his name.
State Administration The Governor is a part of the State Legislature. He has a right of addressing and
sending messages to and of summoning, proroguing the State Legislature and
dissolving the Lower House. All the bills passed by the Legislature have to be
assented to by him before becoming the law. He can withhold his assent to the Bill
passed by the Legislature and send it back for reconsideration. If it is again passed
with or without modification, the Governor has to give his assent. He may also
reserve any Bill passed by the State Legislature for the assent of the President. The
Governor may also issue an Ordinance when the legislature is not in session.
The Governor even has the poyer to grant pardon, reprieve, respite, remission of
punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted
of any offence against any law related to a matter to which the executive power of
the state extends.
As far as the emergency powers of the Governor are concerned, whenever the
Governor is satisfied that a situation has arisen in his state whereby the
administration of the state cannot be camed on in accordance with the provisions of
the Constitution, he can report the fact to the President. On receipt of such a report,
the President may assume to himself the powers of the state government and may
reserve for the Parliament the powers of the State Legislature (Article 356).
Exercise of Discretion by the Governor
It has already been pointed out that the Governor has to exercise his powers on the
advice of the Council of Ministers. He does not, therefore, have much discretion in
the exercise of his powers as long as a stable Ministry enjoying the confidence of the
Assembly is in office. However, this is not always the case. The Governor may then
be called upon to exercise his discretion. It is this exercise of discretion that has made
the Governor's office the most controversial Constitutional office of the country.
Major controversies have arisen in the following types of cases in the past:
i) Appointment of Chief Ministers
The Governor appoints the Chief Minister and on his adv~cethe Council of
Ministers. When a party with absolute majority elects a leader. the Governor
has no choice but to appoint him the Chief Minister and invite him to form the
government. Problems arise when no political party has an absolute majority in
the legislature. Here the discretion of the Governor comes into play. For
' example, in 1952 the Congress Party was the largest single party in Madras
legislature, but did not have an absolute majority. Still the Governor Mr. Sri
Prakash invited Mr. C. Rajgopalachari to form the government as the leader of
the largest single party. This principle was, however, not followed in West
Bengal in 1970. The CPM led by Mr. Jyoti Basu was the largest single party in
the West Bengal Assembly. The Governor Mr. S.S. Dhavan asked Mr. Basu to
prove his majority. Mr. Basu insisted on calling the Legislative Assembly and
proving his majority on the floor of the House. The Governor ultimately did
not invite him to form the government. The opponents of Congress criticised
this on the ground that this was done at the behest of the Congress government
which was in Office at the Centre at that time.'~hus, different criteria have
been followed by different Governors even in similar circumstances.
ii) Dismissal of a Ministry
A Chief Minister and his Ministry hold office during the pleasure of the
Governor, which is not subject to any scrutiny. However, the Governor has to
exercise his discretion judiciously. There is a general feeling that the
Governors have not done so. For example, the Governor of West Bengal, Mr.
Dharma Veera dismissed the Ajoy Mukherjee Ministry in 1967 on the grounds
that-he did not call, a meeting of the Assembly within the time specified by the
Governor for proving the majority. The action was severely criticised by many
jurists who felt that it was a wrong convention to establish. It w o ; ~have been
much better to establish the convention that a Governor can call a meeting of
the Assembly to test the majority of the government, in case the Chief Minister
rehses to do so. The opposition interpreted it as a deliberate attempt on the Constitutional Profile of
State Administration
part of the Governor for helping the ruling party at the Centre. According to
them, Governor's pleasure is subject to the Ministry enjoying the confidence
of the Assembly, which alone should decide the fate of a Ministry.
iii) Dissolution of the Assembly
In British Parliamentary Democracy, the king is guided by the advice of the
Prime Minister in the matter of dissolution of the House of Commons.
Likewise, the Governor should be guided by the advice of the Chief Minister
in the matter of dissolution of the Assembly. Unfortunately, such a
convention has not been established in India. For example, in 1967 the Chief
Minister of Punjab, Mr. Gurnam Singh advised the Governor to dissolve the
Assembly. His advice was not accepted by the Governor on the grounds that
as long as it is possible to form a government, the Assembly should not be
dissolved. Same thing happened to the advice of Mr. Charan Singh when he
advised the Governor of U.P. in 1968 to dissolve the Assembly. In 2003, the
Chief Minister of U.P. Ms. Mayawati advised the Governor to dissolve the
Assembly but the Governor did not accept the advice on the ground that
party in power had lost the majority. The opposition parties have alleged
that here again the Governors have tended to act according to the wishes of
the Central Government.
iv) Use of Emergency Powers
It has also been alleged that the Governors have not used their discretion
judiciously in advising the President for using his emergency powers under
Article 356 of the Constitution. In 1959 itself, the Governor of Kerala reported
to the President that due to failure of law and order, the government of the state
could not be carried on according to the provisions of the Constitution. The
first non-Congress state government cff the country was thrown out by the
President on the basis of this report, which was severely criticised by all
sections of the Opposition. In 1984, the Governors of J&K and Andhra
Pradesh verified the numerical support of the ruling (non-Congress) parties in
the Assembly and hurriedly advised the dismissal of the state governments on
the ground that in the absence of stable majorities, the governments of these
states could not be carried on according to the Constitution. In either case, the
majority of the government was not tested on the floor of the Assembly.
Moreover, in case of Andhra Pradesh even the arithmetic of numbers proved to
be incorrect. In these cases, there were open allegations also that the
Governors had tried to reduce the state governments to a minority.
General Remarks
Thus, it appears that our Constitution envisages a dual role for the Governor. He is a
Constitutional head of the state government as well as a representative of the
President. The mode of appointment of the Governor and his holding office during
the pleasure of the President have tended to emphasise the second role of the
Governor, i.e., his role as a representative of the President. Since the President has to
act on the advice of the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister, the
Governor has to indirectly act according to the wishes of the leader of the ruling
party at the Centre. This has been resented by the opposition parties and has also
been criticised by eminent jurists. It has been argued that provisions regarding the
appointment and termination of the Governor have made him a tool of the ruling
party at the Centre and not an impartial head of the state.
On the other side, it has been argued that the mode of appointment and termination
of the Governor was deliberately adopted by the framers of Constitution, after a
good deal of debate, with a view to guard against the fissiparous tendencies present
in our polity. However, it is said that by appointing pliable Governors, the ruling
State Administratiqn There have been instances where Governors have been removed due to a change of
guard at the Centre. The political parties do ndt find it difficult to remove the
Governors that belong to opposition parties in the states.

Legislation provides the framework for policy formulation and arms the government
with powers to implement the policies. At the state level, the function of providing
the necessary legislative framework is performed by State Legislature. Our
Constitution provides that every state shall have at least one house, viz., the
Legislative Assembly comprising 60 to 500 members chosen by direct election on
the basis of adult suffrage from territorial constituencies. In addition, any state can
create a second house, viz., Legislative Council if it so desires. This can be done by a
resolution of the Assembly passed by a special majority (i.e., a majority of total
membership of the Assembly not being less than two-thirds of the members actually
present and voting) followed by an Act of Parliament. By the same process, an
existing Legislative Council can be abolished also. Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal
and Punjab have followed this procedure to abolish their Legislative Council. At
present, only Bihar, Maharqhtra, Karnataka, U.P.and J&K have two houses.
Whenever constituted, the membership of the Council cannot be more than 1/3 of the
membership of the Assembly, but not less than 40. The composition of Council
membership is as follows:
113 elected by members of local bodies
1/12 elected by Ele~torateof graduates of 3 years' standing
1112 elected by teachers of 3 years' experience in secondary school or above
1/3 elected by MLAs from non-members of the Assembly
116 nominated by the Governor
Election is to be in accordance with the principle of proportional representation by
means of the single transferable vote. Duration of the Assembly is fiveyears unless
dissolved earlier by the Governor. Its term may be extended by Parliament during
Emergency upto a period of six months beyond the expiry of the proclamation of
Emergency by the President. The Legislative Council is a continuing or permanent
body with 113 of its members retiring every second year.
12.4.1 Legislative Procedure in a Bicameral Legislature
Regarding a Money Bill
i) A Money Bill can originate only in the Legislative Assembly and not in the
ii) The Council cannot reject or modify this Bill passed by the Assembly. It can
only make recommendations, which.may or may not be accepted by the
Assembly. The Bill as passed by the Assembly with or without modification, is
presented to the Governor for assent. If the Council does not return the Bill
within 14 days, it can straightaway be presented to the Governor for his assent
Thus, the will of the Assembly ultimately prevails. The Council can at best delay its
Regarding any Bill other than a Money Bill
i) Such a Bill can originate in either House
ii) If a Bill is passed by the Assembly, the Council may reject the Bill, modify it;
or may not pass it for three months. If the Bill is again passed by the Assembly
with or without modification, the Council, on its second journey, may only
delay it by one month
iii) If a Bill originates in the Council and is rejected by the Assembly, the matter
Thus, in every. way, the sypremacy of the Assembly is established; more so, in case Constitutional Profile of
i State Administration
of Money Bills. The dispute between two houses is always resolved according to the
will of the Assembly. This is in contrast to the Union Legislature where a dispute
between the two Houses is resolved by a joint sitting. This is probably in recognition
of the fact that the Upper House in Union Legislature is representative of the states.
Governor's Veto
When a Bill, passed by State Legislature, is presented to the Governor for his assent:
i) The Governor may assent to the Bill, in which case it would become law

! ii)

He may withhold assent, in which case it does not become law
He may, in case of a Bill other than a Money Bill, return the Bill with a
The Governor may reserve a Bill for the consideration of the President.
Options (i) and (ii) do not involve use of discretion by the Governor. He may not

I withhold assent without the advice of the Council of Ministers. However, in case of
options (iii) and (iv), the Governor may act as per his discretion. When a Bill is
returned with a message, the legislature may again pass the Bill with or without
modifications. The Governor then has no option but to signify his assent.
Option (iv), however, gives the Governor and the President a real veto on a Bill
passed by the State Legislature. When a Bill is reserved for the assent of the
President, he may either declare his assent; withhold his assent or return the Bill to
the State Legislature with a message. The State Legislature has to reconsider the Bill
within six months. Even if the Bill is passed again with or without modifications, it is
not obligatory on the part of the President to signify his assent.

The opposition parties have criticised that this provision of veto substantially detracts
from the autonomy of the state governments. The Governor, as an agent of the
President may interfere with the legislative powers of the state.

) Governor's Power to Issue Ordinances
When the Legislature is not in session, the Governor can issue Ordinances, which
have the force of law. Any Ordinance so issued by the Governor has to be placed
before the Legislature whenever it is convened and ceases to have an effect at the
expiration of six weeks from the date of reassembly unless disapproved earlier. The
Governor's Ordinance - making power is co-extensive with the legislative powers of
the State Legislature and is subject to the same limitations pertaining to obtaining
previous sanction from the President.
12.4.2 Legislative Control Over Administration
Apart from providing necessary legislative support to the executive, the Legislature
also acts as an instrument of popular control over administration. In a Parliamentary
democracy like ours, this control is exercised in following forms:
r Assembly Questions I ,

The members of the Assembly have a right ctw ask questions from the government.
They can also ask supplementary questions. THis device keeps the government on its
toes. Whenever weaknesses are noticed, the government is compelled to promise and
take corrective action. \

I Discussions
Apart from asking questions, the members may ask for discussions over important
matters. They may also bring forward Call Attention Motions and Adjournment
Motions on important public matters. Even if such motions are not allowed, a lot of
information has to be supplied by the government and some discussion does take
place. Here again the government is kept on a tight leash and has to answer the
representatives of the people.
State Administration Financial Control by Budget
No money can be raised and no expenditure can be incurred without a vote by the
Legislature. By controlling the purse strings, the Legislature controls the programmes
and activities of the government. It is true that by virtue of its majority in the
Legislature, the government may ultimately get the money it wants voted, but during
the process, a lot of discussion takes place. This keeps the government in touch with
the needs of the people. The discussion also highlights the weaknesses of the
administration in the implementation of the voted programmes.
Post-expendi ture Control
The State Legislature also scrutinises the expenditure incurred by the government
through the device of audt. Our Constitution provides for an integrated accounts and
audit system. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) gets the accounts
of the state government audited and sends his report to the Assembly through the
Governor. The Public Accounts Committee of the State Legislature goes through this
report, examines and finally reports to the Legislature. Any instances of
unauthorised, improper, or imprudent expenditure are thus discussed in detail and
brought to the notice of the Legislature, which can then keep a vigilant eye on the
Control through Legislative Committees
Apart from the Public Accounts Committee mentioned earlier, there are several other
committees, viz., Estimates Committee, Committee on Public Undertakings,
Committee on Assurances, etc. These committees examine the various aspects of the
working of the governmqnt and make useful suggestions. They also criticise the
government for its failures and bring these failures to the notice of the Legislature
and the people. This is a good device of exercising control over the government, as
the Assembly is too unwieldy a body to examine the working of the government in
Ministerial Responsibility
The most potent hnction of the Legislature is, to enforce the ministerial
responsibility. In a Parliamentary form of government, the political executive is a
part of the Legislature and is responsible to it all the time. The government can be
thrown out at any time by a vote of no-confidence or even on being rejected on its
budget or any of the substantive legislative measures. As the political executive is
always responsible to the legislature, the administrators become indirectly
responsible to it through the ministers.
In spite of these controls, it is often felt that the administration is not responsive
enough. On the other hand, it is argued that the legislative control, especially the one
through audit is too tight and takes away the initiative of the administrators.
Check Your Progress 1
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
I) Explain the three-fold distribution of powers/between the Union and the
Discuss the emergency powers of the Governor. Constitutional Profile of
State Administration

3) Throw light on the legislative procedure regarding the passing of a Money

4) What are the various ways through which the Legislature exercises its
control over the administration?

As already mentioned, the executive power of the state is exercised in the name of
the Governor, who is the Constitutional head of the state. But, the Governor has to
have a Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister as its head to aid and advise him.
But for a few discretionary functions, the Governor has to act on the advice of the
Council of Ministers. It means that the real executive power is exercised by the
Council of Ministers.
The Council of Ministers are appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief
Minister and hold Oflice during his pleasure. It means that a minister can also be
dismissed by the Governor on the advice of the chief ~inister.
On the pattern of the Union government, ministers in the state governments are of the
following categories:
i) Cabinet Ministers
ii) Ministers of State
iii) Deputy Ministers
iv) Parliamentary Secretaries
In Government of India, only Cabinet Ministers attend the meetings of the Cabinet.
In the state government, however, all the ministers attend Cabinet meetings, making
2: :-- -- ----
---: --&L.-- ..l:z-..14 r-- -..--A:*: -.-- --A -LC-:--&
State Administration transaction of business, some states have adopted the device of forming Cabinet
Committees. Some of these committees are Standing Committees, while some are
ad-hoc committees that are constituted to deal with some specific problems. The
system of Cabinet Committees is not so popular in the state governments as in the
Central government. Most of the important matters in the states are placed before the
Cabinet, which meets quite frequently.
As per the recent Ninety First Constitutional Amendment Act 2003, the total number
.of Ministers including the Chief Minister, in the Council of Ministers in a State shall
not exceed fifteen per cent of the total number of members of the Legislative
Assembly of the State, provided that number of Ministers, including the Chief
Minister in a State shall not be less than twelve. This is the first time that such an
Amendment providing for the total strength of Ministers has been enacted.
Powers and Functions of the Council of Ministers
The Council of Ministers is the highest policy-making body of the state government.
It lays down policy in respect to all matters within the legislative and administrative
competence of the state government. The Council also reviews the implementation of
the policy laid down by it and can revise any policy in view of the feedback received
during implementation. Since the Governor has to exercise his executive powers on
the advice of the Council of Ministers and all the executive power is exercised in the
name of the Governor, there is no limitation on the powers of the Council except the
i) The limits imposed by the Constitution and the laws passed by the Union and
State Legislature.
ii) Self-imposed limits to exclude consideration of less important matters.
Division of Work into Departments at the State Level
According to the doctrine of Ministerial Responsibility, the Council of Ministers is
collectively responsible to ,the State Assembly. It is, however, impossible for the
Council to take all the decisions collectively. During the early British period, the
administration of the state was carried on by the Governor-in-Council. At that time,
most of the decisions were taken collectively, because the number of decisions to be
taken was not very large. With the passage of time, the scope of governmental
activity increased and the matters that came up for the decision of the Council also
proliferated. This led to the development of 'portfolio system' in which the
Co~cillorswere placed in charge of certain specified subjects leaving only a few
important matters to be placed before the whole Council. The same system has
continued after Independence. Under our Constitution, the Governor has to make
rules for the efficient conduct of business [Article 166(3)]. The state governments
have framed 'Allocation of Business Rules', according to which the work is divided
among different ministers. This division of work can be done on the basis of
functions, or on the basis of clientele, or on geographical basis or on the basis of the
combination of these factors. Very often, the division of work is decided on personal
considerations rather than rational criteria. Most of the work in respect of subjects
allotted to a minister is disposed of by the minister. However, according to the rules
of business, some matters have to be reserved by the minister for:
Consideration of the Chief Minister
These are called coordination cases. in these cases, the minister in charge of ,a
portfolio, records his recommendations and submits the file to the Chief Minister for
his orders. Rules of business give a list of such cases. The Chief Minister may also
reserve some cases or classes of cases for his orders.
Presentation before the Cabinet
These are important policy matters, which ktve wide repercussions. Important cases
of disaereement between two or mbre minlste~sare also broueht before the Cabinet
for its decision. A list of such cases is given in the rules of business. In addition, the Constitutional Profile of
State Administration
4 Chief Minister may require any particular case of any department to be placed before
I the Cabinet. A few of the typical Cabinet cases are given below:
i Annual Financial Statement to be laid before the Legislature and demands for
1 i)
supplementary grants
Proposals affecting state finance not approved by the Finance Minister
Exemption of important matters from the purview of State Public Service
I iv) Proposals for imposition of new taxes, etc.


I The Chief Minister perfoms the same functions in respect of the state government as
the Prime Minister does in respect of the Union Government. Although the real

executive power of the state government vests in the Council of Ministers, the Chief
Minister has acquired a very special role in the exercise of this executive power. He
is not the first among equals, but is the prime mover of the executive government of
the state.
The Chief Minister is appointed by the Governor and holds Office during his
pleasure. However, when a single political party has an absolute majority in the
Assembly, the Governor has only a ceremonial role in these matters. He has to
invite the leader of the majority party to form the government and cannot dismiss
him so long as he enjoys the confidence of the Assembly. The only exception
probably may occur when the majority party changes its leader in the Assembly. Of
course, the Governor does have some discretion in these matters during periods of
instability when no single party can claim an absolute majority in the Assembly.
Powers of the Chief Minister in Relation to the Council of Ministers
The Chief Minister is the leader of the Council of Ministers. With the passage of
time, the position of Chief Minister has strengthened v i s - h i s his Council of
Ministers. He has to assign portfolios among his ministers and can change such
portfolios when he likes. He plays a coordinating role in the functioning of his
Council of Ministers. He has to see that the decisions of the various departments
are coherent. He has to lead and defend his Council of Ministers in the Assembly.
In short, he has to ensure the collective responsibility of the Council of Ministers to
the State Assembly. The Chief Minister sets the agenda for the Cabinet and greatly
influences its decisions. He takes decisions on important matters of coordination
even though these are allotted to individual ministers. Moreover, the Governor
appoints the Council of Ministers on the advice of the Chief Minister and the
ministers hold Office during the pleasure of the Governor. As a result of these
provisions, the Minister, in fact, holds Office during the pleasure of the Chief
Minister. This power of dismissing the ministers at will and the power to change
their portfolios has greatly strengthened the power of the Chief Minister in relation
to his ministers and ultimately the Council of Ministers.
It must also be realised that the power of the Chief Minister in relation to his
Council of Ministers also depends on political conditions prevailing in the state. If
a cohesive party has an absolute majority in the Assembly, the Chief Minister
becomes very powerful and the ministers are afraid of him. His power is further
enhanced in case of a statewide regional party for, in that case he is not subject to
the discipline of the national leadership. The position of a Chief Minister gets
weakened if he heads a coalition government or a faction-ridden party. In either
case, he or she has to effect compromises to keep a balance among the coalition
partners or various factions within the party.
state Administration Powers of the Chief Minister in Relation to the Governor
The powers of Chief Minister in relation to the Governor have not been mentioned
anywhere in the Constitution. A convention was sought to be established whereby
the Chief Minister could be consulted regarding the appointment of the Governor in
his state. Even this has not been followed by the Union government in many cases.
The only other power, which can be indirectly inferred from the Constitution is the
power to exercise executive power of the state in the lnarne of the Governor. All the
public appearances of the Governor and the speeches delivered by him on such
occasions have to be in accordance with policy laid down by the Council of Ministers
headed by the Chief Minister. ~ i m f l a r lthe
~ , speeches of the Governor on ceremonial
occasions and the annual speech before the Assembly have to be approved by the
Powers ofthe Chief Minister in Relation to the Legislature
The Chief Minister is also the leader of the House. Apart from this formal position,
the Chief Minister provides real legislative leadership to the House in the sense that
-he sets the legislative {agenda. The legislative measures are brought before the
Assembly after the approval of the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief
Minister. It is true that private members may also bring a Bill before the Assembly.
But, that has a limited chance of success. Apart from the fact that it has a o backing of
the majority party, the private members do not have the wealth of information that is
available to the government. Apart from setting up the legislative agenda, the Chief
Minister has to keep the Assembly informed about the various activities of the
government by answering questions, making statements, intervening in the debates,
Powers of the Chief Minister in Relation to the Executive
By virtue of being the head of the political executive, the Chief Minister controls the
entire bureaucracy of the state. In this function, he is assisted by the Secretariat
headed by the Chief Seeretaxy. He approves all senior appointments like those of
Secretaries, AdditionaVJoint/Deputy Secretaries. Heads of the Departments,
Chairpersons and Managing Directors of Public Sector Undertakings, etc. Through
his Cabinet, he controls their service conditions and disciplinary matters. He provides
them leadership to ensure good performance and good morale. At the same time, he
has to keep a watch on their performance through administrative channels as well as
through his own sources like party workers, complaints fiom aggrieved persons and
actual observation during tours etc.
We have so far discussed the Constitutional provisions regarding the functioning of
the state administration. We would now study as to how these provisions have
actually worked in the context of political developments in the country. As already
mentioned earlier, one of the basic features of our Constitution is division of
functions between the Union (Centre) and the states. The scheme of division itself is
biased towards the Union and gives greater financial and administrative powers to it.
Over time, the Union has emerged stronger. In this connection, following features
deserve notice:
i) The Union government has more lucrative sources of revenue. Moreover, it
can generate money and also indulge in external borrowing. The states, on the
other hand, have meagre revenues and are unable to finance their development
programmes without assistance from the Centre. In a way, it has helped'
weaker states to get more resources, but has also given a handle to the Union
to discipline the states, which do not fall in line with its thinking. This has, to a
great extent, undermined the autonomy of the states. Such a trend is visible
even in Federations like the USA.
The establishment and functioning of a'non-statutory body like Planning 'Constitutional Protile of
ii) State Administration
Commission has tended to strengthen the Union vis-a-vis the states. The
discretionary grants of the Government of India are given on the
recommendations of the Planning Commission. Many schkmes of the state
government require clearance from the Planning Commission. The Five Year
Plans and Annual Plans of the states are decided according to the priorities
laid down by the Planning Commission and with their consultation and
concurrence. This has severely undermined the autonomy of the states.
iii) For a long time, the Congress governments remained in power at the Union
and also in the states. In addition to the Constitutional discipline, there was
the party discipline, which kept states almost in subordination. With the
emergence of the non-Congress governments, e.g., the Bhartiya Janata Party
at the Centre as well as in many states, this trend is now changing. The state
governments are now asserting their autonomy.
iv) Article 356 of the Constitution has been used too often to dismiss the state
governments belonging to opposition parties. In this connection, one may
recall a large-scale supersession of\tate governments by Janata Government
in 1977 and by the Congress government in 1980. Even otherwise, this
emergency provision has been used far too frequently. This has also
undermined the autonomy of the state governments. In the recent Inter-State
Council Meeting held in Srinagar in August 2003, it has been resolved that
the Centre may impose President's rule under Article 356, but should invoke
it "sparingly" and only as a "last resort". It is expected that the Centre will
move the Parliament to introduce a Constitutional Amendment in this regard.
v) Most of the matters connected with development concern the states as well as
the Union. For example, subjects like agriculture, rural development, forest,
although falling in state sector, concern the Union also. We, therefore, find
big departments of agriculture, rural development, etc. at the Union level too.
Apart from providing finance to the states, they also provide expertise, which
can be better hired at the Union level rather than at the state level. This has
also increased the dependence of the states on the Union.
C-heckYour Progress 2
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
1) What are the powers and functions of the Council of Ministers?

2) Explain the powers of the Chief Minister in relation to the Council of
State Administration 3) Discuss the factors that were responsible for the emergence of a strong Union
in the pre- 1990s phase.

Our Constitution has been variously described as federal; federal with a unitary bias;
or unitary with a federal bias. Without going into these descriptions, it can be stated
that our Constitution provides for a division of functions between the Union
government and the state governments with a substantial area where their functions
overlap. The State Legislature has exclusive jurisdiction over items given in the
State List (Schedule VII of the Constitution) while Union government has exclusive
jurisdiction over items given in the Union List. Both can legislate on items in the
Concurrent List with predominance for Union Law in case of repugnancy. In general,
the distribution of executive powers between the Union and state governments
follows the distribution of legislative powers as given in the Union and State Lists.
However, with some exdeptions, the executive power in respect of Concurrent List
vests in the state govern'ments.
In the Parliamentary form of government adopted by us at the Union as well as
state levels, the Governor is the Constitutional head of the state while the real
executive power is exercised in his name by the Council of Ministers headed by
Chief Minister. However, during periods of instability, when no party can claim
absolute majority in the Assembly, the Governor has to act in his discretion with
regard to important matters such as appointment of Chief Ministers; dismissal of
Ministry; dissolution of Assembly, recommendation of President's rule, etc.
Exercise of such discretion has been a subject of controversy many a time. The
Governors have been criticised for using their discretion in favour of ruling party at
the Union.
The real executive power of the state is exercised by the Council of Ministers with
a pivotal role played by the Chief Minister. In practice, different portfolios are
allotted to the individual ministers who take final decisions in respect of subjects
included in their respective portfolios. Certain important matters are, however,
reserved for the decision of _the Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers. In
spite of this arrangement for facilitating the conduct of business, the Council of
Ministers continues to be collectively responsible to the State Legislature.
The Chief Minister is the kingpin of the state administration. He appoints the
ministers and can dismiss them or change their portfolios at will. He sets the
legislative agenda and functions as the leader of the House. He makes most of the
senior bureaucratic appointments. He has the difficult task of maintaining the
political balance between different interests and keeping the bureaucracy under
control. At the same time, he is also responsive to the people's needs.
The State Legislature provides the necessary legislative support for policy
formulation and policy implementation. It exercises control over the executive by
various devices like Assembly questions; discussions; Call Atteption and
Adjournment Motions; control over budget; audit; examination by committees like
Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC), Committee on Public Undertakings
(CPU), Estimates Committee etc. Ultimately, the Legislature can enforce
ministerial resnnncihilitv
The working of the Constitution over time has tended to strengthen the Union or Constitutional Profile of
State Administration
Central government vis-a-vis the state governments. The main reasons have been
the dependence of the state governments on the Union government for financial
resources; centralising role of planning, frequent use of Article 356 of the
Constitution, etc.
Thus, in this Unit, we have discussed the Constitutional framework of the state
administration. Powers of the state governments with respect to the State List and
Concurrent List have been made clear. We have also discussed the role of the
Governor and State Council of Ministers. Powers of the Chief Minister, who is the
real executive at the state level, have been clearly dealt with. The Unit has also
.thrown light on the role of the State Legislature and has brought out the emerging
trends in the relationship between Union and the states.

Convention : An accepted rule.
Remission : Reduction of the amount of sentence without changing its
character, e.g., a sentence of imprisonment for one year may
be remitted to six months.
Reprieve : Pardon or postponement of the punishment.
Repugnancy : Contradiction.
Respite : A temporary stay of execution.

Basu, D.D., 1993, Introduction to the Constitution of India; Prentice-Hall, New
Del hi
Maheshwari, Shriram, 1979, State Governments in India; The Macmillian
Company of India Limited, Delhi
Pandey, Lallan Behari, 1984, The State Executives; Amar Prakashan, Delhi
Pylee, M.V., 1997, India S Constitution;Asia Publishing House, Bombay

Check Your Progress 1
1) Your answer should include the following points:
The distribution of powers between the Union and the states under the Union
List, State List and Concurrent List.
2) Your answer should include the following points:
Governor is satisfied that a situation has arisen in his state whereby 'the
administration of the state cannot be carried on according to the Constitution.
He can report the state of affairs to the President.
On receipt of such a Report, the President may assume to himself the powers
of the state government.
He may reserve to the Parliament the powers of the State Legislature.
3) Your answer should include the following points:
Money Bill can originate only in the Legislative Assembly and not in the
The Council cannot reject or modify a Bill passed by the Assembly. .
It can only make recommendations which may or may not be accepted by
thn A ccnmhl~r
State Administration - The Bill as passed by the Assembly, with or without modification, is
presented to the Governor for assent.
The will of the Assembly ultimately prevails.
The Council can at best delay its passage.
4) Your answer should include the following points:
Assembly questions
~ i n h c i acontrol
l by budget,
. Post-expenditure control
Control through legislative committees
Ministerial responsibility
Check Your Progress 2
1) Your answer should includethe following points:
The Council of Ministers is the highest policy making body of the state
It lays down policy in respect to all matters within the legislative and
administrative competence of the state government.
It reviews the implementation of the policy laid down by it and can revise
any policy in view of the feedback received during implementation.
There are no limitations on the powers of the Council except the follawing:
i) The limit imposed by the Constitution and the laws passed by the
Union and State Legislatures.
ii) Self-imposed limits to exclude consideration of less important mafters
2) Your answer should include the following points:
The Chief Minister is the leader of the Council of Ministers.
He has to assign portfolios among his ministers and can change- such
portfolios when he likes.
He plays a cobrdinating role in the functioning of his Council of Ministers.
He has to see that the decisions of the various departments are coherent.
He has to lead and defena his Council of Ministers in the Assembly.
He sets the agenda f o the
~ Cabinet Ministers in the Assembly.
He sets the agenda for the Cabinet and greatly influences its decisions.
He takes decisions on important matters related to cobrdinatjon.even though
these are allotted to individual ministers.
3) Your answer should include the following points:
Scheme of division of functions between the Union and states itself is biased
towards the Union and gives great& financial and administrative powen tp
. Over time, the Union has emerged stronger. The following features deserve
i) Central or Union government has more lucrative sourdes of revenue.
ii) The functioning of non-statutory body like the Planning Commission
has tended to strengthen the Union.
iii) Article 356 of the Constitution has been used too often to dismiss the
state government.
iv) It also provides expertise, which can be better hired at the national
level than at the state level. This has also increased the dependence of
the states on the Union.
# 13.0
4 3.1
13.2 Meaning of Secretariat
13.3 Position and Role of State Secretariat
13.4 .Structure of a Typical Secretariat Pepartment
13.5 Pattern of Departmentalisation in State Secretariat
13.6 Distinction between Secretariat Department and Executive Department :
Discrete Processes or a Continuum
13.7 - Chief Secretary
13.7.1 Poslt~onof Ch~efSecretary
13.7.2 Chief Secretary's Functions
13.8 Let Us Sum Up
13.9 Key Words
13.10 References and Further Readings
i r1 3.1 1 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

) After studying this Unit you should be'able to:
r Understand the meaning, significance and'role of the State Secretariat;

II! Explain the yertical structure of a typical secretariat department and the
pattern of departmentalisation in the State Secretariat;
Bring- out the distinction between the secretariat department and the head of
I the executive department as well as their mutual relationship;

Define the terms 'policy' and administration and explain if they are discrete
processes or a continuum; and
Discuss the significance and role of the Chief Secretary in the State
Secretariat system.

The functioning of the government is made effective with the help of task-
oriented Ministries. No Ministry can run smoothly without the support'of a
Secretariat at the Unioh as well as state levels. The Secretariat helps the
government in policy making and execution of legislative functions. This Unit
discusses the organisation and functions ,of the State secretariat. It explains the
pattern of departmentalisation in the Secretariat and brings out the distinction
between the secretariat department and executive department. In addition,
position and fpnctions of the Chief Secretary in the state administration are also


The three components of government at the state level are: (i) the minister; (ii)
the secretary, and (iii) the executive head. (The last one in most cases is called
the director, although other nomenclatires are also used to refer to the executive
head). The minister and the secretary together constitute the Secretariat, whereas
the office of the executive head is designated as the Directorate.
Literally, the term 'Secretariat' means the secretary's office. It originated at a
time when what we had in India was really a government run by the secretari'es.
Aftor Tnrlononrlonro tho nn\x,or nf nn.remonro noccorl intn the honllc nf thn
State Administration popularly elected ministers and thus the Ministry became the seat of authority. In
the changed political situation, the term Secretariat has become a synonym for
the minister's office. But because the secretary is the principal adviser to the
minister, he needs to be in the physical vicinity of the minister. In effect,
therefore, Secretariat refers to the complex of buildings that houses the office of
ministers and secretaries. The expression Secretariat, it has been observed, is
used to refer to the complex of departments whose heads politically are ministers
and administratively are the secretaries.

--- - - -

The following extract from the Administrative Reforms Commission's Report on
State Administration gives a succinct expression to the position and role of the
State Secretariat:
The State Secretariat, as the top layer of the state administration, is primarily meant
to assist the state government in policy making and in discharging its legislative
functions. It also acts "as a memory and a clearing house, preparatory to certain
types of decisions and as a general supervisor of executive action". The main
functions of the State Secretariat are broadly as follows:
i) Assisting the ministers in policy making, in modiQing policies from time to
time and in discharging their legislative responsibilities
ii) Framing draft legislation, and rules and regulations
iii) Coordinating policies and programmes, supervising and controlling their
execution, and reviewing of the results
iv) Budgetingand control of expenditure
v) Maintaining contact with the Government of India and other state
governments; and
vi) Overseeing the sinooth and efficient running of the administrative machinery
and-initiating measures to develop greater personnel and organisational
The administrative philosophy to which the secretariat system owes its existence is
that policy making must be kept separate from policy execution. Several
advantages are claimed in favour of such an arrangement:
i) Freedom from operational involvement makes the policy making apparatus
forward looking and allows it to think in terms of overall goals of
government rather than narrow, sectional interests of individual departments.
ii) Policy making receives the time and attention it deserves, if different set of
persons are charged with the functions of policy making as well as its
execution. This is because, policy making, is a serious exercise in drawing
up what would be a future course of action. It should not be treated as less
urgent than policy execution, which involves routine, day-to-day
iii) Secretariat serves as a disinterested adviser to the minister. It is important to
remember that the secretary is the secretary to the government and not to the
minister concerned, which ensures objective examination of the proposals
coming from the executive departments. It enables a more balanced scrutiny
of proposals.
iv) Policy making must be separated from current administration and day-to-day
implementation should be left to a different agency with executive freedom,
which ensures delegation of authority.
It should be in order at this stage to portray the broad dimensions of the
Secretariat's role in some detail. The foremost of these is the Secretariat's role in
nnlirv mnlrino I t nccictc the minicterc in the fnrmiilntinn n f onvernmentnl nnliriec
State Secretariat:
This has many aspects. First, the secretary supplies to the minister all the data and Organisation and
information needed for policy formulation. Second, the secretaries sometimes Functions
provide the programmes, with content by working out their details, on whose
strength ministers are voted to power. Third, the Secretariat assists ministers in
their legislative work. Drafts of legislations to be introduced in the legislature by
ministers are prepared by the secretaries. Besides, to answer questions in the
Legislature, the minister needs relevant information; the secretary supplies this
information to the minister. Secretary also collects information required with
respect to the legislative committees.
Fourth, the Secretariat functions as an institutionalised memory. This means that
the emerging problems require an examination in the light of precedents. Records
and files maintained in the Secretariat serve as an institutional memory and ensure
continuity and consistency in the disposal of cases. Fifth, the Secretariat is a
channel of communication between one government and another, and between the
government and such agencies as the Planning Commission and Finance
Commission. Finally, the Secretariat evaluates and keeps track of execution of
policies by the field agencies.

Vertically, a typical Secretariat Department has two hierarchical formations; that of
the officers and, what is described as the office.
Conventionally, the officers' hierarchy has had three levels. Under this, a typical
administrative department is headed by a secretary who will have a complement of
deputy secretaries and underlassistant secretaries. But with growth in the functions
of various secretariat departments, the number of levels in the officers' hierarchy
has been on the increase. As a result, between the secretary and the deputy
secretary, in some states, positions of additional apd/or joint secretaries have also
been created.
A unique feature of the Secretariat System in India has been the distinction
between its two component parts - "the transitory cadre of a few superior
officers" and "the permanent office". The officers in each department, because
they hold tenure posts, come and go. It is the office, which is manned by
permanent functionaries, which provides the much needed element of continuity
to the secretariat department. Unlike officers, the office constitutes the permanent
element in the secretariat system. The office component is comprised of
superintendents (or section officers), assistants, upper and lower division clerks,
steno-typists and typists. Office performs the spadework on the basis of which
the officers consider cases and make decisions. Office supplies officers with
materials, which constitute the basis for decision-making.
The structure of a typical department comprises:
Department - Secretary
Wing - AdditionalIJoint Secretary
Division - Deputy SecretaryIDirector
Branch - Under Secretary
Section - Section Officer
The section is the lowest organisational unit and it is under the charge of a section
officer. Other functionaries in a section are assistants, upper and lower division
clerks, steno-typists, typists, etc. A section is referred to as the office. Two
State Administration sections constitute the branch, which is under the charge of an under secretary.
Two branches ordinarily form a division, which is headed by a deputy secretary.
When the volume of work of a department is more than a secretary can manage,
one or more wings are established with a joint secretary in charge of each wing. At
the top of the organisational hierarchy is the secretary who is in charge of the

Each secretary is normally in charge of more than one department. The number of
secretariat departments would therefore be larger than the number of secretaries.
The number of secretariat departments, quite naturally, varies from state to state.
Their number broadly ranges between 10 and 40 in different states. The number of
departments in a particular state is not necessarily related to its size in terms of
population. For instance, a small state like Mizoram had as many as 36 secretariat
departments in 1987, the corresponding figure for Andhra Pradesh (which is a
mudh larger state), was 19 in 1982. Following is a typical example of the pattern
of departmentalisation at the Secretariat Level:
General Administration Department
Home Department
Revenue Department
Food and Agriculture Department
Finance and Planning Department (Planning Wing)
Finance and Planning Department (Finance Wing)
Law Department
krigation and Power Department
Medical and Health Department
Education Department
Industries Department
~ e ~ i s l a t uDepartment
Panchayati Raj Department
Command Area Development Department
Transport, Roads and Buildings Department
Housing and Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department
Labour, Employment and Technical Education Dtpartment
Social Welfare Department
Rural Development Department
Forest Department
Environment Department
Women and Child Welfare Department
Larger number of departments, in particular states, would result from restricting
the scope of the functions and charges of those which may be created. Partly, such
- increase in the number of departments may arise from the peculiar'problems a
particular state may face. There is a lot of criticism about the work allocation
existing in the secretariat departments, which is: First, work allocation is lop-sided
in that some departments are burdened with more work than others. Second,
allocation is far from rational even in terms of homogeneity of work. Not only are
the subjects handled by a particular department too numerous and therefore
unmanageable but these are also too heterogeneous, causing problems of
coordination. These are arther aggravated when charges of particular departments
are incomplete in scope.
$heck Your Progress 1 State Secretariat:
Organisation and
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers. Functions
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
1) In what way has the significance of the word 'Secretariat' changed in the
post-Independence period from that in the pre-Independence period?

2) What is the legislative role of a ~ecretariai?

3) Discuss the significance of the 'Office'

4) What is the typical pattern of departmentalisation in the State Secretariat?

The Secretariat Department must be distinguished from the executive department.
The Secretariat has the function of aiding, assisting and advising the political
executive in arriving at nolicv choices. The heads of executive denartments - who
State Administration are in the main known as director (although other nomenclature are also used to
refer to them) - have theresponsibility of implementing policies formulated by the
political executive. Therefore, the secretaries assist in policy formulation whereas
the directors' role lies in executing policy. Long ago, the Simon Commission had
observed, that executive department is an administrative unit separate from the
Secretariat, which reaches its apex, usually, in a single officer like the Inspector
General of Police, or the Chief Conservator of Forests, outside the Secretariat
altogether. Such a head of a department will usually be concerned principally with
a single secretary to Government and a single ... minister of his orders and the
funds which he has to spend.'
Each secretariat department is in charge of a number of executive departments.
This number varies over a wide range with some departments taking charge of a .
much larger number of executive heads than others. There is an average of 6 to 7
executive departments in relation to one secretariat department. However, it must
be carefully noted that not all secretariat departments have executive departments
attached to thek. Some of the secretariat departments are engaged in advisory
and controlling functions and therefore do not have executive departments
reporting to them. Examples are Departments of Law, Finance, etc.
The Secretariat and executive departments organisationally express the policy
formulation and policy execution processes involved in the functioning of the
government; the two may be looked upon as extensions of the personality of the
Council of Ministers. The former is a policy-making organ, the latter a policy
executing organ. --

The secretariat department is normally headed by a generalist civil servant
(drawn from the IAS), the executive department by a specialist. The specialist
(the head of the executive department) functiop under the supervision of the
generalist (the secretary or the head of the secretariat department). This can be
illustrated with some examples, Director of Agriculture, who is a specialist, in
that he is trained in and holds a formal degree in agricultural sciences, would
function under the supervision of the Secretary, Agriculture (a generalist, an
IAS). The latter represents agriculture department at the secretariat level,
whereas the Director of Agriculture represents agriculture department at the
executive level. The director is the executive head of the agriculture department
- the Directorate of Agriculture. Likewise, the home department in the
Secretariat has the Director-general of Police as its executive head of the
department. . Similar correlation obtains between education secretary and
education director, industries secretary and industries director, social welfare
secretary and social welfare director, and so on.
We have emphasised the distinctness of the roles of the Secretariat and the
Directorate by saying that, while the former is concerned with pb~icy
formulation, the latter is concerned with policy execution (or with administering
policy or to put it yet more simply, the administration). The question which may,
heref fore, be asked is whether policy and administration are discrete processes.
The answer is that at a conceptual level, the two are distinct; it is possible to
identify and define them as two clearly distinguishable phenomena. But at a
' practical plane, the two are inextricably interlinked, .even tend to become
indistinguishable anq, therefore, it is difficult to say where the policy ends and
administration begins.
Policy is concerned with political choices and involves questions of broader
values, whereas ad~inistrationis concerned with implementing programmes
emanating from particular policy decisions. Administration, therefore, involves
such details of execution as framing organisational structures, staffing of
organisations, coordinating activities, directing, controlling, motivating the
personnel and so on.
That the two are dichotomous is the traditional view, which owes its origin to State Secretariat:
Organisation and
Woodrow Wilson's essay of 1887, 'The Study of Administration'. Politics, he Functions
said, is the proper activity of Legislature and other policy-making groups (e.g.,
political parties, cabinet, etc.). Administration is the sphere of administrators who
cany out the policies stated in the laws. The context of the dichotomy was the
civil service reform movement of the 1880s in the United States, which aimed to
eliminate political interferen in civil service. It was argued that civil service
recruitment should, in the I terest of administrative efficiency, be based on
considerations of merit and fitness rather than partisan politics. In other words,
politics should be kept out of administration. Max Weber further justified
separation of policy from administration by arguing that the attributes of
pbliticians are exactly the opposite of those of the civil servants. The essence of
politics s! to take a stand, to take personal responsibility for the policies decided
on, and to admit the transitory nature of the political role. The essence of
administration is to execute conscientiously the order of the political authority,
even if it appears wrong to the administrator. The administrator is politically
neutral. He simply does what he is asked to do and assumes no personal
However, the complexities of governmental operations have increasingly
required administrators to become involved in policy making or political
decisions. As a result of this, it is in practice found to be difficult to draw a clear
boundary separating policy and administration, or to say where policy ends and
administration begins. This would be clear from the following:
Sources of Administrative Expertise
There are several sources from which the modem day administrators have
obtained a kind of 'expertise', which the politicians need to use when
formulating policies as: (i) The administrators stay in office longer 8hey are
career civil servants) than the politicians, who come and go with elections, the
former have opportunities of giving sustained attention to problems. From this,
they gain an invaluable kind of practical knowledge that comes from the
experience of handling these very problems day in and day out. This knowledge
is conserved in records and transmitted to new generations of civil servants
through training programmes. This monopoly of experience and practical
knowledge coupled with continuity in office gives them a decisive edge over
politicians in framing policies. (ii) The administrators are in possession of facts,
figures, information and intelligence regarding the specific areas in which
policies are to be framed. Politicians would need these data and statistics in
formulating policies. (iii) Administrative expertise also comes pre-eminently
from the fact that the governments of today employ a large variety of
professionals (doctors, engineers, scientists, economists, etc.). The) possess
technical knowledge, which forms a vital ,input in policy making. (iv) The advent
of merit system has also helped to build up administrative expertise by attracting
better talent in civil service and loosening the grip of politicians on civil service.
Administrators' Role in Policy Making
The increase in civil service expertise, together with growth in the functions of
government and growing complexity of administration, has resulted in an
increasing dependence of politicians on administrators in the task of policy
making. This is reflected in the following:
i) Policy makipg exercise is done on the basis of facts, figures, information and
data, which are supplied by the bureaucracy. In other words, politicians, in
order to enhance the credibility of the policies they h e , depend on the
b administrators' data support to their policies.
ii) Civil servants based on their long administrative experience, tender advice to
I the lay politicians on the administrative, technical and financial feasibility of
i iii)
the various policy options under consideration.
Civil servants prepare the draft legislations (bills), which after ministerial
approval, are placed before the legislature for its consideration. In other
State Administration words, administrators initiate the process of public policy formulation,
which in its final form assumes the shape of an Act passed by the
iv) Administrators formulate' policy through the exercise of administrative
discretion. When an administrator is required to choose between alternative
courses of action within a policy frame, he is said to exercise discretion. In
this sense, administrators are described 8 supplementaty lawmakers.
Because here, the actual content of policy becomes entirely a matter for
bureaucratic determination. Here administrators actually decide how the
power of the State shall be used in specific cases. In modern times, there has
come about a tremendous increase in administrative discretion by virtue of
an incessant increase in the volume of legislation to be enacted. Legislature
is under the circumstances, compelled to confine itself to indicating broad
framework of law, leaving details to be filled up by the administrative
The growing variety and complexity of laws to be enacted has further
circumscribed the Legislature's competence. The legislators do not have the
technical know-how and training to venture into the details of particular
legislations. This further necessitates exercise of administrative discretion. And, at
any rate, if the Legislature delves into the details of each law, this would be at the
cost of other important duties and functions of the legislators and therefore an
undesirable thing to happen. This, coupled with the assurance that it has the
necessary means available to hold administration accountable to itself has, in fact,
encouraged the Legislature in its attitude of not delving too deeply into the details
of the enactments it hrmulates. And, it is not possible to work out the details of the
enactments for another reason too. Ultimately, the policy is to be executed in the
field where an administrator must necessarily face a bewildering variety of
situations as he sets himself to the task of policy execution. For the law making
agency, it is clearly not possible to visualise, at the point of legislation, the
different variety of situations that may arise in the field. For this reason, once
again, the policy makers must do no more than provide only broad guidelines in
the legislations they frame.
Check Your Progress 2
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
1) Explain the major differences between the Secretariat and executive

2) Why has the separation between policy and administration been advocated?

State Secretariat:
Organisation and
3) Identify the sources of administrative expertise. Functions

4). DiScuss the policy-making role of the administrators.


13.7.1 Position of Chief Secretary
Every state has a Chief Secretary. This functionary is the kingpin of the State
Secretariat, his control extending to all secretariat departments. He is not simply
first among equals, he is, in fact, the chief of the secretaries. The Chief
Secretary's pre-eminent position is clearly reflected in the varied roles he or she
assumes in the state administrative set-up.
The Chief Secretary is the chief advisor to the Chief Minister and Secretary to
the State Cabinet. He is the head of the General Administration Department
whose political head is the Chisf Minister himself. Chief Secretary is also the
head of the civil services in the state. He is the main channel of communication
between the state government and the Central and other state governments. Chief
Secretary is the chief spokesman and public relations officer of the state
government and is looked upon to provide leadership to the state's administrative
The office of the Chief Secretary is an institution unique to the states; it is
without a parallel in the administrative landscape of the entire country. The Chief
Secretary's office has, for instance, no parallel in the Central government. The
work he performs in relation to the state government is, at the Union level,
shared by three high-ranking functionaries of more or less an equal status, i.e.,
Cabinet Secretary, Home Secretary, and Finance Secretary, This is a vivid
reflection on the wide scope of the duties and powers of the Chief Secretary.
Yet another significant reflection on the position of the Chief Secretary's ofice
is the fact that it has been excluded from the operation of the tenure system.
Chief Secretary would normally retire as the Chief Secretary or else he would,
from this position, move to the Union government to take up a more important
In considering the position of the Chief Secretary, another fact needs to be taken
note of. The incumbent of this office is not necessarily the seniormost civil
servant of the state. This was at any rate the situation till 1973 when, for instance,
in U.P., the Chief Secretary was junior in rank and seniority to the members of
State Administration the Board of Revenue. Same was the case in Punjab, where he was junior to the
Financial Commissioner. Since 1973, however, the office of the Chief Secretary
has been standardised; its incumbent since then has begun to hold the rank of the
Secretary to ~overnmentof India and receives emoluments admissible to the
How does the clamping. of the Presidents' rule on a state affect the Chief
Secretary's Office? Where the Centre does not appoint advkers during the
President's rule, the Chief Secretary becomes clothed with the 6Ger.s belonging
to the Chief Minister. When, however, central advisers are appointed, it tends to
inhibit the Chief Secretary in his administrative capacity because the former are
drawn from the ranks of senior civil servants (senior to the state's Chief
Secretary) as a result of which a hierarchical relationship becomes operative.
13.7.2 Chief Secretary's Functions
The principal functions of the Chief Secretary are listed below:
He is the principal adviser to the Chief Minister in which capacity he, inter
"alia, works out the detailed administrative implications of the proposals
made by ministers and coordiriates them into a cohesive plan of action.
The Chief Secretary is the secretary to the Cabinet. He prepares the
agenda for Cabinet meetings, arranges them, maintains records of these
meetings, ensures follow-up action on Cabinet decisions, and provides
assistance to Cabinet committees.
The Chief Secretary is the head of the civil services of the state. In that
capacity, he decides on the postings and transfers of civil sewants.
By virtue of the unique position he holds as the head of the official
machinery and adviser to the Council of Ministers, the Chief Secretary is
the coordinator-in-chief of the Secretariat departments. He takes steps to
secure inter-departmental cooperation and coordination. For this purpose,
he convenes and attends a large number of meetings at the Secretariat and
other levels. Meetings serve as a powerful tool of effecting coordination
and securing cooperation of different agencies.
As the chief of the secretaries, the Chief Secretary also presides over a
large number of committeks and holds membership of many others.
Besides, he looks after all matters not falling within the jurisdiction of
other secretaries. In this sense, the Chief Secretary is a residual legatee.
The Chief Secretary is the secretary, by rotation, of the Zonal Council of
which the particular state is a member.
He exercises 'administrative control over the secretarial buildings,
including matters connected with space allocation. He also controls the
Central Record Branch, the secretariat library, and the conservancy and
watch and ward staff. The Chief Secretary also controls the staff attached
to the ministers.
In situations of crisis, Chief Secretary acts as the nerve centre of the state,
providing lead and guidance to the concerned agencies in order to expedite
relief operations. It would be no exaggeration to say that in times of
drought, flood, communal disturbances, etc., he virtually represents the
government for all the functionaries and agencies concerned to provide
In conclusion, it may be noted that a host of personnel matters and many other
minute and unimportant administrative details consume a sizeable chunk of the
Chief Secretary's time~,TheAdministrative Reforms Commission is constrained
to agree with the following observations of the Maharashtra ~eorganisation
Commission (1962-68) on the manner in which the Chief Secretary has become
burdened with trivial details: ". . . it seems unfortunate that the highest official in
the state has to sign gazette notifications of a~~ointments. ~romotions.transfers
reave;etc., that he has to spend time on minutiae of protocol, passports, etc." To State Secretariat:
Organisation and
rectify this situation, the ARC has recommended that this functionary be relieved Functions
of the work of routine natbre as well as be provided with appropriate staff
assistance. That alone will ensure speedy implementation of decisions and
effective coordination of policies and programmes of the state government.
Check Your Progress 3
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit,
1) Bring out the salient aspects of the position of the Chief Secretary.

2) What are the main functions of the Chief Secretary?

The term Secretariat refers to the complex of departments, which at political level,
are headed by ministers and, at an administrative level, by secretaries. Secretaries
assist ministers in the task of policy formulation and in their legislative duties.
Organisationally and functionally, the heads of the executive departments
constitute separate and distinct administrative units, which are hierarchically
subordinate to the secretariat departments. In most cases, executive departments
are designated as Directorates because their heads are, in most cases known as
directors. Directorates execute policy. Each secretariat department is usually in
charge of a number of Directorates.
Policy and administration, though conceptually distinct categories, are at a
practical plane, inextricably interlinked. They form a continuum; it is difficult to
say where the policy ends and administration begins. This is because the
administrators work as supplementary policy makers, and have, besides, a large
policy making role to perform.
The Chief Secretary, as the head of the administrative set-up of the state, performs
important leadership and coordination functions. This functionary is the nerve
centre of the State Secretariat. This Unit has thrown light on all these aspects of
state administration.

Chief Secretaryas a : The matters which do not fall within the jurisdiction
Residual Legatee of other secretaries are passed on to the
Ph;nC C P ~ - P + P . I I
State Administration Inter alia : Among other things.
Line and Staff : This refers to the division between those agencies
and individuals engaged mainly in implemknting
policy, and those concerned primarily .with
providing advice and assistance to the Chi f
Executive. Whereas, the staff agencies are cpar ed
with aiding the Chief Executive, line officials are
engaged in developing and implementing policies.
Broadly speaking, the Directorate is a line agency
and Secretariat is a staff agency.
Spadework : Routine preparatory work.
The Department : Literally, the word department means a part or
portion of a larger whole. Sometimes, it is used to
denote parts of things other than the administrative
structure. However, in the present context, the term
department refers to the biggest blocks or
compartments, immediately below the Chief
Executive, into which the entire work of government
is divided. It is thus the highest and the biggest
organisational formation below the Chief Executive.

Avasthi, A., 1980, Central Administration; McGraw Hill, New Delhi
Maheshwari, S.R., 1995, Indian Administration; Orient Longman, Delhi
Maheshwari, S.R., 1979, State Governments in India; Macmillan, Delhi

Check Your Progress 1
1) Your answer should include the following points:
Origin of the term Secretariat in India during pre-Independence era, when
it was referred to as Secretary's Office.
Ministry becoming the seat of authority after Independence and
importance given to the popularly elected ministers.
In the changed political situation, the Secretary is the principal advisor to
the minister and both work together, and the Secretariat is referred to as
conglomeration of departments whose political heads are ministers and
administrative heads are the secretaries.
2) Your answer should include the following points:
The Secretariat assists the ministers in preparing drafts of legislations to be
introduced in the Legislature.
Providing necessary information for answering questions in the
Collecting information required with respect to the Legislative
3) Your answer should include the following points:
An important element of continuity provided by the office, which has
permanent functionaries.
It constitutes the permanent element in the Secretariat System.
State Secretariat:
Performance of spadework by the office, which enables the officers to Organisation and
consider cases and make decisions. Functions
a Provides sufficient materials to the officers, which forms the basis for
decision making.
4) See Section 13.5.
Check Your Progress 2
1) Your answer should include the following points:
a Policy formulation function of the Secretariat Department, while the
function of the executive department is that of policy execution.
The Secretariat Department headed by a generalist and the executive
department by a specialist.
a Functioning of the specialist or the head of the executive department
under the supervision of the head of the Secretariat Department.
2) Your answer should include the following points:
a Views expressed by Woodrow Wilson in 1887 regarding the separation of
policy from administration.
Justification ofgeparation of policy from administration by Max Weber.
3) See Section 13.6.
4) Your answer should include the following points:
a Administrators draft legislation
a They provide the data support.
They tender advice to politicians.
a They formulate policy through exercise of administrative discretion.
Check Your Progress 3
I) See Sub-section 13.7.1.
2) See Sub-section 13.7.2.
Directorates: Meaning and Organisation
Types of Executive Agencies
The Board of Revenue
14.4.1 The Pattern of Revenue Administration at the Supra-district Level
14.4.2 Composition and Functions of the Board of Revenue
Factors Shaping the Secretariat-Directorate Relationship
The Bases of Advocacy of the Two
Emerging Patterns of Relationship Between the Secretariat and
14.7.1 The Status-quo Approach
14.7.2 The Bridging-the-gulfApproach
14.7.3 The De-amalgamation Approach
Let Us Sum Up
Key Words
~eferencesand Further Readings
Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

After you have read this Unit, you should be able to:
Discuss the meaning, significance and role of Directorates;
Explain why Directorates should hnction both at the state as well as
sub-statal levels;
Throw light on the position and significant-e of the Board of Revenue as a
state level revenue agency, which is distinct and separate from rhe rest of the
governmental machinery at the state level;
Understand the factors which create tensions in the Secretariat-Directorate
Explain the existing framework of this relationship (as obtaining under the
traditional split system) and identify its strong and weak points;
Highlight the possible approaches which might he invoked to generate
alternative modelk of the Secretariat-Directorate relationship; and
Bring out the shades of differences, which distinguish one alternative from

This Unit discusses a diverse range of agencies at the state level. Two state level
agencies (i.e., Directorates and the Board of'Revenue) are discussed here, and
Directorate-Secretariat relationship is also brought out.
The Unit essentially highlights the following terms/concepts/institutions/factors
at the regional level:
Directorates are the executive arm of the state government; they translate into
action the policies that arc framed by the State Secretariat. Even though the terms
'Directorates' and 'Executive Agencies' are often used interchangeably, Patterns of Relationship
between the Secretariat
Directorates are but one type of executive agency. This point is pursued later in the and Directorates
Unit. Directorates, as we shall see, are classified into two categories - Attached
Offices and Subordinate Offices. This classification facilitates academic
comprehension of the roles, which the two types perform in policy execution.
Regional Administration
Bycause the Directorates are concerned with policy execution, and the execution
of policy must necessarily take place in the field (i.e., at the district, block and
village levels), the need arises for them (Directorates) to create intermediate level
administrative agencies to coordinate and supervise the field operations. This
intermediate level administrative setup between the ,tate headquarters
(Directorate) and the district is referred to as 'regional administration'. A generic
term, which is used to refer to regional level agencies (and those at district and
lower levels). They could be called sub-statal agencies because they exist at
levels below the state headquarters. Each region comprises a certain number of
districts. Thus, a region is a real unit below the state level and above the district
level. As a rule, though not always, all executive departments at the state
headGarters have regional organisations; names which these regional agencies
carry, vary froms department to department.
Divisional Commissioners
Divisional Commissioners, referred to above, are regional agencies in respect of
the states' revenue function. Work of revenue administration at the state
headquarters is entrusted not to a government department, but to an autonomous
agency called the Board of Revenue. Therefore, Divisional Commissioners are but
the regional level representatives of the ~ o & of
d Revenue.
Board of Revenue
Board of Revenue is an administrative innovation of a great significance. This
institution was created way back in 1786 to relieve state governments of the
detailed work in the field of revenue administration. Since then, a large number of
states in India have created Boards of Revenue. The equivalents of the Board of
Revehue in states, which have not created the boards, are Finance Commissioners
or Revenue Tribunals.
As you have already read, the Secretariat, as the policy-making body and
Directorate, as the policy-implementing agency, constitute the two wheels of the
governmental machinery; unless they achieve a certain measure of coordination
and cooperation, the ability of the machinery to deliver goods will be hampered.
At a theoretical plqne, the two have well-defined powers, jurisdiction and roles but,
in practice, various factors blur the. demarcations leading to estrangement and
mutual acrimony between the two wings, ultimately affecting the performance of
the government.
The question of relationship between the Secretariat and Directorate is important
per se. It, however, assumes added significance in a situation where this
relationship has deflected from its onginal course, as has hit~penedin India, and as
would, in fact, happen in any dynamic situation. Why has the relationship between
the two tended towards some kind of estrangement? Can some alternative models
be suggested to reformulate the relationship between Secretariat and Non-
secretariat organisations? In this Unit, these questions are being explained.
The existing set up in the country, under which the two function with complete
independence from each other, under the discipline of a well-defined framework of
responsibilities and relationship, has attracted criticism; mainly that the Secretariat
State Administration tends to transgress its defined jurisdiction; does not adequately delegate to the
Attached Offices; delays scrutiny of proposals submitted by the Non-secretariat
organisations; and so on. On these grounds, it is suggested that the present split
system be abandoned. An attractive model, under which these two wings are
merged, has been recommended and practically tried out. The merger or
amalgamation model seeks to bridge-the gulf between Secretariat and Attached
Offices by integrating them into a single entity. This ('Bridging-the-gulf)
approach proposes other models also. It may be pointed out that wheie
amalgamation has been tried out, it has run into difficulties of various kinds, and,
therefore, ,efforts have, in fact, been underway to de-amalgamate the two offices.
Clearly, this (De-amalgamation) signifies a return to the traditional split system or,
in other words, a return to the status-quo model. Thus, the question of relationship
between the Secretariat and Directorate is a vexed one. Readymade solutions tb
remodel this relationship are difficult to come up.

Meaning and Nomenclature
As has been explained in the last Unit, the Secretariat is concerned with the setting
of the broader policies and goals of the state government while the responsibility
for achieving those goals and executing those policies rests with the heads of the
executive departments. The executive agencies are as a rule located outside the
Secretariat and constitute distinct organisational entities. A popular label to identifjr
an executive agency is 'Directorate'. In a large number of cases, the heads of the
executive agencies are known as directors. Many examples of this could be cited;
director of agriculture, director of animal husbandry, director of education, director
of social welfare, director of transport, director of public health, director of town
planning, and so on.
However, other nomenclatures are also used to refer to the heads of the executive
departments. Thus, the executive head of the department of police is known as the
InspectorIDirector General of Police; that of the jail department, the Inspector-
General of jails; that of the forest department, the chief conservator of forests; that
of the cooperative department, the registrar of cooperative societies; that of the
sales tax department, the commissioner of sales tax; that of the irrigation
department, the chief engineer (irrigation); that of the printing and stationery
department, the controller and so'forth. In other words, although in a !age number
of cases, the heads of the executive departments are'called Directors, they are also
known by other names.
Organisation of Dikectorates at the State and Sub-statal Levels
Apart from the state level, the executive agencies a!so function at the sub-statal
levels. This is quite natural. Because, while the policy must be formulated at one
centre (the state headquarters: presently, the state headquarters is signified by
Secretariat and Directorates), its execution must necesstuily take place in the
field. Therefore, the Directorates must make a conscious effort at achieving a
vertical penetration 'down to the grassroots level. When this is done, lesser
Directorates emerge at the regional level: the state level executive department
establishes offices in the regions; a region is simply a territorial unit below the
state but above the district level. When this process progresses further down the
line, the district, block and village level field agencies of a Directorate emerge.
To illustrate the organisational structure of the Directorate at the state and sub-
statal levels, we present below the Organisation chact of the Directorate of Food
and A ~ ~ i c l l l t l l rnf
e the Gnvernment at the state level.
The Organisation of Directorate of Food and Agriculture at the State Patterns of Relationship
between the Secretariat
Headquarters Level: The Head of the Department and Directorates

Director of Agriculture
Additional Directors (2)
Senior Joint Directors (2)
Joint Directors (4)
Depoty Directors (6).

Statisticians (1) Assistant Directors (1 3)
Assistant Statisticians (3) Administrative Officers (3)
Sections (79)
Clerical Staff
At the state level, as is shown in the Organisation Chart, the headship would
normally be with a 'full' director who would be assisted by a group of lesser
directors: additional directors, senior joint directors, joint directors, deputy
directors, assistant directors, and other functionaries. Of course, as would be
understood, depending upon the workload of a department, the number of levels
of hierarchy at the headquarters could be larger or smaller. The regional level set
up of an executive department, would usually be headed by an officer of a lower
rank, a senior joint director in this case. It could indeed even be a person of
simply a joint director or even lowef level; that would again depend on the
workload and other factors. The district level organisation of the Food and
Agriculture Department has as its head a joint director. This is, again, not a
typical situation. Many district level offices of the executive departments are
headed by deputy or even assistant directors. Again, many factors will combine
to determine the rank of the officer who may head the district level set up.
At the level immediately below the district (block level), each development
department is represented by an extension officer who is a part of the extension
team functioning under the block development officer. Thus, to take an example,
there would be an agriculture extension officer in each block, representing the
state level directorate of agriculture. At the village level, as is well-known, there
exist the multi-purpose extension functionaries known as the village level
workers (VLWs).

With a steady increase in the functions of government, the executive agencies have
grown in number as well as variety. The two most familiarly known executive
agencies are the attached offices and the subordinate offices. But with the
emergence of a large public sector in the country, other types of executive agencies
have also developed. \Of these, the public corporation (e.g., Life Insurance
Corporation of India) an&the government company (e.g., Steel Authority of India
Ltd.) remain the most outstanding examples. There are other types of executive
agencies too, but those details need not hold us up here. What needs to be
remembered is that with the growing governmental functions,. a variety of
organisational patterns have been evolved to suit the requirements of the varied
range of functions, which the government is increasingly taking on.
Role of Attached and Subordinate Offices
'Let us now briefly see what are Attached and Subordinate Offices, which, as we
have above stated, are the two most important forms of executive agencies. The
Manual of Office Procedure describe these as:
State Administration "Where the execution of policies of government requires
decentralisation of executive direction and the establishment of
field agencies, a Ministry has under its domain, the subsidiary
offices, which are Attached and Subordinate Offices. The
Attached Offices are responsible for providing executive
direction required for the implementation of the policies laid down
by the Ministry to which they are attached. They also serve as
repository of technical information and advice to the Ministry on
technical aspects of the questions dealt with by them. The
Subordinate Offices hnction as field establishments or as the
agencies responsible for the detailed execution of the decisions of
government. They generally function under the direction of an
Attached Office.. ." (Emphasis added).
Thus, the Attached Offices have in essence a two-fold hnction. First, they hrnish
technical data and advice to the Ministry to which they are attached. (Ministry is
the policy making body, but this policy making exercise must be based on
technical information and advice. It is the Attached Office, which supplies this
assistance to the ministry). The second hnction of the Attached Office is to
provide executive directions to the agencies, which are responsible for
implementing the policies of government.
As contrasted with the ~ t t a c h e dOffice, a Subordinate Office functions as the field
establishment or as the agency responsible for the detailed execution of the policies
and programmes of the government. As a rule, it functions under an Attached
As oft-quoted analogy with human body clarifies the distinction between Attached
and Subordinate Offices further:
"The Secretariat is the brain, the Attached Office is the trunk, and
the Subordinatb ohices under them are the limbs of the body."
Check Your Progress 1
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
1) Discuss the d i f f e ~ ntypes
t of executive agencies.

2). Why should the Directorates have sub-statal formations?
Patterns of Relationship
14.4 THE BOARD OF REVENUE between the Secretariat
and Directorates
Status and Position -_
The Board of Revenue, as the name itself suggests, is an agency, at the state level,
concerned with revenue administration in the state. Although, it exists at the state
level, it is not a part and parcel of the state government machinery. The preceding
statement is intended to underline and emphasise the fact that unlike the
government departments - which are definitionally a part and parcel of the
governmental machinery - the Board of Revenue is an autonomous agency created
under a statute. By virtue of this fact, the Board has an existence, distinct and
separate from the government.
The Board as a Supra-district Level Agency
The principal justification for the creation of Board of Revenue lies in that it
relieves the state government of the detailed work in the field of revenue
administration. It also has a large supervisory and coordination role vis-a-vis the
district level revenue functionaries (Collectors/ Deputy Commissioners). The fact
that it exists at the state headquarters level should not be allowed to blur the'truth
that the Board of Revenue is an agency, separate from the Central or state
government as such. (Since it is a statutory body, it is endowed with a distinct
legal identity of its own). This, coupled with the fact that it discharges
supervisory functions in relation to the District Collector's lends justification to
its classification as a supra-district level agency.
14.4.1 The Pattern of Revenue Administ,ration at the
Suprq-district Level
There is no uniformity in the pattern of revenue administration at the supra-district
level in the country. In this connection, two points need to be particularly
remembered. First, there are some states in which there are two administrative
agencies (one at the state headquarters level and another at the regional level)
between the district and the state government and there are others in which there is
only one administrative agency. Second, all states do noi have a Board of Revenue;
some have, in place of the Board, a Financial Commissioner or Revenue Tribunal.
In these terms, five distinct patterns of revenue pdministration at the supra-district
level can be identified. These are:
Pattern One
Under this, there is only one intermediate level, i.e., the Board of Revenue, with no
regionavdivisional level revenue set up (known as the Divisional Commissioner).
Under this pattern fall the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Rajasthan.
Pattern Two
I Under this pattern, there are two intermediate agencies, viz., Board of Revenue and
Divisional Commissioners. This Pattern is prevailing in the states of U.P, M.P,
Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa and Assam.
Pattern Three
Under this pattern also, there are two intermediate agencies. But here there is no
Board of Revenue; the Board's equivalent under this pattern is Financial
Commissioner. So, under this pattern, there is a Financial Commissioner at the
I headquarters level and Divisional Commissioner at the regional level. This
situation prevails in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.
Pattern Four
Under this pattern, again, there are two intermediate agencies. But, as is the case
with the Pattern Three, here also there is no Board of Revenue. The Board's
equivalent, under this pattern, is the Revenue Tribunal. The two intermediate links
State Administration here, therefore, consist of (i) Revenue Tribunal, and (ii) Divisional Commissioner.
This pattern is prevailing in Maharashtra and Gujarat. The difference between the
two states is that whereas Commissioners in Maharashtra are regionally located, in
Gujarat they are located at the state headquarters and their duties are functionally
Pattern Five
This pattern is prevalent in Andhra Pradesh, where the Board of Revenue was
abolished in 1977 and since then its functions are being discharged by independent
Heads of Departments called Commissioners. There are no Divisional
Commissioners at the regional level. At present, there are five Commissioners each
looking after (i) Land Revenue; (ii) Survey, Settlement and Land Records; (iii)
Commercial Taxes; (iv) Excise, and (v) Civil Supplies, respectively.
14.4.2 Composition and Functions of the Board of Revenue
The number of the members of the Board varies from state to state. The U.P.
Board, for instance, has six members, whereas the Bihar and Orissa Boards have
one full-time member each. The practice everywhere is to appoint only the senior
officers as members of the Board. The work among members is fimctionally
divided. Decisions on important policy matters are taken by the full Board. The
Board has a Secretariat of its own.
The functions of Boards of Revenue vary a little from state to state. Generally
speaking, the Boards perform the following functions:
The Board advises the government on all matters of revenue policy.
It is the highest body in the revenue hierarchy of the state. Being the highest
revenue court, it hears appeals and is empowered to revise decisions in
revenue cases.
iii) It exercises general superintendence over the revenue of the state, from
whichever source they may arise.
iv) Board is thL final authority under the Sales Tax Act, Excise Act, Prohibition
Act and Agricultural Income Tax Act.
The Board undertakes the settlement operation in the state under its
jurisdiction. This is a function,.which holds the key to peace and stability in
the rural India.
vi) The Board exercises large inspectorial duties. It inspects revenue department
in Collectorates and Divisional Commissioners' offices.
vii) In some states, the Chairman, Board of Revenue, writes annual confidential
reports of the Divisional Commissioners and District Collectors.
viii) In states, which do not have Divisional ~ommiskoners,the Board comes in
direct contact with district administration. This, inter alia, means that it
assumes a more pervasive supervisory role in respect of them.
ix) In general, the Board relieves the state government of a great deal of detailed
work in the sphere of revenue administration and functions as an
institutional adviser to government on a wide variety of matters.

The Secretariat and the Directorate constitute two wheels of the governmental
machinery. Unless they achieve a certain measure of coordination and
cooperation, the ability of the machinery to deliver goods is hampered. Two sets
of factors have played a dominant role in shaping the Secretariat-Directorate
relationship at the state level. Of these, one concerns the functioning of the Patterns of Relationship
between the Secretariat
Secretariat at a practical plane. The second is concerned with the expansion that and Directorates
has lately come about in the Secretariat -its role, personnel, number of
administrative units of which it is comprised, and so on. Of course, the two factors
are closely inter-related; it is to facilitate academic understanding of the matter that
these are being dealt with separately here. It may be noted, it is these very factors
which - as they work themselves out - generate situations, which tend to build up
tension in the Secretariat-Directorate relationship.
Different Aspects of the Functioning of Secretariat
The institution of Secretariat has attracted considerable criticism. One cannot
perhaps find fault with the Secretariat as a concept, for at a Conceptual plane, it is
meant to encourage division of labour (between policy making and policy
executing agencies) and specialisation, which results from such
. compartmentalisation of work. Again, at a conceptual level, the idea.of Secretariat
is meant to promote delegation of authority from policy making to policy
execution level. By implication, it discourages centralisation and concentration.
However, in practice, these advantages of the Secretariat system have failed to
fully materialise. There is a large divergence between what is held to be valid in
theory and what is achieved in practice. The manner of functioning of the
Secretariat and its overbearing attitude have generated tensions in the Secretariat-
Directorate relationship and adversely affected the advantages commonly
ascribed to the Secretariat System.
The substantive points of criticism against the Secretariat, which have a bearing
on its relationship with the executive departments, are placed below:
i) The Secretariat has an expansionist attitude, meaning it has arrogated to
itself functions, which do not belong to it. It does not confine itself to
policy making; instead the Secretariat freely engages in matters of
executive nature. This encroachment has materially weakened the
authority of the executive agencies.
ii) The Secretariat hesitates to delegate adequately to the Executive Agencies.
As a result of this, the execution of policies is delayed. Besides, the
initiatives of the Executive Agencies is cramped through the need for
repeated consultations with, and approvals from, the Secretariat.
iii) Scrutiny, in the Secretariat, of proposals submitted by the heads of the
Executive Departments begins at the clerical level. This procedure is
dilatory. Besides, it undermines the authority of the heads. As is well-
known, the proposals of the heads of the departments are based on
proposals .received from the district and regional level officers and are
submitted to the Secretariat after a detailed scrutiny in the Attached
Offices. If, therefore, these proposals are to be subjected to further
scrutiny, it leads to unnecessary duplication and delay.
iv) More substantively, the very idea of the generalist administrators (who
staff the Secretariat) overseeing, superintending and evaluating the work of
specialists and technocrats (who staff the Executive Agencies) is out of
place in the modem technological age. And, it is all the more untenable
that the Secretariat should scrutinise the proposals and schemes emanating
from the attached offices, the argument being that the lay generalists have
possibly nothing to contribute in such an exercise.
The above-noted situations, coupled with the fact that Secretariat has come to be
identified with the real power structure in the governmental system (it is, in fact,
considered 'the government') have unduly inflated thginfluence and authority of
the Secretariat and aggravated tensions between the Secretariat and Executive
nenartments T h e imnnrtance o f Secretariat has not further enhanced since a s
State Administration previously noted, it delves into the questions not only of policy (which constitute
its legitimate sphere) ,but also those of execution. It has thus expanded its
functional area through large, unauthorised encroachments in the executive
sphere. This is, quite obviously, at the expense of the executive offices and only
further adds to tension between the Secretariat and Executive Agencies. Another
situation, which must be noted in this regard, is the easy access, which
Secretariat officers enjoy with the political executive. There is no gain saying the
fact that this, in its own way, contributes to the existing tensions between the
Secretariat and Attached Offices. We shall be discussing the factors that have
been responsible for bringing about expansion in the role of the Secretariat and
an increase in its personnel and the number of administrative units of which it is
comprised. After all, it is partly this expansion, which is at the root of the
Secretariat-Directorate tensions. These factors are set out below:
Factors Responsible for Expansion in the Secretariat
The foremost of these is the parliamentary system of government. The principle of
legislative accountability - under which the minister is, inter alia, supposed to
answer questions, concerning his department, on the floor of the house - has
brought about centralisation of functions in the Secretariat. Also, easy access of
ministers to their constituents generates pressures on ministers in regard to matters
such as appointments, promotions, transfers, and so forth. Now, clearly, these are
matters of executive nature. The ministerial desire to nurture his constituency (and
therefore, respond to demands for appointments, etc.) results in the minister's
involvement in executive matters. This is how the Secretariat, a policy making
body, becomes involved ,in the matters of policy execution.
The second factor, which has been responsible for a steady and substantial
increase in the volume of work in the Secretariat is the governmental policy to
develop the economy through planning and state intervention and a whole host of
welfare functions with the government in recent years has assumed. Every effort
at directing and administering the economy leads to increased volume of work in .
the government. Secretariat, in particular, has gained in stature and influence
from this situation. The reason for this is that more important work as'well as
decisions commanding wide impact have devolved on the Secretariat.
Two factors account for this. First, the generalist secretaries are thought to
possess a breadth of vision and a well-rounded experience, which comes from
the varied job placements that an IAS officer is typically exposed to in the course
of his career. In contrast, the head of the department is considered narrow in
vision and too theoretical in approach. Secondly, the ministerial staff in the
Secretariat is considered to be of a higher calibre as compared to that in the
Attached Offices. The result is that the Secretariat attracts more business.
Thirdly, as noted above, not ap insignificant portion of growth in the Secretariat
is due to its taking over numerous executive functions and multifarious
unimportant tasks, which do not properly belong to it. Finally, some expansion
is also due to the tendency of the bureaucracy to proliferate in any situation. The
Secretariat is, thus, today encumbered with non-essential work and has become
unwieldy and overstaffed.

The foregoing discussion provided us the perspective in which the question of
relationship betweedthe Secretariat and Directorates may be considered. The
issues in this relationship will emerge more clearly if the arguments in favour of
Secretariat and those in favour of Directorates are summed up:
Arguments in Favour of Seoretariat
The Secretariat is an essential administrative institution. The Secretariat
System of work, with all its deficiencies, has lent balance, consistency and
continuity to the administration and has served as a nucleus of the total Patterns of ltelatio&hip
between the Secretariat
machinej of a Ministry. It has facilitated inter-ministry coordination and and Directorates
accountability to the Parliament at the ministerial level.
The Secretariat System helps to separate policy making from policy execution.
This is a welcome thing to happen with the Secretariat concentrating on the
long-term policy issues and the executive agencies being given the freedom to
implement policies. It has encouraged division of work, specialisation, and
above all, delegation of authority.
Since the Secretariat is required to concentrate on policy-making alone, it is
able to achieve freedom from involvement in matters of detailed, day-to-day
administration. This helps the Secretariat to remain forward-looking and plan
in terms of the overall, aggregative national objectives.
The generalist secretary, who is the kingpin of the system, is uniquely suited to
advise the minister, who is a layperson. The secretary is, on the one hand, able
to keep the exhalted fervo.ur of the specialist head of the department in check,
and on the other, tender objective advice to the minister, examining proposals
submitted by the head from a larger viewpoint of the government as a whole.
The existence of Secretariat ensures objective evaluation of programme
implementation in the field. This task cannot be left to the executive agencies,
which actually implement policies, for they should not be asked to judge their
own performance. The Secretariat is best suited to do this job.
Overall, the Secretariat is an institution of proven merit. It has stood the test of
time and successfully delivered goods; the combination of 'tenure system' and
a permanent 'office', which has been evolved as a part of the system has given
it strength, vitality and dynamism. There isno viable substitute in sight for the
Secretariat System.
*gumentsin Favour of Directorates
Unlike the Secretariat, the Directorates are staffed by specialists who have
achieved excellence in their respective specialisations. These specialists have,
moreover, over the years, been able to gather an intimate knowledge of the
field conditiong. By virtue of-these facts, the director or the head of the
department, it is argued, is comfortably placed to discharge the role of
tendering policy advice to the Minister. This will permit fuller projection of the
Director's experience in the policy-making process.
As the specialists rise in the functional hierarchy, they are able to acquire a
valuable administrative experience. This coupled with the fact that they are, by
virtue of their training, well-versed in the technical aspects of the policy issues
and could provide the head of the departments a superior equipment as -
compared with the generalist secretaries - to tender advice on policy matters.
The argument, in other words, is that the heads combine with administrative
experience the valuable technical know how, which the secretaries lack.
As science and technology makes rapid advances, the volume and complexity
of governmental activity of a technical and scientific character has been on the
increase. And, with this, specialised areas of administrative activity have
emerged in the government. The specialist heads of departments are uniquely
suited to respond to this situation.
The specialist heads of departments alone, rather than the generalist
secretaries, are in tune with the modem trend of specialisation and
professionalism in the government. There is virtually no professional area, it is
argued, which is not represented in the government today. Pure sciences,
medicine, veterinary science, engineering, agricultural science, architecture,
and accountancy are some of the examples of this trend.
State Administration

What might be a suitable pattern of relationship between the Secretariat and non-
Secretariat organisation? On the question of evolving a suitable pattern, broadly
three schools of thought are discernible. Each adopts a different approach. Neither
yields a conclusive answer for, as we shall see in the ensuing discussion, it is
possible to list ar&rn$nts for as well as against the arrangement each proposes.
B a e d on their ddminant ihrust, the three schools of thought or approaches may be
referred to as:
i) The Status-quo 4pproach,
ii) The Bridging-the-gulf Approach, and
iii) The De-amalgamation Approach.
14.7.1 The statuequo sta roach
The Statusquo Approach favours the traditional split system and holds that the
Secretariat andthe Directorates have welldefined roles in our administrative setup
to which they should continue to stick. The approach is based on the traditional
concepts of staff-Iine dichotomy where the secretariat performs the role of a Staff
Agency and the Attached Office that of the Line Agency. The Status-quo
Approach also accepts the traditional policy-administration dichotomy. The
advocates of this approach belie3e that the relationship between the Secretariat and
Directorates should be based on the following principles:
i) Policy-making should be the responsibility of the Secretariat and Policy
implementation that of the Directorates.
ii) Subject to the rules governing the conditions of service, the Head of
Department should have fullest control over the personnel under him.
iii) The Secretariat Department should provide common services and undertake
domestic housekeeping in respect of the Directorate(s) attached to it (for
instance, the allocation of office accommodation).
Arguments For
The advocates of Status-quo Apptoach justify the existence of separate agencies
for policy formulation and policy implementation on the following grounds:
i) Persons responsible for the execution of policy mustinot be entrusted with
the responsibility for the assessment of its achievements and failures.
ii) Agency concerned with execution of policy remains so much engrossed in
details that it may ,lack a broad outlook necessary for the framing of a policy.
iii) When schemes b e d by specialists are scrutinised by the generalists, it
gives these schemes a broader orientation and greater objectivity.
iv) Separation [email protected] and decentralisation. It also provides for
division of work &tween the Secretariat and Directorate.
v) Split system has the important merit of being a familiar arrangement.
Besides, it is a system of proven effectiveness; it has, till now, delivered the
goods. It has stood the test of time. Its scrapping will break continuity with
the past.
Arguments Against
Arguments against the traditional split system are too well-known to need any
detailed catabguing. Briefly, these are as follows:
i) Schemes are processed twice in two different offices, which causes
-.,-:.I-I.1- .I-l-.,-
Scrutiny of schemes in Secretariat begins at the assistant's level; who is Patterns of Relationship
ii) between the Secretariat
hardly qualified to scrutinise the schemes framed by heads. The assistant's and Directorates
notings tend to conhse the issues and lead to unnecessary queries. In the
process, the original intentions underlying the schemes get distorted and
iii) More fundamentally, the critics of the split system point out, it is doubtful if
generalist secretaries have the . necessary h o w -how to undert*
examination of the schemes prepared by qualified specialists; whether they
may, in fact, be expected to make a worthwhile contribution to this exercise. -
iv) Split system is also criticised on the ground that it is inegalitarian. in outlook.
That'it makes the Attached Office feel like an inferior entity far removed
from the charmed circle. One result of this could be a low sense of .
participation among the personnel of Attached Offices.
Check Your Progress 2
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
1) Enumerate important arguments in favour of Status-quo Approach.

2) Why is Status-quo Approach not favoured these days?

14.7.2 The Bridging-the-gulf Approach
As against the School advocating Status-quo Approach there is another, which
advocates measures for bridging-the-gulf between the Secretariat and Non-
secretariat organisations. Its protagonists suggest various devices for bridging-the-
gulf. These include (i) the conferment of ex-officio secretariat status on theheads
of ~xecutiveDepartments; (ii) the system under which a Secretary concurrently
holds the oflice of the head of the Executive Department; (iii) the merger or
amalgamation device under which an Executive Department is placed in a
corresponding Secretariat Department; and (iv) a device which is a variant of
(point iii), involving, once again, merger or amalgamation, but under this de;ice,
the Secretariat ~ e ~ a r t m i nist placed with the corresponding Head of the
Department, rather than the other way around. Each of these methods is'in turn
discussed below:
Ex-Officio Secretariat Status
This device consists the conferment of a suitable ex-oflicio secretariat status on the
heads of Executive Departments. The result is that by virtue of holding office as a .
State Administration head, the incumbent of the (head's) position holds a suitable rank in the Secretariat.
The clear advantage is that the two offices (those of the Director and Secretary) are
now combined in a single individual. The Director, by virtue of being an ex-officio
secretary, can sign on behalf of the government. The need for scrutiny of schemes
in two offices is done away with. The same individual, in his capacity as Director,
proposes the scheme and, in his capacity as Secretary, scrutinises it. This is, of
course, an over-simplified description of the ex-officio system, but this is how, in
essence, it functions. Thus, to take an example, in some states, the Chief
Conservator of Forests is an ex-officio Secretary to the state government in the
Department of Forest and Environment. To take an example from the Central
Government, the Director General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research
is an ex-officio Additional Secretary to the Government of India.
Advocacy by State Level Administrative Reforms Committees
The Administrative Reforms Committees appointed by certain state governments
have from time to time recommended conferment of ex-officio secretariat status on
the heads of the Executive Departments. It would be helpful to pause at this stage
to take a brief look at their recommendations; the exercise will inter alia assist us
in analysing the advantages or the merits, which particular state governments
ascribe to the ex-officio system.
The Andhra Pradesh Administrative Reforms Committee (ARC) (1964-65)
recommended conferment of the ex-officio status as a method of achieving
psychological closeness between the Secretariat and Directorates. The device, the
Committee felt, would make the head of department feel a part and parcel of the
broad-based (governmental) team - comprising its two major organisational
components; the Sectetariat and the Directorate - which is entrusted with a
common task. It would remove the feeling of 'separateness' on the part of the
head and ensure his fuller association in the Secretariat's policy formulation
work. The Committee recommended conferment of the secretariat status on 23
heads but opined that, to start with, the secretariat status be given "only to those
who are doing important work and spending large amounts' particularly on work
connected with development activities."
The Punjab ARC (1964-66) recommended conferment of secretariat status as a
method of ensuring adequate financial and administrative powers to the heads of
the executive departments. The Kerala Administrative Reorganisation and
Economy Committee (1965-67) recommended conferment of appropriate
secretariat status on the heads of departments to achieve "better quality of work
and the esprit de corps that follow from the psychological satisfaction that such
status would give to the Heads of Departments." The Committee recommended
the grant of the ex-off~ciosecretariat status to 55 officials of the Executive
The Rajasthan ARC (1 962-63) had recommended the adoption of the ex-officio
system on an experimental basis. It proposed that the government may, to begin
with, make the Chief Engineer, Public Works Department (Buildings and
Roads), and the Director of Industries and Supplies, ex-off~cio Additional
Secretaries to the government. And that it may, later, extend the system to other
Arguments For
i) When the Head of Department has an ex-officio secretariat status, he can
make decisions, and sign, on behalf of the government. This permits much
economy of time since the matter does not have to move up the secretariat
for finalisation. The twin roles of Secretariat and Directorate are now
performed by a single functionary; the making of the proposal (a Head of
Patterns of Relationship
Department function) and its scrutiny consideration, and sanction (a
between the Secretariat
Secretariat Function), both the roles are performed by the same functionary. and Directorates
ii) The Head of Department is more closely involved in the policy making
process. This means that his experience is more adequately projected in
policy formulation. Also, more desirable policy implementation is possible
since the Head of Department, under this arrangement, develops fuller
awareness of the considerations, which underly a policy.
iii) Overall, the Head of Department gains in status and weight. He achieves a
particular facility and speed in handling matters and making decisions. The
overall efficacy of the governmental system to deliver goods is enhanced.
Bureaucratic procedures become de-emphasised; a programmatic bias and a
performance orientation is achieved.
Arguments Against
i) Integration is apt to blur the line of demarcation between the functions of
policy-making and policy-implementation. As a result, the task of long-term
, policy making is liable to be neglected because the day-to-day operational
problems are likely to induce a sense of urgency about them.
ii) Not only the policy formulation work per se will suffer, but also the short-
term considerations may overwhelm the strategic ones and deprive policy
making of the long-term content.
iii) Integration may also affect the programme implementation adversely. This is
because the executive officers have, as such, plenty to do in the fields; their
involvement in the secretariat work will overburden them.
iv) Government will be deprived of the advantage of a broad and balanced
scrutiny of the policy proposals when a technocrat takes over the Secretariat
v) Integration violates the fundamental principle of the Secretariat System,
namely policy-making that must remain separated from policy
vi) Indiscriminate conferment of the secretariat status will debase the value of
the secretariat designations and, at the same time, undermine the authority of
such functionaries of the Executive Agencies that do not have the secretariat
Concurrent Appointment of Secretary as the Head of the Executive Agency
We have referred to the ex-officio Secretariat System earlier. Under this, an
appropriate secretariat status is conferred upon the head of the' Executive
Department. The reverse is also done; namely a Secretary is concurrently
appointed as head of the Attached Office. In this way, a single functionary is made
responsible for both, policy formulation as well as policy implementation with the
assistance of a common office located in the Secretariat. Some examples of this
could be cited from the Central government; Joint Secretary in the Department of
Labour and Employment (Ministry of Labour, Employment and Rehabilitation) is
concurrently the Director-General of Employment and Training. Similarly,
Additional Secretary in the Department of Food (Ministry of Food and
Agriculture) is also the Director-General of Food.
The advantage of this system is clear enough; namely, it helps to eliminate the
distance between the Secretariat and the Attached Office. But, at the same time, the
system blurs the distinction between the Secretariat and the Head of the
Department. A comprehensive projection of the system throughout the country
could only take place if the view is held that the Secretariat as such has no longer a
role apart from that of the executive head.
State Administration Amalgamation of Directorate with Secretariat
Terms like integration, merger and amalgamation have been interchangeably used
to suggest an arrangement under which the distinction between the Secretariat and:
the Non-secretafiat Organisations is completely dissolved. Under this system, the
office of4p heads of the Executive Agencies is merged with the corresponding
departments i s the Secretariat.

The a d v o c a c p f amalgamation is based on the argument that the encroachment
of the Secretariat into the Execut' Functions, is in any case, an established fact
of the Indian administrative,la heape. This is so because the political executive
in India is unable to devote a e g a t e attention to- policy functions. Instead, it
preoccupies itself rather quite excessively with matters of day-to-day nature (like
appointments, promotion, and transfers, for instance). As a result, the Se~retariat
itself becomes involved in what are patently executive matters and which,
therefore, should, in fact, fall in the domain of the Directorate, as ultimately the
role of the Secretariat is governed by the role perceptions of the political
executive. It is thus, argued that since the role of the two agencies anyhow
overlap, amalgamation would be both logical as well as desirable.
Among the advocates of amalgamation, the ARC'S team on "The Machinery of
the Government of India and its Procedure of Work" has been most outstanding.
It recommends abolition of the distinction between the Seiretariat as the policy-
making body and the Non-secretariqt Organisations as the Executive Agencies
based on an elaborate scheme of mkrger, which it'has proposed. The idea is to
provide for adequate interaction between the policy-makin4 and the policy
implementing agencies of the government and remove the undesirable distinction
between the Secretariat and Non-secretariat parts of administrqtion.
The ARC itself has, however, expressed itself agairpst a general abolition of the
distinction between the Secretariat and the Executive Agencies. *It favours
integration on a more restricted scale. It recommends integration with Secretariat
of only those Executive Departments, which are concerned with development
programmes. It suggests that policy-execution dichotomy should continue to be
maintained in case of Executive Organisations concerned with regulatory,
training, survey and research activities.
Amalgamation or integration involves placement of Non-secretariat
organisations with executive duties functionally in the Seqretariat without giving
them any secretariat status. The heads of the Non-secretariat Organisations,
which are amalgamated with thi Secretariat retain their present designations,
' which indicate the nature of their functions. Under the integration arrangement,
coordination between the "Non-secretariat Organisations part" and the
"traditional part of the Secretariat" would be the responsibility of the Secretary.
. Arguments For
Two state level ARCS have also favoured the idea of merger of the offices of the
Heads of Departments with the State Secretariat.
The ARC of Andhra Pradesh, in, the year 1960, recommend merger in view of
"The increased workload in the context of larger and larger Five Year Plans and
the urgency with which the plans had to be executed year by year."
This could be one advantage of effecting merger of the two offices, namely, it
' promised speedier execution of the development projects. Other advantages of
merging the two offices, according to the ARC, could be as under:
i) It permits continuous contact between the Secretariat and the Directorate.
ii) It expedites sanction of schemes and staff.
iii) It speeds up implementation of schemes and facilitates their periodic review.
The other state level committee to recommend the substitution of the two parallel Patterns of Relationship
between the Secretariat
hierarchies (Secretariat and Directorate) by an integrated composite ofice was the and Directorates
Madhya Pradesh ARC (1970-72). It ascribed following advantages to such an
i) This would encourage specialisation in the various aspects of administration.
ii) It could be away with duplication (in scrutiny of schemes, for instance), cuts
. and delays.
iii) The arrangement would help to improve the quality of performance and
avoid dispersal of manpower and financial resources.
Arguments Against
THe disadvantages 06amalgamation would be similar to tHose of the preceding two
methods discussed in this Section.
Amalgamation - The Second Model
In the merger device, which we have discussed earlier, the office of the head of
the Executive Department is integrated with the corresponding Secretariat
Department. The opposite also happens so that the Ministry's office is merged
into the headquarters' organisation of the head of the Executive Department.
Such a system was in operation in the Directorate-General of Posts and
Telegraphs before the P&T Board was constituted. Here, the Ministry and the
Executive Department have a common office and common files - all under the
control of the Executive Department. This common office serves both, the
officers of the Secretariat as well as those of the Executive Department. Same
clerical staff puts up papers before both the levels of officers. A distinguishing
feature of this arrangement is that, at the Secretariat level, all noting is done by
officers of and above the rank of Under Secretary. This arrangement permits
speedy disposal of cases and helps to effect sizeable economy in expenditure.
Its disadvantages are similar to those of the previously discussed three methods.
Check Your Progress 3
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
1) Bring out the arguments in favour of the ex-officio device.

2) What are the advantages of the amalgamation device?
State Administration 3) Enumerate the features of the second model of amalgamation device.

14.7.3 The De-amalgamation Approach
Why De-amalgamation? The Bihar Experience
How has merger or amalgamation worked in practice? Has it produced the desired
results? Bihar is one state in the country where amalgamation was effected as far
back as 1951. Empirical results are available from the Bihar experiment on
amalgamation. There is a sharp division of opinion among the functionaries who
have had the opportunity to work under amalgamated setup. A number of officials
report that the scheme has been successful and has yielded good results. At the
same time, a large number of officials have criticised the scheme and opined that it
should be done away with. In other words, they feel that amalgamation has failed
and the process of de-amalgamation should now be started.
Arguments for Continued Amalgamation
Those who report favourably on the experience of amalgamation argue as follows:
i) Amalgamation has obviated the need for examination of proposals
independently by the Directorate and Secretariat.
ii) It has cut down delays and ensured expeditious disposal of cases.
iii) It has effected economy in establishment expenditure.
Arguments for De-amalgamation
The officials who recommend de-amalgamation give the following arguments:
i) Although amalgamation permits much economy of time in that it does away
with two parallel scrutinies of proposals, the experience has shown that,
under the amalgamated set up, the quality of final proposals/schemes has
declined, which frequently. involves reconsideration. This, they point out,
was not so when Directorate and Secretariat functioned separately.
ii) Amalgamation has resulted in gradual removal of distinction between the
functions of the Heads of Departments and those of the Secretariat.
iii) Amalgamation has rendered objective examination of proposals and
schemes at the Secretariat level difficult. The secretaries have to write their
notes on files in a guarded manner so as to avoid causing offence to the head
of department. This extra caution often prevents a frank examination of the
cases by the secretariat officers.
iv) Under the amalgamation schemes, the Head of D e p G e n t remains stuck up
in the Secretariat. He is not able to go on tours and inspections, which are his
main obligations.
What is Involved in Effecting De-amalgamation?
In 1979, Bihar decided to scrap the amalgamation or, in other words, to return to
the traditional split system. However, Bihar has experienced difficulties in
implementing the de-amalgamation plan. Difficulties have been mainly two-fold.
First, during the three decades of amalgamation, there has been a unified cadre of
the subordinate staff, i.e., for the Secretariat and the Heads of Departments. De-
amalgamation involves separation of this unified cadre. Second, because of the
amalgamation of the Secretariat and Executive Department, no separate files had Patterns of Relationship
between the Secretariat
been maintained for the two sets of departments. De-amalgamation necessitated and Directorates
duplicating many files and documents.
In view of these difficulties, it was decided to enforce de-amalgamation in two
stages. In the first stage, the heads were to confine themselves to field work
alone, meaning they would curtail their involvement in the Secretariat duties.
And, in the second stage, separation of cadres and files were planned. For these
reasons, the process of de-amalgamation in Bihar could not be completed until
1982 although the decision to de-amalgamate was reached in the year 1979.

Directorate is an executive agency charged with the role of translating the
policies framed at the Secretariat level into concrete action. Directorates
establish intermediate level administrative set up - between the headquarters and
the districts - which coordinate and supervise field operations. This intermediate
set up is called the regional administration. The Board of Revenue is an
organisation at the headquarters to deal with the issues concerning the revenue
administration of the state. It is an autonomous body with an existence distinct
and separate from most of the state government machinery.
In the possible patterns of relationship between Secretariat and Directorate, we
have, in this Unit, highlighted only the more prominent ones. The two agencies
remain locked in a process of constant interaction. And, therefore, the relational
patterns, which are generated, would be legion. As a quest for greater efficiency
in government forges ahead, administrative experiments ensue in its wake. This
leads to modifications and alterations in particular patterns and abandonment of
others. And the old gives place to the new; the process is ongoing.

Board : A Board is a multi-headed extra-
departmental organisation. It typically
consists of a group of individuals, mainly
specialists, who are collectively assigned the
responsibility for carrying out a certain
governmental function. A Board is
preferred to a single head when quasi-
legislative and quasi-judicial functions have
to be performed. Under a Board type of
organisation, it is possible to pool together
the knowledge and experience of several
Amalgamation : This is one of the organisational devices to
reduce the distance between Secretariat and
DirectoratC. Under this arrangement, the
distinction is completely dissolved by
merging the office of the head\ with that of
the Secretary.
Bridging-the-gulfApproach : This is a name given to a particular
methodology, which is employed in
remodelling the Secretariat-Directorate
relationship. It seeks to reduce the distance
between the two agencies through a number
of organisational devices.
State Administration De-amalgamation : This is the negation of the amalgamation
device. It seeks to do away with the
integrated or amalgamated set up. Thereby,
it aims to restore the traditional split system.
Esprit de Corps : Spirit of loyalty and devotion, which unitis
the members of a group or society.

Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) Study Team, 1967, Report on
Personnel Administr&tion;The Manager of Publications, Delhi
ARC, 1969, Report on State Administration; The Manager of Publications, Delhi
ARC, 1968, Report on the Machinery ofGovernment of India and its Procedure
of Work;The Manager of Publications, Delhi
Avasthi, A., 1980, Central Administration; McGraw Hill, New Delhi
Maheshwari, S.R., 1979, State Governments in India; Macmillian, Delhi
Maheshwari, S.R., 1986, Indian Administration; Orient Longman, Delhi

Check Your Progress 1 *

1) Your answer should include the following points:
rn ' Attached Offices
Subordinate Offices
2) Your answer should include the following points:
rn Principle of hislative accountability that has led to centralisation .of
functions in the Secretariat.
rn The ministerial desire to nurture hisher constituency results in Minister's
involvement in executive matters.
rn Increase in welfare fbnctions of the government.
rn h e ministerial staff in the Secretariat is considered to be of higher calibre.
rn Secretariat has become unweildy and overstaffed.
Check Your Progress 2
1) Your answer should include the following points:
Separation of policy forkulation and policy implementation.
rn Generalist scrutiny gives broader orientation to specialist's schemes.
rn The Approach encourages delegation, decentralisation and division of
2) Your answer should include the following points:
rn It leads to delays.
Scrutiny_ of schemes at the' Assistant's level distorts the aims of the
rn According to technocrats, generalists do not have necessary know how to
scmtinise the schemes made by them.
rn These schemes make Attached Offices feel inferior.
Check Your Prpgress 3
1) Your answer should include the following points:
rn The Head of Department has an ex-officio Secretariat status.
He can take a decision and organise on behalf of the government. Patterns of Relationship
between the Secretariat
He is more closely involved with policy-making process. and Directorates
He gains in status and weight.
2) Your answer should include the following points:
It leads to speedier execution of the development projects.
It permits continuous contact between the Secretariat and the Directorate.
Speeds up implementation of schemes.
Encourages specialisation in various aspects of administration.
Reducis duplication in scrutiny of schemes.
3) Your answer should include the following points:
Ministry and Executive Departments have a common office and common
The Ministry and Executive Departments have common clerical staff.
Noting is done by officers of and above the rank of Under Secretary.
The model helps in speedy disposal of cases.
It helps to effect sizeable economy in expenditure.
15.0 Objectives
15.1 Introduction
15.2 Meaning of Civil Service
15.3 The Significance of an Independent Recruitment Agency
15.4 Components of Civil Service at the State Level
15.5 Classification of State Civil Services
15.6 Features of Recruitment to State Civil Services
15.7 Constitutional Provisions with Respect to the Commission
15.8 Composition and Functions of the Commission
15.9 Advisory Role of the Commission
15.10 Independence of the Commission
15.11 Commission's Working
15.12 Let Us Sum Up
15.13 Keywords
15.14 References And Further Readings
15.15 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

After you have read this Unit, you should be able to:
Understand the constituents of civil service at the state level and the criteria
and system of classification of state services;
Throw light on the system of recruitment to state services;
Explain the significance and role of State Public Service Commission; and
' Identify factors that hinder its working.

This Unit aims to describe the nature of civil services at the state level. It discusses
the aspects related to classification and recruitment to state services. It throws light
on the significance of an Independent Recruiting Agency, components of civil
service at the state level, and its advisory role. The composition and working of
State Public Service Commission are also discussed.

The phrase 'State Services' refers to the civil service at state level. Civil service
refers to the civilians employed by a government and distinguishes civilian
pursuits in government from military. Civil service is a career service. Elective
officials and employees of semi-government bodies do not form part of the civil
service. An essential ingredient of the civil service concept is merit system. Merit
system means selection based on ability as adjudged by an open competitive
examination for civil service jobs. An independent recruiting agency is the
hallmark of a merit system. The state level recruiting agencies are designated as
State Public Service Commission.

It is of basic importance that recruitment to any civil service is free from any
suggestion of bias. This alone would inspire confidence. To ensure objectivity and
State Services and Public
impartiality in recruitment, several measures have been evolved since the advent of Service Commission
the merit system. One, the executive branch has been divested of the powers of
making recruitment to the civil services and a separate agency created for the
purpose. Two, the agency thus created is an extra-departmental body (i.e., a
Corhmission), which functions outside the normal machinery of government.
Three, a Constitutional status has been conferred on this agency. It must be
remembered that the Commission is only a recruiting agency; it is not an
appointing authority. The authority of making appointments vests in the
government. The Commission is an advisory body. Its decisions are not
Need for a Commission Type of Organisation
A commission type of organisation as distinct from the customary departmental
type - may be employed for undertaking the work of recruitment of civil servants.
The commission form is invoked for the performance of a function requiring
expert, specialist knowledge. It is a form of organisation designed to facilitate
collective deliberation by a group of experts who are able to pool their knowledge
and eyperience to arrive at informed and objective decisions. When decisions are
collectively made, such a method of arriving at decisions is described as corporate
mode of functioning or decision making. 'The body thus acting corporately is
described as a board. Public Service Commission is nothing but a board, which is
bu$ styled as a commission. (Incidentally, it should be remembered that boards
may also bear such designations as councils, corporations, companies, authorities,
and so on; and, of course, a board may also be styled simply as a board).
When a commission consisting of experts meets to deliberate on issues,
professional and technical criteria receive necessary weightage in the resulting
decisions. When several heads combine for deliberation, biases are cancelled out
and objectivity is ensured. Because a commission functions outside the mould of
normal governmental machinery, greater flexibility and innovativeness of
approach is possible. Bureaucratic rigidities and delays, which characterise
government departments, are kept at bay.
Significance of a Constitutional Status for the Commission
This is intended to ensure that it functions without fear or favour. This would be
facilitated when its composition, role and delegations, privileges of its members,
method of appointment and removal of members, qualifications for appointment
and grounds for removal, etc. are Constitutionally provided. For, under such a
situation, the executive branch of government can no longer exercise any
discretion in these matters and as such the commission can function without being
influenced by it. Conferment of the Constitutional status is thus in the nature of a
safeguard against any possible encroachment on its authority and independence.
The State Public Service Commission is thus an advisory body of experts, which
exists under the authority of the Constitution to recruit personnel for the state

Let it first be clearly understood that at the state level in India, not one but two
distinct sets of civil services operate. One of these is the civil services recruited by
the respective state governments to handle a diverse range of governmental activity
at the state level. These are known as the state civil services or simply state
services. The second set of civil services serving the states is the All India
Services. All India Services officers are recruited to perform a varied range of jobs,
. both at the state level as well as at the Centre. It is this feature of the All India
Services, which renders them clearly distinguishable from the state services.
Among the best known examples of the All India Services are the Indian
Administrative Services (L4S) and the Indian
Polibe Service (IPS). Thus, the civil
State Administration service at the state level is composed of two distinct components. One, state
services and two, All India Services.
All India Services
All India Services were constituted with the crucial purpose of creating an elite
corps of officers who would man top positions both in the states as well as the
Centre. Officers of the All India Services are recruited by the Union Government
through the Union Public Service Commission. Upon recruitment, each oficer is
allotted to a specific state cadre. It is from the particular state, to which he is
allotted, that the concerned off~cer moves to the Central government. The
arrangement under which such movement takes place is known as the Tenure
System. The officer is moved back and forth between the state (of his allotment)
and the Centre during the first twenty years of his career (after which he finally
lands up at the Centre). Officers of the All India Services operate under the joint
control of the Centre and the state to which they are allotted. The fact that the All
India Services officers are centrally recruited (and then allotted to various states)
guarantees that all states have a certain minimum and uniform level of talent in
their administrative services and that the states' administrative machinery is
adequately equipped. The existence of the Tenure System, under which officers of
the All India Services move to the Centre periodically, ensures that the incumbents
of the policy making posts at the Centre are backed by rich field experience.
The All India Services have to supply personnel for all superior administrative
posts in the states, at the district level and above. Thus, the posts of District
Collectors, Divisional Commissioners, members of the Board of Revenue,
Secretaries to the government, Chief Secretary, etc. are filled up by IAS officers:
Similarly, the posts of Shperintendents of Police (SPs) and above in the Police
Department at the state level are reserved for the IPS officers.
State Services
These are recruited by the respective state governments through their public
service commissions or other agencies. Members of these services are primarily
meant for service in the states; only occasionally may a few members of some of
the state services be borrowed by the Centre or some other organisations. States
have well-organised services to cater to the needs of different sectors of
governmental activity in non-technical and technical spheres. Typically, a state
may have the following services: (1) Administrative Services; (2) Police Service;
(3) Judicial Service; (4) Forest Service; (5) Agriculture Service; (6) Educational
Service; (7) Medical Service; (8) Fisheries Service; (9) Engineering Service; (10)
Accounts Service; (1 1) Sales Tax Service; (12) Prohibition and Excise Service and
(13) Cooperative Service.
lnter-relationship and Inter-linkages
The personnei of the state services operate in subordination to the members of the
All India Services. State services occupy lower positions in the administrative
hierarchy than those held by the personnel of the All India Services. They
constitute the middle level of the state administrative system.
An attempt has been made to evolve - from out of those two sources of supply -
a common stream. This has been achieved in two ways. One, by providing
opportunities to the State Services' personnel to rise to higher posts, which are
normally reserved for the All India Services officers. Two,by inducting a certain
percentage of the State SeAices' personnel into the All India Services.

A two-fold system of classification of the State Services is in vogue:
Under the first system, the Services are classified into Class I, Class 11, Class I11
and Class IV. The criteria df this classification are: (i) admissible pay scales; (ii)
the degree of responsibility of the work performed; and (iii) the corresponding State Services and Public
Service Commission
qualifications required. All State Services are constituted department-wise.
Under the second system, the posts in the services are classified into the gazetted
and non-gazetted categories.
i) Classification Based on Pay Scales, etc.
Class 1 and Class I1 services constitute the officers' class of the state level services,
whereas Class 111 and Class IV consists of the clerical employees and manual
workers, respectively.
Class I Services
Class 1 Services include a number of posts on a common time-scale of pay and
some posts carrying salaries above the ordinary time-scale. Each departmental
service ordinarily has a Class I cadre.
Recruitment to Class I posts is made on the basis of promotions from Class I1
services as well as by direct recruitment by State Public Service Commission.
Direct recruitment takes place on the basis of an open competitive examination.
Generally, this would include written examination and personality test; sometimes,
however, direct recruitment may also take place on the basis of an interview.
It may be noted that there is no uniform practice as to the number of posts, which
may be filled up by promotion or direct recruitment. In fact, there are wide
variations on this account from state to state.
Class I1 Services
Class I1 services are generally of a specialised nature, although there are some
generalists services as well in this category. These are subordinate civil service,
subordinate police service, and the like. Class I1 services are lower in status and
responsibility than those in Class I. These are, however, considered important
enough to require that the authority for making appointments to them be vested in
the state government itself.
The most important among the Class I1 services is the subordinate civil service
(also classed the subordinate executive/administrative service). Some states have
even instituted a higher salary scale for this service v i s - h i s other Class I1
services; this signifies the special place, which this servlce enjoys in the overall
range of Class 11 services.
It may be noted that, as in Class I service, there is no common pay-scale for Class -
I1 services among different states.
Recruitment to Class I1 posts is made partly by promotion and partly by open
competition (direct recruitment). In case of specialised services, direct recruitment
is done on the basis of interviews held by the state PSCs. For civil, police, and
judicial services (Class 11), however, a more comprehensive selection procedure is
employed. This includes the written examination and interview.
Unlike in the case of Class I services, no uniform practice prevails with regard to
the Class I1 services also as to the number of posts to be filled by promotion or by
open competition. The practices vary over a wide range from state to state.
Class I11 and Class IV Services
Class I11 services are divided into two categories: (i) subordinate executive services
(including, for instance, naib tehsildars, sub-inspectors of police, deputy inspectors
of education, and so on), and (ii) clerical services. Recruitment to these posts is
made partly at the level of their Public Service Commissions and partly at the
departmental or district heads' level.
Class IV services include persons performing manual work, skilled or unskilled.
State Administration carpenters, fitters, cooks, laboratory servants, and the like. Until recently, these
posts were classified as inferior services with their holders enjoying less favourable
terms of service with regard to leave, pension, etc. Lately, however, their
conditions of service have improved.
ii) Gazetted-Non-gazetted Classification
As stated above, the second system of classification employed for the state services
places them under the familia_r_csegoriesof gazetted and non-gazetted.
A gazetted government servant is one whose appointment, transfer, promotion,
retirement, etc., are announced in the Official Gazette in a notification issued by
order of the Governor. A gazetted officer holds charge of an ofice and his duties
are of a supervisory or directorial nature. Gazetted posts include All India Services
and Class I and Class I1 State Services. Non-gazetted posts are those in Class I11
and Class IV Services.
Recently, there has been a little change in the classification grading system. The
gazetted post at the Centre and at the state levels are now categorised as Group A
and Group B. The non-gazetted posts are categorised as Group C and Group D.

Recruitment involves three separate but inter-connected steps. ( I ) Attracting
eligible candidates to apply for jobs. (Vacancies are brought to the notice of
interested individuals through advertisements). (2) Selecting candidates for jobs
through an open competitive examination. (3) Placing selected candidates in
appropriate jobs, which also involves issuance of appointment letters to those
concerned by a competent authority. The first two steps are carried out by an
independent recruiting agency. In the states, it is the Public Service Commissions,
which perform these functions. The third step constitutes the responsibility of the
government. It is, therefore, to be remembered that PSCs are only recruiting and
recommendatory agencies; the power of appointment vests in the government.
Recruitment is of two types: internal and external. Internal recruit'ment is made
by promotion from within, whereas external recruitment is undertaken through
an open competitive examination. We sball be dealing with external recruitment
alone over here. Also, we shall be concentrating on the recruitment practices only
in respect of the Class I and Class I1 Services. An outline of the chief features of
the recruitment of State Civil Services is provided below:
Recruitment to State Civil Services is made at the age level of 2 1-25.
Age relaxation is available for the members of scheduled castes, scheduled
tribes and backward communities.
Recruitment is made through an open competitive examination administered
by the PSC; higher level posts are filled up by promotion.
Vacancies to be filled up are advertised by the PSC every year and applications
invited fiom candidates all over the country.
Minimum qualification required is a Bachelor's Degree fiom a recognised
The competitive examination through which selections are made has two
components. First, a written, essay-type examination. Second, a personality
test. Candidates obtaining certain minimum marks in the written examination
are invited for a personality test, which is but an interview of about half an
hour's duration.
Marks secured by each candidate in written examination and personality test
are totalled up. Depending upon the number of vacancies, a list of successful
candidates is prmared. This list is in order of merit.
This list is then communicated to the government for necessary action, i.e., State Services and Public
Service Commission
issuance of appintment letters. The Commission, because it is an advisory
body, can only recommend candidates for appointment. The authority to make
appointments vests with the government alone. The Commission recruits
candidates, the government appoints them.
I Check Your Progress 1
I Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
1) What are the constituents of civil service at the state level?

2) Discuss the significance of All India Services with reference to the states.

1 3) How are the services classified at the state level?

Constitutional provisions governing the Public Service Commissions (PSCs) at the
state level are given below:
Article 315 of the Constitution provides for the establishment of PSCs. It
stipulates that there shall be a PSC for the Union as well as a PSC for each
Article 316 prescribes the composition of such Commissions. It also
deliberates on the method of appointment of the Chairperson and members as
well as their terms of office. While Article 316 stipulates what the normal
tenure of a Chairperson or member shall be, Article 3 17 prescribes grounds
and procedure for early termination of such tenure.
State Administration We have already explained that with a view to ensurrng objectivity and
impartiality in recruitment, this task has been entrusted to a Commission and it
has been accorded a Constitutional status. In the context, the question of
ensuring independence of the Commission assumes particular significance.
Articles 3 18, 3 19 and 322 provide measures for safeguarding and fostering the
independence of the Commission.
What will be the scope of duties and functions of the PSCs? What will be the
overall sweep of their role as recruiting agencies? These matters are dealt with
under Articles 320, 321 and 323 of the Constitution.
Commissions, as previously stated, are advisory bodies. How to ensure that
this situation does not work to their disadvantage and render them ineffective?
Under Article 323, there is a provision for submission by Commission of
annual reports in which inter alia the cases where government rejects its
advice are recorded and reasons for non-acceptance stated. There is a further
requirement that these reports shall be placed before the appropriate

The number of members, which a state PSC may have is not fixed. The
Constitution stipulates that this shall be determined by the Governor of the
concerned state. At least, half of the members of a Commission are persons with a
minimum of ten years of experience under the Central or a state government.
Members are appointed for a term of six years or until the age of sixty years.
Governor is the appointing authority, but it must be carefully noted that members
are removable only by the President and not by the Governor. Conditions of
service of the members are determined by the Governor but very importantly, the
Constitution stipulates that these shall not be revised to their disadvantage. Implicit
in the foregoing are certain safe$ards to ensure the Commission's independence.
Later we shall dwell on this aspect.
Functions of the Commission
As recruiting agencies, the principal function of the state PSCs is to conduct
examination for appointment to civil services. However, certain other duties arise
from this and Commission is enjoined to discharge them. These include: (i) To
tender advice to the state government on a matter so referred to it by the
Governor. (ii) To exercise such additional functions as may be provided for by an
act of the Legislature. These may be with respect to the State Civil Service, or
the services of a local authority or other corporate bodies. (iii) To present
annually to the Governor, a report with regard to the work done by it.
Besides, the Constitution stipulates that a PSC shall be consulted on the
following matters:
i) On all matters relating to the methods of recruitment to civil services and
civil posts.
ii) On the principles to be followed in making appointments to civil services
and posts and making promotions and transfers from one service to another,
and on the suitability of candidates for such appointments, promotions o;
iii) On all disciplinq matters affecting a person serving under the government
of a state in a civil capacity.

The importance of the Commission's role lies in that its decisions are in the
nature of advice to the government and the latter has no obligation to act upon
State Services and Public
i he reason for according an advisory status to the Commission is clear enough. Service Commission
t i ~ l d e rthe Parliamentary
- system
- of government,
- the responsibility for the proper
administration of the country is vested in the Cabinet and for this it is
accountable to the Legislature. Therefore, the Cabinet cannot abjure this ultimate
responsibility by binding itself to the opinion of any other agency. If the
Commission's decisions were made mandatory, it would amount to setting up of
two governments. But, at the same time, there is scarcely any doubt that in
matters relating to recruitment to civil services, and the like, it would be
profitable for the ministers to take the advice of a body of experts.
This underlines the need for necessary safeguards against a flagrant disregard of
the advice of the Commission by the government. The Constitution does provide
for one. Namely, the Commission's annual report, which records cases where its
advice has been rejected - must be placed before the State Legislature through
the Governor. And the government is under obligation, when such report is
presented, to give reason as to why in any particular case the recommendation of
the Commission has been overridden by it. But the number of such cases have
tended to remain very low, almost negligible.

In the introduction, we have explained the significance of maintaining the
independence of the recruiting agency vis-a-vis the executive government. The
Constitution also incorporates well-designed safeguards to foster the
C'ommission's independence. These are:
i As a check against a possible abuse of power, the appointing and removing
authority is vested in different functionaries. The power to appoint the
Chairperson and members of a Commission vests with the Governor, but the
power of removal is vested in the President.
ii) Removal can be effected only in the manner and on the grounds prescribed
in the Constitution. ,
iii) Salaries and other conditions of service of a member cannot be revised to his
disadvantage after his appointment.
iv) The expenses of the Commission are charged on the Consolidated Fund of
the State.
1) Certain disabilities have been imposed on the Chairperson and members of
the Commission with respect to future employment under the government.
On ceasing to hold office they are not eligible to hold office under
government outside the Union andlor state PSCs.
The purpose of the above provisions is to place the Commission and its members
well beyond any possibility of being influenced either by a lure of office or by a
threat of insecurity or for any other reason.

We have so far considered the formal framework within which a state PSC
functions. We shall now discuss the actual working. Our comments on the actual
working centre around two aspects. One, exercise of patronage in civil
appointments by the government in spite of the Commission's existence. Two,the
question of the Commission's membership.
Notwithstanding the Constitutional safeguard against the non-acceptance of the
Commission's advice, there is criticism that the government is able to have its
way in making appointments:
i) Making ad hoc appointments without prior consultation with the
Commission: Commission is not consulted for making ad hoc
appointments. Through repeated renewals, such persons pick up necessary
State Administration experience of the job, which puts them at an advantage vis-Scvis the fresh
applicants. In such cases, the Commission is faced with a fait accompli.
ii) Exclusion of certain categories of posts from the purview of PSC: In
theory, recruitment to all civil posts in a state is done by the PSC.
However, the Constitution provides that the executive may exclude certain
categories -of posts from the purview of the PSC. Under this dispensation,
Class 111 and Class IV appointments are made without the PSC's
intervention. This is understandable in view of the large volume of work,
which these matters would devolve on the Central recruitment agency.
However, there are some higher appointments, which have also been
excluded. This, the critics point out, is an encroachment on the
Commission's jurisdiction. Moreover, it is alleged that such exclusions are
made by state governments without consulting the state PSCs.
iii) Drafting of advertisements by the concerned department:
Advertisements for filling up vacancies are drafted by the concerned
departments. And these are sometimes drafted to suit particular candidates,
which the departments may have in view. The Commission cannot vary the
terms of advertisements.
iv) Revision of terms of appointment and merit lists: Occasional cases have
been reported where the terms offered to the selected candidate were
revised to his disadvantage without consulting the Commission. There are
also occasional instances where the order in the merit list prepared by the
Commission is changed by the government for reasons which are
v) Delay in issuing appointment letters: Occasionally, there are inordinate
delays on the part of the government in issuing appointment letters to the
selected candidates. This results in the best qualified candidates being lost
to other professions. Besides, it gives rise to a suspicion that such delays
may be motivated.
The above situations affect the operation of the merit system and undermine the
Commission's role. The Commission's membership has also drawn flak due to
many other reasons:
i) Membership to persons with insufficient credentials: The matter of
membership of the state PSCs has attracted adverse notice. The criticism
has been that membership in some states have gone to persons with
insufficient credentials; that, in fact, some appointments have been made
on grounds of party and political affiliations and not on consideration of
merit. Such persons naturally feel beholden to their political masters and
could not be expected to stand up to their patrons to uphold merit and
professionalism in civil services. This creates apprehensions on the ability
of the PSCs to work with objectivity and independence.
ii) Predominance of the members of the official category: The narrow base
of the Commission's membership has also attracted adverse attention. The
point at issue has been the predominance of the members of the official
category. In terms of Article 316, the expectation was that the official and
the non-official components of the Commissions' membership would be
roughly equal to each other. This has in practice not been realised. Non-
officials have far out-numbered the officials in some PSCs, while in others,
there are no non-officials at all. Professions like teaching, law,
.engineering, science, technology and medicine have remained
unrepresented or inadequately represented on the Commissions. It is
necessary that professionals receive adequate representation on the PSCs.
This would not only help in meeting the Constitutional requirement by
evenly balancing the official and non-official components of the
Commission's membership, but one would also expect from this a
qualitative improvement in their deliberations.
Check Your Progress 2 State Services and Public
Service Commission
fVote: i) Use the space given below for your answers. .
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
1) What is the significance of according a Constitutional status to the PSC?

2) Why has the Public Service Commission been made an advisory body?

3) Discuss the role the government plays in the Commission's actual

The performance of multifarious tasks of regulatory and developmental [email protected] at
the state level has necessitated that large and well-organised civil sewices be
maintained by them. These are civil services based on the merit system. These civil
services are a career service whose recruitment is done through an open
competitive examination.
The concepts of merit system, career service and open competition emerged
during the 191hcentury to rid civil service administration of political interference.
The idea was that recruitment to civil service as well as matters concerned with
the salaries, promotions and transfers of civil servants should be based on the
technical and professional considerations rather than political. When politicians-
do not interfere in these matters, civil servants appointed under the merit system
provide continuity to the governmental system in that the civil service
component stays and works undisturbed even when the ministers come and go
depending upon the fortunes of the political parties.
To rid civil service administration of politics, it is essential that the task is
entrusted to an impartial agency whose integrity is above board and which can be
trusted to withstand any pressure from the political executive. Such desiderata
State Administration underline the need to establish a commission type of organisation to perform the
task. To ensure that it may function without fear or favour and without being
influenced by the political executive, a Constitutional status has been conferred
on this agency. It is a Hody consisting of experts and has an advisory role.

Career Service : It refers to a personnel system based on merit and
professional standards. A typical career service
contains civil service requirements that include
recruitment based on an- open competitive
examination, classification, performance, evaluation,
promotion, land protection against arbitrary
Fait Accompli : It is a French phrase, which means something that
has already taken place and is beyond alteration.
Incumbent : A person w-ho holds an office.
Open Competition : This has certain elements like (i) Adequate publicity
so that job openings and requirements are known to
citizens seeking jobs, (ii) Opportunity to apply, (iii)
Realistic standards: Qualification standards must be
related to the job and must be impartially applied to
all those who make their interest known through
applications, (iv) Absence of discrimination: the
standards used must contain factors, which relate
only to ability and fitness for er&loyment, (v)
Ranking on the basis of ability and a selection
process, which gives effect to this ranking, (vi)
Knowledge of results and opportunity for review.

Basu, D.D., 1985, Introduction to the Constitution of India; Prentice-Hall, New
Hazarika, Niru, 1979, Public Service Commissions; Leeladevi Publications,
Maheshwari, S.R., 1979, State Governments in India; Macmillian, Delhi
Stahl 0. Glenn, 1975, Public Personnel Administration; Oxford and IBH, New

Check Your Progress 1
1) Your answer should include the following points:
Operation of two distinct sets of civil services at the state level.
State services, whose personnel are recruited by the respective state
governments to handle governmental activity at the state level.
All India Services, whose oficers serve both at the Union as well as the
state governments.
2) Your answer should include the following points:
Constitution and meaning of All India Services.
Allotment of specific state cadre to the oficers of All India Services after
Tenure system. State Services and Public
Service Commission
All India Services ensure availability of uniform level of talent and
administrative expertise to the state administration.
Supply of personnel to all senior administrative posts in the states, at the
district level and above.
3) Your answer should include the following points:
Two-fold classification of the state services.
Classification of services into Classes I, 11, I11 and IV based on criteria like
pay scales, qualifications, etc.
Classification of services into gazetted and non-gazetted.
Check Your Progress 2
1) Your answer should include the following points:
Ensuring objectivity and impartiality in the functioning of the
Functioning of the Commission without any influence of the executive.
Conferment of Constitutional status, a nature of safeguard against any
encroachment on authority and independence of the Commission.
2) See Section 15.9.
-3) Your answer should include the following points:
Membership of the persons with insufficient credentials.
Predominance of the members of the official category in the Commission.
Exclusion of certain posts from the purview of Public Service
Delay in issuing appointment letters to the candidates.
Regional Administration
Divisional Administration
Evolution of District Administration
Territorial Sub-divisions
Collector and District Administration
Component Parts of District Administration
Administrative Organisation
Problem Areas in Field Administration
Let Us Sum Up
Key Words
References and Further Readings
Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

After studying this Unit, you sho~~ld
be able to:
Describe importance of field administration in India;
' Understand meaning and rationale behind the Field Administration and Regional
Explain nature of Divisional Administration in India and the 'role o f Divisional
Trace the evolution o f District Administration in India;
Describe the coniponent parts of District Administration and Administrative
Organisation at the District level; and
Analyse the problem areas in Field Administration.
Field administration is a decentralised State administration. The purpose of field
! administration is basically to bring the regulatory and service functioqs of the State
'nearer to the people. There is also a demand for greater citizen participation in
Policy formulation and execution. For this purpose, a vast politico-administrative
apparatus has been established. The State Government officers cannot transact their
business from the Headquarters due to the long distance, magnitude af the work,
administrative cost, and time taken to communicate. Therefore, the field offices are
the necessity for the efficient functioning of administration. The policiff are
translated into reality and programmes are implemented at the field level. I n India,
the State level Departmepts Bnd Ministries. establishing a large number o f field
offices and delegating their power and functions to the field officers to implement
I the development programmes. The Divisional offices, wherever they exist, District
Offices, and Local Self-Government institutions broadly constitute the component
I parts o f the Field Administration. The offices of Field Administration are organised
on the basis of historical traditions, political considerations, administrative
I convenience, technical requirements, development imperatives and the need for
greater interaction between the administration and the community. At the field level,
majority o f people come into closer contact with the Government. .It i s also here that
I the people judge the quality and efficiency o f the Government. The Field
administration undertakes a wide range of activities associated with the life of
community. Technol.ogical advances specially in the field o f transport and
communication have played an important role in the expansion of field
Field and Local administration. Most of the State Deparfments such as Public Works, Irrigation.
Health, Education, ~ a n c h a ~ a etc.
t s are having their offices in the District, Sub-
Divisions, and Blocks. In this Unit, we will study different aspects of Regional
Administration, Divisional Administration, and District Administration. In addition,
we will analyse the problem areas in the Field Administration. Other important
aspects of Field Administration like office of the Collector, Police Administration,
Municipal Administration and Panchayati Raj will be discussed in the following

As the Directorates are concerned with policy execution, and execution of policy
takes place in the field Mistrict, block and village level), therefore the need arises for
them (Directorates) to create intermediate level administrative agencies to coordinate
and supervise the field operations. This intermediate level administrative set-up
between the State Headquarters (the Directorate) and the District is referred as
'Regional Administration'. Each region is comprised of a number of districts; thus a
region is a real unit below the State and above the District level.
The Regional Administration permits more delegation and speedier disposal of
business. It lightens the workload of the Head of Department; permits him to
concentrate on general policy issues affecting the State, and allows a detailed
examination of the problems, which are of particular relevance to specific region. It
also facilitates better coordination and supervision of the programmes being
executed at the district level.
ARC Study Team Report on District Administration (1 967) explains the significance
of the regional administrative set-up for a State. "Most States in India are
comparatively large, both in area and population. The six largest States together
cover approximately 61 per cent of the area of the country. In such large States,
there are wide variations in the socio-economic and geographical charismatic of each
region. This underlines the need for a regional level in the administrative set-up. On
the one hand, polFy formulation and coordination call be better achieved at a level
intermediate beqden the District and the State Government; on the other, the State
Government being comparatively remote form the locale of policy implementation,
cannot assess local problems in their proper perspective. It is in these circumstances
that the services of senidr and experienced administrators are needed at an
intermediate level, between the policy formulation level at the State Headquarters
and the implementing level in the district".
Meaning and Patterns
The phrase 'Regional Adminjstration' thus refers to the network of organisations that
function below the State level but above the district. Most Departments in a State
maintain Regional Headquarters in these intermediate geographical territories.
These territorie; do not bear a common name, and are not geographically
coterminous in respect of the various Departments at the State level. They often
crisscross each other for different purposes (revenue collection, law and order
maintenance, forest management and so on). Each Department creates its sub-state
- formations to suit its particular requirement.
Majority of States are divided, (for purposes of revenue and general administration)
into real units called 'divisions'. A Divisional Commissioner who coordinates and
supervises the work of the District Collectors under his jurisdiction Heads each
division. Similarly, the Police Department at the State Headquarters has Deputy
Inspector General at the intermediate level. These territorial divisions in respect of
the Police Departnlent are called 'ranges'. This 'range' may be coterminous with the
Commissioner'\ Division. Where the workload of a Department does not warrant
this; the intermediate territorial unit may not be coterminous with the
Commissioner's Division. Thus, the Forest Department divides the State into Field Administration
intermediate geographical territories (also) called 'ranges' in deciding th6:
geographical area of range. To take one more example, the State level Irrigation
Department has Superintending Engineer at the regional level, who is in charge of
the Executive Engineers of his region.
Briefly, whether a particular Department will have a Regional Administrative set-up
or not will depend on (i) size of the State, and (ii) volume and nature of work
handled by it. Obviously, the particular historical circumstances in which a
Department was created and grew, and the personalities involved in its evolution will
also affect-such a decision.
The foremost function of the regional level officer is supervision and coordination of
the work of district level functionaries of his Department. The important functions
of the Regional Officer are mentioned below:
The Regional Officer also pdrforms the important function of setting norms and
standards for the comparatively young district level officers and he ensures that
these norms and standards are kept through an elaborate system of inspections,
reports and returns, directives and periodic meetings with the district level
The Regional Officer keeps himself and the State Headquarters informed about
difficulties or problems, which the functionaries at the lower geo&aphical
formation may face through on the spot inspection. He also initiates measure for
their rectification. Also, he is responsible to ensure that the targets are achieved.
He maintains an active touch with the Panchayati Raj Institutions under his
The existence of the intermediate administrative set-up between the State
Headquarters (policy formulation level) and the districts (policy implementation
level) has been criticised on the basis that it has no substantive role to perform. In
fact, it is redundant level of administration, which only contributes delay in the
administrative process.

Administrative organisation at the sub-state level in the country is not uniform.
Broadly, there are two different systems. Firstly, the State is divided into a few
divisions, each division consisting of a few districts. In this system, the Divisional
Co~nmissioneris the Head of the Division and acts as a link between the District
Administration and the State Government. In the second system, where there are no
divisions, the District Administration directly deals with the State Government
without any intermediary in between. The Field Administration in the country falls
in between these two systems.
An important feature of the State administration is that several executive
departments have regional offices in the State. The 'range' offices of the Police
Department are established for two or more districts. The Deputy Inspector General
of the range acts as a link between the Director General of Police at the State level
and the Superintendent of Police at the district level. An important feature to be
noted is that the jurisdiction of the& regional level offices is not uniform. The
number of districts is the 'range' or 'region' of the Police or Education Department
is not one and the same. The regional offices are established irrespective of the
existence or divisional set-up. History, tradition and usefulness are basically
responsible for the evolution of divisions in the pi~blicadministrative structure. The
Field and Local division may consist of three or four or even more districts depending upon the size
of the district. The size of the division,,both in terms of area and population, varies
from division to divisioi within the Stab.
The Divi'sional Commissioner is the highest executive authority in the division. He
supervises the administration and implements the policies of the State. Mostly,
revenue and development departments, the public distribution system and welfare
departments are under the control of the Divisional Commissioner. He acts as the
Revenue Commissioner of the division exercising delegated power from the relevant
Acts. He reviews the working of the revenue administration like collection of
revenue and takkavi loans and inspects revenue offices periodically. As a Head of
rural development administration, he is considered as Divisional Development
Commissioner. All rural development departments, including Panchayati Raj
Institutions, work under his control. He reviews the programmes and activities
connected with agricultural development, cooperation etc. relating to rural
. development. He supervises and controls all the municipal institutions as well. He
is expected to review the entire gamut of development activity in the division. He
presides over the divisional coordination committee meetings and reviews the
progress of different departments. Like the Deputy Commissioner, he is in constant
touch with the people and tries to redress their grievances. This clearly indicates that
the Divisional Commissioner is an important functionary and the most important
tasks at divisiopal level are entrusted to him.
Based upon the experience, two different viewpoints exist about the usefulness or
otherwise of Divisions and the Divisional Commissioners. The first view is that the
division has proved as a useful tier of administration and that it should be
strengthened. The protagonists of this view argue that there is a need for
decentralising more power to him so that he can provide effective leadership to the
District Administration. The district is too large for the State Government to
exercise effective control. It is also argued that the District Collectors or Deputy
Commissioners are relatively young and therefore the presence of Divisional
Commissioner is necessary with whom they can interact regularly for guidance and
advice. For these reasons they emphasise the need for continuing and strengthening
the divisional administration.
Divisional administration is considered t~ be extremely useful territorial
administration. This can be done in three ways viz., ij through greater delegation
and decentralisation, ii) entrusting the coordination functions to the Divisional
Commissioner; and iii) using the Divisional Commissioner as an advisor in policy-
formulation. The Administrative Reforms Commission's Study Team on District
Administration recommended that the institution of Divisional Commissioner should
be introduced in all the States except the small States like Kerala, Punjab and
The other view is that .the Office of the Divisional Commissioner should be
abdished. Many reasons are put forward for this. Since the Commissioner happens
toae all alone, he will not be able topevote time and attention to the supervision of
all departments and local bodies. secondiy, presence of the Commissioner close to
the Collector may dampen the later's initiative. There are also doubts, whether the
Commissioner can interfere with the statutory functions of the Collector? It is
argued that this system has not proved useful, wherever it existed. As N. Umapathy
has noted that lack of confidence in the Commissioners, inadequacy of their power,
,interference in the exercise of the disretionary power, heavy paper work, large area,
short term of office, etc. cumulatively seem to have contributed to their declining
positions, role, utility and success. The Administrative Reforms Commission after
examining all .the arguments recommended fbr the abolition of the Divisional
Coqmissioners. The sydtem of regional offices also has come for a serious scrutiny.
The Rajasthan Administrative Enquiry Committee (1962-63) felt that the regional
offices should combine in themselves the twin functions of the executive and
evaluation agencies. The Andhra Pradesh Administrative Reforms Committee
( 1964-65) thought that the regional offices sliould have substantial power to take Field Administration
Iinal. decisions as it is nearer to the people of the region. On the other hand, the
Puiijab Administrative ~eformk&ommission (1964-66) thought that it is better t s
dispense with regional offices and strengthen tlie status and the rank of district level
offices. Tlie need for regional offices needs to be examined in the context of the
nature of work. For efficiency regional off~cesmay be necessary, if technical
supervision of the activities at the district level is necessary.
The Administrative Reforms Commission felt that each State should make a detailed
review of the regional offices before taking decisions about them. It laid down the
following criteria for establishing the regional offices in the States:

, I) Tlie work of supervision and control thrown up by the local offices is so
voluminous that it would not be possible for the Head of the Department to do it

2 ) The size of tlie set-up required for the office of the Head of the Department is
such that the work could be devolved on regional offices at an appreciably
higher cost.

3) The operations are far-flung geographically, so .that central control would
involve higher costs of administration on account of touring, etc.

4) Supervision and control at an intermediate.level is warranted by administrative
needs and the nature of work devolving o,n the organisation.
Divisional Commissioner
The niost important of the regional level functionaries is the Divisional
i) Position and Scope of the Office
The Divisional Commissioner supervises the work of the District Collectors under
his charge. He is the coordinator at the divisional level of a wide range of activities
such as law aiid order administration, development administration, rural
development as well as revenue administration. Therefore, the Divisional
Co~ninissioneroccupies a place of special significancd in the intermediate (regional)
level administrative set-up.
Chequered Career of the Institution
The office of Divisional Coinmissioner in the country has had a chequered career. It
has seen a succession of abolitions and revivals in various States since
independence. Madhya Pradesh and (old) Mumbai States had abolished it in 1948
and 1950 respectively. However, both revived the commissionership - Madhya
Pradesh in 1956 aiid Mumbai in 1958. Rajasthan abolished the institution in 1961.
Uttar Pradesh went halfway, it reduced the number of Commissioners and enlarged
their geographic jurisdiction. Soon thereafter, however, it restored the status quo.
Likewise, tlie commissionership was abolished in Maharashtra, but was
subsequently revived.
ii) Functions of Divisional Commissioner
The Divisional commissioner is the overall regional officer giving guidance to
district level officers and providing feedback
. ,
and advice to the State
Mainly, he remains involved in coordination, supervision, inspection, and
appellate work.

In tlie sphere of revenue administration, the Coymissioner's duties are many
folds. He has well defined power in land revenue matters and hears appeals
against the revenue decisions of the District ColJectors. He inspects revenue
Field and Local offices within his division. All correspondence to State Government, in regard to
Administration revenue matters, is channeled through him. He has responsibilities in regard to
land reforms also.
The Commissioner has also responsibilities in the sphere of rural development.

In the sphere of Local Self-Governme~~t,
both rural and urban, the Commissioner
has been given certain power.
The Commissioner shoulders direct responsibility in regard to law and order in
his division. He is the Head of the law and order administration in the territory
under his command.
iii) Divisional Comnlissionership: A Controversial Office - Substantive Points
of the Controversy
The office of the Commissioner has aroused much controversy. Two distinct
schools of thought appear to have emerged, one in its defence and the other against
it. Those who support its cause argue that creation of a strong intermediate tier of
administration would encourage decentralisation and bring State administration
physically and psychologically closer to people at the grassroots level. Besides,
improved coordination and supervision of the field establishment would be achieved.
Those who argue against it and recommended its abolition maintain that the creation
of an intermediate level of administration curbs the initiative and respondibility of
the district functionaries. The States where the institution of Divisional
Commissioners exists has not achieved any marked improvement in efficiency, or
speed in disposal. Even 'coordination' does not appear to have achieved any
worthwhile results. Besides, as the Ministers nowadays tour the districts frequently,
as a result the problems of coordination are easily noticed. The Collector can easily
get in touch with the Headquarters, in case of need, due to facilities for speedy
communication. Thus, there is no need for referring matters to an intermediate
We may now summarise' arguments for and against the institution of Divisional
Arguments For
The ARC Study Team in its Report on District Administration argues in favour of
the office of the Divisional Commissioner on following grounds:

1) The Divisional Commissioner's presence will facilitate coordination of the
regional level officers of the various development departments. Such
coordination cannot be achieved at the State Headquarters because it is too
distant for the purpose. Only an officer who has an intimate awareness of the
problems of the region can do this effectively.

2) In large States like Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, it is not possible to
exercise effective supervision over Collectors unless a regionally based officer
undertakes it.
3) The Commissioner's presence at the intermediate level will encourage
elegation from the State level. This will make speedy disposal of cases
ossible as -11 as make administration more accessible to the public.

4) The Commissioner's presence can be used to provide more adequate guidance
to the Panchayati Raj Institutions. He can also be utilised to facilitate
coordination between the Panchayati Raj bodies, Regional and State Level

5) A regionally based officer of an adequate administrative experience will act as
a catalyst for regional planning and implementation.
Field Administration
6) An administrator of the Commissioner's seniority and experience could
perform a useful training role in respect of the young IAS and State civil
service officers of this division.
Arguments Against
Arguments against the post of Divisional Commissioner as mentioned in the Bengal
Administration Enquiry Committee pre:
The activities of Government h\ ve grown too large and complex at the district
level. As a result of which a division is no longer a suitable area unit for
purpose of supervision. It is too large an area to be an effective unit of

2) As authorities of supervision over districts and as an appellate revenue bodies,
commissioners are disproportionately expensive.

3) It is doubtful if, as an intermediate level of administration, the Commissioners
have much useful role to perform or any specific contribution to make in the
disposal of work. The post has been reduced to the position of a mere post
office and contributes only delay in the dispatch of public business.

4) Commissioners are officers of wide and mature experience and as such their
availability at the State Headquarters would mean a fuller use of the valuable
experience. Divisional administration fails to create a much useful
preoccupation for officers of the Commissioner's seniority and experience. .
Check Your Progress 1
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
1) Discuss the meaning of Regional Administration.

2) Explain the role of Divisional Commissioner.

3) Give arguments in favour of Divisional Commissionership.

District as a basic unit of field administration has been in existence through the ages.
Below the divisional level, district is an important territorial unit. Throughout
history district has been considered as the most convenient unit where the
administrative operations could be concentrated for the purposes of gavernance. The
Field and Local nature of power no doubt, varied from time to time depending upon administrative
Administration needs. Invasions, conquests, political and administrative changes did not affect this
basic unit of administration. Many districts, over decades, have been bifurcated and
reorganised to meet political and administrative requirements. It however, did not
affect the continuation of the district as a unit of administration. It has not changed
substantially from the times of Manu. Manusmrithi describes village as a basic unit.
About 1000 villages were grouped together as a district and were placed in the'
charge of an off~cer. Significantly even today many districts in India approximately
consist of about the same number of villages. The territorial structure of
administration of the country can be traced to the Mauryan era. About 2500 years
ago the Mauryans created an administrative structure for better administration. The
system consisted of revenue villages called 'gramas', a group pf revenue villages
. called 'stana' (visaya or taluk), several stanas called 'aharas' or the district, a group
of aharas called 'pradesh' or the region and several pradeshas called 'janapada' or a
province. During Gupta period also similar administrative units existed wherein the
, empire was divided into desas, desas into bhuktis and bhuktis into visayas. The
desas, bhuktis and visayas can broadly be compared to the present States, divisions
and the districts respectively. The Visayapathi, the Head of the District
Administration had both revenue as well as police functions and is comparable to
the present day world District Collector. During Mughal period also there was a
similar pattern of District Administration based on delegation of authority to the man
on the spot. Mughal empire was divided into subas, subas into circars and circars
into paraganas. The British inherited the Mughal administration. During the period
of East India Company several experiments were made in the field of administration.
By 1781, the district again became the unit of administration under the District
Collector as Head of the district. Broadly, the concept was of an areal specialisation,
which became the cardinal feature of the Indian administrative system. Thus, the
present d6y District Administration has historical roots. The Simon Commission in
1930 made the follo ing observation on the subject: "The system has some roots in
the past. Akbar,,f r i~nstance,sub-divided all Bengal into circars. A strong and
settled administration appeared during the British rule.
Independence and adoption of welfare State necessitated a complete reorientation of
the concept of district administration. The main stress has been on development
administration. Community Development Programme created institutional set-up for
rural development. Balwantrai Mehta Committee recommended a three-tier
structure of a local Government at village, Block and district level. The introduction
of the Panchayati Raj, thus was a radical change in the district administration.
Different Sbtes have adopted different patterns. In some States like Maharashtra and
Gujarat district level bodies that is Zilla Parishads were made strong. Elsewhere in
Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan it was constituted as a supervisory and coordinating

There are wide variations in the size and population of the district from State to
State, and also from District to District in a State. On the basis of data (census of
India, 2001) West Bengal has the highest average size of district in terms of
population at 4.46 million followed by Andhra Pradesh (3.29 millipn). However,
Arunachal Pradesh has the lowest average size of district (84 thousand) followed by
Mizoram (1 1 1 thousgnd). The highest increase in average size of the district is
observed in West Bengal where 452 thousand persons have been added (between
1991 and 2001) followed by Andhra Pradesh with 401 thousand. The most
significapt decrease of about 50 per cent in the average size of the district has been
observed in Orissa and Chhattisgarh.
Depending upon the needs and requirements, different States have evolved different
types of administrative set-up in each district. In a district, we find several tiers each
with specific function. The first level is the district itself. The jurisdiction of the
Collector, Superintendent of Police and other district level officers extend their
services to the entire district. For the purpose of administrative convenience, the Field Administratior
district is split up into a number of sub-divisions called talukas. The size and
population of the talukas also varies. As the distance between taluka and the district
Headquarters is too long for speedy administration, one more intermediary level i.e
division was established. Each Division consists of a few talukas which are Headed
by Tahsildars. Sub-Divisional Officers or Revenue Divisional Officers. Every State
'department generally posts their officers at the sub-divisional level. Divisional level
administration mostly concerns itself with supervisory role over the taluka level
administration. Division is a contribution of the British. T.A. Varghese Commission
constituted by the Government of Tamil Nadu recommended the abolition 01
divisions as they have outlived their utility.
At the lowest level, we have village, which is a basic Unit of administration. There
are several concepts of village like revenue village, development village, etc. with its
own jurisdiction and set of functions. With the establishment of Panchayati Raj, a
three-tier structure was introduced in the country on the recommendations of the '
Balwantrai Mehta Committee. Broadly the village, Block and district is the pattern.
Zilla Parishad at,the district level, Panchayat Samiti at the Block level, Gram
Panchayat at the village level are the democratic bodies administering developmenl


District Collector, who is also called as the Deputy Commissioner in States like
Haryana and Punjab, Heads district administration. Ever since the creation of the
post in 1772, the District Collector continues to be the administrative Head of districl
administration. Though created as an agent of the then British Government tc
establish its hegemony throughout the length and breadth of the country, he plays a
significant role both in development and regulatory areas. Basically, he has three
major functions namely revenue, magisterial and developmental. Apart from these
major functions, the State and Central Government also entrusted a large number 01 .
~niscellaneousfunctions to him.
Collector has been the Head of the revenue administration. Though there has been
considerable change in the nature of the State from police to development and
welfare, revenue functions continue to claim considerable time and attention. The
Collector is also in charge of law and order administration in the district. He has
control and supervisory role over the Police Administration. He advises the
Government on various aspects of law and order. However, several controversies
have arisen with regard to his role in the maintenance of law and order and his
relations with Superintendent of Police, even then law and order continues to be one
of his important functions.
After Independence and with the adoption of planning strategy, the Collector has
become a pivotal figure in implementing the development programmes. He
continues to play a significant role in the development administration. There are
several other areas like conduct of elections, dealing with calamities, supervising
local Government institutions, etc. wherein the Collector has an important role tc
play. Details of his role in the District Administration would be discussed in the nexr
unit on the District Collector. Suffice it to say that in District Administration there is
no area where he is not associated.

The district is an important geographical unit where the people come into direcl
contact with the apparatus of public administration. The actual pattern ol
administration varies from state to state, even than there is a large measure 01
uniformity in the broad pattern of district administration. Because of proximity ol
the comm~lnitvto the District Administration one finds a large number hf State level
Field and Local agencies functioning in the district undertaking a variety of functions. These
Administration functions can be categorised as law and order, revenue, agriculture and animal
husbandary, welfare, public distribution, elections, administration of local bodies,
functions relating to emergencies and natural calamities and residuary functions.
A major concern of District Administration is maintenance of public safety, law and
order, crime control and adniinistration of justice. District Collector and the
Superintendent of Police undertake these functions. They are responsible for
maintenance of peace and tranquility in the district. Administration ofjails, though a
separate department, is closely related function in this category. As a District
Magistrate, Collector has supervisory role in the administration ofjails.
The second group of functions is related to revenue administration. Assessment and
collection of land revenue, collection of other public dues and taxes like sales tax,
maintenance of land records, adjudication of land disputes between private
individuals and Government, implementation of land reforms, consolidation of
agricultural holdings, etc. constitute revenue functions at the district level. District
Collector is basically responsible for all these functions and to support him there is
an elaborate network of revenue and other departmental officials.
After Independence, development administration has become all pervading and
Government has begun to deal with wide area of development functions. Because of
the rural nature of the society agricultural development is an important function of
district administration. This includes Irrigation,, Animal Husbandry,
Fisheries, etc. A different subject matter specialist working under the supervision
and control of the District Collector looks after each of these functions. In some
States, most of th se functions are undertakerrby the Panchayati Baj Institutions.

Welface is another component of development functions in the district. Public
health, Welfare of Weaker Sec#ionsand Backward Classes, Education etc, come in
this category, Each of these functions is entrusted to separate officers at the district
Public distribution is an important function particularly in the context of scarcity and
black-marketing. This is a delegated function assigned to the Collector.. Separate
organisation, however, exist under his control. Articles of daily consumption like
foodgrains, kerosene, sugar, etc. come under this category.
In a democratic system, elections to various bodies at the National, Stite and Local
levels are conducted periodically. The process of election beginning from the
registration of voters to the conduct of elections and the declaration of results is a
vital function to be carried out at the district level under the supervision of the
District Collector.
Local administration is 'a vital link between District ~dhinistrationand the local
community. Rural and Urban Local Bodies play a pivotal role in district
administration. The State Governments have entrusted the supervisory and
controlling role to the Gollector in the district.
Natural calamities and emergencies is another vital area, which needs to be taken
care of whenever required. The entire administration has to be geared to meet the
threat of emergencies during natural calamities. As Head of District Administration
the Collector plays a significant role in managing the crisis.
Apart from the important functions listed above there may be many areaslfunctions
of the Government,, which can neither be precisely defined nor explained. These
residuary functions like small savings, contribution to public loans etc. are equally
important in the district administration.
The primary objective of the District Administration is to ensure orderly and speedy
development of the district. To achieve this objective, the administration deals with
the maintenance of law and order, collection of land revenue and other taxes, public Field Administration
distribution system, calamities and emergencies, and administration ofjustice.

The wide variety of functions undertaken at the district level result in a complex
administrative system. Apart froin tlie office of the District Collector, there are
several departments namely, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Irrigation,
Cooperatives, Social Welfare, Education, Civil Supplies, Medical and Public Health,
Industries etc. in tlie district. Collectively all these departments constitute the district
administration. Every State level department has corresponding functional
department at the district level.
Various departments in the districts are structured separately. The revenue
department comprises various officials - The Collector at the district level, Deputy
Collector at the sub-division, Tahsildar at the Taluk, R'evenue Inspector at the circle
and Village Officers like Patwari at the village level. The Superintendent of Police,
I Deputy Superintendent of Police, Inspector, Sub-lnspector, and the Constable work
I at various leve Is as field functionaries. Similarly, there are the department officers
of Health, Education, Agriculture, Co-operation, etc. In many cases their jurisdiction
is coterminous with a district, but increasingly there is more than one district level
officer for each district. The Panchayati Raj Institutions have a hierarchy of
officials, some of whom have been integrated with development departments at
Block and Village level.

While working in the same district each department maintains a distinct identity of
its own like their State counterparts. Despite task differentiation and maintaining
distinct identity there is a certain degree of task sharing between the departments.

The broad framework of field administration remained more or less the same except
a few reorganisations and addition of developmental functions. This has resulted in
several problems for the administration as well as for the community.
Firstly, there are wide variations in the size of the districts both in terms of area and
population. The reorganisation that has taken place after Independence is mostly on
political considerations than on administrative requirements and efficiency. These
variations are creating serious problems for the administration. This is mainly in
terms of access of District Administration to the people.
With the increase in the number of functions and role of development departments
there has been a considerable decline in the importance of the revenue officials. But
their stranglehold over land records and their linkages with local power groups has
become a disturbing factor. Inspite of the commitment of the Central and State
Governments, there have been several difficulties in implementing land reforms in
the country. 'This is another problem area.
Rural and Urban local institutions are an important part of field administration.
These local institutions have considerable role to play both in civic and
developmental areas. There has been a tendency to entrust more developmental
functions to the Panchayati Raj bodies. But there are several complaints of partisan
outlook of the elected functionaries leading to favouritism and nepotism. As a result,
there is political disharmony, intensified factionalism and increased crime rate.
Similarly, the Municipal local institutions also face several problems. Shrinking
resource base, inadequate technical capacity, increasing pressure due to growing
population coupled with high expectations of the community for more and better
services are creating several problelns not only to the Municipal institutions but even
to the district administration.
Field and Local One of the well-known featyes of bureaucracy is its emphasis on' rules and
Administration regulatiolis. Increase in workload over the decades is leading to delays, red tapism,
and consequently corruption. Status-quo conscious officials, in some cases are
becoming insensitive to development demands, there-by creating atrophy in

The reforms that have been effected over the years could not tackle the major
problems like deteriomtion in law and order and problems of inter-agency
caprdination of field administration in the country. Structural reorganisation by
itself may not, and probably will not help to improve the efficiency of the district
administration. There is a need for attitudinal change among the officials.
Unfortunately, the reform committees and commissions have not dealt with this
important aspect of field administration. What is needed, therefore, is a total
restructuring of field administration keeping in view both structural as well as
behavioral aspects of the officials as well as the expectations of the community in
tune with the democratic traditions.

Check Your Progress 2

Note: i) Use the space given be~dwfor your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.'
1) Describe role of the Collector in District Administration.
2) How is District Administration organised?

3) Discuss the problem areas in District Administration.

The field administration in.India presents a picture of continuity and change.
Introduction of Panchayati Raj, establishment of agencies to implement welfare
.programmes, and increasing focus on people's participation necessitated new
relations in the administrative apparatus at the district level. It also neces3itated new
modes of communic'ation as well as new concepts in methods of accountability. In
this Unit, we have described Regional Administration, Divisional Administration,
District Administration, Administrative Organisation and major problems in the area
of Field Administration. In addition, role of the Divisional Commissioner and
District Collector have also b d n highlighted. In the next Unit, role of District
Collector will be dealt at length.
Field Administration
Administrative Verticalism: A system in which the Heads of various departments
like Executive Engineer and Superintendent of Police report to higher authorities of
their own Public Service Departments.

I Atrophy: Waste

I ;
Nepotism: Favoritism shown to relatives or close friends by those with power.

1 .
Nomenclature: A formal system of naming

Variegated Picture of Field Administration: Field administration is not uniform
i. throughout the country. There are wide variations in the size as well as population of
the district from State to State and district to district within the State.

Administrative Reforms Commission, 1967, Report of the S t u 4 Team on District
Administration, New Delhi.
Administrative Reforms Commission, 1969, Report on State Administration, New
Mishra, S.N., Ani'l D. Mishra, and Sweta Mishra (eds.) 2003, Public Governance and
Decentralisation , Mittal Publications, New Delhi.

Maheshwari, S.R. (200 I), Indian Administration, Orient Longman Pvt. Ltd, New

Check Your Progress 1' .
1) Your apswer should include the following points:
Regional Administration refers to the network of organisations that
function below the State and above the District level.
Administration is divided into area units called 'Divisions' at the regional
Different patterns of Regional Administration exist in the States.

2) Your answer should include the following points:
The Divisional Commissioner in the capacity of the highest executive
authority in the division is responsible for implementation of policies and
supervision of the administration.
Functions of the Divisional Commissioner as the Revenue Commissioner
of the Division.
Role of the Commissioner in the capacity of Divisional ~evelobment
Coordination and Public Relations.

3) Your answer should include the following points:
Divisional Commissioner brings about coordination.
He is aware of.the problems of region.
Field and Local Effectively exercises supervision over the Collectors.
Encourages delegation fiom the State level.

Check Your Progress 2

1) Your answer should include the foilowing points:
Role of the Collector as the Head of the revenue administration.
Role of the iDistrict Collector in the maintenance of law and order.

Role of the District CoHector in the development administration.
Your answer s h o u l d ~ l u d ethe following points:
Presence of several Departments namely Agriculture, Animal Husbandry,
Education, etc. at the District level apart from the Office of the Collector.
Various Departments like Revenue, Police, Panchayati Raj Institutions
are structured separately in the Districts.
Emergence of two patterns of District Administration in the country.
Separation of regulatory from development functions under the first
pattern as in Gujarat and Maharashtra. The second pattern where the
Collector continues to be in-charge of both regulatory and development
functions, as prevalent in States like Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh.

3) Your answer should include the following points:
Wide variations in the size of the districts both in terms of area and
Inability of the rural and urban local institutions to discharge
developmental functions properly. .

Problems faced by the Municipal local institutions like shrinking
resource base, inadequate technical capacity, increasing pressure due to
growing population.
Strict adherence to rules and regulations by bureaucracy causes delay,
red-tapism and corruption.
Deterioration in law and order and problems of inter-agency
i Structure
17.0 Objectives
17.1 Introductio~i
b 17.2 Evolution of the Office
1 7.3 Functions of the CoI lector
17.4 Collector and Panchayati Raj Institutions
17.5 Administrative Support
17.6 Colleebr 's Work: Some Constraints
17.7 Let Us Sum Up
17.8 Key Words
17.9 References and Further Readings
I' 17.10 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises


t After studying this Unit, you should be able to:

i Explain importance of the office of Collector ,in District Administration;

If Trace evolution of the office;
Describe traditional and developmental hnctions of the Collector ;and
Discuss constraints within which the Collector lias to function in the District

The institution of Collector, created more than 200 years ago, is one of the most
significant institutions transmitted by the colonial rulers to independent India's
public administration system. He is the highest functionary s f the District
Administration in the country. Several epithets are used to describe this institution.
"Annadata", "Maabaap", 'captain of the team', "eyes and ears of Government", are
some of the common descriptions. He is also described as "the kingpin of
administration", "the key-stone of the arch of district administration", "the area
specialist", and more recently in more benevolent terms, as 'friend, philosopher and
guide", "adviser, educator and helper", "the fulcrum of grassroots democracy", "the
mainspring of development" and so on. Even after independence he continues to
occupy a preeminent position at the district level and is the key functionary of the
State Government. Keeping in view the importance of District Collector, this unit
liighlights the evolution of the institution of the Collector; his role in district
administration; and the constraints, which inhibit the performance of his functions.

'The office of the District Collector in India has a long history. Its origin is related to
the concept of a territorial unit of administration. During the Mauryan period the
kingdom was divided into convenient territorial units and each unit was placed under
the charge of an imperial authority. The authority who was important to the District
Collector during that period was known as 'Raja'. Though they were essentially
revenue officers, they exercised judicial functions also. Rajukas. collected land
revenue, maintained roads, promoted trade and industry and carried out public works
like irrigation. During the Gupta period they were called 'visayapathis', who were
Heads of 'visayas', which were equivalent to the modern districts. The visayapathi
was responsible for the general administration including collectio~iof taxes and other
revenues. They also commanded military force to maintain law and order in the
Field and Local visaya. The Mughal rulers followed the system of administration of Hindu Kings.
Administration Under the Mughal system the 'circar', which is comparable to the modern district
had three officers viz. Amalguzar, Amir Zuazi and Faujdar. The Amalguzar was a
principal revenue functionary of the circar and was responsible for the collection of
revenue and proper utilisation of land. He also exercised certain administrative
functions like punishing the robbers and some quasi-judicial functions like
settlement of disputed claims on land. However, he was basically responsible of the
collection and management of land revenue. Though, during, Mughal period Faujdar
enjoyed a dominant position in the district administration, Amalguzar performed all
revenue functions. Thus, before the advent of the British, there were territorial
divisions and officers of these divisions were responsible for realisation of land
revenue. These revenue officials were generally invested with several power and
functions. It was, no doubt, considered a feudal form of territorial organisation. The
territorial gradation of administrative areas more br less remained the same
notwithstanding the changes that were brought about in the system by the British.

The British built on the oriental system and established the present system of field
administration. The creation of a district as unit of administration and the
appointment of the District Collector as Head of District Administration laid the
foundation for stable administration in India. Granting of 'diwani' (civil
administration) in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa to the East India Company in 1765
marks the beginning of British revenue administration in India. In 1769 the
Company launched a scheme of English supervision over the local revenue
collecting institutions. East India Coppqny appo&ed covenanted servants as
supervisors during 1769-70 in the districts of the diwani provinces. The supervisors
were expected to report on the production and capacity of the lands; amount of
revenues and other taxes levied; and manner of collection etc. They were expected
not only to be concerned with revenue collection but also to have an overall
knowledge of all the factors that affected the district. But the system failed and the
company decided in 1772 to take over the entire executive management of public
revenues. Accordingly, Warren Hastigns issued a proclamation. On May 14'~,1772
the supervisors were appointed as Collectors. Thus, the institution of Collector was
created for the first time in 1772 during the period of Warren Hastings. From then
onwards collection of revenue became the most important duty of the company's
civil servants. The office of the District Collector became an important institution of
the British local administration. They were entrusted with the executive power of
management and collection of revenue and other duties of enquiry and investigation.
From then onwards the Collector's role has gone through several changes that is
period of strength, neglect etc. By the time India gained independence the District
Collector had become ah important hnctionary Heading the District Administration.

The office of the Collector is an important institution transmitted by the British
rulers to the Indian administrative system. y e performs traditional revenue function
as well as development functions. Throughout the country, the power and hnctions
of the Collector, more or less, remain the same. Broadly, the Collector performs the
following functions:
Head of Revenue Administration;
Head of Police Administration,
Head of District Administration, and
An agent of the Government
The Collector started as a revenue functionary and he continues to be the principal
Revenue Officer and Head of the Revenue Administration in the district. After
independence, the importance of revenue administration has become secondary. The District CoIIector
I emphasis has shifted to Development Administration, though the revenue functions
still remain with the District Collector. Besides collection of revenue, the Collectors
,' are responsible for the collection of all other duties like takkavi loans and dues
belonging to other Departments. Maintenance of land records and collection of
statistics at the village level are some other functions of the Collector. He exercises
i appellate jurisdiction in revenue cases. The recovery of arrears of land revenue in
I respect of all Departments is the responsibility of the Collector. In the discharge of
his revenue functions, many officers like the Revenue Divisional Officers,
It Tahsildars, Revenue Inspectors and Village Officers assist the Collector.
As the Head of the Revenue Administration, he is the kingpin of relief operations in

the district. In emergency situation like floods and famines the Collector plays a
very crucial role in relief operations. The Government takes decision regarding the
quantum of relief and the manner of distribution mostly on the basis of assessment
made by the Collector.
Law and Order
District Collector also functions as District Magistrate and is responsible for the
maintenance of law and order in the district. After the separation of judiciary from
the executive, the Collector is concerned with the preventive sections of the criminal
procedure code. As District Magistrate, he is Head of the Police Administration of
the district. In this function, Superintendent of Police who is the Head of police
force in the district helps the Collector in discharge of his police functions. In all
important matters, the Superintendent of Police takes orders from the Collector.
There have been many instances of strained relations'between the Collector and the
Superintendent of Police. In certai situations, lack of understanding between the
two affect the entire District Admin stration.
Head of District Administration
The Collector continues to be the Head of the District Administration. As District
Magistrate, he is responsible for the maintenance of law and order. As chief revenue
officer, he is responsible for the collection of revenues. He is also closely associated
with several other Departments like Education, Industries, Cooperatives, Public
Works, etc. In respect of Panchayati Raj, in several States, he has a very important
relationship with the Panchayati Raj bodies. As a Head of the district administration,
he plays a coordinating role between different Departments like Revenue, Police and
other Departments. The Collector supervises the working of municipalities. He has
power to suspend the resolutions of local bodies, if they constitute a threat to public
peace. He also Heads a number of official and non-official bodies in-fhe district like
the Road Transport Authority, District Employment Comm~ttee, Welfare
Committees, Red Cross Society, etc. The amount of time he spends on these
activities depends on his personal interest.
An Agent of the Government
He is looked upon as an agent of the Government at the district level. He hoists the
national flag on Independence and Republic days. He has several protocol functions
like meeting the Ministers and other important dignitaries. In emergencies like
floods and famines, he can call upon any branch of the District Administration to
undertake any specific work to provide assistanc6~Censusoperations and conduct of
elections to various democratic bodies from the Parliament to the Gram Panchayat is
another important function. The Collector is also an agent of the Governor in respect
of scheduled tribes' areas in some of the districts. There are other functions also with
which the Collector is intimately associated like social security, pensions, excise,
grant of licenses for arms, etc. The scarcity and rising prices due to public
distribution system has become an important part of district administration. He is
directly responsible for the distribution and control of all essential commodities and
goods. He issues licenses for trading in foodgrains and other commodities. As Head
Field and Locgl of the distribution system, he is expected to ensure timely and equitable distribution
of scarce commodities.
The collector presides over a large number of meetings like meetings of
Coordination Committee, Development Committee, Irrigation Committee etc. These
are excellent forums for the Collector to know the way policies are translated into
action and to come into contact with the local people and understand their problems.
Check Your Progress 1
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
1) Explain the importance of ~ollectorin District Administration.

2) Trace evolution of the institution 6fCollector.

3) Explain revenue functions of the District Collector.

After independence, the Collector has become responsible for the implementation of
the development programmes in the district. As an administrator, he is expected to
coordinate all the development programmes being implemented in the district. The
Collector's role in development administration is more visible in case of Panchayati
Raj Institutions. He is closely associated with these institutions either from within or
outside. The advent of Panchayati Raj Institutions in India has brought about several
changes in the set up of the district administration. This is particularly so in case of
the role and functions of the District Collector. Balwantrai Mehta Committee
recommended that the Collector should be the Chairman of Zilla Parishad. At the
time of establishment of Panchayati Raj, critics argued that Collectors should not
Head the democratic bodies, this would not be in consonance with the spirit of
decentralisation. It would curb the democratic spirit. In practice, different types of
linkages were established between the Collector and the Panchayati Raj Institutions
in different States. In Rajasthan, for example, the Collector was made an associate
member of Zilla Parishad without the right to vote. In Andhra Pradesh, he was made
a full mkmber of Zilla Parishad and chairman of all the standing committees. Later,
however in Andhra Pradesh, the Collector was disassociated from Zilla Parishad. In
Maharashtra, the Collector was kept out of Zilla Parishad. But, generally it is felt
that the Collectors shduld have'a large share of responsibility in facilitating the
success of Panchayati Raj Institutions. Over the years, four patterns of the role of
Collector, vis-a-vis Zilla Parishad have emerged. Firstly, the Collector is the
Secondly, the Collector has been kept out of Zilla Parishad completely because of a District Collector
feeling that it would burden the Collector, who is already over burdened. In some
States, the Collector is made Chairman of the standing committees vested with
power and decision-making. Finally, in some States, the Collector is a member of
Zilla Parishad without right to vote.
The relationship between Collector and Panchayati Raj Institutions can be studied
under different heads namely control over staff, power to suspend ~esolutions,power
to remove officers, and power to suspend and dissolve Panchayati Raj Institutions.
In these areas, the role of Collector varies from state and state. Some aspects of this.
would be discussed later in the Unit on Panchayati Raj. The Collector has power to
write confidential report and has authority to inflict various punishments, such power
vary from state to state. Similarly, the Collector can suspend the resolutions of
Panchayats. An association with these bodies will bring the Collector in intimate
relationship with the people's representatives. This provicies him an opportunity to
understand the dynamics of Development Administration at the district level.
I n practice, the role assigned to him varies from state to state as mentioned below:
In Tamil Nadu he is the Chairman of District Development Council.
In the States of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar he is entitled to attend the meetings of
t the Panchayat Samiti and its standing committees but without a right to vote.
i In Maharashtra and West Bengal he is kept out of the Zilla Parishad.
!n Andhra Pradesh, he is not only the member of the Zilla Parishad but also the
1I Chairman of all the standing committees in whom executive authority is vested.
I In the States of Assam, Punjab and Rajasthan, the Collector is a non-voting
member of the Zilla Parishad and he is associated in a purely advisory capacity.
! It shows that there is an unconcealed reluctance to have his involvement in the
decision-making processes of rural democracy.
After 73rd Constitutional Amendment, the relationship of District Collector with
Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIb) has changed immensely. The Constitutional
amendment and the enactment of Panchayati Raj laws by various States in 1993 has
reduced the burden of the District Collector on development activities. This Act has
I given scope to the State Government to set forth the yardstick of the relationship of
the PRIs and the Collector. In this context, some States have created the post of
I Chief Executive Officer and some States have opted for District Development
! Officer or Deputy District Commissioner. In the States like Rajasthan, the Collector
is a nominated member of the District Planning Committee (DPC). Whereas, in
some other States like Madhya Pradesh the Cdlector is the Member and Secretary
of the DPC. Before these changes, District Collector in Madhya Pradesh had access
I to Rs.10 lakh for development works, which has now been hiked to Rs. 1 crore,
making him more powerful.
However, in Andhra Pradesh the Collector as the Head of the District
Administration. continues to co-ordinate the development activities. In the capacity
of an ex-off~ciomember, he attends the meetings of Zilla Paridshad and its standing
committees, and participate in their discussions. He participates and attends the
meetings but without the right to vote on the resolutions. The District Collector has
the authority to suspend or cancel any resolution passed by these bodies; initiate
action in the event of default; suspend the Chairman (ZP), the President (MP) and
the Sarpanch (GP) and dissolve the Zila Parishad / Mandal Parishad 1 Gram
Panchayat and any of the Standing Committees. It has been observed from the study
on Maharashtra that District Collector has limited role to play in the PFUs. He has an
important role in elections or reporting regarding resolutions, such as no confidence
against office bearers.

The unique feature about the controlling authority assigned to the Collector in Tamil
Nadu is that the District Collector has the overall controlling authority as the
Field and Local Inspectors of Panchayruts in the district. The Project Officer 1 Additional Collector
Administration (Development) of the District Rural Development Agency. (DRDA) assists him in
implementing developrhent programmes. The study conducted by the Task Force on
Panchayat Raj reveals that except a few States like Karnataka, Kerala and West
Bengal, bureaucracy is a dominwt partner in decentralised governance.
The Administrative Reforms Commission recommended that all the development
functions should be entrusted to the Zilla Parishad. The Collector should only be
responsible for regulatory functions. In the context of transfer of development
functions, the Committee felt, it would enable the Collector to devote more time and
attention to his regulatory functions. This will help to improve the general
administrative climate in the district. The Committee on Panchayati Raj Headed by
Asoka Mehta also reaommended the separation of development functions and
entrusting them to the Chief Executive Officer. Thus, even after implementation of
73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, there is no uniform pattern with regard to the
position of the District Collector in relation to the Panchayati Raj Institutions.
The Collector is assisted in his duties by a number of officers at variGus levels.
Generally, there are two or three senior officers of Joint or Additional collector.'^
rank. These officers look after the revenue, law and order, and developmental
functions. The Collector in the Collectorate is assisted by Deputy Collectors. These
officers look after different functions like revenue, law, relief, establishment and
other duties. District tlechnical officers like District Agricultural Officer, District
Educational Officer, District Cooperative Off~cer etc. function directly under
supervision of the Collector except in a few States where they work with the Zilla
Parishad. The District is divided into Sub-Divisions. The Sub-Divisional Officers
Head each Sub-Division. In some States they are called the Revenue Divisional
Officers. The Collector provides guidance and leadership to the Joint Collectors and
Sub-Divisional Officers. At the taluka and block level, there are Tahsildars and
Block Development Officers undertaking revenue and development functions
respectively. They have regular contacts with the people and are real executors of all
Government Programmes. A large number of subject matter specialists function at
the block leyel initiating and implementing specific programmes.
The Collector exercises control over the field officers through visits, inspections and
review meetings. Through these techniques, he monitors the programme
entation and provides guidance to the field officers. His inspection and
ot only give a bird's eye view to the Collector, but algo enable the field
officers to clarify their doubts about policies and priorities from the Collector.
During his visits to the villages, he hears people's complaints about the problem of
drinking water, water for irrigation, bad roads, poor housing, shortage of essential
commodities, and inputs for agricultural operations, corruption and insensitivity of
officers, etc. Based on these inspections and visits the Collector can assess the
problems affecting the district and take the initiative to overcome them. This gives
the Collector a clear understanding about the p a l problems apart from providing a
pefsonal touch to the administrative system.
An important role of the Collector is to bring about coordination between different
Departments ih the district. He acts as a catalyst for development. In some States,
all the district level officers are brought under the control of the Collector and in
some they are outside. As highest functionary in the district, the Government looks
towards him for providing the needed guidance and direction to the officers.

The Collector has become an increasingly important functionary in district
administration. Both in, the ,regulatory and development functions, he has a very
important role to play. In ttie performance of his functions, he faces a number of
problems and constraints, which inhibit his work. Problems like frequent transfers, District Collector
increasing workload, political pressures, crisis situations, and individual orientation
of Collectors are a few which need to be examined in this context.
The Civil Servants need to have a tenure, which is long enough to understand the
environment, establish constructive relationships, and to implement the development
programmes. A well-accepted policy is to retain an officer in a particular place for a
period of three to five years. Unfortunately, this policy does not seem to be the
practice in case of the Collectors. A few studies, conducted on this issue indicate
that there are too frequent transfers inhibiting the proper performance of the
Collector's functions. For example, in Rajasthan, the average tenure of Collectors
was 14.2 months, which is not conducive to attain development objectives. This
indicates that they are dislocated before they acquaint themselves with the problems
of the district. Some of the Collectors have tenure of less than four months, and
there are very few Collectors who enjoy three years of tenure. This type of frequent
transfers apart from having a negative influence on the Collector would adversely
affect district development administration.

i Political interference and pressure is another area affecting work of the Collectors.
Such pressures are generally brought to restrain the District Administration in cases
of land acquisition by the Government or use of judicial support for their followers
or issue of gun licenses or permits for scarce commodities like sugar etc. If the
District Collectors concede the request, they are accused of partisanship; and if they
resist the pressure, they are accused of being insensitive to the requests of the
people's representatives. Quite often, resistance to pressures leads to politicisation
of issues. This may even lead to transfer of the Collectors. This has an adverse
effect on performance of the Collector as an agent of change. It also adversely
affects their job performance.

The visiting dignitaries like the Minister frequently interrupt the Collector's work.
Protocol requires that the Collector must receive and be available to have discussions
with the visiting dignitaries. Thus, protocol duty is another area, which affects the
Collector's work to some extent.
One complaint often made is that the Collector is over-worked. Though studies are
few in this area. These studies revealed the varied nature of the workload of the
District Collectors. An analysis of the work of Collectors in the former Bombay
State indicates that the Collector spends 54 per cent of his time on correspondence,
26 per cent on tours, and the remaining 20 per cent on meeting the visitors, attending
to protocol duties, attending meetings and hearing cases. In another study conducted
by Jack Gillespie, it was shown that the Collectors spend 36 per cent of time on
correspondence, 18 per cent on tours, 11 per cent on receiving visitors and the
remaining time to other functions like attending meetings, protocol duties, job
related social activities etc. It was also revealed that the Collectors spend on an
average 70 hours a week for official functions. This means, about 10 hours everyday
including sundays and holidays. This indicates the amount of pressure on his time
and the increasing workload on the Collectors. These activities leave them with
hardly any time for reflection or concentration on development activities.

, In the district, the Collector is responsible for the maintenance of law and order. In
practice Superintendent of Police, who is the Head of the Police force, in the district
looks after this function under the overall supervision of the Collector. Quite often,
the people come to the Collector with the complaints about the partisan attitude of
the police and their failures. The Collector's association is indirect and minimal after
i the separation of functions, that is judicial and executive. The relations with the
police have always been very delicate and sensitive to the Collector. In recent years,
! police began to resent the control of the Collector in the maintenance of law and
order. There have been cases of strained relations between the two. With increasini
unrest in the rural areas, the role of Collector is becoming increasingly important in
the maintenance of peace and tranquility.
Field and Locrl Crisis administration is another important and a necessary function of the Collector.
Administration The crises may include communal disturbances, floods and famines, dacoity,
terrorism, accidents and campus disturbances. These type of crises demand the
Collector's immediate intervention. This affects their normal functions and the
immediate casualty ig neglect of development functions.
Finally the Collector who is committed to change in development process, chooses
his own area and preference for work. Some officers focus their attention on
welfare of weaker sectiotis; others on health activities, and few concentrate on
agriculture, Some of the Collectors concentrate on special programmes and
activities of their choice. Thereby, giving secondary i~nportanceto the remaining
functions. This also aonstricts their role and performance ih general.
The District Collectors should try to overcome these pressures through better
relations with the politicians; propet time management; and delegation of work to
their subordinates. Some officers make use of the political executives at the district
and State levels to iron out the problems in deveiopment administration and make
positive use of their interactions with the politicians. There are others, who view the
intervention as an unwelcome interference in their work and feel disgusted. The
performance of the Collector, therefore depends upon his own inclination and
orientation towards tlle develop~nentgoals. It also depend on his capacity to make
use of the environtneht iti the district positively and constructively to undertake his
fvnctions. No textbook propositions can be made to overcome some of these
Lakhina Experiment
Need for administ~atlteefficiency and also responsiveness to the community led
Mr. Anil Kumar Lakhina, a District Collector, to undertake an exercise to reform
disttlct administration, The exercise was done in the Collectorate of Ahmednagar in
Satara district of Maharashtra. Some of the changes brought about in the District
Administration includes regulation of visitors to the Collectorate; designing the
office as per task sequence, making documents available to those who handle them;
preparation of desk manbals, weeding out documents which had outlived their
usefulne~s,provision of dust proof and fire fighting equipment; motivation and
training etc. This experiment revolved around the assumption that attitudinal
changes in the administrator can result in effective administration. It sought to link
attitudinal changes vbith physical work environment. The experiment was
undertaken in only one district and possibility of its adoption elsewhere is yet to be
proved. But the Lakhina experiment is a pointer that structural changes coupled with
attitudinal changes and the 'will' to adopt reforms can bring efficiency in district
administration, What is true of the Collectorate is equally true of other
administrative organs At the district level.
%beckYour Pragress 2
Note; I) Use the spake given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
1) Explain role of the Collector in Panchayati Raj Institutions.

2) DescrClbe significance of the Lakhina experiment.
District Collector
3) Discuss the problems that Collectors face in the performance of their duties.

Earlier, the Collector was in charge of land revenue, maintenance of law and order
and other regulatory functions. In independent India, with the adoption of socialistic
pattern of society and focus on development, the Collectors in most of the States
became developmel~tfunctionaries and change agents. In this Unit, we have
discussed the evolution of the Office of District Collector. The role and functions of
District Collector as the Head of Revenue Administration, Police Administration,
District Administration and as an Agent of the Government have been described.
His associations with development institutions like Panchayati Raj are very close and
intimate. However, after 73cd and 74Ih Constitutional Amendments, the role of
Collector in development administration has changed. Even than the District
Collector appears to be the kingpin of District Administration. Lastly, the problems
and constraints, which impinge on the performance of the Collector like workload,
frequent transfers, political interference etc. have been described. The Collectors
should try to overcome these problems by improving their relations with various
functionaries, political leaders and citizens. In the next Unit, we will discuss on the
Police Administration.

Appellate Jurisdiction: Authority to hear and decide appeals from the decision of
lower court.
Catalyst: A person responsible for hastening necessary changes in the system.
Epithet: A descriptive word or phrase expressing some ideal or implied quality of a
person or thing. It is often used to designate the person or thing in place of the name.
Protocol: Certain code of behaviour, etiquette to be observed or as practiced in
diplomatic missions.

Government of India, 1967, Administrative Reforms Commission, Report of the
Study Team on District Administration, Delhi, Manager of Publications.
Arora, Ramesh K, 1999, Indian Administration: Perceptions and Perspectives,
Aaalekh Publishers, Jaipur.
Bava, Noorjahan (ed .), 2000, Development Policies and Administration in India,
Uppal Publishing House, New Delhi.
Jain, R.B. (ed), 1980, District Administration, Indian Institute of Public
Administration, New Delhi
Lakhina, Anil Kumar, 1984, "Reforms in the Collectorate of Ahmadnagar
(Maharashtra - A Report )", The Indian Journal of Public Administration, Vol.
XXX, No. 2, April-June, 1984.
Field nnd Local Maheshwari, S.R, 2003, Indian Administration, Orinet Longmans Pvt. Ltd, New
Administration Delhi.

Check Your Progress 1
1) Your answer should include the following points:
The Collector is the highest functionary in the district administration.
The Collector is the Head df the revenue administration at the State level.
The maintenance of law and order in the district is the responsibility of the
As the Head of district administration, the Collector plays a coordinating
role between different departments like revenue, police, health etc.
8 The Collector is responsible for the implementation of the Government
policies at the district level.

2) Your answer should include the following points:
The origin of the afioe of the District Collector in India is related to the
concept of a tefritorial unit of administration.
6 During the Mauryan, Gupta and Mughal$eriods, there were some
territorial divisions and offie62t.s df these divisidds were responsible for the
realisation of I d ~ drevenue.
The creation of district as a unit of administration and the appointment of
District Collector as the Head of district administration.
"The beginning of British Revenue Administration in India in 1765 through
granting 'diwani' in 1765.
8 Appointment of covenanted servants as supervisors in several districts of
the iwani provinces during 1769-70.
In 1772, during the Pbricsd of warren Hastings, supervisors were appointed
as Collectors. ?rhus,the institution of Collector came into existence.

3) Your answer should include the following points:
Coilection of revenue, and othe'r dues like takkavi loans and dues
belongirig to other Departments.
Maintenance of records, and collection of statistics at the village level.
Recovery of arrears of land revenue.
Responsible for relief operations in the district during crises like floods and
Check Your Progress 2
1) Your answer should include the following points:
8 The District Collector is associated with the Panchayati Raj Institutions in
most of the States.
In Tamil Nadu the Collector has overall authority as the Inspector of
In some States, the Collector has power 'to suspend and dissolve the
Panchayati Raj Institutions.
r The Collector as an ex-officio member attends the meetings of Zilla District Collectol
Parishad and its standing committees.

2) Your answer should include the following points:'
Efforts made by the District Collector of Satara district of Maharashtra to
bring about both structural reforms at the district level and attitudinal
changes in dealing with organisation.
Need was felt for bringing about administrative efficiency as well as
responsiveness to the public.
Certain reforms were brought about in the district administration. Also
improvements in physical work environment were made.
This experiment established that structural reforms coupled with attitudinal ,
changes and the necessary will to adopt reforms can bring efficiency in
district administration. -

3) Your answer should include the following points:
~ l e ~ u etransfers
nt of the Collectors, which inhibit the proper performanc;
of their functions.
Political interference and pressures have an adverse effect on the
performance of their duties.

i Protocol duties of the Collector, which interrupt their work.

1 Increasing workload.
Strained relations between the Police and t b Collector
Crisis administration deman/ds Collector's immediate intervention that
affects their normal functions specially development functions.
Background of Police Administration in India
Role and Functions of the Police
Organisation at the Central and State Level
Organisation at Range Level
Organisation at District and Sub-district Level
Rural Police
Urban Police
Issues Confronting Police Administration
Let Us Sum Up
Key Words
References and Further Readings
Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

After studying this Unit, you should be able to: .

Discuss the role and functions of police;
Describe its organisational structure at various levels; and
Explain the critical issues in Police Administration.

In the field of administration, police have an important role to play. In India, Police
is the coercive arm of the State, which is entrusted to perform the basic duty of the
State that is maintenance of law and order. Therefore, law and order administration
has acquired signif cance at the Central, State, Range, District and Sub-District level
in rural and urban areas. Rapid growth of population, industrialisation, urbanisation,
qowing political consciousness. led to law and order problems. Agrarian and tribal .
revolts, political caste and communal violence, labour and student unrest and
terrorism are indications of law and order problems. In all societies, particularly in
developing societies, these conflicts and tensions are inevitable and many manifest in
different forms. Freedom and independence will not have meaning unless these
basic issues are properly attended. In this Unit, an attempt will be made to study the
organisation of police at various levels; and critical issues that confront the Police

In all societies, organisations were established to protect the life and liberties of
people since the dawn of civilisation. With the passage of time, complexities in the
nature of societies have led to the creation of modem police. In the European
context the term 'police' refers to a 'force for the city' and the police officer was
known as Nagarpal, which means protector of the city and governance based on
Dharma and Danda. Dandaneeti was an important ingredient of Statecraft. Manu
talked about the preventioi and detection 'of crime and also a system of collecting
intelligence during the vedic period. Vedas refer to different kinds of crimes and
punishments for the criminals. During the Mauryan and Gupta periods, policing was
undertaken systematically. Kautilya's Arthashastra gives a vivid picture of the
nature of police organisation and their functions. During Mughal period, law and
order administration was under the charge of Fauzdars. They were assisted by
Thanedars who were in charge of Police Stations. He was also responsible for Police Administration
revenue functions. The office of the Kotwal was fairly important, as he was the
chief of city police. His functions included patrolling the city at night, collection of
intelligence, prevention of crime and social abuses and regulation of jails. During
the British period, the police system that existed under the Mughals was allowed to
continue with certain reforms to meet the changing needs.
The present Indian police system is based on the Police Act of 1861. Under this act
the pojice was made subordinate to the Executive Government. Later, several
changes were brought about in the structure as well as functioning of the police
system. But the basic structure and characteristics as enshrined in the police act of
186 1 continued to dominate over the police system in the country. By the time India
attained lndependence in 1947, the Police Administration had developed into one of
the best systems. After independence, the Government of India felt that the system
was capable of facing new challenges and was also well developed to help the new
Government to maintain stability.

Prevention of crime and maintenance of public order are the major functions of the
police. According to 1861 Act, Police functions are to prevent commission of
offences and public nuisances; bring offenders to justice; collect information
affecting public peace; and keep order in all public places, keeping in view the
changing political and social scenario. U.N. Congress prevention of crime, held in
1970 identified urbanisation, industrialisation, population growth, internal migration,
social mobility, technological changes etc. as the crimogenetic factors. Communal
tension and other social tensions are also the causes of crime due to which public
order gets disturbed and violence breaks out.
The main task of police is to enforce law and order, protect the citizens and
safeguard their property. The police have to play a positive role in the scheme of
social defence. It can no longer take a restrictive view of their role. In a democratic
society the role of police is linked to social service. It is an important area where
police has been assigned a positive role in relation of social. legislation. These
legislations touch upon the lives of the people at countless number of places. This .
provides various opportunities to serve the people and proves to be a challenge as
well. In the changing political context, the police have to function as officers of law
rather than as officers of the Government or Party in power.

According to the National Police Commission set up by the Government of India in
1977, the duties and responsibilities of the police are to:
i) Promote and preserve public order;
ii) Investigate crime;
iii) Identify problems and situations that are likely to resuIt i ; ~commission of
iv) Reduce the opportunities for the commission of crimes through preventive
patrol and other appropriate police measures;
v) Aid and co-operate with other relevant agencies in implementing; appropriate
measures for prevention of crimes;
vi) Aid individuals who are in danger of physical harm;
vii) Create and maintain a feeling of security in the community;
viii) Facilitate orderly movement of people and vehicles;
ix) Counsel and resolve conflicts and promote amity;
x) Provide other appropriate services and afford relief to people in distress
situations; and
Field and Local xi) Collect intelligence relating to matters affecting public peace and crime.
Administration including social and economic offences, and national integrity and security.
As civilisation advances, and democracy takes roots, the laws of the land also
change. Instead of individual fancies, the people or their chosen representatives base
law making on participation. Personalised laws are replaced by public laws. It's
inter-dependence with other wings of criminal justice system such as judiciary and
prosecution, and its interface with various sections and groups in the society have far
reaching implication for its functionary.

Article 246 (entry 2, List 11, Seventh Schedule) of the Indian Constitution
enumerates police as a State subject. Police Administration, therefore, is a State
responsibility. This does not, however, minimise the role of Central Government in
.Police Administration. The Constitution itself enumerates a long list of subjects like
All India Services, preventive detention, hrms, ammunition, passports etc. in the
union list. The Central Government's role in Police Administration is related to
making laws on subjects included in Union and Concurrent lists and making
amendments to the basic police laws like Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal
Procedure, Evidence Act, etc. Administration of the States, policing the Union
Territories, management of Indian Police Service, matters relating to arms and
ammunition are also thelresponsibility of the Central Government. The Ministry of
Home Affairs and the Department of Personnel plays the administrative and
coordinating role. In maintenance of law and order, whenever required, the Central
Government provides aid and assistance to the States. To discharge this function,
the Central Government maintains a network of line and staff units all over the
country. The Central Reserve Police Force, Border Security Force, Railway
Protection Force, Central Industrial Security Force are some of the reserve units.
Similarly Central Forensic Institutes, Police Wireless and Sa'rdar Vallabhbhai Patel
Police Academy are the staff units at the Central level. These apart, there are
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Central Intelligence Bureau (CIB) also to
aid the Central Government. These agencies, under the control of the Central
Government provide assistance to the State Police Organisation in the fields of law -
and order, security and administration of justice in the country. Rules and
regulations have been formulated for the operation of these agencies in the States.
There are occasions when these rules are violated leading to tensions between the
Central and State Governments.
At the State level, the Police Administration is more or less uniform throughout the
country. The Chief Minister or Home Minister is largely responsible for policy and
supervisory functions. The Home Department coordinates and supervises the Police
Administration in the State. It acts as a link between Central and State Governments.
But the Inspector General of Police (IGP) or the Director General of Police (DGP)
who is the Head of the State Police undertakes the real work. His office is called the
Office of the IGPIDGP popularly called Chief Office. This office collects
information and feeds it to the Government; advises political decision-makers like
the cabinet and'the ministers; supervises and controls line agencies. It organises
training and acts as a clearinghouse of special police services. The IGP/DGP aids
and advises the Government and exercises general supervision and control over the
police department. He exercises administrative, personnel, and financial power. He
provides leadership to the Police Administration in the State. He is assisted in his
duties of IGP by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGS) and Superintendents
of Police (SPs) and other staff. They Head the specialised branches like intelligence
department, crime branch, transport department, training, armed forces, general
administration, law and order etc. The organisation of police will become more
evident by the following chart.
Police Administration

Home Minister / Home ~ e c r e t a r =
Director General of Police

Or the Inspector General of Police (in a union territory)
(Head of the State/officeor the Chief (office)
Deputy Inspector ~ e n e r a l bPolice
(Head of the range office)
Superintendent of Police .
(Head of the district police office)
Deputy Superintendent of Police
(Generally called the Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDO)
(Head of the sub-divisional office)
Inspector of Police
( ~ e a d othe
f circle ofice)
(Head of the Police Station, generally called the Station House Officer)
Asst. Su b-Inspectors
Head Constable
Police Constables

The real police work takes place in the districts and below. Before we discuss the
field organisation, let us have a cursory view of police organisation at the range level
into which the State police organisation is divided.

Many States are too big to be administered effectively and 'efficiently from a central
point. It is not possible for the Head of the police that is the police chief or the
DGPIIGP to keep in touch with the functioning of the entire organisation. Therefore,
the police organisation in a State is divided into ranges for operational convenience.
This is above the district and below the State level. This broadly corresponds to the
divisional set up about which we have studied in Unit 17. Deputy Inspector
General of Police Heads each range. Each police range comprises a few districts.
The number of districts in each range varies from 2 to 8 depending upon the size of
the district, population, and importance of the district.
'The DIG functions as a staff officer to the State police chief and as a line officer to
the district police. His functions include periodic inspections, receiving and
processing reports and returns from districts, and issuing instructions to the district
police functionaries. A major function of the range DIG is to coordinate the
activities of district police and also take measures for inter-district co-operation. He
is personally responsible for the enforcement of discipline among the police
personnel under his charge. He exercises power of transfer and discipline over
certain categories of personnel. He keeps a watch on the crime situation in the
district particularly over grave offences like dacoity, mltrder etc. He also exercises
control ,over police funds. The range of DIG'S functions, thus, includes personnel
management, budgetary control and coordination. He is responsible for the
maintenance of efficiency and discipline of his staff. He ensures uniformity of
procedure and securing co-o~erationbetween the oolice functionine in the districts

Field and Local within his range. He has to ensure harmonious relations between the police and the
Administration executive magistracy.
There are some criticisms about a range becoming a mere post office. It is criticised
to be functionally superfluous. Some feel that inspite of range offices the workload
of the State level offices has not been reduced and in fact it has been on the increase.
The National Police Commission recommended that DIG of the range should play a
positive role in functioning of the districts under his control. He should act as
coordinating authority between districts in his range and with those of the adjacent
ranges. It also recommended that hetshe should be a sensitive judge of public
opinion and play an important role in planning and modernisation of the force. The
commission felt that to be effective, the range of DIG should not have more than five
districts under his control. It also recommended that for adequate supervision,
territorial Inspector General of Police should be appointed in large States. They
should not have more than 15 to 20 districts or 4-5 ranges under his charge. The
Armed Battalions of the range should also be placed under the operational charge of
the territorial IGP. They should be delegated administrative, financial, disciplinary
and other power. This will reduce the workload on the DGP and enable him to
cohcentrate on higher matters of policy and administration.

As we have discussed in Unit-17, district is an important unit of the public
administrative structut-e in the country. Almost all the State Government offices are
located in the district. In Police Administration also district plays a pivotal role. All
the laws and rules passed by the police are transformed into action at this level.
District Police Organisation is responsible for the effective maintenance of law and
order and control of crime. Police Administration at the district level is carried out
by the chief of the district police, called Superintendent of Police, who is responsible
for the maintenance of law and order, and other law enforcement activities.
Technically, Superintendent of Police functions under the overall control of the
Collector. He and his subordinate officers, in practice, enjoy operational autonomy
in the discharge of their functions. The Collector as a District Magistrate is broadly
responsible for preventive aspects; and the police is responsible for the control of
crime, maintenance of law and order, etc. Police Administration below the district
level is organised into divisions; divisions into circles; and circle into Police
Stations. The organisation and working of Police Stations, marginally, varies
between urban and rural areas.
District Police work under the Superintendent of Police. He is always a member of
the Indian Police Service and wields a great amount of power and prestige in the
districf. He is accountable to the Head of the range police that is Deputy Inspector
General of Police for the maintenance of law and order in his district. He is also
responsible to the Director General of Police at the State Headquarters. The
Superintendent of Police (S.P) is responsible for the efficiency, morale and discipline
of the police force in the district. He collects information about various aspects from
the entire district and communicates the same to the State Government along with
his own assessment.
The Superintenden't of Police is primarily responsible for the maintenance of law and
order, and prevention of crime. He is empowered to take preventive measures to
ensure peace in the district. He has to make adequate police arrangements during
fairs and festivals as well as elections and agitations. If he apprehends untoward
situations, he can advise the Collector to promulgate prohibitory orders and even to
clamp curfew. He cohtrols crime by patrolling, investigating and taking preventive
measures. He also supervises the operations of crime and special branches working
under him. He has many personnel and organisational responsibilities like adequate
SUDDIY of arms. vehicles. uniform etc. He also has res~onsibilitiesregarding matters
of training, promotion and discipline of the staff, maintaining financial property etc. Police Administration
He is the link between police organisation and people's representatives at the district
level. He maintains coordial and friendly relations with people. In the district where
important urban centers are located, he has responsibilities of regulating traffic and
receiving VIPs. Thus, the SP occupies a pivotal and a powerful position not only in
the district police organisation but also in the District Administration itself. The
Additional Superintendent of Police assists him. The later helps him in his day-to-
day general administration. Deputy superintendents of Police, Circle Inspectors of
Police, Sub-Inspectors of Police, Head Constablesand Police Constables assist him
in the entjrcement of law and order at various levels. To assist him in undertaking .
his functions. professionals and technical units are also placed at his disposal.
The organisation at the district level broadly consists of two wings namely the
P District Police Office (DPO) and the Field Organisation. The general administration
of the entire police in the district is carried by the DPO. It works under the SP or
i ASP, who is in-charge of the office administration and also exercises general control

ti and supervision. The office administration is carried out by several sections like
crime and statistics, crime bureau, audit and accounts, equipments and stores, etc.
The DPO can be considered as the secretariat of the police and the nerve centre of
the Police Administration in the district. Generally, the accommodation and
facilities at the DPO are not adequate. One find ill-equipped and overstaffed office;
insufficient accommodation; and inadequate lighting and ventilation in these offices.

' II
To provide special assistance to the police, a number of field units function at the
district level. The district armed reserve, the home guards, the women police, crime
bureau, special branch finger print unit, dog squad, transport unit are some of the
field units supporting the district Police Administration.
For operational convenience, the district police organisation is divided into a number
of sub-divisions. Police sub-division is a unit where police work is coordinated and
controlled. It is an intermediary link between police circles, Police Stations and the
district police office. The police sub-division is under the charge of a Deputy
Superintendent of Police or Additional Superintendent of Police. They are generally
called Sub-Divisional Police Officers. The main work of the subrdivision is to look
into law and order matters, and discipline among the police force and other related
matters at the sub-divisional level. A number of reports and registers relating to
crime, security and other administrative aspects are maintained in the Sub-divisional
office. The Sub-Divisional Officers are responsible primarily for the maintenance of
law and order and crime control; collection and communication of intelligence;
submission of periodic reports to the Superintendent of Police, Inspection of Police
Stations and Circle Offices. They also have an important p~rblicrelations role to
perform. They act as a link between the Superintendent of Police and the Sub-
Inspectors and Inspectors.
Sub-Divisions are further divided into police circles, which is a link between Police
Stations and sub-division. This is the third tier in the district police organisation.
Sometimes, the police circles are coterminous with taluka; sometimes with blocks;
and sometimes they may not be in conformity with either of them. As there are no
rules governing the formation of police circles, they vary iri size from State to State
and even in the State from circle to circle. The number of Police Stations in each
police circle is determined on the basis of crime, population, area, topography, etc.
- Each circle may have 3 to 10 Police Stations. The Circle office facilitates smooth

administration at the tield level.

Inspector of Police is the Head of police circle. He is responsible for the
maintenance of law and order, and control of crime. He has to promote discipline
among the policemen. He guides, advises, and supervises the work of Police
~ i e t dand Local Stations and the men working there. He also investigates grave crimes with the
Administration assistance of supporting staff. As is the case with the divisional office, several
registers and records are maintained at the circle level. They include communication
register, case diary, circle information book, annual review of crime, crime charts,
criminal intelligence file, etc.
The Police Station is the lowest tier in the police organisation. It is here that the
actual work of the police is undertaken. It is the basic and primary unit, which is
responsible for the maintenance of Law and order, prevention and control of crime
and protection of life and property of the community.
Check Your Progress 1
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
1) Discuss the functions of police.

2) Describe the organisation and functions of a 'Range'.

3) Discuss the role and funcfionsof Superintendent of Police at the District level.

It is necessary, to discuss organisation of rural Police Stations as well as the system
of policing in the villages because major portion of India's population lives in rural
Rural Police Station
Police Stations are established for a group of villages. There are wide variations
from state $0 state, and station to station within the State regarding area and
population required to set up a Police Station. A Police Station to be more effective
should be a compaat unit. The area should not be too large, as it would defeat the
very purpose of policing. It should not be too small also as it would cause heavy
expenditure. The second Indian Police Commission (1902-03) recommended that
the Poliv Station must be established for every 150 sq. km. area. This was endorsed
by the Nbtional Police Commission also. It also recommended that once in every 10
years a review of the area and jurisdiction of the Police Station must be undertaken.
This would enable proper deployment of police personnel.
Normally, the Police Stations are located in taluka or block Headquarters or in
important villages in the area of its jurisdiction. The Police Station is Headed by a
Station House Officer (S.H.0). To assist him, there are Assistant Sub-Inspectors,
Head Constable and Police Constables. The number of these officers varies from Police Administration
station to station depending upon the population size and the volume of crime. The
S.H.O. seeks the assistance of the village officers in the discharge of his work. He
works under the overall supervision of the Circle Inspector.
Maintenance of law and order, prevention, investigation and control of crime,
collection of intelligence, police prosecution, and traffic control are some of the
functions of the Police Stations. Unlike the urban areas, traffic crime and law and
order functions are also entrusted to the rural Police Stations.
There are a number of problems in the working of the Police Stations viz. lack of
proper buildings, absence of essential minimum needs and facilities for the staff,
absence of proper equipment, inadequate residential accommodation of the staff,
absence of quicker modes of transportation and compunication. The.National Police
Co~nmission as well as several State Police Commissions have made
recommendations to strengthen the Police Stations to make them effective in rural
and urban areas.
Village Policing
Maintenance of peace and tranquility is essential not only'for the development of
villages but also for national development. Village policing has been in existence for
over centuries. In some form or other it consisted of Village Patel, Village Headman
and the Village Chowkidar. In most of the states, they are hereditary functionaries.
The responsibility for drawing the attention of police to any matter of importance in
the villages vests in these functionaries. They are also responsible for preventing
crime in the village. The 1902 Police Commission emphasised that they should
function as servants of the village community rather than as subordinates to the
regular police. The British Government recognized the need and importance of these
hereditary village police officials. The same system, therefore, was allowed to
continue. The same system continued even in independent India because of its
historical roots, acceptability of the system to the community and its role in policing
the village. Thus the system of Village Headman and Watchman prevailed in Ihdia
before, during and after the British rule. These hereditary functionaries were given
land as remuneration. They were also given some proportion of land revenue,
collected at the village level. The village Headman was responsible to keep a watch
on crime and criminals and report to the Police Station regularly. After
independence, due to the emergence of democratic institutions at the grassroots
level, the village functionaries moved increasingly towards development work. In
some of the States, they are either wholly or partially brought under the Panchayats.
But the system in actual working was found to be deficient in several respects. The
National Police Commission identified some of these deficiencies as lack of
attention, absence of perception of their responsibilities for collecting information or
for reporting, low pay, and excessive control of police.
To overcome some of these problems and deficiencies alternatives to the hereditaj
system were introduced in some States. In Orissa, for example, the hereditary
offices were abolished in 1963-64. They were replaced by a system of Beat-
Constable who had to frequently visit the villages and maintain a regular liaison. As
this system failed, it was abolished soon after and a Gram Rakhi System was
introduced. They discharge more or less similar functions as that of a traditional
village chowkidar. In Karnataka under the Karnataka Village Defence Parties Act of
1964, a system of village Dalpathis and Village Defence Parties was introduced.
Dalpathi who Heads the Village Defence Party is expected to be in regular touch
with the nearest Magistrate or Police Station. But the performance of the system
does not seem to be to the desired level in all the villages. In some districts they are
very active and i n others they do not seem to have a proper perception of the scheme.
The National Police Commission recommended that the existing Chowkidari system
in the country should be retained with some changes to make it more effective. The
suggested reforms include prescription of age limits and educational qualifications,
Field and Local proper pay, etc. The Commission also recommended constitution of village defence
Administration parties with one of the members being designated as Dalapathi. Thus, the National
Police Commission envisaged that the Dalapathi, village defence party and the
former chowkidar should constitute the village police set-up. The commission also
suggested that there was a need for provision of a telephone and a cycle to enable
them to have regular contact with the police.

In recent years India's urban population is on the increase and also the number of
towns. It creates numerous and complicated problems to the Police Administration.
Heterogeneous population, sensitive public, slums, frequent breakdown of law and
order, high incidence of crime etc. compound the problems of police in these cities
and towns. Linguistic groups, labour population, student community etc. also add up
to the complicated urban situation. Therefore, the urban areas need a different type
of policing than the rural areas. In India, two different patterns of urban policing
have emerged over the years. Firstly, all metropolitan towns with more than a
million population have Commissionerate system. In this system the responsibility
and accountability for performance for all aspects of policing vests with the
Commissioner. He is vested with power of regulation, control, licensing etc. in
addition to usual police power. The system is commended by all as it leads to a
prompt and coordinated police action in dealing with matters of crime and disorders.
The National Police Commission, therefore, recommended the introduction of this
system @ all cities with 5 lakhs population or in places, which are experiencing
urbanisation, industrialisation etc. A major question that is often raised is, should the
Commissioner of Police be under the State Police Chief or directly accountable to
State Government? In Kolkata, the Com~nissionerof Police is independent of the
State Police Chief. While in other cities like Mumbai and Chennai they are under
the State chief. Several commissions and committees including [he National Police
Commission suggested that the Commissioner of Police must be 1 ought under the
Chief of State Police with operational autonomy and independence.
Secondly, major urban centers work under the Superintendent of Police. However,
in some States like Andhra Pradesh major urban centres, which do not merit
Commissionarate system are cawed as urban districts for purposes of policing and
Superintendents of Police are appointed exclusively for the urban police districts. In
the later case, they enjoy more power in comparison to the Superintendent of Police
of a district. Several Police Commissions at the State level, which examined this
problem recommended commissionarate system for all major cities and towns
conferring executive magisterial power on the Head of police of such towns and
cities. The National Police Commission and the Andhra Pradesh. Police
Commission suggested a separate City Police Organisation with senior police
officers Heading the city to deal with multifarious and difficult problems. The urban
police require control rooms, staff for investigation to deal with difficulties. In fact,
they should be provided with more facilities to deal with different urban problems.
In urban areas, the Police Station is also the primary unit for police work. There are
variations from State to State about the area and population of urban Police Stations.
The average area of Police Stations in urban area in Assam is 7.9 sq. kms, in Gujarat
38.1 sq. kms. and in Tamil Nadu 22.2 sq. kms. The Police Stations in the rural and
urban areas have different organisational structure, as the volume and character of
work are different. In impodant urban areas like Headquarters of the district, town is
divided into a number of Police Stations like Law and Order Police Stations, traffic
Police Stations, Central Crime Stations and Police Control Room. The Police Station
is responsible for the maintenance of peace and protection to life and property in the
town. They investigate all cases relating to property offences, riots, faction fights
etc. The persons in the police Station are allotted to different detachments called
general detachment, beat detachment and standby detachment, each undertaking
specific function. The Traffic Police Station is responsible for the regulation of the
traffic in the town. Central crime stations are established in big urban areas tc
review the law and order position. They are responsible for effective control of Police Administration
crime. They investigate property offences like robbery, thefts, house breaking etc.
They keep a constant check over criminals and bad characters. Police control rooms
have been established to assist the Police Station. They are equipped with high
frequency wireless sets. Their function is to dispatch striking forces to place where
there is trouble as a primary measure as soon as they receive messages. Later, they
pass on the information to Police Stations for further actions.

The Police Administration in its present form was established long back. Through
the decades the system has not undergone any significant change. The Indian Police
Act of 1861 continues to be the basis for police system in India. There are several
suggestions for its replacement by new legislation. But they have remained only
suggestions. There are several issues, which affect the organisation and working of
the police in the country.
In recent years one finds a proliferation of the posts of Inspector General of Police,
and Deputy Inspector General of Police. Though expansion of any organisation
including police is inevitable, Critics argue that the expansion cannot be to the extent
as it has taken to. The Police Administration is accused of being a top-heavy
administration. Si~nilarlyfrequent changes of the DGPs or IGPs whenever there is a
change of political leadership has created a serious credibility gap in this police
leadership. This problem has been aggravated with emergence of regional parties
in some States. The police coming in for criticism and praise by different political
parties has led to the politicisation of the police.
Constitutionally, law and order is a State subject. But over the years the central
police organisations like Central Reserve Police Force and Border Security Force
have increased. Deployment of the police force in the States on occasions without
informing them has created tensions in Centre-State relations. Similar is the case
with the use of Central Bureau of Investigation. A few States even barred
investigations by the CBI in their States leading to acrimony between the Centre and
the States.
Several studies on the image of police have revealed that the public has greater
dissatisfaction and disenchantment with the working of the police. Apathy of the
police, inefficiency and incapacity of the police has given a poor image to it. As
long as police image does not improve, it is difficult for the police to create
confidence among the public. In such situation, it is not possible for the public to
approach the Police Stations confidently and expect justice from them.
Another issue is the accountability of police. The National Police Commission has
suggested constitution of State Security Boards to make them more accountable and
responsible. These institutions unfortunately have not been constituted and wherever
they exist, their working is not upto the mark.
Facilities at the Police Station level are important to make them effective.
Accommodation, facilities and modernisation are important areas, which need
critical evaluation as well as reform. In all these areas the facilities are inadequate.
As a result some Police Stations are not in a position to establish regular contacts
with the community. Similarly they are not in a position to take'prompt action.
The relation between Superintendent of Police and Collector is an important area of
concern. There appears to be a tendency on the part of Superintendents of Police to
ignore or undermine the Collector and his authority. This has its implications not
only on the police but also on the entire district administration.
In recent years terrorism and violence in different parts of the country are on the
increase. The community expects the police to take steps to controi the problem.
Field and Local Their failure to do this is not only leading to worsening law and order situation but i
Administration also giving a bad name to the police. This has also shattered the confidence o f t
people in the police.
Recruitment and training are important in any organisation; police organisation is no
exception to this. Unfortunately several criticisms are levelled against the practices
and methods of recruitment of police personnel. People feel that the best and
meritorious are not recruited in the police. There are allegations of partisanship in
selections. The recruiting authorities are alleged to be corrupt. Training, that is
imparted, is also considered to be inadequate. Training is not able to motivate the
police. The committee on Police Training, which was set up by the Government of
India in 1973 made several recommendations to improve the training of police
officials. Though efforts are being made to rationalise the recruitment and training
practices of the personnel.
.Police Commissions at the National and State levels have made several suggestions
' to make the police efficient, responsive and responsible. But unfortunately on one
consideration or the other they have not been seriously considered. This indicates
that police reform is a low priority area in the country. Whatever reforms were
implemented they were done half-heartedly without understanding the socio-political
milieu within which the police has to operate. Because of the adhoc and piecemeal
nature of the reforms they did not have the intended effect. The reforms are required
not only in organisation, personnel. procedures but also in the attitudes of the people
and the police officials. Still colonial attitude pervades the minds of the police
personnel. Reform should be continuous because no adhoc approach will give the
intended results.
The police behaviour like rudeness, non-registration of FIR, maltreatment in lock-
ups and so on, are forbidden in the Police Regulations. Mohit Bhattacharya
explained the problem areas in the field of human rights. In his words "(a) General
feeling that the ground realities - how crime and criminals have actually to be dealt
with - are not appreciated by "human rights" protagonists, (b) the balance seems to
be tilting towards criminals, leading to police discomfiture; (c) human rights are, no
doubt, of great value; at the same time, police discretion is necessary to deal with the
ground situation". The major problems faced by police functionaries and Police
Stations are intra-organisational issues related to human resource like insufficient
manpower, low motivation, lack of promotion opportunities, lack of proper training
etc. Infrastructure related problems such as shortage of vehicles and fuel, poor
maintenance and limited space to work and lack of communication facilities affect
the efficiency. In addition, ill lighted unhealthy place; difficulties in supply of food
for lock-up inmates, short supply of stationary items; lack of elementary
investigation kit, inordinately long time in post mortem reports; pending cases and
low priority to investigation also affect the services. In the context of finance, Police
Station has no system of keeping fund, travelling allowance bills are hard to get and
remain pending for months. Strict discipline becomes an artificial barrier to genuine
inter-personal understanding of work, which affect inter-personal relations as well as
dealing with public. In certain cases, police extorts money, nothing moves without
greasing palms. In rural areas, payments are generally made in kind.
Human Rights are promised on two important aspects, that is dignity and equality for
a human being. The incorporation of the rights on the paper or in the Constitution
does not ensure their fulfillment. Constitutional guarantees and legal stipulations are
of no use unless these are put into practice by the enforcement agencies. Since
police is the first step on the ladder of the criminal justice system as an agency that
investigates and detects crime. Human rights can be imperative and effective if the
functional level is fair, just and reasonable in its dealings with suspects and others. It
largely depends upon the law enforcement officers. Hence, the contribution of police
is crucial for the successful implementation of law and order; and in building-up of
an institution for justice. For this, senior leader must internalise the concept of
human rights. He has to undergo a change in his style of thinking and functioning
with the conviction that human rights are inevitable and a technique for better Police Administration
The above mentioned issues need to be examined critically. There is no dearth of
suggestions but what is important is the political will. One has to examine the police
reforms in the total context of social change, and political dynamics. Reform in the
police cannot be viewed in isolation. Structural and institutional changes can only
bring marginal improvements in the working of the police system. What is important
is attitudinal change, both on the part of the police personnel and also the
community. Neither police can take law into its hand and curtail the liberties of the
people nor people can expect peace and order unless they themselves co-operate with
the police in discharge of its functions.
Check Your Progress 2
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.

ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.

1) Discuss the problems faced by a rural Police Station.

2) Comment upon the urban policing system.
..................................................................................... b........

3) Analyse any three critical issues in Police Administration.

In India police system has a long history, though in its present form it came into
existence during the British rule. In a developing society, police has an important
and a positive role. Its functions are many and varied ranging from maintenance of
law and order to social defence. It is considered as an instrument of change in a
modern society. Policing in India is a State subject. However, the Central
Gover~~ment has some role to play in the areas of legislation and also in the provision
of police force in the States. In this Unit, we have discussed the background and
structure of Police Administration at the Central, State, Range, District and Sub-
District level. This disci~ssionwas followed by an analysis of the role of police and
,conditions of Police Stations in rural and urban areas. Finally, we have discussed a
few important and critical issues confronting the Police Administration. This
,organisation has been a highly centralised one and it has not been able to imbibe the
spirit of democracy as a way of institutional life. The organisational accountability
via higher-level supervision is no substitute for public accountability. There is a
need to reorganise the police organisation. In the next Unit, we will concentrate on
Field and Local
the Municipal Administration in India.

Central Forensic Institdtes: These are specialised institutes, which provide various
kinds of scientific aids to the police force in detecting crime. These aidd help the
police to examine, compare and evaluate physical evidence with a view to link a
suspect to the victim or scene of crime.
Danda Neeti: It is the law of regulating human conduct of punishment
Morale: It is an attitude of satisfaction in a person, with a desire to continue and
sense of willingness to strive for the goals of organisation.
Unity of Command: It is an important principle of organisation, which implies that
employees should receive orders only from one superior.

Government of India, 1979, Reports ofthe National Police Commission I to VIII.
National Human Rights Commission, 1995-96 - Annunl Report.
Arora, Ramesh K. (ed.), 1999, Indian Administration Perceptions and Perspectives,
Aalekh Publishers, Jaipur.
Gupta, K.N, 2002, Indian Police and Vigilance in the 21" Century, Anmol, New
Roy, JGtilak Guha (ed.), 1999, Policing in Twenty First Century, Indian Institute of
Public Administration, New Delhi

., Raghavan, R.K, 1999, Policing a Democracy - A Comparative Study of India and
. C*
the U S . , Manohar, New Delhi.
Singh, Joginder, 2002, Inside Indian Police, Gyan Publishing House, New Delhi.
Subramanian, K.S. 1995, Police Orgunisation in India - A Historical and
Contemporary Assessment, Nehru Memorial Museum Library, New Delhi.

Check Your Progress 1
1) Your answer should include the following points:
Prevention of ctime and maintenance of public order.
Protection of citizens and safeguarding their property.
Social defence.
Social legislation.
Redressing people's problems.
2) Your answer should include the following points:
Division of Police Organisation in a State into Range for operational
Range is above the district and below the State level.
Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Heads each range and the range Police Administration
consists of few districts.
There is no uniformity in the number of districts under the range, as it
depends on size of the district, population etc.
The functions of DIG of the range include:
- Co-ordinate the activities of district police and to ensure inter-district
- Personnel management; and
- Periodic inspection and budgetary control over police funds.

3) Your answer should include the following points:
The Superintendent of Police is responsible primarily for the maintenance of
law and order and prevention of Crime.
Supervision of the operations of Crime and Special branches working at the
district level.
Discharging personlie1 and organisational responsibilities and public
The superintendent of Police acts as a link between police organisation and
representatives of people at the district level.
He is responsible for the efficiency, morale and discipline of the police force
- in the district
Check Your Progress 2
1 ) Your answer should include the following points:
Lack of proper buildings
Absence of essential minimum needs, equipment and facilities for the staff.
Inadequate residential accommodation for the staff.
Lack of quicker modes af transportation and communication.
2) Your answer should include the following points:
Urban Police Stations are equipped to tackle the minor and major law and
order problems in urban areas.
The persons in the Police Station are given different detachments.
Different types of Police Stations exist in urban areas like law and order
Police Stations, traffic Police Stations etc.
Many urban areas in the States have the Commissionerate system of
policing. .

Some urban centers work under Superintendent of Police in the district.
3) Yoursnswer should include the following points:
Politicisation o&e police.

Accountability of police.
Improving the infrastructural facilities of the Police Station.
Building confidence amongst the people regarding the police.
Attitudinal change on the part of both public and police.
Rationalising the personnel policies of Police Administration specially 'in
recruitment and training.
Meaning and Nature of Local Self-Government
Urbanisation in India
Seventy-Fourth Constitutional Amendment
Urban Local Self-Government
Urban Development Authorities
Administrative Structure
State and Local Self-Government
Let Us Sum Up
Key Words
References and Further Readings
Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises


After studying this Unit you should be able to:
Describe tlie trends in urbanisation in India;
Discuss the composition of councils, committee systems in Municipal
Corporation and Municipalities in India;
Explain the role of Political Executives and Commissioners;
Examine the status of municipal personnel and finances; and :

the State-Urban local body relations.

In the developing countries, the Colonial Governments during the period of their
domination established several statutory institutions. Among them Urban Local Self-
Government institutions are most prominent. Ever since the establishment of
Madras (Chennai) Municipal Corporation four centuries ago, there has been a
, proliferation of municipal bodies to manage the town and city. Lord Rippon's
resolution in 1882 sought to place these Urban Local Government institutions on a
sound organisational footing. They have been working with different degrees of
success in administering the city. In this Unit, we shall examine the nature of
urbanisation in India, different types of urban local bodies, administrative structure,
role of bureaucracy, municipal finance, control over local bodies and their problem
Local Government or Local Self-Government is the Government of a locality. It is
not the area of the State Government. It ik,an autonomous unit like the State or
Central Government. It is the local will, not tlie will of the Centre or State, which is
reflected through the Local Government. National Government is for the whole
nation; hence it is big Government. By contrast, Local Government looks after the
'local' functions like water supply, local streets, garbage collection and disposal and
similar other local heeds. It is small but important Government for a local area,
which can be a town or a group of villages.
The adjective 'local' stands for a small geographical area. Also, it means intimate Municipal Administration
social relations of the people in a limited geographical space. The other word,
'Government' stands for a public authority. In a democracy, Government may be at
national level, state level and the Regional Government at the regional level. Below
the regional level, there is the 'local' level where 'Government' can be legally
constituted. This means, there are many Local Government units below the National
and Regional Governments, which exercise authority and discharge a number of
important local functions on the basis of statutory decentralisation.
Local Self-Government lias three important features:
a) it is elected by the people of tlie local area;

I b) it has the power to levy taxes and other fees, like any other Government; and
c) its functions and activities are clearly laid down in law so that within the scheme
of legislation Local Self-Government enjoys a degree of autonomy.
Thus, the Local Self-Government is a statutorily constituted democratic Government
with a degree of autonomy exercising jurisdiction over a limited geographical area.
The Local Self-Government in a liberal democracy marks for decentralisation of
power. So, it is considered as a means of enriching and deepening democracy by
extending freedom of action to many localities. It was the view of John Stuart Mill
that Local Government creates conditions for popular participation in governance,
and in this process the system has great educative value for good citizenship in a
Forms of Local Self-Government
There are two common forms of Local Self-Government, that is Urban Local Self-
Government and Rural Local Self-Government. We have Panchayati Raj Institution
in the rural areas. In the urban areas - in the cities and towns -there are Municipal
Corporations and Municipalities. According to the 74th Constitutional Amendment
tlie Urban- Local Self-Government has been classified into three types, that is,
Municipal Corporation, Municipal Council and Municipal Committee.

An urban area is one, which is formally so declared through the statutory
establishment in that area of a municipal body, a notified area or a cantonment by a
definite legislation. Thus, there are Municipal Acts in different States under which
municipal bodies are set-up by tlie State Governments in specific areas. Cantonment
areas are governed by the Central legislation. There can be other areas also that can
be declared as 'urban' by the census authorities.

Tlie urban population, which was around 3 per cent at the beginning of the 19~"
century rose to about 10 per cent by the beginning of the 20"' century. Between 1901
and 1921 urban population grew very slowly that is, it rose from 25.6 million to 27.6
million and between 1921 and 1941 population rose to 43.5 million. But after 1941,
the growth rate gained greater momentum adding to its urban population. From
1961 onwards there has been a dramatic increase in the urban population of the
country. In 1961 the urban population stood at 77.5 millions and by 1981 it had
more than doubled to make it 109.6 million constituting about 23.7 per cent of
India's total population. On the basis of census calculation it can be said that India's
urban population has been rising steadily. In 1971 total urban population in India
stood at 109.11 million, which rose to 159.46 million in 1981, and 218 million in
1991. During 1971-81 decade India's urban population increased approximately 5
inillion per annum, or at an average annual growth rate of 3.87 per cent compared to
the growth rate of 1.78 per cent for the rural population. In 1991 census, country's
total urban population stood at 217.18 inillion and the average annual growth rate
between 1981-9.1 was 3.09 per cent. Between 1988 and 2001 the projections
Field and Local estimate India's urban population to become almost double and from 2001 to 2021 it
is expected to double again taking the urban population to more than 600 millions.
India recorded a population of 1,027,O 15,247 on 1" March 200 1. ?he data indicates
that 72.2 per cent persons were recorded in rural areas and remaining 27.8 per cent in
urban areas. Urban population growth is supposed to be an indicator of general
economic development. Delhi is the most Urbanized State in India with over 93per
cent of its population being Urban. Amongst the other major States, the 'most
urbanized is Tamil Nadu with 43.86 per cent urban population. Maharashtra has the
maximum urban population but is the second most urbanized State with 42.40 per
cent Urban Population. Uttar Pradesh contributing nearly 2lper cent to the State's
total population, but in terms of urbanisation it ranks twenty fifth in the list. Gujarat
is third most urbanized State having 37.35 per cent urban population. The Himachal
Pradesh is least urbanized (most Rural) State having 9.79 per cent followed by Bihar
10.47 per cent and Sikkim 11.1 per cent.
In India, lack of employment opportunities in the rural areas has led to city-ward
migration of large rural population, which is commonly known as the 'push' factor
of urbanisation. The migrants generally choose to settle in large cities where, as a
consequence, population increase is not matched by planned infrastructure
development. Roads, water supply, housing, drainage and sewerage, transportation
facilities - all suffer from short supply in the face of mounting population pressure.
Our large cities like Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi etc. are all having large slum
population and there is chronic shortage of essential civic services and facilities in
these cities.
There has been a notion that India is an over-urbanized State, because of their
substantial increase in population over the years. This thesis is advanced on the
ground that there is a mismatch between the levelsi of industrialization and
urbanisation. The process of urbanisation is costly and impinges upon the economic
growth. The State of infrastructure is poor and is not in a position to take the
growing urban pressure.

Far reaching changes have been brought about for both Municipal Government and
Panchayati Raj Institutions through the two Constitutional Amendments: the
Seventy-third (73rd)Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 for Panchayati Raj, and
the Seventy-fourth ( ~ 4 ' ~Constitutional
) Amendment Act, 1992 for Municipal
The Constitution of India now provides for the constitution of three. types of
institutions of Urban Local Self-Government. These are Municipal Corporations in
larger urban areas, Municipal Councils in urban settlements, and Nagar Panchayats
in 'transitional' areas, which are neither fully urban nor fully rural. In addition, it
provides for decentralisation of municipal administration by constituting Ward
Committees in territorial areas of such municipalities, which have more than three-
lakh population.
The Municipal authorities are to be constituted of:
the elected representatives who are to be elected from the different electoral
, the Members of the House of the People and the Legislative Assembly of the
State representing constituencies, which are wholly or partly under the
municipal area; .
the members of the Council of States and the Sate Legislative Council who are Municipal Administration
registered as electors within the municipal area;
i chairpersons of the Committees of the municipal authorities; and
persons having special knowledge or experience in municipal administration
(without right to vote).
The Ward Committees are to be composed of members of the Municipal Council
representing the wards within the jurisdiction and one of the elected representatives
from within the wards is to be appointed as its Chairperson. But the constitution
gives discretion to the State Government to decide the composition.
Another important provision of the Constitution Amendment pertains to the
municipal authorities, right to exist. It gives a term of five years, to the
municipalities and if at all they have to be dissolved, they must be given an
opportunity of being heard. Even if they have to be dissolved because of any
irregularity, fresh elections are to be held within six months. This prevents the
phenomenon of prolonged supersession or years together.
Empowerment of weaker sections of society and women is one of the substantive
provisions of the Constitution Amendment. With a view to empowering the
scheduled castes and tribes as well as women, it provides for the reservation of seats
in the Council. Besides such reservations, the most important provision of the
Constitution Amendment is empowerment of women for which one-third of the total
seats are to be reserved. @

To keep the municipal elections out of the direct control of the State Government,
and to ensure free and fair elections to the municipal bodies, the Consti,tution
Amendment has provided for an independent State Election Commission (also for
Panchayat elections), consisting of an Election Commissioner to be appointed by the
The most important feature of the Seventy-Fourth Constitutional Amendment, in
financial sphere, in the mandatory constitution of Finance Commission by the State
Government is once in every five years. The State Finance Commission is to make
recommendations regarding the principles to govern sharing of the State taxes, fees
etc. between the State Government and the Municipalities; and also its distribution
among the Municipalities. The commission has also to suggest the principles for the
determination of taxes and fees to be assigned to them and the grants-in-aid to be
given to the municipal authorities out of the consolidated fund of the State. It also
has the mandate to suggest ways and means of improving the financial position of
the municipal authorities.
Moreover, the need for non-plan funds of the Municipalities is now to be looked by
the Union Finance Commission as well. Federal transfers will now be available also
for the municipal authorities. This is an amendment of far reaching importance.
The Constitution Amendment provides for setting up of the District Planning
Committees to consolidate the plans prepared by the Municipalifies and the
Panchayats within the district; and to prepare a draft development plan for the
district as a whole. The Municipalities are to be represented on it. Plans so prepared
are to be forwarded by the Chairperson of the Planning Committee to the State
Government. Similarly, Metropolitan Planning Committees are to be set up in the
metropolitan areas on which the municipal authorities are to be represented.
The 74"' Constitution Amendment is a landmark legislation that, for the first time,
accords constitutional status to Municipal Government and provides for broader
social participation in local councils, people's involvement in civic development,
enlargement of functional domain by inserting the Twelfth Schedule, continuity
through regular elections and regular funds flow from the higher level Governments.
The other important dimension is constitutions! recoy~itioriof micro-levcl planning
Field and Local coordinated by the District Planning Committee. These are the brighter aspects of
the Amendment.
There are, however, the grayer areas as well. It has missed a valuable opportunity to
specify the functions and also the sources of local revenues. This wouldhave
prevented the State encroachment into these spheres.

Following the 74"' Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 Urban Local Self-
Government in India has been classified into three types - Municipal Corporations,
Municipalities and Nagar Panchayats. We are familiar with the names of the
Kolkata Municipal Corporation, Delhi Municipal Corporation and similar other
Corporations in our big cities. In the small and medium towns, there are
Municipalities that are sometimes called Municipal Boards or Municipal
Committees. Where a place is neither fully rural or fully urban, and it is going
through a process of urbanisation because of industrialisation or location of big
development projects, a notified area committee or a town committee used to be set
up as an interim measure. Under the 741h Constitutional Amendment a Nagar
Panchayat shall be set up in such 'transitional areas'. Indeed, an urban area,
irrespective of its size, needs a local Government for the provision of civic services
and facilities such as water supply, garbage clearance, construction and maintenance
of roads. These are some of the important services that an Urban Government has to
provide to sustain civic life in an area. The Municipal Corporation, Municipal
Council and Municipal Committee as per the size of the atea provides these services.
.i) Municipal Corporation
The administration of civic affair? in a city is a challenge. The distinct characteristic
of a city is the huge concentration of population within a limited area. The
management of civil services therefore, requires an effective organisational structure,
adequate finance and efficient personnel. The Municipal Corporation as a form of
city Government occupies the top position among the local authorities in India.
Normally, the Corporation form of urban Government is found in major cities like
Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, etc.
Municipal Corporation is established through a special statue, which is passed by the
State legislature. In case of Union Territories, they are established through Acts
passed by the Parliament. Such legislation may be enacted specially for a particular
corporation or for all Corporations in a State, for example the Mumbai and Kolkata
Corporations were established through separate legislation. Whereas in Uttar
Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, the State level legislation governs the constitution and
working of the Corporation. The Municipal Corporation generally enjoy a greater
measure of autonomy than other forms of local Government. In almost all the States,
the Municipal Corporations have been assigned numerous functions such as supply
of drinking water, electricity, road transport services, public health, education,
registration of births and deaths, drainage, construction of public parks, gardens,
libraries, etc. These functions are normally divided as obligatory and discretionary.
In Haryana, there is only one Municipal Corporation (MC) that is in Faridabad with
more than 5 lakhs population. MC is constituted for governing the area. It has both
elected and nominated (ex-officio) members. MC, Faridabad has at present 24
elected Councilors. Under the amended municipal law of the State, election to the
municipal bodies must take place every five years, unless a municipal body is
dissolved earlier. The Mayor elected by the members of the Corporation from
amongst themselves is the first citizen of the city and presides over the meetings of
the city Corporation.
2 1.0 Objectives
2 1.1 Introduction
2 1.2 Main features of Social Structures and Impact on Administration
21.2.1 Rural Habitation
21.2.2 Religion
21.2.3 Caste
2 1.2.4 Family
2 1.3 Culture and Administration
2 1.4 Let Us Sum Up
2 1.5 Key Words
2 1.6 References and Further Readings
2 1.7 Answers to Check Your Progress ~xercis/es

After studying this Unit, you should be able to: ,

Understand the interrelationshipbetween the society and administration.

Explain the broad features of social structure and their impact on administration; and

Discuss the cultural context of Indian administration.

Society consists of many interdependent and interacting parts. Administration is one
such interdependent and interacting part of the society. Administration, which is
expected to administer the affairs of the society through government and semi-
government agencies, has meaning only in the context of the social setting. The
administrators are drawn from the society. They bring with them the social values they
acquire through the socialization process in the social institutions like school, family,
association, religion etc. The socio-cultural factors greatly influence the nature of
administration. The administrative behaviour is influenced by the vaues cherished by
that society. Fred W. Riggs and many others analysed the interactions and the
interrelation between society and administration through the ecological approach to the
study of administration. The ecological approach emphasises the importance of dynamic '
interaction between social environment and administration. In this unit we shall be
discussing the main features of the Indian social structure and culture and their impact on
Indian administration.


A society is a collection of people who are sufficiently organised to create conditions
necessary to live together with a common identification. It is an organised network of
social interactions and patterned behaviour. Every society has its own identity based on
the nature of its sociak institutions. India has a rich cultural heritage and is a land of
diversities. The diversity in social life is reflected in multi-social, multi-lingual, multi-
religious and multi-caste nature of the society. The important features of the Indian
social structure are: predominant rural habitation in small villages; multi-religious and
multi-caste social identities and important role of family in the social life. We shall have
Citizen and a detailed discussion on these institutions and their impact on administration in the
following sections.

21.2.1 Rural habitation

India is a land of villages. A great majority of villages are small with only around five
hundred population each. Mahatma Gandhi's view that India lives in villages still holds
good, at least from the demographic point of view.

The village social life has its own peculiar characteristics. Stanley J. Heginbotham, in his
book, Cultures in Conflict, (1975) discusses in detail the nature of village life and its
influence on the nature of bureaucracy. The village social life norms strengthen the
authoritarian and hierarchical norms in administration. The village social life, which is
based on the hierarchical exchange relations greatly influence the behaviour of civil
servants in public organisations. The differences in the social background of majority of
citizens who are poor, illiterate, rural based, and tradition bound and that of majority of
civil servants, who are urban, middle class and well educated results in conflicts and
contradiction in the interests and values of citizens and civil servants.

The rural base of Indian society has many implications for the development
administration. Many studies have indicated urban bias in the behaviour of
administrators. This results in a cultural gap between the administration and rural people.
For administration to be effective, it must appreciate and respond to the socio-cultural
ethos of the rural population.

21.2.2 Religion

Historically, India has been hospitable to numerous groups of immigrants from different
parts of Asia and Europe, People of all religions have been living in India for many
centuries. The Constitutien declares India to be a secular state. The State is expected to
treat all the religions equally. The Constitution also gives protection to minorities. The
Constitution recognizes religion as a fundamental right and a citizen can pursue the
religion of his choice.

However, in reality, communalism is one of the major threats to the unity and the
integrity of the country. In recent years, the communal organisations have become very
active in social life resulting in communal clashes in different parts of the country. Some
vested interests are using religion for their selfish purposes and are fanning hatred among
the communities. The comrslunal disharmony tests the strength of the administration in
maintaining law and order and social harmony among the religious groups.
Administration has to check disruptive communal activities and maintain social and
political stability. Unfortunately, in recent years we also hear the allegations of divisions
in the civil services based on communal factors. The role played by some state police
forces during the communal disturbances in some parts of the country brings no credit for
the state police administration. The political necessity of appeasing each religious
section may result in sacrificing rationality in administration.

21.2.3 Caste

The Hindu society is knpwn for its varna and caste system. The society is broadly
divided into four orders or varnas on 'functional' basis, namely, Brahmana (traditional
priest and scholar), Kshatriya (ruler and soldier), Vaisya (merchant) and Shudra (peasant,
labourer and servant). The scheduled castes are outside the varna scheme. Each varna
may be divided into different horizontal strata, and eacJ strata is known as caste. The
caste system creates:- (a) segmental division ofsociety (b) hierarchy (c) restrictions on
social interactions, (d) civic and religious disparities and privileges of different sections
(e) restriction on choice of occupation, and (f) reitiction on marriage. Though caste is
essentially a Hindi institution, some elements of caste are found in every religious group
in India. The caste system based on birth created divisions in the society and contributed
to the social and economic inequalities. A section of people were treated as untouchables Socio-Cultural Factors
and they were exploited by upper castes in the society. and Administration

In recent years, we find some change in the nature and the role of the caste system. The
role of the caste is changing. We find that the influence of caste in interpersonal and
social relationships is decreasing but paradoxically its role in political process is
increasing. The caste is being increasingly used for political mobilisation. This has an
adverse effect on the working of political and administrative institutions. Formation of
informal groups on caste lines among the public services is anober developing
phenomena. This affects the homogeneity of the public services.

Realising the existence of inegalitarian social system, the Constitution has provided for
preferential treatment to scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes in
public services. In recent years, we find many agitations for and against the reservations
in public services. Paradoxically, it is found that the preferential treatment system
designed to bring equality is a cause of the internal tensions in the public organisations.
In a social situation of primordial loyalties, the administrative institutions based on
universalistic principles are subjected to a lot of stress and strain. The administrator must
understand the dynamics of caste loyalties and caste sensibilities to play the role of an
effective change agent.

21.2.4 Family

The joint family was considered as one of the three pillars of Indian social structure, the
other two being the caste and the village community. Family is an important social unit
and in country like India, the family loyalties are very strong. Traditionally, in India the
joint family system played an important role as a social and economic institution. The
social norms expect the subordination of individual interests to that of family. However,
in recent years the joint family system is giving way to the nuclear family system. Still
the emotional ties of extended family continue to play an important role in the social life.
Patriarchy dominates the family life. The head of the family is usually the father or the
eldest male member. Women generally occupy a subordinate position.

The structure and operation of family has many implications on administrative system.
The paternalistic and authoritarian structure of the family life is partly responsible for the
paternalistic and authoritarian behavioural orientations of the administrators. The
socialization process in the family influences the attitude formation'of the administrators.
The family loyalties may also result in sacrifice of values like impartiality, integrity and
universality in administration. Many administrators may feel it natural to help their
family members by using their administrative positions. Many studies have pointed out
the presence of family orientation of helping ones relatives in administration.

Check Your.Progress 1

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.
1) How does rural habitation and religion affect administratidn?

2) How does the caste influence administration?
Citizen and

3) What is meant by familial orientation in administration?

Culture refers to a way of life. It includes the entire gamut of modes of expression and
communication as well as the system of values and beliefs governing the society. Values
refer to preferences i.e. ideas of good or bad, desirable or undesirable. Culture
determines what is desirable conduct and behaviour for the members of the society.

The culture of a society is a result of a long process of evolution anais reflected in its
social, economic and political institutions. The administrative behaviour in the society is
influenced to a greater extent by the values cherished by the society.

Riggs states that every culture offers both support and obstacles to change or
development. There are values that support change and development. Likewise, there are
values, which obstruct the change and development. These values are termed by David
Apter as 'instrumental' and 'consummatoj', respectively. A society having instrumental
values becomes modernized. If the civil servants have instrumental values, they will
definitely work towards the development of the society.

V. Subramanyam writing on 'Hindu Values and Administrative Behaviour' emphasised
the importance of study of values developed by the administrative structures vis-a-vis the
values of surrounding society. He talks about Hindu values since majority of the IAS
recruits are Hindus. Subramanyam identified three elements in the Hindu tradition,
which work against the rational decision-making. To put in his own words: In the first
place, a decision .is basically choosing between a number of mutually exclusive I

alternatives and the basic Hindu approach is to deny the existence of such alternatives. 4I

Secondly, a decision means a choice of a course of action with a view to taking that
course of action immediately. It is also implied in the western meaning of decision that
the difficulties in that particular course of action have all been taken into account in
making a decision in favour of it. The average Hindu idea of a decision is, however,
more akin to the English phrase 'pious resolution'. The continuous and undignified
waiting we hear in India from planners, politicians and administrators alike about policies
being good and their execution being bad is essentially a product of a particular India#
meaning attached to the tern decision. Indeed, the average Hindu mind is so thoroughly
reconciled to an impossible distance between precept and practice and between ideal and
reality that it naturally imports this distance to separate decision and execution, a distance
which does not exist in western interpretations of the term. Thirdly, a decision or choice
means listing the various alternatives in a particular order of preference and if possible
covering this ordinal list of preferences into a cardinal list of quantified values for each.
The Hindu mind always indulges in talking of very large numbers, such as yugas. By
using such' large numbers casually the small differences that are most important in day-
to-day decisions are made to look meaningless.

Many studies were undertaken to identify the cultural moorings of Indians, which result
in a particular way of behaviour of administrators. Administrators perceive reality on the
basis of their experience. Much of what they see depends upon how they see, which in
turn depends on their socio-economic origins. They are insensitive to the problems of the
common man and have a sense of superiority, which emanate from their upper class Socio-Cultural Factors
background. and Administration

Richard Taub found in his study as how the typical tendencies like 'the tendency for any
group of people to divide into smaller groups on the basis of particularistic ties, the lack
of trust and reluctance to delegate authority, the ideology of the caste system to think of
human relations in hierarchical terms and traditions of reference towards authority" etc.
have caused a particular pattern of behaviour among the bureaucrats.

The cultural factors have various implications for the administrative processes like
motivation, communication at%dauthority.

1) Motivation: many studies on human motivation identified culture as one of the
determining factors in motivation. Mc Lelland has convincingly argued that due to
culture, religious beliefs and class structure, .the general population, in many countries
tend to have a fairly low achievement drive, whereas in other countries it may be the
other way round. In India the 'karma' philosophy with its emphasis on other world may
be considered as one of the inhibiting factors in the achievement orientation of
bureaucracy. In the words of G.P. Chatopadhyaya, 'The Indian personality, by and
large, is incapable of behaving in a mature and mutually dependent way. He fantasises
omnipotence if he is in a position of perceived power, which reduces others to dependent
positions, or he feels impotent when he faces people who have greater power and
believes that he is utterly dependent on them. Fatalism blunts achievement orientation
among Indian managers, makes them feel helpless in shaping their environment gnd
makes them highly dependent on authority figures'.

2) Communication: Communication may be described as the process of transferring .
concepts, ideas, thoughts and feelings among people. Communication process is culture.
The one-way process of communication, mostly from top to bottom in our organisations
is also a reflection of social culture. h universalistic cultures, people low in status may
have no inhibition in speaking against or mentioning unpleasant things to their superiors
whereas in particularistic cultures it may be treated impolite and silence may be

3) Authority: Attitude to authority is also a reflection of cultural variables. In a feudal
society, authority attains the status of divinity. Authority figures are treated as sacred
objects. Their conduct and beh'avioir are above scrutiny. This attitude not only
legitimises the authority structure but also ensures personal loyalties of the lower levels
of organization in total disregard of abilities and actions of persons in authority. In
public organisations it may lead to certain dysfunctions like growth of pesonality cult or
personal goals of authorities may gain priority over the organisational goals. In this
cultural situation, benevolent paternalistic management style may pay rich dividends
more than participative leadership style, which may be appreciated only in egalitarian
and an open society. 1ndian culture demands that people higher in status should be '
addressed with reverence and unpleasant things should not be mentioned before them. It
becomes very difficult for the people at lower levels in organisation to give correct
information or opinion if they feel that it may be unpalatable to those in authority. .The
public organisations are considered merely as an extension of the personalities of their
chief executives. This may also sometimes result in practice of sycophancy in public

Check Your Progress 2

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.

1) Explain the impact of Hindu values on rationality in decision-making
Citizen and

2) In what ways do the cultural factors affect administrative process?

In this unit, we have discussed about the main features of Indian social structure and their
impact on Indian administration. We also discussed about the interactions between
culture and administration. The discussion in this unit brings out the inter-relationship
between the sociocultural factors and the administration. It is because of this important
pattern of social structure, culture and ecology that some outside or foreign experts when
called upon to perform certain administrative tasks faced certain difficulties. Thus, it is a
prerequisite for one to understand the s~cio~cultural context that influences the
administrative system.

Communalism: it is a group feeling, which aims at or oriented towards religio-centric

Egalitarian Society: it is a society, which expresses or supports the belief that all people
are equal and'should have the same rights and opportunities

Fatalism: it is a doctrine, which propounds that all things are predetermined or subject
to fate.

Patriarchy: a form of social organization in which the father is head of the family, clan
or tribe. In patriarchal society, men have all or most of the power.

Paternalistic: the principle or practice of an authority in managing .or governing the
affairs of a country, community, company or individuals in the manner of a father's
relationship with his childran.

'Sycophancy: self-seeking

Arora, R K, 1985. Comparative Public Administration, Associated Publishing House,
New Delhi.

Mathur, Kuldeep. Oct-Dec. 1976. Administrative Mind in a Developing Nation, The
Indian Journal of Public Administration, Vol. XXVII, No. 4, IIPA, New Delhi.

Nigro, F.A., 1961. Modern Public Admigistration, Harper Row, London
Puranik. N. April -June, 1978. Administrative Culture: Needfor Conceptual Clarity and Socio-Cultural Factors
and Administration
Further Research, The Indiap Journal of Public administration, Vol. XXIV, IIPA, New

Riggs, Fred W. 1964, Administration in Developing Countries: The Theory of Prismatic
Society, Houghton Mufflin, Boston.

Sharma, I.J. an-~kch, 1982. The Cultural Context of Management, The Indian Journal
of Public Administration, Vol. XXVIII, No. 1, IIPA, New Delhi.

Subramanyam A, Oct-Dec. 1967. Hindu Values and Administrative Behaviour, The
Indian Journal of Public Administration, Vol. XIII, IIPA, New Delhi

Check Your Progress 1

1) Your answer must include the following points:

The village social life influences the authoritarian and hierarchical norms in
administration. The hierarchical relations of the society greatly influence the
behaviour of civil servants.

The administration is affected by the communal considerations and considerations
of their religious groups.

2) Your answer must include the following points:

Main features of caste system viz.,' segmental division of society, hierarchy,
restrictions on social interactions, marriage, choice of occupation and religious
disparities, affect the political process and the sensibilities of an administrator.

3) Your answer must include the following points:
The paternalistic and authoritarian structure of the family affects administrators.

Effect of family on attitudinal formation in the administrators.

Practice of helping one's relatives.

Family loyalties result .in sacrifice of values like impartiality and integrity in
administration. . .
Check Your Progress 2

1) Your answer must include the following points:
Hindu approach stresses on non-existence of mutually exclusive alternatives
needed for a decision.

Average Hindu idea of decision is that Hindu mind is reconciled yith the idea of
distance between precept and practice, ideal and reality and formulation of
decision and its execution.

2) Your answer must include tlfe following points:

Cultural factors have implications on the administrative process like motivation,
communication and authority.
Citizen and In Indian administration, the one-way process of communication, that is, from top
Administration to bottom in an organisation is a reflection of social culture.

Indian culture demands that people higher in status be addressed with reverence
and unpleasant things should not be mentioned before them.
22.0 Objectives
22.1 Introduction
22.2 / Public Grievances
22.3 Corruption in Administration
22.3.1 Modes of Corruption
22.4 Institutions for Dealing with Corruption
22.4.1 Central Vigilance Commission
22.4.2 Lokpal -
22.4.3 Lokayukta
22.5 Let Us Sum Up
22.6 References and Further Readings
22.7 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises


After studying this unit, you should be able to:
Explain public grievances
Discuss the problem of corruption in Indian Administration and
Explain the machinery for the redressal of citizen's grievances.

In the contemporary society, State plays an important role in the socioeconomic
development. The success of democracy and development depends to a greater extent on
the efficiency of the government machinery. However, in thz exercise of administrative
powers there is always a possibility of malpractices. This results in public grievances
towards the administration. According to Chambers dictionary, grievance means a
'ground of complaint, a condition felt to be oppressive or wrongful'. In a democracy
people should have the opportunities to ventilate their grievances and a ,system of
redressal. In this unit we shall be discussing the nature of public grievances and the
institutional arrangements for the redressal of the same.

The colonial history and the authoritarian orientation of Indian administration resulted in
the negative attitude of citizens towards the administration. The gap between the
performance of administration and the expectations of the people also created a negative
image of administration. The democratic -aspirations of the people and authoritarian
attitude of administrators produced tensions between the two. The contradictions in the
social situation have resulted in inequalities. There is discrimination in the treatment of
citizens by administration. The social gap between the civil servant and the citizen
whom he is expected to serve also is a cause for hostile relationship between the two.
The well-educated urban middle class civil seivant is expected to serve the poor and
illiterate rural citizens. This creates a socio-psychological gap between them. Then, there
are the chronic delays in getting things done, and innumerable rules and regulations that
are not easily comprehensible to ordinary citizens. The cumulative effect of all these
factors is the piling up of public grievances against administration.

Some of the common grievances against administration may be listed as under:

1) Corruption: Demand and acceptance of bribery for doing or not doing things.
Citizen and
Administration 2) Favouritism: Doing or not doing things for obliging people in power or people who

3) Nepotism: Helping the people of one's own kith or kin.

4) Discourtesy: Use of abusive language or other types of misbehaviour.

5) Neglect of Duty: Not doing things that the law requires.

6) Discrimination: Ignoring poor and uninfluential citizens' genuine complaints.

7) Delay: Not doing things at the appropriate time.

8) Maladministration: Inefficiency in achieving the targets.

9) Inadequate Redressal Machinery:. Failure to attend to public complaints against.

In addition to the above-mentioned common grievances there may be specific grievances
relating to particul r administrative departmentsfagencies. For example, people have
many grievances against the police resorting to third degree methods like beating,
torturing, wrongful confinement or harassment of suspects and witnesses. Fabrication of
evidences, nexus between the police and the underworld are some other areas of public
grievances against police administration. The grievances against agricultural
administration may be mainly related to the quality y d quantity of inputs and services
provided to farmers. Though there may be many specific grievances against individual
administrative agencies, coiruption is the most common among them all. We shall be
discussing the public grievances pertaining to corruption along with the machinery for
the redressal of the same in the ensuing sections.

Everyone who comes in contact with administration feels the all-pervading nature of
corruption. Corruption has many negative effects on administration. It is one of the
major factors for delay and inefficiency in administration. The bureaucratic norms of
impartiality suffer due to this factor. There is loss of credibility of administration and it
iS the pdor man who suffers most because of it.

22.3.1 Modes of Corruption

The term corruption has been defined in many ways. In general terms corruption is not
always for monetary gains. It is the personal use of public office in violation of rules and
regulations. Shri Santhanam, Chairperson of the Committee on Prevention of Corruption
said, 'any action or failure%-take action in the performance of duty by a government
servant for some advantage is corruption'.

The Central Vigilance Commission has identified the following modes of corruption.
I) Acceptance of substandard stores/works.
2) Misappropriation of public money and stores.
3) Borrowing of money from contractorsffirms having official dealing with
4) Show of favours to contractors and f m s .
5) Possession of assets disproportionate to income.
6) Purchase of immovable property without prior permission or intimation.
7) Losses to the government by negligence or otherwise.
8) . Abuse of official positionlpowers.
9) Production of forged certificate of age f birth / community.
10) Irregulhities in reservation of seats by rail and by air.
1 1) Irregularities in grant of import and export licenses.
12) Moral turpitude.
13) Acceptance of gifts.

Check Your Progress 1

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.

1) .What are the common grievances against administration?

2) What are the modes of corruption in public services?


There are various institutions in India for dealing with corruption. The Central Vigilance
Commission is one among them. We will be dealing with the functions of the CVC in the
following paragraphs.

22.4.1 Central Vigilance Commission (CVC)

After Independence various measures were taken up for checking corruption in public
services. In 1962, the Central Government appointed a Committee on Prevention of
Corruption under the chairmanship of Shri. K. Santhanam to review the existing
arrangements for checking corruption and to suggest steps to make anti-corruption
measures more effective. The Santhanam Committee in 1964 recommended the setting
up of Central Vigilance Commission headed by Central Vigilance Commissioner. Based
on the Committee's recommendations, the Central Vigilance Commission was
constituted in 1964.

The role of the Comrhission is advisory. It falls within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of
Personnel. Its jurisdiction and powers extends to all those matters, which fall within the
purview of the executive powers of the Central government. Its jurisdiction covers:

i) All the employees of the Central government.
ii) All the employees of public undertakings, corporate bodies and other institutions
under the Central Government.
iii) All the employees of the Delhi Metropolitan Council and the New Delhi Municipal

The Commission receives complaints against corruption and malpractices directly fiom
the aggrieved citizens. It can also gather information about the same fiom press reports,
audit. reports, various departmentdenterprises concerned, allegations made by members
of Parliament, and reports of parliamentary committees.
Citizen and
Administration It is headed by the Central Vigilance Commissioner who is appointed by the President of
India for a period of six years or till the age of 65 years whichever is earlier. He can be
removed in the same manner as provided for the removal of the Chairman of UPSC. He
is not eligible for any further employment either under the Central government or the
State government. The functions of the CVC are:

1) Undertaking inquiry into any transaction in which a public servant is suspected or
alleged to have acted for an improper purpose or in a corrupt manner and tendering
advise to the disciplinary authorities such cases at different stages of investigation,
appeal and review. '

2) Exercising a general check and supervision on the vigilance and anti-corruption
work in ministries and departments of the GO1 and other autonomous bodiei.
3) Advising the administrative authorities to modifL the existing procedures and
practices when it appears that such pocedures and practices afford scope for
corruption and misconduct.
4) Approving the appointment of chief vigilance officers (CVO) who head the vigilance
units in various organizations. It may initiate a review of procedures and practices of;
administration in so far as they relate to maintenance of integrity in administration.
Vigilance machinery in the States and Districts

The vigilance machinery at the state level differs from state to state. Most of the states
have a State Vigilance Commission. There is also a special police establishment to deal
with cases of corruption in both the state government and the state public undertakings.
The Commission presents Annual Report to the State government and the same is placed
before the State Legislature. At the district level, there is a District Vigilance Officer.
The District Collector appoints one of his gazetted officers as District Vigilance Officer.

22.4.2 Lokpal
The AdministrativeReforms Commission (ARC), which was constituted in 1966, gave
priority to the problem of redressal of public grievances and submitted its.first interim
report on the 'Problems of ~edressaiof Citizens Grievances'. The ARC &commended
the creatian of Ombudsman-type jnstitution namely the ~ o k ~ and a i Lokayukta. The
Scandinavian institution of Ombudsman is the earliest institution for the redressal of
public grievances, fust established in Sweden in 1809. The Ombudsman institution is
based on the principle of administrative accountability to parliament. The institution
refers to an officer appointed by the legislature to handle complaints against
administrative and judicial, action.

The features of these institutions as given by ARC are:

They should be demopstrably independent and impartial.
Their investigations and proceedings should be conducted in private and should be
uniform iircharacter.
Thejr appointment should as far as possible, be non-political.
Their status shouid compare with the highest judicial functionary in the country.
They should deal with matters in the discretionary field involving acts of injustice,
corruption and favouritism.
Their proceedings should not be subjected to judicial interference and they should
have the. maximum latitude and powers in obtaining information relevant to their
duties, and
They should not look forward to any benefit or pecuniary advantage from the
executive government.

Based on the recommendations of ARC, many attempts were made from 1968 onwards
for the establishment of Lokpal at the Central level. The Government of India introduced
bills for this purpose in the Parliament in 1968, 1977, 1985,1990, 1998 and latest being in Redressal of Public
2001. The Lokpal bill introduced in 1977 brought in the Prime Minister as well as Grievances
members of Parliament under its purview. While the 1985 bill excluded the Prime
hainster from the jurisdiction of Lokpal, the bill on Lokpal introduced in Parliament
recently has brought in Prime Minster again under Lokpal's jurisdiction. Unfortunately,
these bills could not be passed by Parliament.

22.4.3 Lokayukta

The Ombudsman established at the level of States in India is known as the Lokayukta.
Many state governments have established the office of the Lokayukta and Up-Lokayukta.
The office of the Lokayukta exists in Maharastra (1971), Bihar (1973), Uttar Pradesh
(1975), Madhya Pradesh (1981), Andhra Pradesh (1985), Himachal Pradesh (1985),
Karnataka (1985), Assam (1986), Gujarat (1986), Punjab (1995), Delhi(1996) aQd
Haryana(1996). Kerala is also in a process of establishing this office. Orissa was the first
state to pass ombudsman legislation in 1970 and also the first to abolish the institution in
1993. 1 ,

The appointment of the Lokayukta and Up-Lokayukta is made by the Governor who is
the executive head in the states. The Lokayukta Acts provide that the Governor shall
appoint Lokayuktal Up-Lokayukta in consultation with the Chief Juqtice of the High
Court of the state and the leader of the opposition in the legislative assembly.

Terms and conditions of ofice

The term of the Loka k t . and Up-Lokayukta has been fixed for five years. The Assam
Act however prescri ek,an upper age limit of 68 years. The status prescribed for the
Lokayukta is equal to that of the Chief Justice of a High Court or a judge of the Supreme
Court of India and that of Up-Lokayukta to the judge of a High Court and in any other
case to an additional secretary to the Government of India. With a view to ensure
independence and impartiality, the Lokayuktal Up-Lokayukta have been debarred from
being a member of parliament or state legislatures and prohibited from keeping any
connection with political parties. After relinquishing office they have been made
ineligible to hold another office under their respective state governments. All acts
expressly prohibit the reappointment of the Lokayuktas. The Lokayukta and Up-
Lokayukta can be removed from office by the Governor for misbehaviour or incapacity.
The procedure prescribed for the removal of the Lokayukta is almost the same as
provided for in the Constitution of India for the removal of judges of the High Court or
the Supreme Court.


The Lokayukta and Up-Lokayukta has been granted powers to investigate any action,
which is taken by or with the general or specific approval of a minister or a secretary, or
any other public servant. Thus, all administrative actions from the level of ministers to
the lower levels are subjected to scrutiny by the Lokayukta and Up-Lokayukta. Certain
other categories of officials like Chairman of Zila Parishad and othep local bodies have
also been included within the purview of the Lokayukta.

Procedure of investigation

After making preliminary investigation where the Lokayukta or Up-Lokayukta proposes
to conduct investigation, he forwards a copy of the complaint to the officer and to the
competent authority concerned. Any proceeding before the Lokayukta and Up-Lokayukta
has to be conducted in private and the identity of the complainant or the person
complained against is not to be disclosed at any stage of investigation.
Citizen and The Seventh All-India Conference of Lokpals, Lok Ayuktas and Up-Lokayuktas held in
Bangalore, in January 2003 stressed on the following:
7 .

There is a need to bring out Lok Ayukta Act to bring uniformity and to make the
institution independent of the political executive.

If Parliament brought in a law, the appointment of Lok Ayuktas could be based on
the recommendations of the Chief Justice of India in consultation with the Chief
Justice of respective High Court. This will ensure tenure, protection ~f salary and
emoluments and a sound procedure for their removal.

The staff deputed to the Lokayukta should be giveu protection.

Reports of the Lokayukta should be made binding on the in so far it is
related to the government servants.

Lokayukta should bring out an annual report about their functioning and this should
be made public; and

Lokayukta should be made easily accessible to the public.

Check Your Progress 2

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.

1) Explain the role of the Central Vigilance Commission?

2) What are the recommendations of Administrative Reforms Commission on Lokpal
and Lokayukta?

3) Explain the institution of Lokayukta?

The interaction between citizen and administration in a democracy is a very complex
process. The conflict in the society. and the values of the society are reflected in this
interaction. The effective machinery for the redressal of citizen's grievances makes the
administration more human and civilized. In this unit, an attempt was made to study the
nature of public grievances with special reference to corruption and the existing Redressal of Public
machinery for the redressal. Grievances


Chaturvedi, T.N., July -September 1997. Fljy Years of Indian Administration-
Retrospective and Prospects, IJPA, Vol. XLIII, No. 3.

IIPA, July-September, 1975. Citizen and Administration, IJPA, Vol. XVI.
Maheshwari,\Shriram, 1990. Indian administration, Orient Longman, New Delhi.

Shukla, K.S. and Singh, S.S. 1988. Lokayukta :Ombudsman'in India, Indian Institute of
Public administration, New Delhi.

Singh, Mohinder and Singh, Hoshiar, 1989. Public administration in India: Theory and
Practice, Sterling Publishers, New Delhi.


I Check Your Progress 1

1) Your answer must include the following points:
Neglect of duty
Inadequate redressal machinery
2) Your answer must include the following points:
i The modes of corruption are:

I Misappropriation
Substandard work
Borrowing money

Showing favours
Causing losses
Abuse of position
I Irregularities
Moral turpitude

tI Acceptance of gifts etc.

Check Your Progress 2
I 1) Your answer must include the following points:
! The CVC has to: -
I Undertake inquiry against corruption charges.
I Exercise supervision on anti-corruption work.
Render advice to modify the existing procedures, and
. Approve the appointment of CVO.
1 2) Your answer must include the following points:

They should be demonstrably independent and impartial.
Citizen and Their investigations and proceedings should be conducted in private and should
Administration be uniform in character.
Their appointment should as far as possible, be non-political.
Their status should compare with the highest judicial functionary in the country.
They should deal with matters in the discretionary field involving acts; of
injustice, corruption and favouritism.
Their proceedings should not be subjected to judicial interference and they
should have the maximum latitude and powers in obtaining information relevant
to their duties, and
They should not look forward to any benefit or pecuniary advantage from the
executive government.

3) Your answer must include the following:

The ombudsmanic institution at the State level is referred to as Lokayukta.
Helshe is appointed by the Governor. The term is for 5 years. To ensure
independence of the office, the Lokayukta is debarred from being a Member of
Parliament or State Legislature. The removal procedure is like the removal of
judges of Aigh Court or Supreme Court. The Lokayukta can investigate any
action taken up by or with the approval of a minister or a secretary or any other
public servant.
Meaning of Administrative Law
Administrative Tribunals
Reasons for the Growth of Administrative Tribunals
Types of Administrative Tribunals
Advantages of Administrative Tribunals
Disadvantages of Administrative Tribunals
Safeguards in the Working of Administrative Tribunals
Let Us Sum Up
Key Words
References and Further Readings
Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

After studying this unit, you should be able to:

Explain the meaning of administrative law

Enumerate the meaning and characteristics of administrative tribunals and reasons
for their growth

' Discuss various types of administrative tribunals; and

Describe the advantages and disadvantages of tribunals.

There has been a phenomenal increase in the functions of the government, which has lent
enormbus powers to the executive and also led to increase in the legislative output. This
has led to more litigation, restrictions on the freedom of the individuals and constant
frictions between them and the authority. Administrqtipe tribunals have emerged not only
in India but also in many other countries with the objective of providing a new type of
justice - public good oriented justice. These tribunals manned by technical experts, with
flexibility in operations, informality in procedures have gained importance in the
adjudication process. In this unit, we shall first discuss the meaning of administrative
law. Then we will deal with the meaning and features of administrative tribunals, the
reasons for their growth, their types and their advantages and disadvantages.

Administrative law covers the entire gamut of public administration and includes the
statutes, charters, rules, regulations, procedures, decisions etc. required for smooth
running of administration. According to Jennings, administrative law is the law relating
$tothe administration. It determines the organization, powers and duties of administrative
authorities. Wade remarks that administrative law is concerned with the operation and
control of the powers of administrative authorities with emphasis on functions rather than
& L A-4 -..A&.-A
Citizen and
Administration Administrative law has the following characteristics:

1) It subordinates the common law, rights of personal freedom, and private property to
the common good. The stress is on public interest than on individual interest.

2) It entails the application of flexible standards for implementation of law.

3) The interpretation of these standards lies with the administrative tribunals.

4) It puts the public officials in a better position over the people.

5) It is not codified and is in an experimental and dynamic condition.

In pursuance of administrative law, there can arise disputes. These disputes require
adjudication. There are administrative agencies other than the courts to adjudicate such
issues arising in the course of day to day administration.

Administrative adjudication is the resolution of quasi-judicial matters by administrative
agencies or commissions established for the purpose. A number of technical issues and'
disputes emerge in the day-to-day administration. The ordinary courts do not have the
technical expertise and it becomes quite dilatory and costly to dispense with cases of
administrative nature. It is only the administrative agencies, which are capable of looking
into the matters of administrative exigencies. These administrative agencies with the
power to adjudicate the disputes arising out of administrative action or inaction are
called administrative tribunals.

According to Servai, 'the development of administrative law in a welfare state has'made
administrative tribunals a necessity'. In India, and in many other countries, there Pias been
a steady proliferation of administrative tribunals of various kinds. They have, indeed,
become a permanent part of the law adjudication machinery of the country. As a system
of adjudication they have come to stay, and their number is constantly on the increase.

Administrative tribunals are authorities outside the ordinary court system, which interpret
and apply the laws when acts of public administration are questioned in formal suits by
the courts or by other established methods. In other words, they are agencies created by
specific enactments'fo adjudicate upon disputes that may arise in the course of
implementation of the provisions-~ft~e relevant enactments.

They are not a court nor are they an executive body. Rather they are a mixture of both.
They are judicial in the sense that the tribunals have to decide facts and apply them
impartially, without considering executive policy. They are administrative because the
reasons for preferring them to the ordinary courts of law are administrative reasons.

They are established by the executive in accordance with statutory provisions. They are
required to act judicially and perform quasi-judicial functions. The proceedings are
deemed to be judicial proceedings and in certain procedural matters they have powers of
a civil court.

They arr not bound by the elaborate rules of evidence or procedures governing the
ordinary courts. They are ipdependent bodies and are only required to follow the
piocedure prescribed by the relevant law and observe the principles of 'Natural Justice'.
They do not follow the technicalities of rules of procedure and evidence prescribed by the
Civil Procedure Code (CPC) and Evidence Act respectively. The administrative tribunals
.may be more appropriately defined as specially constituted authorities established by law
to settle the dis~utesbetween the citizen and administration.
The administrative tribunals are the instruments for the application of administrative law. Administrative
They have distinct advantage over the ordinary courts because they ensure cheapness, Tribunals
accessibility, freedom from) technicality, expedition and expert knowledge of the
particular subject. The involvement of experts in administration in regulating
administrative actions is necessary to provide justice to the citizens, without sacrificing
the institutional needs. What is involved is basically the relative position of two values,
that is, the protection of the individual and his legitimate interests and the effective
attainment of public purpose.

There are many reasons for the growth of administrative iribunals. Some of these are:

Firstly, the administrative tribunals, rendering administrative justice, is a by-product of
the Welfare State. In the lathand 191hcenturies when 'laissez faire' theory held sway, the
law courts emerged as the custodians of the rights and liberties of the individual citizens.
Sometimes they protected the rights of all citizens at the cost of state authority. With the
emergence of Welfare State, social interest began to be given precedence over the
individual rights. With the development of collective control over the conditions of
employment, manner of living and the elementary necessities of the people, there has
arisen the need for a technique of adjudication better fitted to respond to the social
requirements of the time than the elaborate and costly system of decision making
provided by the courts of law. In brief, 'judicialisation of administration' proved a
potential instrument for enforcing social policy and legislation.

Secondly, in view of the rapid growth and expansion of industry, trade and commerce,
ordinary law courts are not in a position to cope up with the work-load. With the result,
enormous delay in deciding cases either way, takes place. Therefore, a number of
administrative tribunals have been established in the country, which can do the work
more rapidly, more cheaply and more efficiently than the ordinary courts.

Thirdly, law courts, on account of their elaborate procedures, legalistic fortns and
attitudes can hardly render justice to the parties concerned, in technical cases. Ordinary
judges, brought up in the traditions of law and jurisprudence, are not capable enough to
understand technical problems, which crop up in the wake of modem complex economic
and social processes. Only administrators having expert knowledge can tackle such
problems judiciously. To meet this requirement, a number 6f admjnistrative tribunals
have come into existence.

Fourthly, a good number of situations are such that they require quick and firm action.
Otherwise the interests of-the people may be jeopardized. For instance, ensuring of safety
measures in local mines, prevention of illegal transactions in foreign exchange and unfair
business practices [email protected] prompt action. Such cases, if are to be dealt with in the
ordinary courts of law, woukd cause immense loss to the state exchequer and undermine
national interest. However, the administrative courts presided over by the experts would
ensure prompt and fair action.

Check Your Progress 1
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.

1) Explain the meaning of administrative law?
Citizen and
2) '
Briefly describe administrative tribunals?

There are different types of administrative tribunals, which are governed by the statues,
rules, and regulations of the Central Government as well as State Governments. We will
. discuss the various types of administrative tribunals now.

Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT)
The enactment of Administrative Tribunals Act in '1985 opened a new chapter in
administering justice to the aggrieved government servants. It owes its origin to Article
323 A of%he Constitution which empowers the Central Government to set up by an Act
of Parliament, the Administrative Tribunals for adjudication of disputes and complains
with respective recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to the public
services and posts in connection with the Union and the States.

The Tribunals enjoy the powers of the High Court in respect of service matters of the
employees covered by the Act. They are not bound by the technicalities of the Code of
Civil Procedure, but have to abide by the Principles of Natural Justice. They are
distinguished from the ordinary courts with regard to their jurisdiction and procedures.
This makes them free fiom the shackles of the ordinary courts and enables them to
provide speedy and.inexpensivejustice.

The Act provides for the establishment of Central Administrative Tribunal and State
Administrative Tribunals. The CAT was esQblished in 1985. The Tribunal consists of a
Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Members. These Members are drawn from the judicial as
well as the administrative streams. The appeal against the decisions of the CAT lies with
the Supreme Court of India.

Customs and Excise Revenue Appellate Tribunal (CERAT)

The Parliament passed the CERAT Act in 1 9 6 The Tribunal adjudicate disputes,.
complaints or offences with regard to customs and excise revenue. Appeals from the,
orders of the CERAT lies with the Supreme Court.

Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC)

In 1969, the Parliament enacted the MRTP Act by which the Monopolies Commission
was set up and given powers to entertain complaints regarding monopolistic and
restrictive trade practices and later unfair trade practices by the Amendment Act in 1984.
With the introduction of new Industrial Policy (1991), a substantial programme of
deregulation has been launched. Industrial licensing has been abolished for all items
except for a short list of six industries related to security, strategic or environmental
concerns. The MRTP Act has since been amended in order to eliminate the need to seek
prior approval of government for expansion of the present industrial units and
establishment of new industries by large companies. A significant number of industries
had earlier been reserved for the public sector. Now the ones reserved for the public
sector are: (a) arms and ammpnition and official items of defence equipment, defence
~ i r r r s f ts n r l n r ~ r o h i n r . fh\ s t n m i r mnorrnr. Ir\ c l ~ h i o r t cc n o r i f i o r l in tho c r h m r l ~ ~ ltn
o tho
notification of the Government of India in the Department of Atomic Energy; (d) Administrative
Railway Transport. Private sector participation can be invited on discriminatory basis
even in some of these areas. Under the amended MRTP Act, a three-tier system for
settling consumer complaints has been provided. This operates as District Level Forum
at the district level, State Commissions at the state levels and National Consumers
Disputes Redressal Commission at the national level. The National Commission has
power to hear the appeals against State Commissions and also has revisional powers.
Appeal from the National Commission lies to the Supreme Court.

Elgction Commission (EC)
/ ,/

The Election Commission is a tribunal for adjudication of matters pertaining to the
allotment of election symbols to parties and similar other problems. The decision of the
commission can be challenged in the Supreme Court.

Foreign Exchange Regulation Appellate Board (FERAB)

The Board has been set up under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973. A person
who is aggrieved by an order of adjudication for causing breach or committing offences
under the Act can file an appeal before the FERAB.

Income Tax Appellate Tribunal

This tribunal has been constituted under the Income Tax Act, 1961. The Tribunal has its
benches in various cities and appeals can be filed before it by an aggrieved personls
against the order passed by the Deputy Commissioner or Commissioner or Chief
Commissioner or Director of 1ncome'~ax.An appeal against the order of the Tribunal
lies to the High Court. An appeal also lies to the Supreme Court if the High Court
deems fit.

Railway Rates Tribunal

This-Tribunal was set up under the Indian Railways Act, 1989. It adjudicates matters
pertaining to the complaints against the railway administration. These may be related to
the discriminatory or unreasonable rates, unfair charges or preferential treatment meted
out by the rajlway'administration. The appeal against the order of the Tribunal lies with
the Supreme Court.

Industrial Tribunal

This Tribunal has been set up under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. It can be
constituted by' both the Central as well as State governments. The Tribunal looks into
the dispute between the employers and the workers in matters relating to wages, the
period and mode of payment, compensation and other allowances, hours of work,
gratuity, retrenchment and closure of the establishment. The appeals against the decision
of the Tribunal lie with the Supreme Court.

Check Your Progress 2

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.

1) Explain the Central Administrative Tribunal?
Citizen and
Administration 2) Briefly describe the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission?

Administrative adjudication is a dynamic system of administration, which serves, more
adequately than any other method, the varied and complex needs of the modem society.
The main advantages of the administrative tribunals are:

1) Flexibility

Administrative adjudication has brought about flexibility and adaptability in the judicial
as well as administrative tribunals. For instance, the courts of law exhibit a good deal of
conservatism and inelasticity of outlook and approach. The justice they administer may
become out of harmony with the rapidly changing social conditions. Administrative
adjudication, not restrained by rigid rules of procedure and canons of evidence, can
remain in tune with the varying phases of social and economic life.

2) Adequate Justice

In the fast changing world of today, administrative tribunals are not only the most
appropriatdTmeansof administrative action, but also the most effective means of giving
fair justice to the individuals. Lawyers, who are more concerned about aspects of law,
find it difficult to adequately assess the needs of the modem welfare society and to locate
the individuals place in it.

3) Less Expensive

Administrative justice ensures cheap and quick justice. As against this, procedure in the
law courts is long and cumbersome and litigation is costly. It involves payment of huge
court fees, engagement of lawyers and meeting of other incidental charges.
Administrative adjudication, in most cases, requires no stamp fees. Its procedures are
simple and can be easily understood by a layman.

4) Relief to Courts

The system also gives the much-needed relief to ordinary courts of law, which are
already overburdened with ordinary suits.

5) Experimentation

Experimentation is possible in this field and not in the realm of judicial trials. The
practical experience gained in the working of any particular authority can be more easily
utilised by amendments of laws, rules and regulations. Amendment of law relating to
courts is quite arduous.

In sum, flexibility, accessibility and low cost are the important merits of administrative
tribunals. In the words of W.A. Robson, the advantages of administrative tribunals are
"cheapness and speed with which they usually work, the technical knowledge and
experience which they make available for the discharge of judicial functions in special
fields, the assistance which they lend to the efficient conduct of public administration,
and the ability they possess to lay down new standards and to promote a policy of social Administrative

Now we will discuss some of the disadvantages of the administrative tribunals.

Even though administrative adjudication is essential and useful in modem day
administration, we should not be blind to the defects from which it suffers or the dangers
it poses to a democratic polity. Some of the main drawbacks are mentioned below.

t In the first place, administrative adjudication is a negation of Rule of Law. Rule of Law
ensures equality before law for everybody and the supremacy of ordinary law and due
i procedure of law over governmental arbitrariness. But administrative tribunals, with their
separate laws and procedures often made by themselves, [email protected] a serious limitation upon
the celebrated principles of Rule of Law.

Secondly, administrative tribunals have in most cases, no set procedures and sometimes
I they violate even the principles of natural justice.
Thirdly, administrative tribunals often hold summary trials and they do not follow any
prekedents. As such it is not possible to predict the course of future decisions.

Fourthly, the civil and criminal courts have a uniform pattern of administeringjustice and
centuries of experience in the administration of civil and criminal laws have borne
testimony to the advantages of uniform procedure. A uniform code of procedure in
administrative adjudication is not there.

Lastly, administrative tribunals are manned by administrators and technical heads who
may not have the background of law or training of judicial work. Some of them may not
possess the independent outlook of a judge.

However, there exist certain safeguards, which can go to mitigate or lessen these
disadvantages. We will be discussing some of the safeguards to be observed in the
working of administrative tribunals.

Administrative adjudication suffers from many shortcomings that cannot perhaps be
denied. But, like delegated legislation, it is an inescapable necessity in a modem complex
society. Therefore, to overcome the shortcomings, few safeguards are suggested to make
administrative adjudication impartial and certain. These safeguards include:

1) Administrative tribunals should be manned by persons possessing legal training
and experience. To inspire public confidence, the appointment of members should
be made in consultation with the Supreme Court.

2) A code of judicial procedure for administrative tribunals should be devised and
enforced. This is important in view of the prevalence of varying procedures of
administrative adjudication in India.

3) Reasons should invariably accompaily decisions by the tribunals. "Good Laws",
observed Jeremy Bentham,. "are such laws for which good reasons can be given".
A reasoned decision goes towards convincing those, who are affected by it, about
its innate fairness and is a check against misuse of power.
Citizen and 4) The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court (as well as the High Courts) should not be
Administration curtailed. In other words, the right to judicial review on points of law must remain
unimpaired. Some of the administrative tribunals permit appeal to the court of law.
Some, however, seek to ban judicial review altogether by making decisions final.
According to M.C. Setalvad, former Attorney General of India, the need for
judicial review is greater in a nascent democracy like India.

Check Your Progress 3
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Chmk your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.

1) Discuss the advantages of Administrative Tribunals?

2) Discuss the disadvantages of Administrative Tribunals?

3) Examine the safeguards in the working of administrative tribunals?


In view of the increasing rdle of administration in citizens' life, the administrative
tribunals are expected to play an important role in the redressal of citizens' grievances. In
this unit we have examined the nature of administrative tribunals and the various reasons
for their goping importance. Various types of administrative tribunals are set up in the
country to address yarious issues, such as, the adjudication of disputes and complaints of
the public servants, redressal of consumer disputes, industrial disputes, disputes
pertaining to income tax etc.

They provide greater flexibility in administering justice and provide relief to the courts.
But at the same time they suffer from some limitations as they sometimes violate the
principles of natural justice, lack uniform pattern of administering justice and also suffer
from the lack of a proper background on law or judicial work.

However, with certain safeguards it is possible to rectify some of these limitations. The
administrative tribunals should have people with legal training and experience. A code of
judicial procedures should be devised and enforced for their functioning.
Delegated Legislation: it refers to the law making conferred by the Parliament on the
i Dicey's Rule of Law: it means that no man is above the law of the land and that every
person, whatever be his rank or status, is subject to the ordinary law and enables to the
jurisdiction of the ordinary tribuials. Every citizen is under the same responsibility for
every act done by him without lawful justification and in this respect there is no
distinction between officials and private citizens.
i Principles of Natural Justice: these principles aim to provide fair, impartial and
reasonable-justice.These principles include:

i) No person should be a judge in his own cause.

ii) No decision should be given against a party without affording them a reasonable

iii) Quasi-judicial enquiries should be held in good faith and without bias and not
arbitrarily or unreasonably. To give every citizen a fair hearing is as much a canon of
good administration as it is of a good legal procedure.

Public Good Oriented Justice: In the modem state, Public Good Oriented Justice
provides a new type of justice where the individuals are able to assert themselves freely,
welfare of the community is kept in view and the system functions like a social
institution existing for achieving social end.


Jain P.C., 1981. Administrative Adjudication - A Comparative Study of France, U.K,
U.S.A. and India: Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi.

Maheshwari, Shriram, 1990. Indian Administration; Orient Longman:,New Ddlhi.
Nayak, ~adhakant,1989. Administrative Justice in India; Sage Publications: New Delhi.
Prasad, Vishnu, 1974. Administrative Tribunals in India; Oxford and IBH Publishing
Co.: New Delhi.

S.P. Sathe, 1999. 6thEdition, Administrative Law, Bullerworths, New Delhi.

I.P. Massey, 2001. Fifth Edition, Administrative Law, Eastern Book Company, 2001:
Fadia, B.L., and Kuldeep, Fadia, 2000, Public Admini&ation: Administrative Theories
and Concepts, Sahitya Bhawan Publications, Agra.

Wade, H.W.R, 1977. Administrative Law, Oxford University Press, New Delhi.

Check Your Progress 1

1) Your answer must include the following points:
Citizen and Administrative Law includes the statues, charters, rules, regulations,
Administration procedures, decisions, etc. required for smooth running of administration.

It determines the organisation, powers and duties of administrative authorities.

2) Your answer must include the following points:

Administrative tribunals are authorities outside the ordinary court system,
which interpret and apply the laws when acts of public administration are

They stand midway of the judiciary and administration.

They are established by the executive and perform quasi-judicial functions
and operate on the principles of natural justice.

Check Your Progress 2

I) Your answer must include the following points:
Central Administrative Tribunal is set up for adjudication of disputes and
complaints relating to recruitment and conditions of service of Central
Government employees.

Observance of principles and norms of 'natural justice' in disposing of the

The tribunal enjoys the status and powers of a High Court.

Flexibility and informality in the functioning of tribunal.

Judicial and administrative expertise of the members of tribunals.

2) Your answer include the following points:

In 1969, the Parliament enacted the MRTP Act by which the Monopolies
Commission was set up and given powers to entertain complaints regarding
monopolistic and restrictive trade practices and later unfair trade practices by
the Amendment Act in 1984.

Check Your Progress 3

1 Your answer must include the following points:

Flexibility and adaptabiliG.

Most effective means of giving fair justice to people.

Ensures cheap and quick justice.

Provides much needed relief to the ordinary courts.


2) Your answer must include the following points:
It is negation of the rule of the law.

No set procedures and violates the principles of natural justice.
They do not have uniform pattern of administering justice.

They are manned by administrators who may not have the background of law.

3) Your answer must include the following points:
Administrative tribunals to be manned by persons with legal training and

Devising and enforcing of a code of judicial procedure for tribunals.

Reasons to accompany decisions of the tribunals.

Right to judicial review on points of law to be retained.
Judicial System in India
Scope of Judicial Control over Administration
Forms of Judicial Control over Administration
24.4.1 Judicial Review
24.4.2 Statutory Appeal
24.4.3 Suits against the Government
24.4.4 Criminal and Civil Suits against Public Officials
24.4.5 Extraordinary Remedies
Limitations of Judicial Control over Administration
Public Interest Litigation -

Legal Aid
Nyaya Panchayats
Let Us Sum Up
Key Words
References and Further Readings
Answers to Check Your Progress Exercis'es

After studying this unit,.you should be able to:

Discuss the judicial system in India.

Explain the scope and the methods ofjudicial control over administration.

Analyse the limitations of judicial control over administration; and

Discuss the various other judicial systems of rendering justice.

In India, the judiciary occupies an important place. The constitution visualizes an
independent judiciary to safeguard the rights of citizens. In a democratic polity, the
independent judiciary is a sine qua non to the effective functioning of th'e system.
Administration has to function according to the law and the Constitution. The judiciary
has an important role to play in protecting the citizen against the arbitrary exercise of
power by administration. In this unit, we shall be discussing the features of judicial
system in India, the scope and methods of judicial control over administration, the
limitations of judicial administration and various other judicial systems in vogue.

As mentioned in the introduction of this unit, Indian Constitution'envisages an
independent judiciary. There is a separation of powers between the executive and
judiciary. The judiciary, which interprets the constitutional meaning of law and legality
of executive actions, must have a separate existence. Lord Bryce has said that there is no
better test of the excellence of a government than the efficiency and independence of its
judicial system.
Indian constitution incorporated many provisions to ensure the independence of Judicial
judiciary. Though the executive appoints the judges of the highest courts, that is, the Administration
Supreme Court and High Courts, their tenure is kept beyond the purview of the
executive. Even in appointing the judges, the executive has to follow certain guidelines.
Once they are appointed they are not subject to any executive control in the discharge of
their functions. This is done to ensure that the judgments of courts are impartial and fair.
In Indian federation, the courts also have an important role to play in adjudicating the
disputes between the Centre and States. Thus, the independence of the judiciary is one of
the important features of the judicial system in India.

Another important feature of judicial system in India is the single unified judicial system
prevailing in the country. ~ h wholek system of courts taken together is called the
judiciary. Unlike.some other federations like the USA, Indian federation has a unified
judicial system. If we compare legislative and executive system in our federation with
the structure of judicial system, h e find a difference. We have separate legislative and
executive authorities for the Centre and the States and their functions are divided by the
Constitution. But our judicial system is different. It runs like a pyramid from the
subordinate courts and districts courts at local level to High Courts for every state to the
Supreme Court of India.

The Supreme Court occupies the highest position in the judicial hierarchy in India. It
comprises of the Chief Justice and other judges appointed by the President of India. The
Supreme Court has three areas of jurisdiction, namely, original, appellate and advisory.
The original jurisdiction extends to (a) disputes between Government of India and one or
more statks, and (b) claims of infringement of constitutionally guaranteed fundamental
rights. The Court's appellate jurisdiction extends to four types of cases, that is,
constitutional, civil, criminal and special leavp. .In these types of cases under certain
conditions appeals may be made from any State Hi& Court to the Supreme Court. The
Court's advisory jurisdiction pertains to matters referred for the purposes of seeking
advice. The President of India may refer a question of public importance for the advise
of the Supreme Gourt.

The High Courts are in the second level of judiciary. Ordinarily every state has a High
Court, but two or more states may also have one High Court. The High Court consists
of a Chief Justice and some other judges appointed by the President of India. The High
court of the states have three types of jurisdictions, that is, original, appellate and
administrative. It has among its original jurisdiction the power to' issue warrants
regarding the fundamental rights of citizens. It also has original jurisdiction to try civil '
and criminal cases. It's appellate jurisdiction includes the authority to try appeals about
civil and criminal cases from the lower courts. The administrative jurisdiction of High
Courts relate to superintendence over the subordinate courts,

The subordinate judiciary, that is, courts at the district level and below come into intimate
contact with the people in the judicial field. The Governor in consultation with the High
Court appoints the judges of the district courts. The Public Service Commission
, conducts competitive examinaths for the selection of candidates for appointment in the
State Judicial Service.

The above discussion on judicial system in India clearly shows that the whole judicial
system is based on two important features namely independent judiciary and single
unified judicial system.

In the context of ever-expanding activities of government and discretionary powers
vested in the various administrative agencies and public officials, the need to protect and
safeguard the citizen's rights assumes significance and priority. In developing societies
where the state is playing an important role in development, judiciary has a special
Citizen and responsibility to ensure social justice to the underprivileged sections of the community.
Administration However, it must be admitted that the courts can not interfere in the administrative
activities on their own accord even if such activities are arbitrary. They act only when
their intervention is sought. Judicial intervention is restrictive in nature and limited in its
scope. Generally judicial intervention in administrative activities is confined to the
following cases:

a) Lack of Jurisdiction: If any public official or administrative agency acts without or
beyond hisher or its authority or jurisdiction the courts can declare such acts as ultra-
vires. For instance, according to administrative rules and procedures, in all
organizations, the competent authority is identified for taking decisions and actions. If
any authority or person other than the competent authority takes action, the court's
intervention can be sought under the provisions of lack of jurisdiction.

b) Error of Law: This category of cases arises when the official misconstrues the law
and imposes upon the citizen obligations, which are absent in law. This is called
misfeasance in legal terminology. The courts are empowered to set right such cases.

c ) Error of Fact: this category of cases is a result of error in discoveringcases and
actions taken on basis of wrong assumptions. Any citizen adversely affected by error of
judgment of public official can approach courts for redressal.

d) Error of Procedure: "due procedure" is the basis of governmental action in a
democracy. Responsible government means a government by procedure. Procedure in
administration ensures accountability, openness and justice. Public officials must act in
accordance with the procedure laid down by law in the performance of the administrative
activities. If the prescribed procedure is not followed the intervention of the courts can be
sought and legality of administrative actions can be questioned.

e) Abuse of authority: if a public official exercises hisher authority vindictively to
harm a person or use authority for personal gain, court's intervention can be sought. In
legal terms, it is called malfeasance. The courts can intervene to correct the malfeasance
of administrative acts.

Check Your Progress 1
Note i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.

1) Explain the main features of judicial system in India?

2) How does the single unified system of judiciary function,in India?

3) What is the scope of judicial control over administration?

The forms and methods of judicial control over administration vary from country to
country, depending upon the type of the constitution and the system of law. Broadly
speaking, there are two systems of legal remedies against administrative encroachments
on the rights af citizens. One is called the Rule of Law system and the other is called the
Administrative Law system. The Rule of Law means that everybody, irrespective of
social and cultural differences, whether an official or a private citizen is subject to the
same law and the ordinary law of the land. The official cannot take shelter behind state
sovereignty in committing mistakes in his official capacity. A.V. Dicey, the main
exponent d Law system stated that the Rule of Law assumes equality of Rule of all
before law and application of the same law to all. The rule of law system prevails in
England and other Commonwealth countries including India. It is also prevalent in the
USA and many other democratic counties.

The administrative law system is based on the assumption of separate law and courts for
dealing with administrative actions. This system prevails mainly in France. We have
discussed in detail about this system in Unit 24 of this course. In the following
paragraphs, we shall discuss some of the forms of judicial control over administration in
India, under the Rule of Law system.

24.4.1 Judicial Review

The judicial review implies the power of the courts to examine the legality and
constitutionality of administrative acts of officials and also the executive orders and the
legislative enactments. This is very important method of judicial control. This doctrine
prevails l n countries where Constitution is held supreme, for example, in U.S.A. India,
Australia, etc.

In India, judicial review is restricted by certain provisions of the constitution as well as of
Act declaring finality of administrative decisions in particular matters. However, it can
be stated that the Legislature in India, being non-sovereign body cannot exclude 'udicial
review in certain cases unless there is a provision to that effect in the Cons itution.
Generally, the courts do not interfere with purely administrative action unless it is ultra-
vires as regards its scope or form.

Even in Britain, where judicial review is not applicable, the c6urts can use this system of
controlling administrative actions within the scope of parliamentary statutes. In view of
the parliament's sovereignty in Britain, many administrative acts and decisions are
excluded from judiciabview by the courts themselves under what is called 'judicial
self-limitation'. ~ o G e v e rit, must be noteckthat administrative actions can be challenged
for want ofjurisdiction.

In the USA, judicial, review, at least in theory extends to the entire field of administrative
action. However, in practice, the courts in the USA have, by self-denial, restricted their
power in several ways. For instance, courts usually do not review certain type of
decisions particularly those concerning administrative discretion. The power of the
courts as regards judicial review, although not crystallized is potentially great. .

24.4.2 Statutory Appeal
The statutes made by Parliament and State Assemblies itself provide that in a particular
type of administrative action,'the aggrieved party will have a right of appeal to the courts
or to a higher administrative tribunal. Sometimes, legislative enactment itself may
Citizen and
provide for judicial intervention in certain matters.

24.4.3 Suits Against the Government

There are several limitations, varying from country to country, as regards filing suits
against thegovernment for its contractual liability. The contractual liability of the Union
and the State Governments is the same as that of an individual citizen under the ordinary
law of contracts, subject however, to any statutory conditions of limits, which the
Parliament can regulate under the constitution. The State is liable for the tortuous acts of
its officials in respect of the non-sovereign functions only. In Britain, under the Crown
Proceedings Act of 1947, the State is liable for torts committed by its servants i.e., public
officials, subject to some exceptions. In U.S.A, subject to a few exceptions, there is no
statutory provision to sue the State in tort. On the other hand, the liability of the State foi
the wrongful acts of its officials is fully established.

24.4.4 Criminal and Civil Suits against Public Oflicials

The position regarding the public officials' personal liability in respect of acts done by
them in their official capacity varies form country. In India, civil proceedings
can be instituted against a public official for anything done in his official capacity after
giving two months notice. When criminal proceedings are to be instituted against an
official for the acts done in his official capacity, previous sanctions of the H e ~ dof the
State i.e., the President or the Govefnor is required. Some functionaries like the
President and the Governor are immune from legal proceedings even in respect of their
personal ac$. Ministers, however, do not enjoy such immunity. The Monarch in Britain
and President infhe U.S.A. are also immune from legal liability.

24.4.5 Extraordinary Remedies
Apart from the methods of judicial c'ontrol already discussed, there are the extraordinary
remedies in the nature of writs of Habeas Corpus, Mandamus., Pfohibition, Certiorari and
Quo Warranto. These are called extraordinary. remedies because the courts grant these
writs except the writ of Habeas Corpus, in their discretion and as a matter of right and
that too when no other adequate remedy is available. A wiit is an qrder of the court
enforcing compliance on the part of those against whom the writ is issued. In India, these
writs are available upder the provisions of the Constitution. While the Supreme,Court is
empowered tu issue these writs or orders or'directives only for the enf~rcem~nt of
Fundamental Rights, the High Courts are empowered to issue these writs not only for the
enforcement of Fundamental Rights but also for other rights. Zn Britain, these are called
Prerqgative Writs issued in the name of the King as the fountainhead of justice. In the
'U.S.A. these are provided for partly by common law and partly by statute. The krrit of
injunction is not specifically provided in the Constitution. However, it is issued by the
Indian courts.

We will discuss these writs now.

a) Habeas Corpus: Habeas Corpus literally means to have the body of. This writ
is an order issued by the court against a person who has detained another to
produce the latter before the court and submit to its orders. If it is found that the
person in unlawfblly or illegally detained, he will be set free. A friend or a
relation of the detained person may also apply for this writ on hisfher behalf. This
writ is a great bulwark of individual freedom and can be described as the
cornerstone of personal liberty. This writ is granted as a matter of a right of
prima facie, if it is established that the pefson is unlawfully detained. Its utility is,
however restricted in India in view of the provision of Preventive Detention Act.

b) Mandamus: Mandamus literally means command. If a public official fails to
perform an act which is a part of his public duty and thereby violates the right of an
individual, he /she will be commanded to perform the act through this writ. From the Judicial
standpoint of judicial control over administrative lapses, it is an effective writ. In India,
this can also be issued to compel a court or judicial tribunal to exercise its jurisdiction.

c) Prohibition: It is a judicial writ issued by a superior court to an inferior court,
preventing it from usurping jurisdiction, which is not vested with it. While Mandamus
commands activity, Prohibition commands inactivity. This writ can be issued only
against judicial or quasi-judicial authorities to prevent exercise of excess of jurisdiction
by a subordinate court. As such its significance as a method of judicial control over
administration is limited.

d) Certiorari: While Prohibition is preventive, Certiorari is both preventive and
curative. It is a writ issued by a superior court for transferring the records of proceedings
of a case from an inferior court or quasi-judicial authority to the superior court for
determining the legality of the proceedings.

e) Quo Warranto: Literally, Quo Warranto means 'on what authority'. When any
person acts in a 'public office' in which he/she is not entitled to act, the court by the issue
of this writ, will enquire into the legality of the claim of the person to that office. If the
said claim is not well founded, hetshe will be ousted from that office. It is, thus, a
powerful instrument against the usurpation of 'public offices'.

Besides the units, there is one more writ, namely the writ of Injunction. It is of two
kinds, mandatory and preventive. Mandatory injunction resembles the writ of Mandamus
while Preventive Injunction resembles the writ of Prohibition. Through this writ, a
public official can be restrained from doing a thing which, if done would cause
irreparable damage to the rights of individuals. While Prohibition is a writ available
against judicial authorities, Injunction is a writ, which is issued against executive

The effectiveness of judicial control over administration is limited by many factors.
Some of these limitations are:

a) Unmanageable volume of work: the judiciary is not able to cope up with the volume
of work. In a year the courts are able to deal with only a fraction of cases brought before
it. Thousands of cases have been pending in Supreme Court, High Courts and Lower
Courts for years together for want of time. There is an increase in the cases of litigation
without a commensurate expansion of judicial mechanism. The old adage of 'justice
delayed is justice denied', still holds good. This excessive delay in the delivery of
justice discourages many to approach the court. The feeling of helplessness results in
denial of justice to many.

b) Post-mortem nature of judicial control: In most of the cases the judicial
intervention comes only after enough damage is done by the administrative actions.
Even if the courts set right the wrong done, there is no mechanism to redress the trouble
the citizen has undergone in the process.

c) Prohibitive Costs: the judicial process is costly and only rich can afford it. There is
some truth in the criticism of pro-rich bias of judicial system in India. As a result, only
rich are able to seek the protection of courts from the administrative abuses. The poor
are, in most cases, the helpless victims of the administrative arbitrariness and judicial
inaction. As V.R. Krishna Iyer pointed 'the portals of justice are not accessible to the

d) Cumbersome procedure: Many legal procedures are beyond the comprehension of
common man. The procedural tyranny frightens many from approaching the courts.
Citizen and Even though the procedures have a positive dimension of ensuring fair play, too much of
Administration it negatives the whole process.

e) Statutory limitations: the courts may be statutorily prevented from exercising
jurisdiction in certain spheres. There are several administrative acts, which cannot be
reviewed by courts.

f ) Specialised nature of administrative actions: The highly technical nature of some
administrative actions act as a further limitation on judicial control. The judges, who are
only legal experts, may not be able to sufficiently appreciate the technical implications of
administrative actions. As a result, their judgments may not be authentic.

g) Lack of awareness: In developing societies, most of the people who are poor and
illiterate are not aware of judicial remedies and the role of the courts. As a result they
may not even approach the court to redress their grievances. The courts which can
intervene only when it is sought may be helpless in this situation. The general
deprivation of people also results in deprivation ofjustice to them.

h) Erosion of autonomy of judiciary: There is executive interference in the wbrking of
judiciary. The quality of judiciary mostly depends on the quality of the judges. The Law
Commission made many recommendations to ensure the judicial standards of the bench.
The suggestion to create Judicial Commission with responsibility for judicial
appointments deserves serious consideration. In recent years, there are many allegations
of corruption against judges. This undermines the prestige and the effectiveness of the

Many steps have been initiated to overcome some of the limitations mentioned above. In
the succeeding paragraphs, we shall discuss some of these measures, in particular, Public
Interest Litigation, Legal Aid and Nyaya Panchayats.

Check Your Progress 2

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.

1) Explain the meaning and impo&ce ofjudicial review?

2) Dis.cuss the different writs available under the provision of Constitution of India?

3) Discuss the limitations of judicial control over administration?

Public Interest Litigation refers to a system of intervention of social action groups in
making courts accessible to the deprived, poor and the victims of social oppression.
Earlier the 'rule of standing' that means only the wronged person can seek the help of
courts, came in the way of judiciary reaching the poor. The poor who are not aware and
capable do not exist for the court purposes. The imaginative interpretation of judicial
process by creative and socially conscious judges led to the system of PIL, which
facilitated the social action groups and conscious individuals to enable the courts take
cognisance of various forms of injustices done to the poor. In the Asiad Workers Case,
Justice Bhagwati of Supreme Court who championed the PIL observed: "now for the
first time the portals of the court are being thrown open to the poor and the downtrodden.
The courts must shed their character as upholders of the established order and the status
quo. The time has now come when the courts must become the courts for the poor and
struggling masses of this country". In recent times, the courts are allowing
representations and petitions from members of public through postcards, newspapers,
editorials, letters to the editors and as writ petitions. Some of the PILs relate to
environment conservation, rehabilitation of bonded labour, undertrials languishing in
jails, atrocities on scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, women and other weaker sections,
violation of civil liberties, police atrocities, etc. The courts have intervened in such
cases on the initiatives of social activists and civil liberties groups. Judicial activism has
thus certainly facilitated more access to justice to the poor.

The Constitution of India clearly envisages that opportunities for securing justice are not
denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other liabilities. The fundamental
entitlement of legal aid is concomitant right that arises out of Art. 14 of the Constitution
which enjoins the state not to deny to any person equality before law or equal protection
of law. Many commissions made suggestions to provide legal aid to poor to eliminate
the implicit bias towards the rich in our legal system. In response, the Government of
India, constituted a High Powered Committee in 1980 under the chairmanship of Justice
P.N. Bhagwati, the then Judge of Supreme Court to evolve a comprehensive scheme of
legal aid. The Committee was reconstituted in May 1987 with Justice R.S. Pathak, Chief
Justice of India, as Patron-in-Chief, and Justice R.N. Misra, Judge of the Supreme Court
of India, as its executive chairman. As a request to the Committee's work, the National
Act that governs the system of legal aid to the poor in this country is the Legal Services
Authorities Act, 1987, under which "Authorities" have been set up at national, state and
sub-state levels. Under the Act there is a model scheme, for those citizens whose
annual income from all sources does not exceed a certain limit are eligible for free legal
aid. The limitation as to income is not applicable in case of disputes where one of the
parties belongs to scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, vimuktajatis, nomadic tribes or is a
woman or a child.

The Legal Services Authorities have been set up in accordance with the provisions of the
national law and respective State Regulations in most of the States. The Legal Services
Authorities have been set up at the High Court and district levels and in most of the
places at taluka levels also. The Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee has been set up for
dispensing legal aid in cases coming before the Supreme Court of India.

Under the Legal Services Authorities Act 1987, the institution of Lok Adalat is provided
at all levels (State, District and Taluk) for resolution of disputes through conciliatory
methods. Such Adalat. are proving a successful alternative forum for resolution of
disputes thr~ughconciliatory methods outside the regular courts, and very near to the
clients or the people who need legal support, aid and speedy resolution of disputes.
Citizen and 24.8 NYAYA PANCHAYATS

The Nyaya Panchayat system aims to take justice to the doorstep of rural people. Under
the panchayati raj system attempts were made by many state governments to establish
Nyaya Panchayats to decide civil and criminal disputes of [email protected] nature.

Different state laws provide for different kinds of jurisdiction of the courts. The
members are appointed by the state government from the panel recommended by the
village panchayats or block panchayats. The members appointed to the Nyaya Panchayat
should be literate and should not hold any office nor should be active member of any
political party.

The effective functioning af Nyaya Panchayats can facilitate the speedy settlement of
many disputes at the village level itself. They provide for the speedy and summary
disposal of cases. Structurally, the system has the advantages of easy accessibility,
speedy settlement of disputes, openness, etc. But enough steps should be designed to
protect these institutions from the influence of rural rich and vested interests.

Check Your Progress 3

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the Unit.

1) What is the meant by Public Interest Litigation?

2) Discuss the advantages of having Nyaya Panchayats in villages?

In a democracy, the primary objective of judicial system is to ensure citizen's rights. The
judicial system in India is based on the principles of independence of judiciary from
-executive and the single unified system of judiciary. The main purpose of judicial control
over administration is to errsure the legality of administrative actions. The judiciary has
an important role to play in the application of rule of law. We have discussed in this unit
the main features of the judicial system, the methods of judicial control over the
administration and their effectiveness. Some recent trends in judicial system like Public
Interest Litigation, Nyaya Panchayats and Legal Aids Systems have also been discussed.

Malfeasance: this is a legal 'term, which implies abuse of authority by a public official
for personal gains.
Misfeasance: when the public official miinterpets the law and imposes upon the Administration
citizens' obligations, which are absent in law.

Prima-facie: it is used to describe something, which seems to be true when you
consider it for the first time.

Special Leave: the power of the Supreme Court to grant special leave to appeal to the
Supreme Court against any judgement, decree etc. by any court or tribunal in India.

Tort: a tort is something that one does or fails to do which harms someone else and for
which one can be sued for damages.

Ultra vires: violation of constitutional provisions.

Basu, Durga Das, 1987. Introduction to the Constitution of India, Twelfth Edition,
Prentice Hall of India, New Delhi

India 1987. A Reference Manual, Publications Divisions, Government of India, New

Mathew, George. 2000. Status of Panchayati Raj, The States of India, Institute of Social
Sciences, Concept Publishing House, New Delhi.

Jha, S.N., 1999. Decentralisation andLocal Politics, Sage Publications, Delhi.

Tyagi A.R. 1989. Public Administration, 6' Revised Edition, Atrna Ram and Sons, New

t Check Your Progress 1

1) Your answer must include the following points:

Separation of powers between executive and judiciary.

India has a single unified judicial system.

The Supreme Court occupies the highest position in the judicial hierarchy in

2) Your answer must include the following points:
Judicial system in India runs like a pyramid from the subordinate courts at the
lower levels to High Courts for every state to Supreme Court of India at the
national level.

Supreme court is at the highest level of judicial hierarchy, High Court at the
second level and there are subordinate courts at the district level and below.

Supreme Court has three areas of jurisdiction, namely, original, appellate and
advisory and the High Courts have the original, appellate and administrative

3) Your answer must include the following points:
Citizen and Lack of jurisdiction

Error of law

Error offact

Error of procedure

Abuse of authority

Check Your Progress 2

1) Your answer must include the following points:

The judicial review implies the power of the courts to examine the legality and
constitutionality of administrative acts of officials and also the executive orders and
the legislative enactments. This is very important method of judicial control. This
doctrine prevails in countries where Constitution is held supreme, for example, in
U.S.A. India, Australia, etc.

2) Your answer must include the following points:
Habeas Corpus



Quo Warranto


3) Your answer must include the following points
Unmanageable volume of work

Post-mortem nature of judicial control

Prohibitive costs

Cumbersome procedures

Spe~ializednature of administrative actions

Lack of awareness

Erosion of autonomy of judiciary

Check Your Progress 3

1) Your answer must include the following points:
It refers to a system of intervention of social action groups in making courts
accessible to the deprived, submerged and invisible millions of poor and victims
of social oppression.

It facilitates the social action groups and conscious people to enable courts to
provide justice to the poor
The courts allow representations and petitions from members of public through Administration
post-cards, newspapers, letters to the editors and writ petitions.

It has enabled more access of justice to the poor

Your answer must include the following points:
They decide civil and criminal disputes of petty nature

It takes justice to the doorstep of rural people

Speedy settlement of case

Easy accessibility
25.0 Objectives
25.1 Introduction
25.2 Centre-State Administrative Relations
25.3 Centre-State Financial Relations
25.4 Centre State Relations: Institutional FrameworWConferences
25.5 Emergency Provisions
25.6 Concluding Observations
25.7 Let Us Sum Up
25.8 Key Words
25.9 References and Further Readings
25.10 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises
After studying this Unit, you should be able to:
Discuss the division of administrative powers between the centre and the

~ '
Explain the various types of devices for securing centre-state cooperation;
Describe the techniques of executive control over the states; and
Examine the important recommendations of the Sarkaria and Venkata
Chaliah Commissions.

Indian Constitution is neither purely 'federal' nor purely 'unitary'. The federal
form is clearly manifest in the constitutional distribution of powers between the
union and the states not only in the legislative field but also in executive and
administrative fields. In normal times, the constitutional schifne has to ensure
autonomy of the states in regard to the spheres of activities earmarked for the
states in the Constitution. Specific subjects have been allocated to the exclusive
fields of the centre and the states respectively and certain subjects have been
allocated to the 'concurrent field' with the stipulation that in the 'state' and
'concurrent' fields, the states should have the freedom to follow their own
policies except to the extent that Parliament itself decides to legislate under the
powers given to it under the Constitution.

Historically, a highly centralised colonial government had slowly been
transformed into a semi-feudal set-up. In post-Independent India, the needs of
planned development, national integration and maintenance of law and order
resulted in a considerable degree of centralisation of powers in the hands of the
centre. Single party rule for a long period of time has also contributed to the
increasing preponderance of the centre. c'k"1tre-state relationship in reality is a
matter of interaction between the two levels of governments in course of
discharge of their duties to people. In administering subjects like education,
health, agriculture, etc. the two levels of governments have to interact in the
interest of efficient management of these functions. Administrative pr~blems
nccllmp nnlitical cnlnllr when the interactions are conditioned b a n n s
Emerging Issues of power and hegemony. As the Administrative Reforms Commission
commented "The problem of Centre-State relations has acquired new dimensions
and new importance in recent times due to several political parties being in
power at the Centre and in the States."

In thiS Unit, we will study about the division of administrative powers between
the centre and the states and constitutional and extra-constitutional devices for
securing cooperation between the two sets of governments. This Unit will also
discuss about the different ways in which the union exercises its control over the

As earlier pointed out, the Constitution has clearly delimited the scope of
legislative and executive authority of the union and the states. It is at the same time
expressly provided under Article 256 of the Constitution that the executive power
of the 'states shall be so exercised as to ensure compliance with the laws of
Parliament. Also the union executive power extends to the giving of such
directions to the states as may appear to the Government of India to be necessary
for the purpose. It is further stipulated under Article 246 of the Constitution that if
the state government fails to endorse the laws passed by the Parliament within its
jurisdiction, the union government can issue directions to the states to ensure their

Adequate provisions have been made in the Constitution for the division of
executive powers between tht centre and the states. The executive power of the
centre extends primarily to matters with respect to which Parliament has
exclusive authority to make laws. Similarly the executive powers of the states
extend to all those matters which are within their legislative domain. But with
regard to the matters which are in the concurrent list there are three courses of
action with the parliament in reference to the enforcement of legislation. It can
leave it entirely to the states or may take over the task of 'enforcing it or it may
take upon the enforcement of a part of the law, leaving the rest of it to the states
for enforcement.

The executive power of the union also extends to giving of directions to the
states as to the construction and maintenance of means of communication
declared to be of national or military importance. The union government can give
directions to the states for the protection of railways within the states.

There is a constitutional provision under which the President may, with the
consent of a state government, entrust either conditionally or unconditionally to a
state or to its officers, functions in relation to any matter falling within the ambit
of union executive power. A state can also, with the consent of union
government confer administrative functions on the union.

India, being a federation, the Constitution establishes dual polity with the union
at the centre and the states at the periphery. The dual government system-and the
division of powers are key features of the federal system. Since cooperation and
coordination between the central and state governments are necessary for smooth
running of the federation, the Constitution provides for a detailed division of
executive, legislative and financial powers. The administrative relations between
the union and states can be discussed under two parts (a) powers exercised by
union over the states as granted by the Constitution and (b) powers exercised by
extra constitutional agehcies.
Division of Administrative powers between the centre and the states as per Centre-State Administrative
constitutional provisions: Relationship

a) Directives by the union to the state governments: The executive power of
the union also extends to giving of direction to the state under Article 256
for their compliance. This power of the Union extends to the limit of
directing a state in a manner it feels essential for the purpose. For instance,
the union can give directives to the state pertaining to the construction and
maintenance of means of communication declared to be of national or
military importance or protection of railways within the state. This is
essential to ensure the implementation of parliamentary laws throughout
the country. Non-compliance of the directives might lead to a situation
where the un,ion can invoke Article 356, for imposition of President's rule
in the sGte and take over the administration of state.
b) Delegation of union functions to the states: Under the constitutional
provision of Article 2 5 4 the President may, with the consent of the state
government entrust either conditionally or unconditionally to the
government, functions relating to any matter falling within the ambit of
union executive power. Under clause (2), Parliament is also entitled to use
the state machinery for the enforcement of the union laws, and confer
powers and entrust duties to the state. A state can also, with the consent of
union government confer administrative functions on the union.
c) All India Services: Besides central and state services, the Constitution
under Article 312 provides for the creation of additional "All-India
services" common to both the union and states. The state has the authority
to suspend the officials of All India Services. The power of appointment
and taking disciplinary action against them vests only with the President of
The idea of having an integrated well knit All India Services to manage
important and crucial sectors of administration in the country which was
the legacy of the past was incorporated in our Constitution. Their
recruitment, training, promotion disciplinary mattes are determined by the
central government. A member of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
on entry into the service is allotted to a state where hetshe serves under a
state government. This arrangement wherein a person belonging to the All
India Service being responsible for administration of .affairs both at the
centre and states, brings co-operation in administration.
d) Deployment of Military and Para-military Forces: These can be deployed
in a state by the union, if situation warrants, even against the wishes of the
state government.
e) Constitution of Joint Public Service Commission for Two or more States:
We have discussed in the Unit on Union Public Service Commission
(UPSC) in Block 2 of this cowse that apart from UPSC and State Public
Service Commission, the Constitution also provides for a Joint Public
, Service Commission. When two or more states through a resolution to that
effect, in their respective legislatures agree to have one such Commission,
the Parliament may by law, provide for a joint commission. The constitution
of the Commission facilitates inter-governmentalco-operation.
There is also a provision in the Constitution wherein, on request by two or
more states the UPSC can assist those states in framing and operating
schemes of joint recruitment to any service for which candidates with
special qualifications are required.
f) Judicial System: A distinctive feature of our federal system is the presence
of integrated judicial system. Though we have federal form of government
with two sets of government and dual powers, there is no dual system of
administration of justice. This is clear bv the Dresence of single inteaated
Emerging Issues chain of courts to administer both union and state laws with the Supreme
Court at the apex of hierarchy of courts. The practice of having one set of
courts which was present in our country under the Government of India Act
1935 continued thereafter under our Constitution.
The state governments are empowered to undertake the administration of
justice and to constitute courts for this purpose. Hence, there is a High
Court in each-state as the highest court within the territory of state which is
required to administer both the union and the state Iaws. Hence, the
Constitution stipulates that the Chief Justice of the High Court be
.appointed by the President in consultation with the Chief Justice of India
and the Governor of the State.
The Constitution also provides for creation by the Parliament through law,
a common High Court for two or more states. For example, the states of
Assam and Nagaland have a common High Court. The administration of
justice falls entirely within the sphere of state irrespective of whether a
matteipertains to civil or criminal law or whether such a law is enacted by
Parliament or state legislature.
g) Inter-State Council: India is a union of states wherein the centre plays a
prominent role but at the same time is dependent on the states for the
execution of its policies. The Constitution has provided for devices to bring
about inter-governmental co-operation, effective consultations between the
centre and states so that all important national policies are arrived at through
dialogue, discussion and consensus. One such device is the setting up of the
Inter-State Council. The President is given the powers under Article 263 of
the Constitution to define the nature of the duties of the Council. The
Council is to inquire into and advise upon disputes which may have arisen
between the states. In addition, it may investigate and discuss subjects of
common interest between the union and the states or between two or more
states in order to facilitate co-ordination of policy and action.
Three such councils have been set up - (i) Central Council of Health; (ii)
Central Council of Local Self-Government; and (iii) Transport Development
Council. Based on the Sarkaria Commission's recommendations, a
permanent Inter-State Council has been created on I April 1990, consisting
of six Union Cabinet Ministers and the Chief Ministers of all the States and
those Union Territories with a Legislative Assembly with Prime Minister as
the Chairman. The Sarkaria Commission recommended that in order to
differentiate the Inter-State Council from other bodies set up under the
Article it must be called Inter-Governmental Council.
h) Inter-State Water Disputes: In India there are many inter-state rivers and
their regulation and development has been a source of inter-state function.
These relate to the use, control and distribution of waters of inter-state rivers
for irrigation and power generation. In the Indian Constitution, water-related
matters within a state are included in the state list, while the matters related
to'inter-state river waters are in the union list. Keeping in view this problem
of unending river water disputes, the Constitution framers vested the power
to deal with it, exclusively in Parliament. The Parliament hence, may by law
provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint, with regard to use,
distribution or control of the waters. The Inter-State Water Disputes Act was
enacted by the Parliament in 1956 according to which tribunals are set up for
adjudication of water disputes referred to them.
The Union government has so far, set up four Inter State Tribunals for
Narmada, Krishna, Godavari and Cauvery. Parliament may constitute an :
authority like the Inter-State Commerce Commission in the USA to
enforce the provisions of the Constitution relating to freedom of trade,
commerce and intercourse throughout the territory of India. Such aq
authority has however not yet been set up.
Federal government involves dual government. It is therefore necessary to Centre-State Administrativt
provide for the acceptance of public acts of both governments to avoid
inter-governmental conflict. In the functioning of federation, a state
refusing to recognise acts and records of another state may give rise to
confusion and inconvenience. To eliminate such a possibility, the
Constitution of India provides the 'full faith and credit clause'. Article 261
(i) of the C.onstitution stipulates that full credit and faith shall be given
throughout India to public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of the
union and all the states. The term 'public acts' relates to not only statutes
but to all other legislative and executive acts of the union and the states.
This clause serves a very important purpose of eliminating any possible
hindrance to the normal transaction of administrative activities in the
Indian federation.


The proyi'sions relating to the financial relations between the union and the states
are derived from the Government of India Act, 1935. The areas of taxation have
been clearly demarcated between the centre and states. The states have little
powers in taxation and are heavily dependent on the centre, for financial
resources. The chief source of finance of the states is the grants-in-aid from the

'The seventh schedule of the Constitution provides for specific entries reserved
for the union and the states for imposing taxes. The union can levy taxes on the
12 items of Union List (82 to 92 A). Similarly, the state list contains 19 items on
which states are empowered to conect taxes. The residuary powers in taxation
vests with Parliament.

There is a four-fold classification of tax revenues between the union and the
states. These are:

a) Taxes levied by the union but coIlected and whoIly appropriated by the
state (Article 270). These are stamp duties and duties of excise on
medicinal and toilet preparations.
b) Taxes levied and collected by the centre, but wholly assigned to the states
(Article 269). These include duties on succession to property other than
agricultural land, estate duty on property other than agricultural land,
terminal taxes on goods and passengers (railway, sea or air), taxes on
railway fares and freights etc.
c) Taxes levied and collected by tile union and distributed between the union
and the states (Article 270). This includes taxes on income other than
agricultural income.
d) Taxes levied and collected by the union but may be shared with the states.
This includes the customer and excise duties if parliament by law so
Grants-in-aid and Loans

Besides the devolution of revenues, from different taxes, the centre provides
grants-in-aid to the states as per Article 275 to the States for the purpose of
promoting the welfare of the Scheduled Tribes and raising the level of
administration of the scheduled Areas. Also every year grants are made to the
states, as elected by the parliament on the recommendations of the Finance
~rnerging~ssues Borrowing Powers -
The Constitution also provides for the borrowing of money by the union and
state governments under certain provisions. As per Article 292, the union
government has powers to borrow money on the security of the Consolidated
Fund of India either within or outside the country, subject to limitations imposed
by parliament. Recently the state governments are also empowered to borrow
money on the same basis from outside India.

Finance commission

Besides, provisions relating to demarcate of taxes and distribution between the
union and the states, Article 280 provides for the constitution of the Finance
Commission. The President of India constitutes it every five years. It is to
consist of a chairman and four members.

The Finance Commission is entrusted with the tasks to recommend to the
President about the (1) distribution of the proceeds of tax between the union and
the 8teta and the allocation between the states of the respective shares of such
proceeds; (ii) principles that should govern the grants-in-aid out of the
Consolidated Fund of India; (iii) measures needed to augment the consolidated
Fund of a state to supplement the resources of the panchayats in the states and
municipalities; and (iv) any other matter referred to by the President in the
interest of sound finance. Till now twelve Finance Commission have been set
up. The Thirteenth Finance Commission has recently been constituted with
C. Rangarajan as the Chairman.

Financial Relations During Emergency

The financial relations between the union and the states undergoes changes
during proclamation of emergency. In case of financial emergency imposed by
the President under Article 360, it shall be competent for the union to:

i) give directions to the state to observe such cannoris of financial propriety as
may be specified in the communication;
ii) instruct state governments that the salaries and allowances of all public
semants including judges be reduced in the specified manner; and
iii) reserve for the consideration of the President all money bills and financial
Pills after they are passed by the Legislatures for the state.
Check Your Progress 1
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.

1) Explain the importance of 'fill faith and credit clause' incorporated in the
2) Comment on the significance of All India Services in Centre-State Centre-State Administrative
relations. ,Relationship

3) Discuss the role of the Inter-State Council.

There are other extra-constitutional and formal devices for securing consultations
between the centre and the states and for bringing about co-operation and co-
ordination between the states. These-devices are to solve the centre-state conflicts
and promote co-operative federalism. Regular conferences are being held as a
matter of practice like annual conferences of Chief Ministers, ~ o v e r n o i Chief
Secretaries, etc. The Governor's Conference serves as a useful forum where the
President who is the Chairman of the conference is apprised by the Governors, of
the political, social, and economic situation of the states. Similarly, the Chief
Minister's conference serves as a potential forum for discussion of whole range'of
issues concerning the states and harmonisation of relationship between the centre
and the states.

Likewise, a Conference of Inspectors General of Police which is held generally
twice a year provides a common platform for discussion of issues like crime
situation in the country, prevention, and investigation of crime, training, morale
of police force, suppression of immoral traffic in women and children, etc. Such
conferences help in the development of co-ordinated approach to operational
problems of police. Since establishments such as Central Reserve Police Force,
Border Security Force are maintained by the centre, the conference gains
importance in bringing about co-operation of these units with the law and order
machinery of the state.

In this connection, the role of the Planning Commission and the National
Development Council deserves special mention. Originally set up to formulate an
integrated national five year plan for economic and social development and to
advise the union government on planning and developments the Planning
Commission has over the years extended its activities over the entire sphere of
administration. There has therefore been justifiable criticism that the Planning
Commission which is an extra-constitutional and non-statutory body, has
encroached upon the autonomy of the states-in a significant way.
Emerging Issues The other extra-constitutional body, the Planning Commission has evolved to get
the co-operation of the states is the National Development Council (NDC) which
consists of all the ministers of the Union Cabinet, the Chief Ministers of the
States and the administrators of the Union Territories. The main objective of the
NDC is to review the working of the five-year plan periodically and to
recommend measures for the achievement of the aims and targets set out in the
national plan. But generally the decisions of the Council are binding on the state
governments and Government of India. Also, the Planning Commission holds
regular consultations with the representatives of the state governments in matters
affecting various programmes of planned development.

National Integration Council

The National Integration Council is another constitutional body created in 1986,
to deal with welfare measures for the minorities on an all-India basis. It was
revived by the National Front Government in 1990, comprising not only Union
Ministers and the Chief Ministers of States but also the representatives of
national and regional political parties, labour, and women.

Zonal Councils

These are extra-constitutional bodies created under the State Re-organisatiori
Act, 1956. Five Zonal Councils for Northern, Southern, Eastern, Western and
Central were created in 1956. The North-Eastern Council was set up in 1971, by
an Act of Parliament. Each Council has the Chief Minister and two other
ministers of each state in the zone and the administrator in case of a Union
Territory. The Union Home Minister is the Chairman of all the zonal councils.

The Council is to advise the Union and State governments which are represented
in the council on matters of common concern relating to economic and
administrative matters, social planning, inter-state transport matters arising out of
reorganisation of State.

Sarkaria Commission

The Sarkaria Commission on Centre-State relations was constituted in 1983
under the Chairmanship of Justice R. S. Sarkaria, a retired judge of the Supreme
Court. It was to examine and suggest reforms for an equitable distribution of
powers between the Centre and the State. The report was submitted in 1988 and
it made 247 recommendations in this regard, suggesting 12 amendments to the
Constitution and 20 new legislations. Though it did not recommend any drastic
structural changes, it desired streamlin':ng the provisions of the Centre-State
relations. It suggested the Centre's financial hold over the state to be diluted and
autonomy be given in this regard.

The major recommendations include:

i) The Governor of a state to be a non-political person appointed with the
concurrence of the Chief Minister.
ii) Articles 256, 257 and 265 of the Constitution and provisions designed to
secure co-ordination between the union and the states for effective
implementation of Union laws. Nonetheless, a directive under Article 256
and 257 and application of the sanction under Article 365 in the event of
its non-compliance, is to be used as a last resort. Before issue of directions
to a state and application of section under Article 365, utmpst caution
should be exercised and all possibilities explored for setting points of
conflict by all other available means.
iii) The representative state to be consulted before deployment of union armed' Centre-State Administrative
and other forces in that State. Relationship

iv) Sharing of the corporate taxes behveen the centre and state to be made
v) The transfer of High Court judges should not be against their will.
vi) The state should have more control over the matters in the concurrent list
and the Centre's hold over the union list should be loosened.
vii) To foster co-operative federalism in inter-governmental relations, the
commission recommended the setting up of Inter-State Council under
Article 263.
Though the Commission provided a comprehensive review of Central-State
relations, few recommendations were accepted. This include:

a) The President's Proclamation, while imposing emergency in a state, should
include the 'reasons' as to why the state cannot be run as per the normal
provisions of the Constitution.
b) As far as possible the centre should issue a warning to the state
government before resorting to the use of Article 356.
c) The Inter-State Council under Article' 263 as recommended by the
Commission has been set up termed as 'Inter Governmental Council'.
d) Sharing of corporate taxes between the centre and states has been made
Venkatachaliah Commission

The latest high power body constituted to examine the working of the
constitution is the National Commission to Review the Working of the Indian
Constitution which was notified on January 27, 2000, with Chief Justice
Venkatachaliah as Chairman. The terms of reference of the Commission were as

The Commission shall examine, in the light of last fifty years, as how far the
existing provisions of the constitution are capable of responding to the needs of
efficient, smooth and effective system of governance and socio.-economic
development of modem India and to recommend changes, if any, that are
required to be made in the Constitution within the framework of Parliamentary
Democracy without interfering with the basic structure of features of the

The Commission functioned with the aid of I0 expert teams after having
identified the major fields for incisive review:
Examine ways to strengthen democratic institutions and their
Review Electoral Reforms;
Review the pace of Socio-economic change and development and
eradication of poverty;
Promote Literacy and Employment, besides ensuring Social Security;
Review Centre-state relations, including Art. 356, appointment of
Governors, financial relations and sharing of revenues;
Strengthen Panchayati Raj Institutions;
Enlarge the Fundamental Rights and improve the Rights of the Minorities
and Weaker Sections;
F f f e r t ~ ~ nFt e~ ~ n r l n m ~ nnt ~
n l~ t i e s .
Emerging lssurs Enforce the Directive Principles of State Policy;
10) Legal Control of Fiscal and Monetary Policies.
It appears that the Commission, born out of a controversy about the scope of
enquiry, delimited its area of inquiry in such a way that 'parliamentary
democracy' and the 'basic structure' were out of bounds for them.

The Commission made a s many as 248 recommendations touching on these ten
areas of intensive inquiry. Out of these, only 58 involve amendment of the
Constitution, 86 pertain to legislative measures and the rest require executive

Unfortunately, this Commission Report proved to be a damp squib. There was
hardly any national debate on the issue raised; nor is there any interest among
parties - ruling or otherwise - to pursue the issues seriously.

In normal times, the union and the states are expected to function separately
within their constitutionally delimited spheres of activities. But our Constitution 1
makes provisions for proclamation of emergencies to enable the union
government to acquire the strength of a unitary system in times of 'emergencies'.
The Constitution envisages three different kinds of 'emergencies' or abnormal
situations calling for a radical departure from the normal governmental
machinery as set up by the Constitution.

The first kind of emergency, undkr Article 356, as we have discussed earlier
relates to the failure of constitutional machinery in a state. The President is
empowered to make a proclamation when he is satisfied that the government of a
state cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution
either on the report of the state governor or otherwise. Under this provision
President's rule has been imposed in several states at different points of time. It
has proved to be a drastic coercive power which takes nearly, the substance away
from the normal federal polity prescribed by the Constitution.

The second kind of emergency is the 'national emergency'. Under Article 352, a .
proclamation of emergency may be made by the President at any time when he is
satisfied that the security of India or any part thereof has been threatened by war,
external aggression or armed rebellion. Such a proclamation has far-reaching
consequences for the fundamental rights and for the exercise of executive,
legislative and financial powers of the union government. The nation virtually
slips into a unitary system in times of national emergencies.

A third type of emergency - the financial emergency - may be proclaimed by the
President under Article 360. This is done when the President is satisfied that a
situation has arisen whereby the financial stability or credit of India or any part
of the temtory thereof is threatened. During the financial emergency, the union
executive has powers to direct any state to observe some specific cannons of
financial propriety as well as taking measures such as reduction of salaries and
allowances of persons service the state or the union.

The emergency provisions are so drastic that when the proclamation of either of
the emergencies is in operation, the government is carried practically on a unitary
basis and during the crisis the state governments are, in effect merely subordinate
governments and function as a part of a union structure.
Check Your Progress 2 Centre-State Administrative
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.

i I) What are the extra-constitutional devices which help in bringing about
cooperation between the centre and the states?

2) Explain the three types of emergencies which can be proclaimed by the
union as stipulated in the Constitution.

To sum up, the administrative relationship between the centre and the states in
India has evolved during the course of colonial rule. After Independence the
Constitution of India provided for a system of inter-governmental relationship
both for normal times and emergencies. In normal times, the federal polity was
expected to function on the principle of dual government. The history of highly
centralised government in the past, the influence of the Government of India Act
1935 and the concern of our founding fathers about national stability, peace and
harmony led to the acceptance of a constitutional arrangement of distribution of
powers that deliberately tilted the scale in favour ofthe union.

Later, in course of actual governance, the political forces started reshaping the
Indian polity and central dominance through President's rule and other
provisions harmed the effective working of the federal system. As different
political parties came to power at the union and the state level, the phenomenon
of central dominance had steadily come under attack by the constituent states.
The politics of centre-state relations revolved round such issues as 'more powers
to the states', 'more financial resources to the states' and even a clamour for
redrafting of the Indian Constitution. In response to the states' demands, the
Sarkaria Commission which was set up to review the working of the federal
system suggested appropriate constitutional changes but nothing substantial came
out of it. But it seems that in the years to come 'consensus' rather than 'control'
is going to be the dominant paradigm of centre-state administrative relationship
in the years to come.

As the Administrative Reforms Commission cautioned earlier, "In our anxiety ...
to strengthen the unity of India, we should not think o f indiscriminately
I. .. . . .. .., .I . .. P
Emerging Issues administrative powers at a distant centre tends to breed inefficiency and
resentment, which in turn sets the minds of the people against the centre. A wise
and farsighted administration must be committed to decentralisation of
administrative powers."

Consequently, a federal polity is a decentralised polity. It needs a political will to
design and sustain a decentralised political and administrative system. India
waits for the emergence of this system.

The distribution of powers between the centre and states in the legislative and
executive fields, as stipulated in the Constitution is clearly delimited in their scope.
At the same time the Constitution provides for devices through which cooperation
between the centre and states is facilitated. These include constitution of All India
Services, Joint Public Service Commission for two or more states and presence of
integrated judicial system. Adequate provisions have been made in the Constitution
in ensuring smooth financial relations between the centre and states, through
provision of grants-in-aid, constitution of Finance Commission etc. The settin of
Inter-State Council by the National Front government for the first time is F
considered a positive step towards promoting harmonious relationship between\the
union and states in bringing about overall development of the country.

The centre has emerged strong over the years:due to centralisation of certain
powers in its hands. Through giving of directions to the states backed by a
coercive sanction for their enforcement, exercising supervisory control over the
states in the maintenance of order, and proclamation of emergencies, the union
exerts its control over the states. The Sarkaria Commission on centre-state
relations suggested certain constitutional changes, which would smoothen the
relationship between the centre and states. Efforts need to be made to make our
federal system decentralised on both political and administrative fronts.

Hegemony : Domination or control by one country or state over
a group of others especially if it is a member of
that group.

Sarkaria Commission : This Commission on Centre-State Relations was
formally constituted by the Government of India,
Ministry of Home Affairs on June 9, 1983 under
the chairmanship of R.S. Sarkaria (a retired judge
of Supreme Court), Shri. B. Sivaraman and Dr.
S.R. Sen were the other two members. The
objective of the Commission was to examine the
working of existing arrangements between the
centre and the states and recommend such changes
in the said arrangement as might be appropriate
within the present constitutional framework.

Article 256 : This provides that the executive power of every
state shall be so exercised as to ensure compliance
with the laws made by Parliament and any existing
laws which apply in that state and the executive
power of the union shall extend to the giving of
such directions to a state as may appear to the
government to be necessary for that purpose.
Article 257 : This Article of the Constitution relates to the
power of the union to give directions to the state
government's regarding exercise of executive
power to ensure
a) that the exercise of the executive power of the
state does not interfere with the exercise of
executive power of the union (257 (i))
b) the construction and maintenance of means of
communication of national or military
importance by the state (257 (ii))
C) protection of railways within the state (257
Article 365 : The Constitution stipulates that where any state
has failed to comply with or to give effect to any
directions given in the exercise of the executive
power of the union under any of the provisions of
the Constitution, it shall be lawful for the
President to hold that a situation has arisen in
which the government of the state cannot be
carried on in accordance with the provisions of the

Administrative Reforms Commission, 1980, Report on Centre-State
Relationship, Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi.

Basu, D.D., 1982, Introduction to the Constitution of India, Prentice Hall of
India, New Delhi.

Chhabra, H.K., 1977, State Politics in India (A Study of Centre-State Relations),
Surjeet Publications, New Delhi.

Chandrapal, 1983, Centre-State Relations and Cooperative Federalism, Deep
and Deep Publications, New Delhi.

Joshi, G.N., 1983, The Constitution oflndia, Macmillan India Ltd., New Delhi.

Government of India, 1988, Report of the Commission on Centre-State Relations
(Part-I), Nasi k.

Maheshwari S.R., 1989, Indian Administration (41h edition), Orient Longman,
New Delhi.

Py lee M.V., 1983, Constitutional Government in India (#Ih edition), S. Chand
and Co., New Delhi.

Sarkar, R.C.S., 1986, Union-State Relations in India, National Publishing House,
New Delhi.

- -
Check Your Progress 1

1) Your answer must include the following points:
Emerging Issues Importance of the clause which provides acceptance of public acts o f ,
both the central and state governments, thereby reducing inter-
governmental conflict, confusion and inconvenience.

2) Your answer must include the following points:
a Importance of All India Services with personnel manning administrative
positions both at union and state levels which brings cooperation in

a The All India Services officers get acquainted with state and district
administration and carry with them this experience while migrating to
the centre to occupy positions of responsibility.
a This interchange of experience improves decision-making.

3) Your answer must include the following points:
It helps &:bring about inter-governmental cooperation and effective
consultations between the centre and states on important national
a It may inquire into and advise upon disputes which may have arisen
between the states.
a It may investigate and discuss subjects of common interest between the
union and States or between two or more states to facilitate coordination
of policy and action.
Check Your Progress 2

1) Your answer must include the following points:
Governors' Conference
a Chief Ministers' Conference
a Conference pf Inspectors General of Police

a Planning Commission
a National Development Council
2) Yqur answer must include the following points:
a Provisions of Article 356 of the Constitution relating to imposition of
President's rule in a state due to breakdown of its constitutional
a Proclamation of 'national emergency' by the President under Article 352
of the Constitution in times of threat to the security of the country due t o
war, external aggression or armed rebellion.
a Declaration of financial emergency under Article 360 by the President
when there i s a threat to the financial stability of the country or territory.
Decentralisation: Meaning
Importance of Decentralisation
Approaches to the Concept of Decentralisation
Types of Decentralisation
System of Decentralisation in India
26.6.1 Pre-Independence Period
26.6.2 Post-Independence Period
26.6.3 Recent Trends in Decentralisation
Factors Impeding Decentralisation
Let Us Sum Up
Key Words
References and Further Readings
Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

After studying this Unit, you should be able to:
Discuss the concept of decentralisation;
Analyse the system of decentralisetion in India in the pre and
post-Independence periods;
. Explain the functioning of local bodies; and
State the factors that hamper the smooth functioning of decentralisation in
the country.

One of the important problems of organisations including that of public
organisations is the issue of centralisation versus decentralisation. In fact, this is
one of the dilemmas facing the government and the administration today. While
on the one hand the compulsions of socio-economic planning, the requirements
of national integration and the consideration of defence strategy, pull the
administration towards centralisation, on the other, the political commitment for
autonomy, greater participation by the people and the need to take democracy to
grassroots pull administration towards decentralisation. We are thus confronted
with contradictory pulls and pressures. To further illustrate, in the words of
Avasthi and Maheshwari "the Planning Commission symbolises the trend
towards centralisation, while 'Panchayati Raj' epitomises the trend towards
decentralisation". In this 'Unit, we shall discuss the meaning of decentralisation,
deconcentration, delegation and devolution, and the system of decentralisation in
India in the pre and post-Independence periods. The future trends in
t decentralisation and functioning of rural and urban local bodies will also be
The term decentralisation is understood differently by different individuals or
Emerging Issues the administrative techniques that characterises the art and science of
professional management. To quote Pfiffner and Sherwood, "In some respects
decentralisation has come to be a 'gospel' of management. Firstly, it is regarded
as a way of life to be adopted at least partially on faith, secondly, it is an
idealistic concept, with ethical roots in democracy, thirdly, it is in the beginning a
more difficult way of life because it involves a change in behaviour running
counter to historically-rooted culture patterns of mankind. That is why the new
literature of deccntralisation dwells on how to bring about changes in
organisation bohaviclur. Men find i: difficult to delegate, to think in terms of the
abstractions requ~redby long-term planning, to listen rather than to give orders,
to evaluate other men and their work in terms of overall results instead .of
irritations and tensions of the moment. Yet this is the very key to the behaviour
required of leaders in a decentralised organisation." It is clear that
decentralisation is not only a device for the delegation or dispersal of
administrative authority, but it is also a democratic method of devolution of
political cuthority. Further, in a decentralised organisation'it is also essential to
adopt the democratic norms. Such norms help the various levels of the
administrative organisation to develop a reasonable capability for the exercise of
authority to reach the most desired decisions. Moreover, they help to assimilate
in them the virtues of greater interactions not only among the various
organisational levels but also between the organisation and the clientele among
the general public.

It has been opined that dacentralisation refers to the physical location of facilities
and the extent of dispersal of authority throughout an organisation. Hence, it is
an arrangement by which the ultimate authority to command and the ultimate
responsibility for results is localised in units located in different parts of the
country. It is argued that assigning of functions and responsibility, for their
efficient and effective performance, to the subordinates or sub-divisions is the
essence of decentralisation. We may say that in a decentralised organisation
lower levels are allowed to decide many matters and a few cases involving m a j ~ r
policies or interpretations are referred to the higher levels of the orghnisation.
However, in common phraseology the term decentralisation is interchangeably
used with terms like deconcentration, devolution and delegation, though they
have different connotations. Thus, decentralisation denotes dispersal of authority
among the lower levels of organisation and its field offices.

Deconcentration, Delegation and Devolution

The word 'decentralisation' is often confused with delegation, deconcentration
and devolution, which is not correct. The point is that all these words have their
own meanings. For instance, delegation is not a transfer of authority but it is
simply an assignment of authority to a lower body by a higher level of
government. Delegation is merely a technique of administration or management
while decentralisation deals with deep urgencies of democracy. Like delegation,
deconcentration is also a technique of administration. Deconcentration denotes
assignment of certain functions to the agent of the central or state government in
the field. There have always been difficulties in governing the country from the
centre and so the government is compelled to deconcentrate certain functions to
its agents or officers in the field. Another synonymous term is devolution which
is not very much different from deconcentration. The method of devolution is
applied to the formally constituted local authorities while deconcentration is
applied generally to the field agencies or staff. It is thus clear that delegation,
deconcentration and devolution are simply the technical methods of efficient
administration. The meaning and scope of decentralisation are much wider and
deeper. It is a process of democratisation of political power and thereby aims at
achieving democratic values in practice. Decentralisation aims at widening the
area of ~eoole'soarticioation in decision-makine. micro level oolitical authoritv
and autonomy through transfer of specific powers to people's representative Decentralisation rJebate
institutions at t:le bottom.

To make the distinction more clear Panchayati Raj is an example of
deszntralisation. State governments in lndia demanding for more powers,
amounts to devolution. The District Collector, being vested with authority over
development departments in the district is an example of deconcentration. The
Commissioner of Police delegating powers to permit holding of public meeting
tc the Assistant Commissioner of the concerned area is an example of delegation.

Development--Administration is basically oriented towards speedy socio-
economic transformation. Hence, throughout the developing world there is
universal concern now to design new forms of administration to match the needs
of development. Decentralisation has been looked at as a singularly useful mode
of administration to deliver the public services from convenient local centres
close to the clients' locality. Bringing administration to the doorstep of the
citizen and establishing a direct relationship between the client and the
administration have been the driving force behind dectiilralisation in most of the
developing countries.

The urge for decentralisation has come from many sources. Firstly, it has been
prompted by the need to deliver the basic public goods like food, housing, water
from local units of administration as soon as possible. Secondly, most people in
the developing countries live in rural areas which are away from the National
Capital located in distant urban area. Administration has to 'penetrate' the rural
areas and link these up with the nation as a whole. Thirdly, in many countries
sociological diversities manifest themselves in ethnic, linguistic and religious
differences. Administration needs to be decentralised in response to regional
diversities. Fourthly, regional and local resources can be utilised for area
development purposes, only if administration would move out to the regions and
localities. Decentralisation, therefore, facilitates local planning and development
with the help of local resourcks. Fifthly, decentralisation has its own value in
political and administrative terms. Politically, local participation in development
activities, with intensive responses paves the way for meaningful articulation of
local demands. Planning, thus, becomes much more realistic and receives ready
political support. From the administrative point of view, local capability to
govern local areas increases through sustained participation in local decision-
making. Decentralisation is expected to release local energies and enlist local
support for development activities. In the process, the local community can
steadily attain political and administrative maturity.

The different approaches to the concept have been clearly and profoundly
presented by Fesler. Following his classification, the approaches can be grouped
into four categories: the doctrinal, the political, the administrative and the dual-

The doctrinai approach seeks to transform decentralisation as an end in itself
through a process of 'romantic idealisation'. The Gandhian concept of
'concentric circle' of power distribution and the idealisation of village
community in Panchayati Raj have reduced decentralisation almost to a dogma
and as an article of faith. Instead of treating decentralisation as a means to the
achievement of some end-values, such idealisation tends to elevate it to the status
of a hardened doctrine.
Emerging Issues The political approach underscores the essentially political character of
decentralisation. Initiatives to decentralise, and willingness to pass on powers
and functions to decentralised units, and to allow these units to actually operate
within a framework of autonomy, are politically determined. Creation of field
units of government, away from central headquarters, exemplify deconcentration.
Decentralisation in the shape of devolution to local self-governing bodies marks
an attempt to'set up autonomous governments at the level of the locajity. Field
units of government like district administration are the long arms of the central
(state) government. To create and maintain local government is thus a major
political commitment. In the absence of such commitment, devolution to sub-
national governments, including self-governing bodies, will remain more in law
than in practice. This leads to what Fesler has called 'illusory decentralisation'.
Both Panchayati Raj and municipal government in India represent to a
considerable extent this sort of faqade devolution.

The administrative approach to decentralisation is motivated by efficiency
criterion. Enhancement of administrative rationality becomes necessary. When
field administrative units are set up through a process of deconcentration, the
measure is considered appropriate for field level decision-making and prompt
problem solving. In this process, administiative units might come up at many
levels between the locality and the central (state) headquarters. With more and
more demand for specialised functions, multiplicity of functional departments
would appear at the field level. The administrative situation gradually presents a
picture of polarisation between general area-based administrative demands and
specific function-centred claims of particular functional departments. Currently,
district administration in India is faced with this problem of area-function
duality. Decentralisation in administrative terms may not therefore always
guarantee 'clarity of authority and orderliness of operations'. To promote such
operational principles, conscious attempts are needed to readjust from time to
time the conflicting claims of area and functions in deconcentrated field

Finally, the dual role approach, as Fesler puts it, is a kind of rehearsal of the area-
function dichotomy in a new setting. Decentralisation is placed within a larger
context of development and change, as distinguished from maintenance of status
quo. Conceived in administrative terms, the dual role approach seeks to highlight
the conflict in field administration between tradition and change. Most field
administrative systems were evolved in an earlier era mainly to maintain the
established order, to collect revenue and to keep things from going wrong.
Almost all the developing countries that have inherited the colonial field system
are seeking to bring about speedy social and economic change. As a consequence
there has been a radical change in the functions of field administration. To quote
Fesler, "The intent is to change established ways of doing things so as to carry
economic and social. development forward rapidly. This contrasts with the status
quo orientation of a field system geared to maintenance of the established order
and may conflict with the personal orientation of field generalists so chosen and
trained as to identify themselves with the classes, families, and other groups who
constitute the 'establishment'." Resolution of conflict between two different
orientations in field administration calls for adaptation of decentralisation to
changing circumstances. The theme is not unfamiliar to Indian administration in
general and to district administration in particular.

Four different types of decentralisation can be identified, viz., administrative,
functional, political and geographical. Administrative decentralisation refers to
decentralisation of authority to the lower officials in the administrative hierarchy
of organisations. It may also mean decentralisation powers or functions to the
subordinate units. Functional decentralisation implies that the functions are Decentralisation Debate
decentralised to the specialised units or departments like education or health.
Political X c G i i s a t i o n involves that the political powers and functions
concentrated in the hands of higher-level political organs are decentralised to
lower level political organs. We are all aware that Panchayati Raj agencies are
units of decentralisation wherein political powers of decision making are
decentralised from state governments to panchayats, samitis and zilla parishads.
Finally, in geographical decentralisation, the powers and functions of
headquarters decentralised to the field departments of the state government,
which are fhrther decentralised to their field officers at the regional and district
levels. This facilitates quick decision-making keeping in view the local

Check Your Progress 1
Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.
1 - 1) Distinguish between decentralisation, delegation, devolution and

2) Analyse the importance of decentralisation.

3) , Discuss the types of decentralisation.

A highly centralised imperial rule was gradually decentralised at the level of the
provinces with the Government of India Act 1919 and the Government of India
Act 1935. Under the Act of 1919, as a sequel to the Montague-Chelmsford
Reforms, 'Dvarchv' was introduced in the provinces. This meant that certain
Emerging Issues departments were for the first time put in charge of elected ministers responsible
to the legislature, and the remaining departments were kept in the charge of
Government officials, the Members of the Governor's Executive Council. The
Act of 1935 for the first time introduced a federal form of Government and
conferred 'Provincial Autonomy' on the provinces subject to certain safeguards.

This process of decentralisation of powers from the central government to the
provincial governments was deliberately pursued during British rule for a variety
of reasons such as administrative convenience, political pressure generated by
the national freedom struggle, and the need for political accommodation cif the
elite and the intelligentsia.

There was another kind of decentralisation effort noticeable during the colonial
rule: the policy of setting up local self-governing bodies in urban and rural areas.
It is this form of decentralisation at the grassroots level that continues to raise
doubts and debates even today, and this 'decentralisation debate' has assumed
considerable significance in recent times for two important reasons: first, poverty
alleviation and social justice have become a major political agenda; institutional
decentralisation, in this context, is being debated. Second, the Panchayati Raj
institutions have been languishing in most states; absence of a constitutional
guarantee has been diagnosed as the cause of Panchayati Raj decay. The mode of
constitutional protection of Panchayati Raj became a debatable proposition since
the proposal was first mooted by the previous Government.

26.6.1 Pre-Independence Period
The decentralisation debate during colonial rule can be traced to the famous
Ripon Resolution of 1882. To train the Indians in the art of governance, to enable
them to learn from experience and to open up avenues for political participation
of the educated class, Ripon strongly advocated the cause of decentralisation of
administration through the establishment of local self-governing institutions. The
British administrators were not prepared to accept the Ripon thesis as they
questioned the competence of Indians to manage local administration and feared
a general weakening of field administration under a local self-government
regime. The debate was essentially over the choice of values: democracy or
efficiency. With the rising tempo of freedom struggle, the imperial policy had to
however willingly concede Indian demands for self-government and participation
in administration.

26.6.2 Post-Independence Period
The second phase of the decentralisation debate in post-Independence India was
staged on the floor of the Constituent Assembly. Panchayati Raj was an
important component of Mahatma Gandhi's vision of future India in which
economic and political power would be decentralised and each village would be
self-reliant economically. It was in accordance with the wishes of the Mahatma
Gandhi that Article 40 of the Constitution of India was adopted stipulating that
"the state shall take steps to organise village panchayats and endow them with
such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to finctions as
units of self government."

Dr. B.R. Ambedlaar, however, had a different view of the Indian rural society. He
argued in the Constituent Assembly that the Indian social structure at the village
Cevel was hierarchical, oppressive and insensitive to change. In his view, it would
be dangerous to give powers to the panchayats as he thought that would mean
giving powers to the prevailing rural power structure which would work to the
detriment of the harijans and the rural poor. Two contrasting views about
decentralisation had thus surfaced in the Constituent Assembly; a visionary stand Decentralisation Debate
point of decentralisation and a realistic view of decentralisation.

Any scheme of decentralisation presupposes a harmonious society. As Dantwala
has observed: "In an unequal society, democratic or decentralised political or
planning mechanisms do not succeed in ensuring genuine people's participation."
The Galidhian vision of village society is a normative model that serves the
purpose of a guidepost. But the reality of rural life and the experiences of
Panchayati Raj in India seems to have' largely confirmed the belief of
Dr. Ambedkar. It is interesting, in this context, to note the observations of the
Asoka Mehta Committee on Panchayati Raj Institutions: "Panchayati Raj
institutions are dbminated by economically and socially privileged sections of
society and have as such facilitated the emergence of oligarchic forces yielding
no benefits to weaker sections."

T h e decentralisation debate has its roots at the conceptual level. The concept of
Panchayati Raj has been far from clear and as the Asoka Mehta Committee
commented: "Some would treat it just as an administrative agency; others as an
extensio~iof democracy at the grassroots level; and still others as a charter .of
rural local government."

The bureaucracy-democracy debate over decentralisation which is a4. old as the
Ripon reforms df the late nineteenth century has been rehearsed in recent times
as well. When it came to entrusting local developmental responsibilities, most
state governments opted for their official field machinery and virtually bypassed
the Panchayati Raj institutions. As the Asoka Mehta Committee reported, some
of the state governments would postpone the holding of elections or supersede
the Panchayati Raj institutions for one reason or the other. "The lukewarm
attitude of the political elite at higher levels towards strengthening of the
democratic process at the grassroots was generally the crux of the matter."

26.6.3 Recent Trends in Decentralisation
Even with our development planning experience of more than four decades, there
is no sign of abatement of poverty and social injustice in the form of oppression
of the harijans and the rural poor. One important reason for this state of affairs
that has been widely acknowledged in centralised administration and planning
and languishing popular institutions at the grassroots level. At the end of 1985,
this point was clearly brought out by the G.V.K. Rao Committee on
Administrative Arrangements for Rural Development (CARD). The Committee
emphasised the importance of local initiative in local development and
recommended revitalisation of the Panchayati Raj institutions. Research findings
revealed that the developmental process had gradually been bureaucratised and
divorced from the Panchayati Raj institutions leading to what has been aptly
termed as "Grass without Roots". To quote one study:

"The basic reason for the failure of rural development and poverty
alleviation programmes is the exclusion of the people from participation
in the development process and the abandonment of the institutions of
democratic decentralisation and the related electoral process."

The G.V.K. Rao Committee came out with a blue print of a decentralised system
of field administration with Panchayati Raj playing the lead role in local planning
and development. Another novel decentralisation plan below the state level has
been advocated by Nirmal Mukherji through devolution of politica! powers to
directly elected "district governments" in India. Such a decentralisation plan will
of course virtually affect the Panchayati Raj structure from the district to the
Emerging Issues The other committee to bemoan the languishing of grassroots democracy is the
L.M. Singhvi Committee on Revitalisation of PRIs for Democracy and
Development (1986). The Panchayati Raj institutions, as the Committee has
observed "have become moribund and ... they have been denuded of their
promise and vitality". To revive Panchayati Raj, the Committee recommended
that "local self-government should be constitutionally recognised, protected and
preserved by the inclusion of a new chapter in the Constitution".

This has since been achieved through the 73rdConstitutional Amendment, 1992,
that accords Constitutional status to Panchayati Raj Institutions. At the same
time, municipal bodies have been accorded Constitutional status under the 74'
Amendment, 1992. The Constitutional status of local government - rural and
urban - has been discussed in detail in Block 4 of this Course.


Decentralisation is to be seen not only as a method or approach in administration,
it has other dimensions also. To what extent there is actual decentralisation
depends on a variety of factors: administrative, political, social and cultural.
Administratively in a society where there has been a long practice of
centralisation of power, those at the higher levels find it rather difficult to be
mentally prepared to transfer powers to lower levels. Conversely, because of the
long habit of always looking above for receiving orders there is inertia on the
part of the persons working at lower echelons. They would wait for an order
from the above. In some cases, it has been found that even when power has been
decentralised, there is a tendency to shift the responsibility of taking decisions to
the higher levels, to play safe, so that, the onus of responsibility does not fall on
them, if something goes wrong administratively.

Rules and procedures are also laid down for decentralisation of powers, but it is
seen that in actual practice, things are not what they ought to be. There is always
a method of getting around the system, so that the decisions are made from levels
higher than that at which the decision should have been taken. Politically also we
find that though legally and constitutionally, decentralisation might have been
provided for and yet in reality in many cases decisions are being taken by the
political executive even in those areas which may not fall strictly in hislher own
domain. Because of the hold of the political parties, and the practice of the local
politicians being 'nominees' of the politicians at the state and national level, the
very purpose of decentralisation gets defeated. Socially and culturally also if the
society is paternalistic this concept of paternalism also gets transferred to the
administrative structures. And this results either in the superior officer actjng like
a patriarch habituated to giving orders to the officials at the local levels or
conversely the officials at the lower level resent every order, or decision or even
suggestion on part of their superiors as undesirable imposition. The very spirit of
decentralisation of power lies in the fact that we recognise that there are levels of
decision-making and at each level we have personnel competent enough to take
decisions at their level. The success or failure of decentralisation, therefore, to a
very great extent depends on the mentality and attitude of the superior authorities
towards their subordinate authorities; whether or not it is based on trust and

In reality, decentrralisation is the cumulative result of decentralisation of
functions, jnances and functionaries. Mere legislative provision does not lead to
decentralisation in actual life. There must be the genuine political will to
.-I &--I:--
Check Your Progress 2 Decentralisation Debate

Note: i) Use the space given below for your answers.
ii) Check your answers with those given at the end of the unit.
1) Discuss the system of decentralisation during pre-Independence period.

2) Examine the recent trends in decentralisation.

The process of decentralising powers to the lower levels of governance had been
going on since the pre-Independence days. The motives, assumptions and
political-administrative compulsions have, however, differed from age to age.
Since Independence, India has been experimenting with decentralisation and
development. The establishment of Panchayati Raj institutions, on the
recommendations of the Balwant Rai Mehta Committee (1957), was a landmark
in the history of decentralised development. For a variety of reasons, the
Panchayati Raj institutions could not play the desired roIe and in most states the
institutions languished for want of political production and administrative and
financial support. Reports of commissions and committees and many research
studies have pointed out the danger of continued neglect of the grassroots
institutions, both for the health of Indian democracy and for bringing about
meaningful local development with active popular participation. The
Constitutional amendments - 73rd(for Panchayati Raj) and 74' (for Municipal
Bodies) - have since been enacted, granting Constitutional status to local

The 'decentralisation debate' has assumed considerable significance in recent
times for various reasons as discussed in this Unit. There is the need to deepen
democracy. People at the grass roots level need to be "empowered". And, above
all, participatory development ig possible, and becomes a reality only with
decentralisation. In this Unit all-attempt was made to discuss the approaches,
types of decentralisation, evolution of the system of decentralisation in India. It
also highlighted the recent trends, and hnctioning of institutions of
decentralisation in India and factors impeding decentralisation.

Doctrinal : Dogma, something taught as the principles of a
religion, political party.
Emerging Issues Idealisation : Any theory which holds that things exist only as ideas
in the mind or that things are really imperfect
limitations of unchanging forms existing
independently of the material world.

Oligarchic Forces : Government with the ruling power belonging to a few.

Avasthi and Maheshwari S.R., 1985, Public Administration (141h rev. ed.);
Lakshmi Narain Agarwal; Agra.

Bureaucracy and Development Administration, 1978, Centre for Policy
Research, New Delhi.

Jain L.C., Krishnamurthy B.V. and Tripathi P.M., 1985, Grass Without Roots:
Rural Development Under Government Auspicies, Sage Publications, New Delhi.

Maheshwari S.R., 1989, Indian Administration (4Ih rev, ed. and updated), Orient
Longman Limited, New Delhi.

Satyanarayana P. (ed.), 1990, Towards New ~anchayufiRaj, Uppal Publishing
House, New Delhi.

Indian Journal of Public Administration - Special Number on Decentralisation,
July-September 1978.

Check Your Progress 1

1) Your answer mwt include the following points:
*. Delegation implies transfer of certain specified functions by the central
to the local abthority which thereupon acts as the agent of the former.
Devolution is the assignment of functions to formally constituted local
Decentralisation denotes assignment of certain functions to the agents of
central or state government in the field.
2) Your answer must include the following points:
.: Development administration is basically oriented towards speedy socio-
economic transformation.
To deliver the basic public goods, like food, housing, water.
. Administratian has to "penetrate" the rural area. .
Administration needs to be decentralised in response to regional
Administration should move out to the regions and localities.
Local community can steadily attain political and administrative
3) Your answer must include the following points:
' Administrative
r Functional
Political Decentralisation Debate

Check Your Progress 2

1 ) Your answer must include the following points:
Ripon Resolution of 1882.
Government of India Act 1919.
L Montague-Chelmsford Reforms.
i The Act of 1935 for the first time introduced a -federal form of
* Government and conferred 'Provincial Autonomy'.

I- 2) Your answer must include the following points:
G.V.K. Rao Committee on ~dministrative'Arrangement for Rural

I Development stressed the importance of local initiative in local

i It recommended revitalisation of Panchayati Raj Institutions.
Emphasised on Panchayati Raj's leading role in local planning and
Nirmal Mukherji's plea for devolution of political powers to directly
elected 'district governments'.
L.M. Singhvi Committee on Revitalisation of Panchayati Raj institutions
for Democracy and Development which recommended that local self-
government should be constitutionally recognised.

27.1 Introduction
27.2 Historical Context
27.3 Policy-Administration Dichotomy
27.4 Principles Governing the Relationship
27.4.1 Norm of Neutrality
27.4.2 Norm of Anonymity
27.5 Areas of Cooperation and Conflict .
27.6 Increasing Popular Consciousness
27.7 Relationship between Political and Permanent Executives: A Changing
27.8 Let Us Sum Up
27.9 Key Words
27. I0 References and Further Readings
27.1 1 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises

After studying this Unit, you should be able to:
Discuss the relationship between political and permanent executives, in the
light of policy-administration dichotomy;
Describe the principles which govern their relationship;
Outline the areas of cooperation and conflict; and
Examine the impact of rising popular consciousness on the relationship.

This Unit deals with one of the important issues of Public Administration in India,
viz., the relationship between political and permanent executives. The former
derives authority from the people while the latter derives strength fiom its
administrative positions and technical expertise. It is the political executive that the
permanent executive is subordinated to, because the political executive represents
the people. The concept of policy-administration dichotomy, in which is rooted the
basic distinction of the two executives, has been dealt with in this unit. Moreover,
the principles which govern their relationship in the context of the growing popular
consciousness have also been discussed in the unit.

Ever since the state came into being it is associated with power and dominance,
for the state originated primarily to maintain law and order. The monarchy of the
ancient and medieval times represented the unchallenged and unrestricted power
of the monarch and in turn-the state. Human history witnessed the exercise of the
naked and arbitrary power. Power has an inherent propensity to get centralised.
A - A- :&-. - r L -.--- L-:--- A- ---A ..-- L-- ---.-.- --J