Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Union Government and Administration: Executive, Parliament, Judiciary - structure, functions, work processes; Recent trends; Intragovernmental relations; Cabinet Secretariat; Prime Minister’s Office; Central Secretariat; Ministries and Departments; Boards; Commissions; Attached offices; Field organizations.

We have already studied via previous articles of this blog viz. the developments,events and legislation that had taken place from the Vedic,Mauryan,Mughal rule right to the end of the British rule in India that led to the current and contemporary setup of the Indian State, Government as well as Administration in India.


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So, today we will discuss the modern and contemporary state of affairs regarding the same in India.

                                   ADMINISTRATIVE SETUP AND HIERARCHY IN INDIA:

The Constitution of India provides for a federal structure,wherin the union and the states are independent in their functioning,however,at times in order to meet certain exigencies (like in an Emergency) in national interest, there are unique safeguards for it to assume a Unitary character(controlled/directed by the Union/Centre). This is a feature unique to the Indian Constitution,that is why it is called as a combination of federal and unitary features or quasi - federal. One can note this in the Constitution in its very first article,where it pronounces India as a union of states and article 3 specifies the supremacy of the Union Parliament where it can alter the states viz. their boundaries and their names,etc. in national interest,also unified judicial system,integrated Election machinery,Accounts and audit,and single citizenship,etc.

So the states do have a federal character in regards to the State list and the subjects listed in them under the constitution  and decision making on the same is instituted in their level which is democratic decentralisation and also stabilises these state machineries,however,under certain circumstances the unitary character takes over.

Under the Indian Constitution the Union list of subjects contains 97 areas/subjects on which the Union/Central/Federal Govt. possesses sole decision making powers. And the executive powers for administering the above mentioned subjects have been vested in the President under the Constitution to be directly exercised through him or through his subordinate officers in accordance with the Constitution. The President is a part of Parliament as no Bill can become an Act/Law unless he assents to it. An important note to be made here is that even though all administration in the country are carried out in his name yet he is just a nominal head and not the real ruler.The reason being for this is that the Constitution provides for a Parliamentary form of govt. where the Council of Ministers aiding and advising the President(head of State) are the real rulers of the State.

Administrative framework of the Union govt. under the Indian Constitution advocates the tenets of decentralisation as well as autonomy and initiative being vested in states and local units of govt. simultaneously accepting central planning and direction from the Centre/union.
Governmental leadership's objective is State Welfare as well as integration and participation of the people in administration and policies by allowing officials to bring in innovations and democratic values into administration and its practices and functions.

The administrative features and details of Indian Administration is a modified version of the Govt. Of India Act 1935 as the people of India were used to it and were content with its administration provisions.
Refer to these important acts - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_of_India_Act  & http://publicadministrationtheone.blogspot.in/2012/08/accountability-and-control-concepts-of.html for details on Legislative,Executive and Judicial control over Indian Administration.

Below is detailed as to through which various posts/Offices and its officials,organisations and institutions the Union Governance as well as Administration is carried out.

Go through this article - http://ibnlive.in.com/news/demystified-how-the-president-of-india-is-elected/268962-53.html

Apart from the above mentioned administrative functions of the President,he also summons,prorogues,addresses,sends messages to Parliament and dissolves the Lok Sabha,promulgates ordinances when Parliament is not in session,makes recommendations for financial and money bills and gives assents to transform bills in to Acts and makes certain appointments at the Union level executives,Chief Justice Of India and Union Public Service Commission members and Chairman as well as removal is done under his warrant and seal. He also grants pardon,reprieves,respites,remits or suspends sentences in certain cases.
All decisions taken by the ministries and Departments are to be signed by him in order to be passed.
He is the supreme commander of the Armed Forces.
He upholds the democratic,republic and federalist value of the Constitution through his election process where states participate as well along with the union parliament. So, he is indirectly elected by the people through their elected representatives.
He nominates 12 members to the Rajya Sabha from amongst persons who have special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as literature, science, art and social service. By adopting the principle of nomination in Rajya Sabha, the Constitution has ensure that the nation must
also receive services of the most distinguished persons of the country who have earned distinction in their field of activity, many of whom may not like to face the rough and tumble of the election. By nominating them to Rajya Sabha, the state not only recognises their merit and confers honour on them, but also enables them to enrich the debates by their expertise and knowledge that they
have in different areas.
And the President also nominates 2 members of the Anglo Indian community in the Lok Sabha if he feels that they do not have adequate representation there.

A President can be removed from office through an impeachment process on the grounds of violation of Constitution with 14 days prior notice of such action. But it has not been specified as to what may be considered as a violation of the Constitution.
Also refer to - http://presidentofindia.nic.in/  &  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_of_India

Recent trends of Presidents taking active part and exercising their powers viz. issuing ordinance as well as others is a good move in the right direction so that the President also holds his own and keeps the political executive accountable and to work for the ultimate betterment of the people.

The Vice President is the next in rank of executive authority after the President. He is elected by both houses of parliament and not the states by proportional representation through single transferable vote. His term is also as the President's , that is 5 years. He serves as the ex officio (because of a person's position in a formal group) Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. He carries out duties of the President in his absence and also acts as  an ambassador of the country at times.
VP can be removed under no specified grounds by a resolution passed by an absolute majority of the Rajya Sabha and agreed to by the simple majority of the lower house or Lok Sabha with 14 days notice to the VP. These are his administrative functions.
Refer to - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vice_President_of_India

The Union Council Of Ministers is an important organ of the Executive. It is responsible for preparing and introducing bills in Parliament,to aid and advise the President in the exercise of his functions and to determine policy and administer them and to implement the decisions adopted by the Parliament. This Union Council Of Ministers carry out their functions with the help of government officials and bureaucrats.

 The Union Council Of Ministers consists of :
i) Union Cabinet Ministers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabinet_of_India). Refer - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Ministers,_India.
Details of this classification is detailed below in this article.

ii) Ministers of State ( Independent charge) & Ministers of State (under a Union minister) - A Minister of State is a junior Minister in the Union Council of Ministers in the Federal or Central Government who may assist a Union Cabinet minister or have independent charge of a ministry. Here "State" in the desgination title above refers to Union/Centre govt. and should not be mistaken for the other term/definition of state (like Gujrat,Delhi,etc.). It means that this Minister is a Minister/representative of the Central/Union govt. assisting the Union Cabinet Ministers in their duties under their Ministry/Dept, and is not part of any state region. Government of a state (like Assam,Bihar,etc). is a different configuration all together. An illustration is - There is a Minister of Defence who is a Union Cabinet Minister and under him there will be a Minister Of State for Defence. This sub-classification under the same Ministry/Dept. has been done for the sole purpose of a better administration and supervision of that Ministry/Dept.
The Minister Of State having Independent charge of a Ministry under the Union/Central govt.  does not assist any Union Cabinet Minister and handles his/her Ministry / dept. independently and reports directly to the Prime Minister on the same,examples of such independent union Ministers of State are - Ministry Of Women & Child Development,Ministry Of Mines,etc.
Refer  for list - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Ministers,_India

iii) Deputy Ministers : To assist the Ministers Of State(both types) in the administration of their functions
who are appointed by the president on the advice of the Prime Minister.
It is headed by the Prime Minister who need not necessarily be a member of any House of Parliament when appointed by the President but must secure a seat in either house within six months of the date of entering office.It is the prime duty of the Union COM to aid and advise the President in exercise of his functions. The Council is directly accountable to the Lok Sabha and is individually responsible to the President for the functioning of their ministry/dept. The Prime Minister as the head and leader of COM has the duty of directing,coordinating and conveying all decisions of the Council of ministers relating to the policy making,implementation and administration of the affairs of the Union and all information pertaining to it.
If there is a policy failure or lapse on the part of the government, all the members of the council are jointly responsible. If the budget or any such Bill proposed by the Union cabinet is rejected by the parliament then under the principle of collective responsibility the whole council of Ministers and PM have to resign thus dissolving the whole Union Cabinet leading to fresh elections within 6 months.If a vote of no confidence is passed against the government, then all the ministers headed by the Prime Minister have to resign.

Also refer to - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Ministers,_India & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_Minister_of_India & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabinet_of_India


Refer to previous post under topic of Audit and CAG- http://publicadministrationtheone.blogspot.in/2012/08/financial-administration-monetary-and.html

Under Article 324 of the Indian Constitution there is a provision based on the concept of Universal Adult Franchise for the appointing of an autonomous and constitutional body called the Election Commission for the administration of political process in the country by conducting and ensuring free and fair elections of Central and State legislatures as well as the elections of the President and Vice President.
This body comprises of a Chief Election COmmissioner and two Election COmmissioners who are of equal status and power as the former. They take decisions on the basis of a moajority consensus and not being directed by the Chief Election Commissioner. They are appointed by the President for a term of 6 years or till the age of 65 years,whatever comes first. To protect their autonomy and impartiality,they can only be removed by the President in the same manner and grounds of a judge of the Supreme Court. Other Election Commissioners cannot be removed unless a recommendation is given by the Chief Election Commissioner.
Under the Election Commission of India there are State Election Commissions in every state that aid and assist the Election Commission in matters of state and local govt. elections.
Its main functions are :
(i) The preparation of electoral rolls before each general election and registration of all
eligible voters.
(ii) The delimitation of constituencies.
(iii) The recognition of various political parties and allotment of election symbols to these
(iv) Preparation of code of conduct for the political parties.
(v) Keeping voters list up-to-date at all times.
(vi) The preparation of roster for central broad-casts and telecasts by various political parties,
(vii) The conduct of polls.
(viii) The Election Commissioner has not only the power of holding elections but also to
cancel it and order repoll of it if rigged. It is also the responsibility of the Election
Commission to hold by-elections.
(ix) To notify the dates and schedules of elections so that nomination papers are filled and
properly scrutinised before the elections.
(x) To request the President of India or the Governors of the States for requisitioning as
much staff as necessary for conducting elections.
(xi) Under the Peoples Representation Act, the Election Commission also has the power to disqualify a candidature.

It has advisory jurisdiction in matters of post election,disqualification of sitting members of Parliament and State legislatures. It has taken many steps in the recent times to ensure total rationality in conducting elections like providing electors with photo identity cards,restriction on opinion/exit polls,computerisation of electoral rolls,checking criminalisation of politics,ensuring strict compliance with model code of conduct during elections by election officials as well as candidates and parties,simplifying procedure for maintaining accounts and filing of candidates,etc.

The decisions of the Election Commission can be challenged by appropriate petitions in the High Court and Supreme Court. Election petitions can be filed before the High Court, in respect of elections to the Parliament and State Legislatures. In respect of elections for the offices of the President and Vice President, such petitions can only be filed before the Supreme Court.

Under article 280 of the Indian Constitution,the finance Commission is an autonomous and constitutional body. It is appointed every 5 years and consists of a Chairman and four other members.
Functions of the Finance Commission can be explicitly stated as:
  1. Distribution of net proceeds of taxes between Centre and the States, to be divided as per their respective contributions to the taxes.
  2. Determine factors governing Grants-in Aid to the states and the magnitude of the same.
  3. Work with the State Finance Commissions and suggest measures to augment the Consolidated Fund of the States so as to provide additional resources to Panchayats and Municipalities in the state.
Please refer - http://fincomindia.nic.in/ShowContent.aspx?uid1=2&uid2=1&uid3=0&uid4=0  &   http://fincomindia.nic.in/ShowContent.aspx?uid1=2&uid2=2&uid3=0&uid4=0

It has been off late being argued that the Planning Commission has been usurping the powers of the Finance Commission and has only reduced it to a advisory and recommendation body regarding funds and revenue sharing.
Planning Commission is to be discussed in the next article of this blog.

Parliament is the supreme legislative body of India. It presides over bills and passes them as Acts for the benefit of the country and its people as well as keeps a check on the Executive in every possible way. No funds can be taken out of the Consolidated Fund Of India without its permission. So,basically it is of immense importance as it is the one that sets the whole administrative and executive machinery into motion.
The Indian Parliament comprises of the President and the two Houses-Lok Sabha (House of the People) and Rajya Sabha (Council of States). The President has the power to summon and prorogue either House of Parliament or to dissolve Lok Sabha.
The same structure of legislation follows in the states with the exception that the President's representative is the Governor and some states have a unicameral legislature with the upper house that is the Vidhan Parishad as optional. The Chief minister and his state council of ministers and administrators at the State level are akin to the PM and his council at the Union level.

The Indian Constitution provides for a Parliamentary form of government. Refer - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament_of_India
The Constitution of India came into force on January 26, 1950. The first general elections under the new Constitution were held during the year 1951-52 and the first elected Parliament came into being in April, 1952, the Second Lok Sabha in April, 1957, the Third Lok Sabha in April, 1962, the Fourth Lok Sabha in March, 1967, the Fifth Lok Sabha in March, 1971, the Sixth Lok Sabha in March, 1977, the Seventh Lok Sabha in January, 1980, the Eighth Lok Sabha in December, 1984, the Ninth Lok Sabha in December, 1989, the Tenth Lok Sabha in June, 1991, the Eleventh Lok Sabha in May, 1996, the Twelfth Lok Sabha in March, 1998, Thirteenth Lok Sabha in October, 1999, Fourteenth Lok Sabha in May, 2004 and Fifteenth Lok Sabha in April, 2009.

The recent trends of deteriorating standards of debates and attendance of Parliamentarians, stalling of parliament,coalition govt. and consequent instability in policy making,corruption as well as corporate lobbying for vested interests and criminalisation of politics has led to a very sad state of Indian parliament. However, active media and judicial activism and review along with civil society efforts still give a lot of hope. Along with that also the prospective bills on cleaning out unwanted elements from entering politics that are very certain to see the light of day are encouraging reports. Apart from this, citizens of the country should take the responsibility to educate themselves on policy matters as well as their rights and legal recourse that will help them take right decisions during elections as well as while holding the govt. and administration responsible for wrongdoings,commissions as well as omissions on their part. Also,the recent trends of weak Prime Ministers leading to unchecked and massive corruption has left a very bad taste in the mouth and its high time that some effective measures are taken to combat it like an effective Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states.

 Part IV of the Indian Constitution deals with the topic of separation of Judiciary from Executive and Legislature. The Constitution of India under article 124  provides for the establishment of a Supreme Court and an Independent Judiciary that is non partisan and promotes equality and liberty. It is integrated and unified consisting of Supreme Court(apex body),High Courts(Head of state's Judicial Administration) and District Courts(Head of District's Judicial Administration controlled by a district and sessions judge) and is focused on integrating the country. It provides that there shall be a Supreme Court whose role is that of a centralised Court,protector and interpreter of the Constitution and highest court of appeal,consisting of CJI and 30 other judges (in the beginning it was 7,then 52,then 25 and now in 2008 with an Amendment act has come to 30). The seat of the Supreme Court shall be in Delhi or at any such other place where CJI with the President's approval may prescribe ( article 130).
The bottommost or grass root levels at villages are the Nyaya Panchayats and then it goes right upto the Supreme Court via the  High Courts and District Courts.
The working of the High Court mainly, of a state, is to get the appeals from subordinate courts and the writ petitions related to the Article No. 226 of the Indian Constitution. Also the writ Jurisdiction serves as the original jurisdiction for the High Court. Each High Court of individual state has its different pre-defined territorial jurisdiction.
From the judiciary point of view, each state of India is divided clearly into different judicial districts with District and Sessions Judge. Such a designated judge is regarded as the District Judge designate, when presiding over civil cases, and as Sessions Judge while considering the criminal cases. The highest authorised judicial under a Judge of the High Court is the district and sessions judge. There are different courts dealing with civil jurisdiction with different names in various states under him in the hierarchy.
Below the District and sessions court judges there are courts of civil jurisdiction,known in different states as Munsifs,Sub-judges,civil judges,etc. In the same way at the district level,criminal judiciary comprises of  the Chief Judicial Magistrate and First and Second Class Magistrates. High courts are principal courts of original jurisdiction(where an aggrieved can straightaway approach the High Court without going through lower courts) in the state for issuing writs to protect fundamental rights.
The CJI is appointed by the president on the advice of the Council Of Ministers. And the President appoints Supreme Court and High Court judges on consultation with the CJI and nomination of judges by the Political executive from among legal experts and practitioners is more acceptable than any other process till date.
The Supreme Court has powers of Original Jurisdiction,Appellate jurisdiction as well as Advisory jurisdiction on any matter referred to it by the President for its consultation. For details -
http://www.supremecourtofindia.nic.in/jurisdiction.htm &
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supreme_Court_of_India & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:High_Courts_of_India & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_Courts_of_India
To protect the independence and autonomy of the Judges the removal process has been made very effective and not easily attainable. The only ground on which a Judge of the Supreme Court or High Court can be removed is proved misbehavior or incapacity through an impeachment process that is,a judge can only be removed by an order of the President passed after an address in each House of Parliament.Such address must be supported by a majority of the total membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-third of the members present and voting. It must be presented to the President in the same Session.
The recent trend of Public interest litigation movement in India has brought in a whirlwind and watershed dimension to the ambit of the Judiciary and its service to people and promote socio economic justice and equality at a bigger platform. NGOs have played a big part in bringing a lot of cases to light. Refer - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public-interest_litigation_(India)

In today's times of massive corruption, judicial activism as well as judicial review and PILs as well as suo motu powers of Judiciary are tools of great importance for taking action to make State institutions and administrative action abide by the tenets of the Indian Constitution and declare null and void the actions and laws passed by legislature that are against the Constitutional tenets.

He/She is the chief legal advisor to the Indian Govt. and its primary lawyer in the Supreme Court of India. He should be qualified to become a judge of the Supreme Court. He is appointed by the President under Article 76(1) of the Indian Constitution and holds office during the president's pleasure. He does not derive any fixed salary but only a consultation fee. However since he is appointed by the political party in power therefore it is likely for him to be biased. However, it being a Constitutional post,he/she is open for public scrutiny.

Intra governmental/Intergovernmental relations refer to effective relations within as well as among/between various agencies/departments of the government in order to achieve completion of entire work scheme. The contemporary complexities require the government to operate on the principle of specialisation. Govt. in order to be more effective,efficient and focused go for the establishment of specialised and non specialised organisations. The Govt. operates with various departments having their own specific domains.
In such a scenario there shall always be a possibility that while making decisions in their domains they may act in a conflicting manner within each other. So there has been a recommendation to create a tandem so that they work in  unity to achieve the task with their specialisations being used effectively for the same. So there has been recommendations of a committee formation or formal rules and regulations to be prescribed for achieving a significant amount of necessary coherence within various depts and agencies working together.
The Gorwala committee has recommended that the Ministry of Finance give up its rigidisctic control over administrative ministries and act as a colleague ministry instead for helping and facilitating work.
The first Administrative Reforms Commission recommended the appointment of a Integrated Financial Advsor who would act as a link between Ministry of Finance and various Administrative Ministries so that proposals of the latter are effectively and quickly disposed off by the former.
Intra governmental relations are also managed through various committees of Secretaries appointed by the Union Cabinet secretary from time to time. The current arrangement of the Group Of Ministers(Inter related and interdependent ministries'/departments ministers forum for gaining consensus on decisions and taking swift action) and Empowered Group of ministers(An arrangement where a GOM is seen  working with some sort of delegated powers from the Union cabinet to decide policy matters independently at their respective ministerial/departmental level only) could also be seen as a useful mechanism for achieving necessary coordination in the functioning of inter dependant as well as standalone ministries.

Union Cabinet ( refer - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabinet_of_India ) is an extra constitutional arrangement instituted within the Council of Ministers(COM) under the provisions of Business Rules Act. The Union Cabinet is the term used for a small group of important (Union cabinet rank) ministers and seniors of the COM who are exclusively responsible for giving overall policy framework to the country and decisions relating to the same and the Union Cabinet arrangement helps in collective decision making in the Union COM. The Union Cabinet portfolios include ones of extreme importance like Defence Minister,Home Minister,Foreign Affairs Minister,etc. The Union cabinet takes initiative in legislative matters and directs the Parliament on the same. The annual budget is prepared by the Union Cabinet.
This term has been used once under article 352 of the Indian Constitution but that too with no details.
The Union cabinet can issue directives to the State govts under certain circumstances and under state emergency it can virtually control the working of the latter as well.
Union Cabinet committees are formed so as to help in a detailed and descriptive analysis of the subjects that are functions of the Union  Cabinet and help in taking load of these matters from the Union Cabinet ministers. The officials appointed for this can be civil servants,people of distinguished experience in the subject matter,civil society and other central services officials,etc. These committees are appointed by the Prime minister on all such subjects that he feels important.
There are Standing union cabinet committees as well as Ad-Hoc Union Cabinet committees.
Some examples of Standing Union Cabinet Committee are : Union Cabinet Commission on Political affairs,Union Cabinet commission on economic affairs,Union Cabinet commission on appointments,Cabinet commission on Parliamentary affairs,infrastructure,security,etc.
The first Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) had recommended that there should be an appointment of committees on all major subjects like Agriculture,Civil supplies,Science and Technology,etc. It also recommended for all Union Cabinet committees to be headed either by PM or deputy PM and recognition of these committees under the Allocation of Business rules Act. A recommendation was also given for setting up of committees for all those Secretaries whose Ministers were part of some Union Cabinet committee so that the secretarial work is performed simultaneously,smoothly and efficiently.

Secretariat means 'Secretary's Office' . The secretary being the principal adviser to the Minister needs to be equipped with an office to assist him in discharge of his functions.
The Union Cabinet Secretariat(Refer http://cabsec.nic.in/about_origin.php) is an organisation designed to provide Secretarial assistance to the Union Cabinet in carrying out its business. It has an important coordinating role in the process of decision making at the highest level. It submits the cases to the Union cabinet and its committees,prepares records of decisions taken and follow up action on their implementation. The political headship of the Union cabinet secretariat rests with the Prime Minister and the administrative head of the secretariat is the Union Cabinet Secretary,a very senior civil servant and plays a pivotal role and is the principal advisor to the Union cabinet, and there is the other secretariat staff.
The Union Cabinet Secretary is the Ex-Officio and Chairman of the Civil Services Board of the Republic of India; the chief of the Indian Administrative Service and head of all civil services and Central Secretariat officers under the rules of business of the Government of India.

Functions of the Union Cabinet Secretariat under the Union Cabinet secretary are:
i) To provide secretariat machinery for effectively transacting the routine business of the Union cabinet and cases which a Minister puts to the Union cabinet for decision or direction and cases of disagreements between ministers. Proposals to vary or reverse a decision previously taken by the Union Cabinet. Cases which the President or Prime Minister may require to put to the Union Cabinet. And, proposals to withdraw a prosecution instituted by the Govt. of India. Cases involving financial implications.
ii) To work as the secretariat for the various cabinet committees like proposals to appoint committees of enquiry and consideration of reports of such committees.
iii) To keep the President,the Vice President and all the Ministers in touch with the major activities of all the ministries of the govt. Cases involving legislation including ordinances issues,addresses and messages of the President to the Parliament. Proposals to summon or prorogue the Parliament or dissolve Lok Sabha. Cases involving foreign treaties and negotiation issues.
iv) To coordinate the important central-state conferences convened by the various central ministries.
v) To prepare agenda for the weekly meetings of the cabinet,keep record of the discussions in the cabinet,and the decisions taken therein,circulate memorandum on issues awaiting the cabinet's approval,circulate decisions of the cabinet to each ministry,prepare and submit monthly summaries on a large number of specified subjects to the cabinet.

The Union Cabinet Secretariat  is organised into two departments:
a) Dept. of Cabinet Affairs(permanent department) - Further divided into three wings - i) Main Civil Secretariat : Which provides all the secretarial assistance in securing coordination and timely action by the Ministers and departments of the Govt. of India in all matters in which theUnion  cabinet or the Prime Minister is interested.
ii) Organisation and Methods Division: It functions directly under the Prime Minister. Its main functions are to supply leadership and drive,and,build up a common fund of information by a cooperative effort,experience and competence in O&M work. For detailed functions of a O&M division refer to O&M topic in this post http://publicadministrationtheone.blogspot.in/2012/08/techniques-of-administrative.html
iii) Military Wing : It provides Secretariat services to the defence committee of the Cabinet,National Defence Council,Military Affairs Committee,Defence Minister's Committee,Defence Minister's Production Committee and a host of other committees dealing with Defence matters.
iii) Economic Wing: It is responsible for all the Secretarial work connected with the Economic committee of the Cabinet,Committee of Economic Secretaries and Supply Committee.

b) Department Of Statistics - An independent dept. created in April 1961,It is responsible for bringing coordination between various statistical organisations of the centre and states,and taking up initiatives for setting up agreed standards and norms,and for promoting in general the collection and compilation of statistics on scientific lines. It also provides administrative support to the central statistical organisation,national sample survey and Indian Statistical institute,the first two are attached offices of the Union cabinet secretariat and the third is a subordinate office of the Union cabinet secretariat).

The PMO came into existence in Aug 1947. Earlier it was known as the Prime Minister's Secretariat but was renamed the PMO in 1977. It is listed as a department in itself under the govt. of India Allocation of Business rules 1961. It does not have any attached or subordinate office under it. It acts as a link between PM and his Ministers,President,Governors,Chief ministers and Foreign representatives. On the other side,which is the public side where it is concerned with the party matters,personal correspondences,complaints from the public,etc. It is for the PM to efficiently carry out his duty as the Chairman of the Planning Commission and help the PM in performance of his functions as the head of the government.

Principal functions of the PMO:
i) To deal with all references which under the rules of business have to come to the PM.
ii) To help the PM in discharge of his overall responsibilities as the Chief Executive like liaison with the Union Ministries and the State govts on matters which the PM may be interested.
iii) To help the PM in discharge of his responsibilities as the Chairman of Planning Commission.
iv) To deal with Public relations side of the PMO.
v) TO provide PM assistance in the examination of cases submitted to him for order under prescribed rules.

PMO is a conventional office formed for convenience of administration and secretarial assistance to the PM whereas the Union Cabinet Secretariat is mentioned in the Constitution and is a legal body.
The PM is the head of the Union Cabinet and is a very sensitive post so he needs an exclusive extra filter and assistance in discharge of his varied and immensely important duties.
The Union Cabinet Secretariat on the other hand,though extremely pivotal is responsible for the overall administration and secretarial assistance to the whole Cabinet and various functions of the Ministries and departments.

Refer to http://persmin.gov.in/DOPT_CSDivision_Index.asp

The Central Secretariat system in India is governed by Central Secretariat Service Rules, 1962, which has been issued under the powers of Article 309 of the Constitution, is based on two principles:
(1) The task of policy formulation needs to be separated from policy implementation.
(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, to undertake work of execution, unless necessitated by the lack of official agencies to perform certain tasks. Its head of hierarchy is the Union Cabinet Secretary whom it is responsible to and reports to. It's recruitment is done through the Staff Selection Commission's Combined Graduate Level Examination and its main task is to assist with secretarial support to all the ministries of the Centre and department heads and ensure smooth coordination between these ministries and departments and the Union Cabinet Secretariat as well as policy formulation in their respective ministries and departments.

The Central Secretariat normally performs the following functions:
(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 particular Ministry/department.
(b) Securing administrative and financial approval to operational programme and their subsequent modifications.
(c) Supervision and control over the execution of policies and programmes by the executive de­partments or semi-autonomous field agencies.
(d) Imitating steps to develop greater personnel and organizational competence both in the minis­try/department and its executive agencies.
(e) Assisting in increasing coordination at the Central level.
Structure of secretariat
The Central Secretariat is a collection of various ministries and departments secretaries. A ministry is responsible for the formulation of the policy of government within its sphere of responsibility as well as for the execution and review of that policy. A ministry, for the purpose of internal organisation, is divided into the following subgroups with an officer in charge of each of them.
The lowest of these units is the section in charge of a Section Officer and consists 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 as the office. Two sections constitute the branch which is under the charge of an under secretary, also known as the branch officer.
Two branches ordinarily form a division which is 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 case by an additional/special secretary. In some cases, a department may be as autonomous as a minister and equivalent to it in rank.

The Union Cabinet Secretariat ,as already mentioned in detail above, is for catering secretarial support and assistance exclusively to the Union Cabinet Ministers( refer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabinet_of_India) and their respective ministries and departments, and on behalf of the Union Cabinet, it has to coordinate with the rest of the Central Council Of Ministers' (i.e. Ministers Of State and Deputy Ministers') ministries and departments as well as their respective secretariats (which are collectively known as the Central Secretariat ) and direct the latter .

The Central Secretariat,which is a collective term used to refer to the collective secretariat offices of  all (excluding the Union Cabinet) remaining Central/Union Council Of Ministers' Ministries and Departments( i.e. the Ministers Of State & Deputy Ministers), provides secretarial services to the respective Ministry/Dept under Central Union Council Of Ministers(excluding the Union Cabinet ones). Apart from that,it has to coordinate with and report to the Cabinet Secretary(Cabinet Secretariat) who heads them and is at the top of the hierarchy of all Civil services and secretariat offices in order to ensure smooth transaction of the administrative business and rules of the Govt. Of India.

The Union Cabinet Secretary(head of the Union Cabinet Secretariat) is under direct charge of the Prime Minister since the PM is the head of the Union Cabinet,and, a Joint Secretary/Deputy Secretary (who comes under the ambit of the Central Secretariat by heading an individual secretariat of a Central Ministry/Department of the Union Council Of Ministers(excluding the Union Cabinet)) is under direct charge of that respective Central Ministry's Minister or Department's head of which he has been allocated to for providing his secretariat services.

This topic has been explained in a previous article on this blog. Please refer to http://publicadministrationtheone.blogspot.in/2012/07/organisations-theories-systems.html

This comes under the Executive offices of the Govt. Of India along with Sub Ordinate Offices and Field organisations.
The Attached Offices refer to such agencies which have the responsibility of preparing the detailed plan for execution and which gives detailed directions to the sub ordinate office officers in regards to implementation. These offices are seen as repositories of knowledge for departments as well as sub ordinate agencies under it. It provides help to the departments for better analysis  of policy questions and also support Ministers in effective supervision over policy implementation. They help in review of functioning of sub ordinate offices and issue directions to them from time to time.

These are the agencies responsible for the detailed execution of policies and decisions. These offices along with the Field establishments carry out policy execution. In departments where attached offices may not exist then these offices may have only the responsibility of planning and assistance functions.

It is the transaction and direct level organisation of policy implementation through physical effort. It is the basic level where physical implementation of policy takes place and is the first level interface between the people and administration.

The post ends here.


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The next article on this blog will cover:

Plans and Priorities:
Machinery of planning; Role, composition
and functions of the Planning Commission
and the National Development Council;
‘Indicative’ planning; Process of plan formulation
at Union and State levels; Constitutional
Amendments (1992) and decentralized
planning for economic development
and social justice.


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