India and its Polity (administrative structure)

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India and its Polity (administrative structure)

India: Its Polity

INDIA, a Union of States, is a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic with a parliamentary system of government. The Republic is governed in terms of the Constitution, which was adopted by Constituent Assembly on 26 November, 1949 and came into force on 26 January 1950.

The Constitution which envisages parliamentary form of government is federal in structure with unitary features. The President of India is the constitutional head of executive of the Union. Article 74(1) of the Constitution provides that there shall be a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as its head to aid and advise the President who shall in exercise of his functions, act in accordance with such advice.

The real executive power thus vests in the Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as its head. The Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the House of the People (Lok Sabha). Similarly, in states, the Governor is the head of executive, but it is the Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister as its head in whom real executive power vests. The Council of Ministers of a state is collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly of the state.

The Constitution distributes legislative power between Parliament and state legislatures and provides for vesting of residual powers in Parliament. Power to amend the Constitution also vests in Parliament. The Constitution has provision for independence of Judiciary, Comptroller and Auditor-General, Public Service Commissions and Chief Election Commissioner.


India comprises 28 States and seven Union Territories.

The states are: Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

Union Territories are:Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, National Capital Territory of Delhi, Lakshadweep and Puducherry.


See Citizenship: India

The Constitution of India provides for a single citizenship for the whole of India. Every person who was at the commencement of the Constitution (26 January 1950) domiciled in the territory of India and: (a) who was born in India; or (b) either of whose parents was born in India; or (c) who has been ordinarily resident in India for not less than five years became a citizen of India. The Citizenship Act, 1955, deals with matters relating to acquisition, determination and termination of Indian citizenship after the commencement of the Constitution.


The Constitution offers all citizens, individually and collectively, some basic freedoms. These are guaranteed in the Constitution in the form of six broad categories of Fundamental Rights which are justiciable. Article 12 to 35 contained in Part III of the Constitution deal with Fundamental Rights. These are:

(i) right to equality including equality before law, prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth and equality of opportunity in matters of employment;

(ii) right to freedom of speech and expression;


association or union;



and right to practice any profession or occupation (some of these rights are subject to security of the State, friendly relations with foreign countries, public order, decency or morality);

(iii) right against exploitation, prohibiting all forms of forced labour, child labour and traffic in human beings;

(iv) right to freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion;

(v) right of any section of citizens to conserve their culture, language or script and right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice;

and (vi) right to constitutional remedies for enforcement of Fundamental Rights.


By the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution, adopted in 1976, Fundamental Duties of the citizens have also been enumerated. Article 51 ‘A’ contained in Part IV A of the Constitution deals with Fundamental Duties. These enjoin upon a citizen among other things, to abide by the Constitution, to cherish and follow noble ideals, which inspired India’s struggle for freedom, to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so and to promote harmony and spirit of common brotherhood transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities.


The Constitution lays down certain Directive Principles of State Policy, which though not justiciable, are ‘fundamental in governance of the country’ and it is the duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws. These lay down that the State shall strive to promote the welfare of people by securing and protecting as effectively as it may a social order in which justice—social, economic and political—shall form in all institutions of national life. The State shall direct its policy in such a manner as to secure the right of all men and women to an adequate means of livelihood, equal pay for equal work and within limits of its economic capacity and development, to make effective provision for securing the right to work, education and to public assistance in the event of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement or other cases of undeserved want. The State shall also endeavour to secure to workers a living wage, humane conditions of work, a decent standard of life and full involvement of workers in management of industries.

In the economic sphere, the State is to direct its policy in such a manner as to secure distribution of ownership and control of material resources of community to subserve the common good and to ensure that operation of economic system does not result in concentration of wealth and means of production to common detriment. Some of the other important directives relate to provision of opportunities and facilities for children to develop in a healthy manner, free and compulsory education for all children up to the age of 14; promotion of education and economic interests of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other weaker sections; organisation of village panchayats; separation of judiciary from executive, promulgation of a uniform civil code for whole country; protection of national monuments; promotion of justice on a basis of equal opportunity; provision of free legal aid; protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forests and wildlife of the country and promotion of international peace and security, just and honourable relations between nations, respect for international law, treaty obligations and settlement of international disputes by arbitration.



The Union executive consists of the President, the Vice-President and the Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as the head to aid and advise the President.

A list of The Presidents and Vice- Presidents of India can be found at this link.


The President is elected by members of an electoral college consisting of elected members of both Houses of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies of the states in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote. To secure uniformity among state inter se as well as parity between the states, as a whole, and the Union, suitable weightage is given to each vote. The President must be a citizen of India, not less than 35 years of age and qualified for election as member of the Lok Sabha. His term of office is five years and he is eligible for re-election. His removal from office is to be in accordance with procedure prescribed in Article 61 of the Constitution. He may, by writing under his hand addressed to the Vice-President, resign his office.

Executive power of the Union is vested in the President and is exercised by him either directly or through officers subordinate to him in accordance with the Constitution. Supreme command of defence forces of the Union also vests in him. The President summons, prorogues, addresses, sends messages to Parliament and dissolves the Lok Sabha; promulgates Ordinances at any time, except when both Houses of Parliament are in session; makes recommendations for introducing financial and money bills and gives assent to bills; grants pardons, reprieves, respites or remission of punishment or suspends, remits or commutes sentences in certain cases. When there is a failure of the constitutional machinery in a state, he can assume to himself all or any of the functions of the government of that state. The President can proclaim emergency in the country if he is satisfied that a grave emergency exists whereby security of India or any part of its territory is threatened whether by war or external aggression or armed rebellion.


The Vice-President is elected by members of an electoral college consisting of members of both Houses of Parliament in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote. He must be a citizen of India, not less than 35 years of age and eligible for election as a member of the Rajya Sabha. His term of office is five years and he is eligible for re-election. His removal from office is to be in accordance with procedure prescribed in Article 67 b.

The Vice-President is ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha and acts as President when the latter is unable to discharge his functions due to absence, illness or any other cause or till the election of a new President (to be held within six months when a vacancy is caused by death, resignation or removal or otherwise of President). While so acting, he ceases to perform the function of the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.


There is a Council of Ministers, headed by the Prime Minister, to aid and advise the President in exercise of his functions. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President who also appoints other ministers on the advice of Prime Minister. The Council is collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha. It is the duty of the Prime Minister to communicate to the President all decisions of Council of Ministers relating to administration of affairs of the Union and proposals for legislation and information relating to them.

The Council of Ministers comprises Ministers who are members of Cabinet, Ministers of State (independent charge), Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers.

Legislature See India: The Legislature


The Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 are made by the President of India under Article 77 of the Constitution for the allocation of business of the Government of India. The Ministries/Departments of the Government are created by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister under these Rules. The business of the Government are transacted in the Ministries/Departments, Secretariats and offices (referred to as ‘Department’) as per the distribution of subjects specified in these Rules. Each of the Ministry(ies) is assigned to a Minister by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister. Each department is generally under the charge of a Secretary to assist the Minister on policy matters and general administration.


The Cabinet Secretariat in terms of provisions of the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 functions directly under the Prime Minister. The administrative head of the Secretariat is the Cabinet Secretary who is also the ex-officio Chairman of the Civil Services Board.

The business alloted to cabinet secretariat is (i) Secretarial assistance to Cabinet and Cabinet Committees; and (ii) Rules of Business.

The Cabinet Secretariat is responsible for the administration of the Government of India (Transaction of Business) Rules, 1961 and the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules 1961, facilitating smooth transaction of business in Ministries/Departments of the Government by ensuring adherence to these rules.

The Secretariat assists in decision-making in Government by ensuring Inter- Ministerial coordination, ironing out differences amongst Ministries/Departments and evolving consensus through the instrumentality of the standing and ad hoc Committees of Secretaries.

The Cabinet Secretariat ensures that the President, the Vice-President and Ministers are kept informed of the major activities of all Ministries/Departments by means of monthly summary of their activities. Management of major crisis situations in the country and coordinating activities of various Ministries in such a situation is also one of the functions of the Cabinet Secretariat.

The Cabinet Secretariat is seen as a useful mechanism by the departments for promoting inter-Ministerial coordination since the Cabinet Secretary is also the head of the civil services. The Secretaries felt it necessary to keep the Cabinet Secretary informed of developments from time to time. The Transaction of Business Rules also require them to keep the Cabinet Secretary informed specially if there are any departures from these rules.

A list of cabinet secretaries since 1950 can be found at Cabinet Secretaries: India.


The Government consists of a number of Ministries/Departments, number and character varying from time to time on factors such as volume of work importance attached to certain items, changes of orientation, political expediency, etc.


(1. The list of Ministries/Departments is based on the information as given under Allocation of Business Rules, 1961 as amended from time to time and available on Cabinet Secretariat website httpJ//

1. Ministry of Agriculture (Krishi Mantralaya)

(i) Department of Agriculture and Co-operation

(Krishi aur Sahkarita Vibhag)

(ii) Department of Agricultural Research and Education

(Krishi Anusandhan aur Shiksha Vibhag)

(iii) Department of Animal Husbandry and FisheriesDairying

(Pashupalan aur Dairy aur Matsyapalan Vibhag)

2. Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers (Rasayan aur Urvarak Mantralaya)

(i) Department of Chemicals and Petro-Chemicals

(Rasayan aur Petro-Rasayan Vibhag)

(ii) Department of Fertilizers (Urvarak Vibhag)

(iii) Department of Pharmaceutical.

(Aushadh Vibhag)

3. Ministry of Civil Aviation (Nagar Vimanan Mantralaya)

4. Ministry of Coal (Koyala Mantralaya)

5. Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Vanijya aur Udyog Mantralaya)

(i) Department of Commerce (Vanijya Vibhag)

(ii) Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion

(Audyogik Niti aur Samvardhan Vibhag)

6. Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (Sanchar aur

Soochana Praudyogiki Mantralaya)

(i) Department of Telecommunications (Doorsanchar Vibhag)

(ii) Department of Post (Dak Vibhag)

(iii) Department of Information Technology

(Soochana Praudyogiki Vibhag)

7. Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution

(Upbhokta Mamle, Khadya aur Sarvajanik Vitaran Mantralaya)

(i) Department of Consumer Affairs

(Upbhokta Mamle Vibhag)

(ii) Department of Food and Public Distribution

(Khadya aur Sarvajanik Vitaran Vibhag)

8. Ministry of Corporate Affairs (Korporate Karya Mantralya)

9. Ministry of Culture (Sanskriti Mantralya)

10. Ministry of Defence (Raksha Mantralaya)

(i) Department of Defence (Raksha Vibhag)

(ii) Department of Defence Production

(Raksha Utpadan aur Aapoorti Vibhag)

(iii) Department of Defence Research and Development

(Raksha Anusandhan aur Vikas Vibhag)

(iv) Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare

(Poorva Senani Kalyan Vibhag)

11. Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (Peya Jal aur Swachchhata


12. Ministry of Development of North-Eastern Region (Uttar Poorvi Kshetra

Vikas Mantralaya)

13. Ministry of Earth Sciences (Bhoo Vigyan Mantralaya)

14. Ministry of Environment and Forests (Paryavaran aur Van Mantralaya)

15. Ministry of External Affairs (Videsh Mantralaya)

16. Ministry of Finance (Vitta Mantralaya)

(i) Department of Economic Affairs (Arthik Karya Vibhag)

(ii) Department of Expenditure (Vyaya Vibhag)

(iii) Department of Revenue (Rajaswa Vibhag)

(iv) Department of Disinvestment (Vinivesh Vibhag)

(v) Department of Financial Services (Vittiya Sewayen Vibhag)

17. Ministry of Food Processing Industries

(Khadya Prasanskaran Udyog Mantralaya)

18. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

(Swasthya aur Parivar Kalyan Mantralaya)

(i) Department of Health and Family Welfare (Swasthya aur Parivar Kalyan


(ii) Department of Ayurveda, Yoga-Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and

Homoeopathy (AYUSH)

(Ayurveda, Yoga-Prakritik Chikitsa Paddhati, Unani, Siddha aur

Homoeopathy Vibhag)

(iii) Department of Health Research (Swasthya Anusandhan Vibhag)

(iv) Department of AIDS Control (AIDS Niyantran Vibhag)

19. Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises

(Bhari Udyog aur Lok Udyam Mantralaya)

(i) Department of Heavy Industries (Bhari Udyog Vibhag)

(ii) Department of Public Enterprises (Lok Udyam Vibhag)

20. Ministry of Home Affairs (Grih Mantralaya)

(i) Department of Internal Security (Antarik Suraksha Vibhag)

(ii) Department of States (Rajya Vibhag)

(iii) Department of Official Language (Raj Bhasha Vibhag)

(iv) Department of Home (Grih Vibhag)

(v) Department of Jammu and Kashmir Affairs

(Jammu tatha Kashmir Vibhag)

(vi) Department of Border Management

(Seema Prabandhan Vibhag)

21. Ministry of Human Resource Development

(Manav Sansadhan Vikas Mantralaya)

(i) Department of School Education and Literacy

(School Shiksha aur Saksharta Vibhag)

(ii) Department of Higher Education

(Uchchatar Shiksha Vibhag)

22. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting

(Soochana aur Prasaran Mantralaya)

23. Ministry of Labour and Employment (Shram aur Rozgar Mantralaya)

24. Ministry of Law and Justice

(Vidhi aur Nyaya Mantralaya)

(i) Department of Legal Affairs (Vidhi Karya Vibhag)

(ii) Legislative Department (Vidhayee Vibhag)

(iii) Department of Justice (Nyaya Vibhag)

25. Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

(Sukshma Laghu Aur Madhyam Udyam Mantralya)

26. Ministry of Mines (Khan Mantralaya)

27. Ministry of Minority Affairs

(Alpasankhyak Karya Mantralya)

28. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy

(Naveen Aur Navikarniya Oorja Mantralaya)

29. Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (Pravasi Bhartya Karya Mantralaya)

30. Ministry of Panchayati Raj (Panchayati Raj Mantralaya)

31. Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (Sansadiya Karya Mantralaya)

32. Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions

(Karmik Lok Shikayat tatha Pension Mantralaya)

(i) Department of Personnel and Training

(Karmik aur Prashikshan Vibhag)

(ii) Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grivances

(Prashasnik Sudhar and Lok Shikayat Vibhag)

(iii) Department of Pensions and Pensioners’ Welfare

(Pension aur Pension Bhogi Kalyan Vibhag)

33. Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas

(Petroleum aur Prakritik Gas Mantralaya)

34. Ministry of Poanning (Yojana Mantralya)

35. Ministry of Power (Vidyut Mantralaya)

36. Ministry of Railways (Rail Mantralaya)

37. Ministry of Road Transport and Highways

Sarak Parivahan aur Raj Marg Mantralaya)

38. Ministry of Rural Development (Gramin Vikas Mantralaya)

(i) Department of Rural Development

(Gramin Vikas Vibhag)

(ii) Department of Land Resources

(Bhumi Sansadhan Vibhag)

39. Ministry of Science and Technology (Vigyan aur Praudyogiki Mantralaya)

(i) Department of Science and Technology

(Vigyan aur Praudyogiki Vibhag)

(ii) Department of Scientific and Industrial Research

(Vigyan aur Audyogik Anusandhan Vibhag)

(iii) Department of Bio-Technology (Biotechnology Vibhag)

40. Ministry of Shipping (Pot Parivahan Mantralaya)

41. Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

(Samajik Nyaya aur Adhikarita Mantralaya)

42. Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation

(Sankhyiki aur Karyakram Kiryanvayan Mantralaya)

43. Ministry of Steel (Ispat Mantralaya)

44. Ministry of Textiles (Vastra Mantralaya)

45. Ministry of Tourism (Paryatan Mantralaya)

46. Ministry of Tribal Affairs (Janjatiya Karya Mantralaya)

47. Ministry of Urban Development (Shahari Vikas Mantralaya)

48. Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (Awason aur Shahar

Garibi Upshamon Mantrayala)

49. Ministry of Water Resources (Jal Sansadhan Mantralaya)

50. Ministry of Women and Child Development

(Mahila Aur Bal Vikas Mantralaya)

51. Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (Yuva Karyakram aur Khel Mantralaya)

(i) Department of Youth Affairs (Yuvak Karyakaram Vibhag)

(ii) Departments of Sports (Khel Vibhag)


52. Department of Atomic Energy (Parmanu Oorja Vibhag)

53. Department of Space (Antariksh Vibhag)


54. Planning Commission (Yojana Ayog)

55. Cabinet Secretariat (Mantrimandal Sachivalaya)

56. President’s Secretariat (Rashtrapati Sachivalaya)

57. Prime Minister’s Office (Pradhan Mantri Karyalaya)


Pursuant to the announcement made in the President’s address to both Houses of the Parliament on June 4, 2009, the Prime Minister approved the outline of the Performance monitoring and Evaluation System (PMES) for Government Departments on September 11, 2009. Performance Management Division (PMD) in the Cabinet Secretariat is headed by a Secretary to Government of India, and is responsible for this activity through the mechanism called Results-Framework Documents. PMD has identified Performance Coordinators in the respective ministries / departments who are responsible for preparing the RFDs for their respective departments.

At the beginning of each financial year, with the approval of the Minister concerned, each Department is required to prepare a Results-Framework Document (RFD) consisting of the priorities set out by the Minister concerned, agenda as spelt out by the Government from time to time. The Minister in-charge decides the interse priority among the departmental objectives.

The RFD seeks to address three basic questions; (a) what are department’s main objectives for the year? (b) what actions are proposed to achieve these objectives? (c) how would someone know at the end of the year the degree of progress made in implementing these objectives. i.e. what are the relevant success indicators and their targets?

RFDs are discussed and finalized by the Ministers / Departments after thorough discussion with the Ad hoc Task Force (ATF) consisting of retired civil servants, domain experts, and leading management experts. This process helps the Ministries / Departments in arriving at realistic performance targets. The RFDs so reviewed are approved by the High Power Committee (HPC) on Government performance headed by the Cabinet Secretary.

At the end of the year, all ministries/ departments are required to review and prepare a report listing their respective achievements against the agreed targets in the prescribed format. This report is expected to be finalized by the 1st of May each year.

All 59 ministers and departments covered under Phase I had finalized their Results-Framework Documents (RFD) for the last quarter of 2009-2010 and assessed their achievements for this period.

In the subsequent phase of implementation of this initiative, 62 departments and ministries have prepared their Results-Framework Documents for 2010-11, which were reviewed by the ad hoc task force and approved by the High Power Committee on Government Performance.

In this phase following new dimensions were added:

a. Each of the 62 departments/ministries was required to prepare a long-term strategy for their respective organizations. It was argued that while RFD ensures that things are done right, i.e. they are done effectively and efficiently, a long-term strategy is required to ensure that right things are getting done. Thus a departmental strategy is a complement to the RFD.

b. Each department was also asked to prepare a Citizen's / Client charter outlining the standards of service their clients can expect.

c. All departments were also expected to adopt a world class Grievance Redress Mechanism meeting the 'Sevottam' standards.

d. Each department was asked to develop a RFD with their subordinate, attached and autonomous organizations under them. The total number of such organizations is estimated to be 760.

From the year 2011-12 onwards, as many as 72 ministries/departments have finalised Results-Framework Documents. After approval of the RFDs by the High Power Committee under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary, these would be placed on the respective websites of the departments/ministries. Responsibility centres under 6 ministries / departments, which are not covered directly under RFD system, have also been asked to prepare Results-Framework Documents for the year 2011-12. Thus, effectively 80 ministries / departments & 800 Responsibility Centres stand covered under the RFD system.

In order to build capacity on performance management in Government, as many as 30 workshops have been conducted across the country in collaboration with IIM Ahmedabad and Lal Bahadur Shashtri National Academy at Mussoorie. Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, National Informatics Centre (NIC), and various State Governments. In these workshop, about 2500 personnel have seen trained. Training materials and manuals have also been prepared and distributed.

PMD has, in collaboration with NIC, developed a powerful software to automate monitoring & evaluation of performance based on RFDs. This software is called RFMS (Results-Framework Management System).

In addition to the performance management through results-framework document, PMD of the Cabinet Secretariat has also undertaken various initiatives relating to overall improvement in the functioning of the Government departments

These are :

(i) Implementation of 2nd Administration Reforms Commission Recommendation

Administrative Reforms Commission-II (ARC) in its report on “Organisational Structure of Government of India” Inter alia recommended that Government of India should primarily focus on core functions and that it should, at all levels, be guided by the principle of subsidiarity. It was further recommended that there was a need to carry out a detailed analysis of the functions/activities in each Ministry/ Department which would help the ministries to prepare an action plan for delegating implementation activities and non-core activities to attached and subordinate offices.

The Performance Management Division is in the process of short-listing the organizations whose functions and activities would be analysed for implementation of this recommendation of the ARC.

(ii) Performance Related Incentives (PRI))

Incentives play an important role in improving performance of employees in public and private sectors. Performance Related Incentives (PRI) is defined as the variable part of pay which is awarded each year depending on performance. The scheme is applied at the individual employee level and at the team/group level. The Scheme has two parts-one part measures the performance of the entity; and the second links the performance to financial incentives.

Given the central role that incentives play in improving performance of employees in public and private sectors, the Cabinet Secretariat is working towards the goal of implementing a performance related incentive scheme as per recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission. The proposed scheme is intended to be budget neutral.

(iii) Performance Appraisal Report (PAR) System

The system of Performance Appraisal Report as laid down in the All India Service (PAR) Rules, 2007 is being reviewed owing to widespread dissatisfaction with the working of the PAR system at all levels. The perception is that attempts to quantify and bring objectivity have not been successful.

Keeping in view the conceptual and procedural flaws in the performance evaluation methodology of PAR system, reform of PAR system is requred and Performance Management Division is working towards it.

(iv) Operationalizing ‘Sevottam’

The PMD, in Partnership with Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances, has decided to operationalize the concept of ‘Sevottam’ through the mechanism of Results-Framework Document.

Most of the Ministries/Departments have designed Citizen's/Client charters along with a robust Public Grievance Redress Mechanism (PGRM). It is important to improve the quality of Citizen's / Client charaters and PGRM in order to ensure that the expectations of service recipients are catered to efficiently and effectively.

(v) Assisting State Governments in Implementing RFD

On the lines of the Results-Frameworks Documents devised by the Government of India, various States have come forward to put in place a similar performance management mechanism for better and improved performance of their respective governments. The State of Maharashtra and Punjab have already adopted the RFD mechanism with the help of PMD, Cabinet Secretariat. The State of Punjab has, in fact, gone much ahead and introduced the mechanism at the district level by formulating district-level RFDs.

PMD, Cabinet Secretariat has recently held workshops in the States of Kerala and Himachal Pradesh, and these States intend to finalise the RFDs for their respective Departments latest by September, 2011.

The States of Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal have also shown interest and sought cooperation of PMD in this regard.

(vi) Assistance to other countries.

At the request of SAARC Cabinet Secretaries, India organized a SAARC workshop on PMES/RFD/ This workship was well received and has generated more interest from SAARC countries in adopting a similar policy in their countries. Performance Management Division (PMD), Cabinet Secretariat has already organized workshop on RFD policy in Bhutan and Sri Lanka. Pakistan has approached through the SAARC Secretariat for a similar workship in Pakistan.

(vi) Implementing e-Office

In its efforts to move towards a paperless office, the day to day working of the Cabinet Secretariat is being carried out through the e-Office system developed by the NIC. This paperless e-Office system is expected to be a role model for all other Departments of the Government of India.

All departments preparing RFDs have been advised to adopt the paperless office system called E-Office. In 2011-2012, they are expected to finalize their implementation plans for which sensitization workshops are planned by PMD in the near future.

(vii) Newsletter "Performance Matters"

In order to foster a regular dialogue on matters relating to performance management in government and to promote knowledge sharing in this area, the Performance Management Division, Cabinet Secretariat is regularly bringing out a quarterly Newsletter titled "Performance Matters" since April, 2009. Recently, a compendium of newsletters containing all the issues since April, 2009 has been brought out.

(viii) Website

The official website contains a wealth of information about the Performance Management Division, its functions etc., and the archive of all the newsletters it has brought out since April, 2009.


National Authority, Chemical Weapons Convention (NACWC) was set up by a resolution of Cabinet Secretariat dated 5 May 1997 to fulfil the obligations enunciated in the Chemical Weapons Convention. This Convention prohibit the development, production, execution, transfer, use and stockpiling of all chemical weapons by Member-States in a non-discriminatory manner. To fulfil its obligations, each State Party has to designate or establish a National Authority to serve as the national focal point for effective liaison with the Organisation for Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and other State Parties. The National Authority Chemical Weapons Convention was set up under the administrative control of the Cabinet Secretariat to act as an effective focal point.

The Parliament enacted in 2000 a CWC Act to give effect to the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention in India. In accordance with the provisions of this act a high-level steering committee under the Chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary with Secretary (Chemical and Petrochemicals), Foreign Secretary, Secretary, Defence Research and Development, Defence Secretary and Chairman, National Authority as its other members, overseas the functioning of the National Authority.

The National Authority is responsible for implementation of the CWC Act, liaison with OPCW and other State Parties, fulfilling of declaration obligations, negotiating facility agreements, coordinating OPCW inspections, providing appropriate facilities for training national inspectors and industry personnel, ensuring protection of confidential business information, checking declarations for consistency, accuracy and completeness of entities engaged in activities related to the CWC.

The National Authority has been awarded on ISO 9001-2008 certification by Bureau Veritas, on November 26, 2010, making India's National Authority the world's first ISO certified National Authority, among 188 states Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention.


The Comptroller and Auditor General of India is appointed by the President. The procedure and the grounds for his removal from office are the same as for a Supreme Court Judge. He is not eligible for further office under the Union or a State government after he ceases to hold his office.

He shall perform such duties and exercise such powers in relation to the accounts of the Union and of the States and of any othr authority or body as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament and, until provision in that behalf is so made, shall perform such duties and exercise such powers in relation to the accounts of the Union and of the States as were conferred on or exercisable by the Auditor-General of India immediately before the commencement of this Constitution in relation to the accounts of the Dominion of India and of the provinces respectively.

The accounts of the Union and of the States shall be kept in such form as the President may, on the advice of the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India, prescribe. The reports of the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India relating to the accounts of the Union shall be submitted to the President, who shall cause them to be laid before each House of Parliament. The reports of the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India relating to the accounts of a State shall be submitted to the Governor of the State, who shall cause them to be laid before the Legislature of the State.

The duties, powers and conditions of service of the Comptroller and Auditor- General have been specified by the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (Duties, Powers and Conditions of Service) Act. 1971.



Prior to Independence, the Indian Civil Service (ICS) was the senior most amongst the Services of the Crown in India. Besides the ICS, there was also Indian Police, the highest police cadre of the country After Independence, it was felt that though the ICS was a legacy of the imperial period there was need for the All India Services for maintaining the unity, integrity and stability of the nation. Accordingly, a provision was made in Article 312 of the Constitution for creation of one or more All India Services common to the Union and State. The Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service are deemed to be constituted by the Parliament in terms of Article 312 of the Constitution.

After the promulgation of the Constitution, a new All India Service, namely, the Indian Forest Service, was created in 1966. A common unique feature of the All India Services is that the members of these services are recuited by the Centre but their services are placed under various State cadres and they have the liability to serve both under the State and under the Centre. This aspect of the All India Services strengthens the unitary character of the Indian federation.

Of the three All India Services, namely, the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), the Indian Police Service (IPS) and the Indian Forest Service (IFS), the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension is the cadre controlling authority for the IAS. The recruitment to all the three services is made by the UPSC. These officers are recruited and trained by the Central Government and then allotted to different State cadres.


The Constitution provides for an independent body known as Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for recruitment to Group ‘A’ and Group ‘B’ Gazetted posts under Central Government and for advice in various service matters. The Chairman and Members of the Commisison are appointed by the President for tenure of six years or till they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. To ensure independence, chairman after completion of tenure is not eligible for any further employment either under the Government of India or Government of a State. The Members are also covered by the above provision but they are eligible for appointment as chairman of Union Public Service Commission or State Public Service Commission. They can not be removed except for the reasons and in the manner provided for in the Constitution.

See Chairmen of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for a complete list of the Chairmen since 1926. .

The UPSC conducts various examinations every year for the recruitment of Group 'A' and 'B' posts. Some of the important examinations are:Civil Services Examination, Combined Defence Services Examination, Combined Medical Services, Engineering Services, Indian Forest Service, Indian Economic/Indian Statistical Services. Indian Forest Service, Indian Economic/Indian Statistical Services, Section Officers/Stenographers' (Grade 'B'/Grade-I) Ltd. Department Competitive Examination, etc.


Second ARC in its 10th Report in November, 2008 on the subject “Refurbishing of Personnel Administration” has given various recommendations on Civil Services Reforms. The recommendations include (i) Stage of entry into Civil services (ii) Age of entry and number of attempts (iii) Structure of Civil Services Examination (iv) Other modes of induction into Civil Services i.e., induction of officers of State Civil Services into IAS to be made by UPSC on the basis of common examination and (v) Allotment of cadres to All India Services. The various recommendations given by ARC have been considered by a Core Group on Administrative Reforms headed by Cabinet Secretary. Thereafter, decision would be taken at an appropriate level for implementing the accepted recommendations.


Inter-cadre deputation is permissible to All India Service officers on completion of their nine years of service and before attaining promotion to super-time scale in his/her own home cadre. Such deputation is considered in view of the personal difficulties of the officers concerned and is permissible for a maximum period of 5 years in the entire service career of the officers and the period at a time thereof normally do not exceed three years.


Inter-cadre transfer is normally permissible to an All India Service officer on the ground of his/her marriage to another officer of the All India Services. The couple is normally transferred to one of the two cadres on which they are borne except home State of the officer whose cadre is changed. In the case of refusal by both the cadres the matter is formally taken up a second time with both the cadres. In case of continued refusal by both the cadres to accept the officers concerned, possibilities are explored for transfer of the officers to a third cadre being deficit one subject to concurrence of the State Government concerned. Other grounds for cadre transfer of All India service officers is ‘extreme hardship’ which includes (a) threat to the life of the officer or his immediate family and (b) severe health problems to the officer or his immediate due to the climate or environment of the state to which he is allotted. In the case of lady officers borne on North eastern cadres marries officer borne on another cadre the lady officer is mandatorily transferred to her spouse’s cadre if she so request except her home cadre. All India service officers belonging to North Eastern cadre may be allowed transfer of cadre to any other cadre in the North East in relaxation of the existing conditions subject to availability of deficit in the insider quota.


Reservation in services under the Government of India is available to the Scheduled Castes (SCs.) the Scheduled Tribes (ST’s), the Other Backward Classes (OBCs), the Persons with Disabilities and the Exservicemen, The quantum of reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs in direct recruitment on all-India basis by open competition is 15 per cent, 7.5 per cent and 27 per cent respectively. In direct recruitment on all- India basis otherwise than by open competition, it is available at the rate of 16.66 per cent for SCs, 7.5 per cent for STs and 25.84 per cent for OBCs.

In case of direct recruitment to Group C and D posts normally attracting candidates from a locality or a region, percentage of reservation for SCs and STs is generally fixed in proportion to their population in the respective States/UTs and for OBCs it is fixed keeping in view the proportion of their population in the concerned State/UT and the fact that total reservation for SCs/STs/OBCs remains within the limit of 50 per cent and reservation for OBCs remains within the limit of 27 per cent. The SCs and STs get reservation in promotion in all grades at the rate of 15 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively when promotions are made by non-selection. In case of promotion by selection, reservation to SCs and STs is available at the same rates upto the lowest rung of Group A. There is no reservation in case of promotion by selection within group ‘A’ but in case of promotion by selection from Group’A’ post to another Group’A’ post carrying a pay-scale, maximum of which is Rs. 18,300/- or less (in the pre-revised scale of pay), the SC and ST candidates who are within the number of vacancies are included in the select lit provided they are not found unfit to hold the post.

Three percent of vacancies in identified posts in direct recruitment are kept reserved for persons with disabilities in all Groups of posts. Reservation to persons with disabilities is also provided in case of promotion to Group ‘C’ and ‘D’ posts. Reservation is distributed equally amongst three categories of disabilities namely, blindness or low vision, hearing impairment, locomotor disability or cerebral palsy.

Ten percent of the vacancies in the posts of the level of Assistant Commandant in para-military forces, ten percent of the vacancies in Group C posts and twenty percent of the vacancies in Group D posts are reserved for the ex-servicemen. Reservation for ex-servicemen and physically handicapped persons is termed as “horizontal” reservation and reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs is termed as “vertical” reservation. Guidelines exist explaining how the “horizontal” reservation is to be adjusted against the “vertical” reservation.

Articles 341 and 342 of the Constitution define as to who would be the SCs and the STs with respect to any State or Union Territory. A lit of OBCs has been prepared by the Government. the inter-state area restrictions have been imposed so that the people belonging to the specific community residing in a specific are which has been assessed to qualify for SC, ST or OBC status only benefit from the facilities provided for them. Definition of ‘ex-servicemen’ for the purpose of getting reservation in services is contained in the Ex-servicemen (Re-employment in Civil Services and Posts) Rules, 1979 and conditions for reservation to persons with disabilities are derived from the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.

To ensure that [re]served vacancies are filled by the candidates belonging to appropriate category, certain relaxations and concessions like relaxation in upper age-limit etc. are provided to the candidates belonging to the reserved categories. Liaison officers have been appointed for Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes and Persons with Disabilities in each Ministry/Department to ensure proper implementation of reservation policy for them.

There is a general ban on de-reservation of vacancies reserved for SCs, STs and OBCs in the matter of direct recruitment. If some vacancies reserved for them could not be filled in a recruitment year, these are kept vacant and are treated as backlog reserved vacancies. The Government has been conducting Special Recruitment Drives to fill up such backlong vacancies, from time to time. The Government has launched a Special Recruitment Drive in November, 2008 to full up the backlog reserved vacancies of SCs and STs in both direct recruitment and promotion quota and for OBCs in direct recruitment.

Similarly, the Government has launched a Special Recruitment Drive to fill up the backlog reserved vacancies of Persons with Disabilities in November, 2009. The progress of both the drives is being monitored at Joint Secretary Level in each Ministry/Department.

The scheme of reservation is being followed by Public Sector Undertakings including Nationalized Public Sector Banks. This scheme has also been extended to the Autonomous Bodies, Statutory and Semi-Government Bodies and such Voluntary Agencies which receive grant of Rs. 2 lakhs and above from the Consolidated Fund of India, employ more than 20 persons on a regular basis and at least 50 per cent of its recurring expenditure is met from grants-in-aid from Central Government. State Governments has also provided for reservation of posts for SCs, STs, OBCs, etc. and has taken steps to increase their representation in State services. Reservation in State Government services, however, is under the exclusive jurisdiction of respective State Governments.

Number of SCs, STs and OBCs in services was initially very small. Their representation, particularly of SCs and STs has increased substantially as a result of reservation. The representation of OBCs in the services is low for the reasons that reservation for OBCs has started only in 1993. The representation of SCs, STs, OBCs, in the Central Government services as on 1 January, 2008 is given in the following table :

The representation of SCs, STs, OBCs, in the Central Government services as on 1 January, 2008

This does not include information in respect of six Ministries/ Departments.


Staff Selection Commission (SSC) with Headquarters at New Delhi initially known as Subordinate Service Commission was set up on 1st July, 1978. It has been entrusted with the work of making recruitment to (i) all non-Gazetted Group ‘B’ posts in the various Ministries/Departments of the Government and their attached and subordinate offices and (ii) all non-technical Group ‘C’ posts in the various Ministries/Departments of the Government and their attached and subordinate offices, except those posts which are specifically exempted from the purview of the Staff Selection Commission.

The Commission is an attached office of the Department of Personnel and Training and comprises a Chairman, two Members and Secretarycum- Controller of Examinations. The Commission has Regional offices at New Delhi, Allahabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Chennai and Bangalore and Sub-Regional offices at Raipur and Chandigarh.


The Central Secretariat has three services, namely (i) Central Secretariat Service (CSS), (ii) Central Secretariat Stenographer’s Service (CSSS) and (iii) the Central Secretariat Clerical Service CSCS). The Central Secretariat Service Division in the Department of Personnel and Training is the cadre controlling authority in respect of these services. The CSS includes posts from Assistant Grade (Group B Non- Gazetted). Section Officer’s Grade (Group B Gazetted). Under Secretary, Grade-I (Group A Gazetted), Deputy Secretary-Selection Grade (Group A Gazetted) and Director-Senior Selection Grade (Group A Gazetted). In addition to the above, some officers of the CSS are also placed in the Senior Administrative Grade and Higher Administrative Grade through the Central Staffing Scheme. The first three grades viz. Director, Deputy Secretary and Under Secretary are centrally administered by the CS Division. The remaining grades i.e. Section Officers and assistants are partially decentralized into 38 sub-cadres functioning for the purpose. Day to day cadre management of these two cadres is done by the respective cadre units. After the restructuring of the CSS in October, 2003, it was decided by the Government to administer the grades of Section Officer and Assistant on a centralized basis. All policy matters, fixation of seniority as well as Select Lists, etc are also dealt with centrally by this Department.

The Government had set up a Cadre Restructuring Committee on 16 June, 2008 (i) to assess the magnitude of stagnation in various grades of CSS, (ii) to review the structure of the CSS, and (iii) to suggest remedial measures-both short term and long term. The Committee has since submitted its report in November, 2008. The report was later on considered by the Committee of Secretaries on 9 February, 2010. Based on the recommendations of the Committee of Secretaries a draft cabinet note in the mater is being finalised.


Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) is the nodal agency of the Government for administrative reforms as well as redressal of public grievances relating to the States in general and grievances pertaining to Central Government agencies in particular. The Department documents and disseminates information on important activities of the Government relating to administrative reforms, best practices and public grievance redressal through publications and documentation. The Department also undertakes activities in the field of international exchange and cooperation to promote public service reforms.

The mission of the Department is to foster excellence in governance and pursuit of administrative reforms through improvements in government structures, promoting citizen centric governance with emphasis on grievance redressal, innovations in e-governance and documentation and dissemination of best practices.


Administrative Reforms Commission: The Second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC), constituted on 31.05.2005 as a Commission of Inquiry under the Chairmanship of Shri Veerappa Moily was given a mandate to prepare a detailed blueprint for revamping the public administrative system. The Commission was requested to suggest measures to achieve a proactive, responsive, accountable, sustainable and efficient administration for the country at all levels of the Government.

It has presented 15 Reports to the Government for consideration:

(i) Right to Information: Master Key to Good Governance (09.06.2006).

(ii) Unlocking Human Capital:Entitlements and Governance—a Case Study (31.07.2006).

(iii) Crisis Management:From Despair to Hope (31.10.2006).

(iv) Ethics in Governance (12.02.2007)

(v) Public Order:Justice for each...Peace for all (26.06.2007) (vi) Local Governance (27.11.2007)

(vii) Capacity Building for Conflict Resolution—Friction to Fusion (17.03.2008).

(viii) Combating Terrorism (17.09.2008).

(ix) Social Capital—A Shared Destiny (08.10.2008).

(x) Refurbishing of Personnel Administration—Scaling New Heights (27.11.2008).

(xi) Promoting e-Governance—The Smart Way Forward (20.01.2009)

(xii) Citizen Centric Administration—The Heart of Governance (30.03.2009)

(xii) Organisational Structure of Government of India (19.05.2009)

(xiv) Strengthening Financial Management System (26.05.2009)

(xv) State and District Administration (29.05.2009).

As per the prescribed procedure, the recommendations are to be considered first by the concerned administrative ministries/departments, then by the Core Group on Administrative Reforms headed by the Cabinet Secretary and subsequently, to be placed before the Group of Ministers (GoM) for its consideration.

The views and recommendations of the GoM are then submitted for the information/ directions of the Prime Minister.

The Government constituted a GoM on 30.03.2007 under the Chairmanship of the then External Affairs Minister to consider the recommendations of the second ARC and to review the pace of implementation of the recommendations as well as to provide guidance to the concerned Ministers/Departments in implementing the decisions. It has since been reconstituted under the Chairmanship of Union Finance Minister on 21.08.2009. The GoM was last reconstituted on 21.02.2011.

The Core Group on Administrative Reforms under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary has finished examination of all the 15 reports.

GoM has so far considered twelve reports, namely:(i) Right to Information:Master Key to Good Governance (First Report), (ii) Unlocking Human Capital:Entitlements and Governance—a Case Study relating to NREGA (Second Report), (iii) Crisis Management; From Despair to Hope (Third Report), (iv) Ethics in Governance (Fourth Report), (v) Local Governance (Sixth Report), (vi) Capacity Building for Conflict Resolution (Seventh Report), (vii) Social Capital—A Shared Destiny (Ninth Report), (viii) Promotion e-Governance—The Smart Way Forward (Eleventh Report), (ix) Citizen Centric Administration—The Heart of Governance (Twelfth Report), (x) Organisational Structure of Government of India (Thirteenth Report), (xi) Strengthening Financial Management Systems (Fourteenth Report) and (xii) State and District Administration (Fifteenth Report). The decisions of GoM on these reports are at various stages of implementation. The report on ,Combating Terrorism' (Eighth Report) is being implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Thus in all 13 Reports have been considered so far and remaining 2 reports (Fifth and Tenth) are also shortly being put up for consideration of GoM.

Out of total 1251 recommendations in the above twelve reports, 1005 recommendations have been accepted, 180 not accepted, 22 deferred and 21 referred to other. Action has been taken on 433 recommendations and action on 572 recommendations is under implementation by Ministries/Departments/States/UTs. Action on 23 recommendations is being taken by Ministry of Home Affairs.

Civil Service Day

To rededicate and recommit civil servants to the cause of the people, 21st April has been declared as Civil Services Day and is being celebrated every year since 2006. The sixth Civil Services Day was organized by the Department on 21.04.2011. On this occasion, Prime Minister also presented the Awards for Excellence in Public Administration for the year 2009-10 to five initiatives in three categories viz., individual, group and organization. A book on administrative reforms initiatives entitled 'People First' compiled by this Department was also released on the occasion. Panel discussion on subjects like 'Transparency & Ethics in Governance, 'Improvement in Public Service Delivery Systems', 'Challenges of Infrastructure Development' were organized in which prominent members of the society also participated and shared their opinion.

Annual Conference of the Chief Secretaries of States/UTs:

To institutionalize the process of interaction with State Governments/UT administrations on issues that relate to individual States/UTs as well as issues of common concern, the Second Annual Conference of Chief Secretaries was held on February 4-5, 2011. In the conference, issues concerning transparency and ethics, areas of concern in flagship programmes, and internal security and follow up of decision taken at the First Annual Conference on science and technology were deliberated in length.

Annual Conference of the Secretaries of Administrative Reforms of States/UTs :

The conference aims to create a National Platform to share experiences of the states in the field of reforms/initiatives undertaken by the Department of Administrative Reforms in the States to improve public service delivery, make the administration effective, transparent and accountable and to make the administration citizen friendly. In the second conference held on 24.09.2010 at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi, discussion on 'Outcome Oriented Civil Service-Way Ahead' and 2nd ARC Report (12th Report-Citizen Centric Administration) were also held.

Public Grievances=

The Department has developed a SEVOTTAM framework for bench marking service delivery standards by the Government of India Ministries/Departments. The main objective of the project is to set standards in consultation with user group and include these standards in the citizen's charter. It also provides a framework to assess the performance against the standards and to measure improvement and achievements of these standards.

The framework is aimed to bring about excellence in service delivery in Government of India organizations and is to be implemented in all Central Ministries/Departments. The Sevottam framework is introduced through pilots in ten Central Ministries/Departments. Out of the ten Departments, the pilot in Department of Posts has been completed and Gol Dakkhana, New Delhi was awarded the first Sevottam certificate in March 2008. The pilot outlet of 'Ayakar Sewa Kendra' Pune, under Central Board of Direct Taxes, Department of Revenue has also been certified for Sevottam under IS 15700:2005 in March 2010. The pilot units in five other Ministries are in final stages of certification. All pilots in the ten Ministries concluded on 30.06.2010.

The Department has also introduced the Sevottam framework pilots projects for bringing excellence service delivery in four sectors viz.:(i) Municipal Corporation—Water Supply and Sanitation, (ii) Public Health, (iii) Women and Child Development and (iv) Food Supplies—PDS in four States namely Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa.

In the States, the Sevottam pilot project has two components: (i) introducing the service delivery framework in one select department and (ii) building capacity of the State Training Institute for the purpose of implementing the framework in all other departments of the State Government.

The Department has also developed and implemented a web-based Centralized Public Grievances Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) Initiated in June 2007, the system was established in June 2008. Its upgraded version was launched on September 27, 2010. The system covers all Ministries/ Departments of Government of India. Through it, a citizen may lodge a grievance online from anywhere and get instant acknowledgment. Ministries/Departments that redress the grievances can access the grievances and take action. The system aims to cover all subordinate and attached offices / field organizations under all Central Ministries / Departments. Action to interlink CPGRAMS, with Pension Portal and other complaint tracking systems of Ministries/Departments/ Organizations such as Railways, EPFO and Passport Division is being done.

The CPGRAMS has led to reduction/elimination of delays caused by manual correspondence. The citizens also have a facility to view the progress of their grievance and send reminders directly to the Ministry concerned. A unique registration number is generated through which citizen can track the status of his/ her grievance.


The Department is implementing e-Office, one of the Mission Mode Projects (MMP) under National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) of Government of India. The e-Office aims at significantly improving the operational efficiency of Central Government Ministries and Department through improvement in workflow mechanisms and associated office procedure manual. The project was launched in 3 pilot sites i.e., Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances, Training Division of Department of personnel & Training and E-Governance Division of Department of Information Technology, in September 2010. Process for roll out in other Central Ministries/Departments in a phased manner has also been initiated. The Department has also formulated and circulated Change Management and Business. Process Reengineering Frameworks to all Central Government Ministries/Departments.

Central Secretariat Manual on Electronic Office Procedures [e-Manual] is being finalized by the Department.

National Conference on e-Governance

The Department also organizes National Conference on e-Governance in collaboration with the Department of Information Technology and one of the State Governments every year since 1997. The Conference offers a useful mechanism to improve cooperation amongst different levels of Government-local, state or national and across programmes - whether mission mode projects or national flagship programmes as well as vertical and horizontal co-ordination between public bodies as well as external agencies for interaction amongst all stakeholders involved. This year the 14th National Conference on e-Governance based on the theme 'Rural e-Service Delivery' was held in Aurangabad. Maharashtra on 10-11, February, 2011. National Awards for “e-Governance were also persented to Government organizations for promoting excellence in e-governance in seven categories.


The Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances as the nodal point in respect of matters relating to international cooperation in the field of Public Administration and Governance, which includes organizing programmes as part of project/bilateral measures taken up in accordance with the Memorandum of Understandings MOUs/ Agreements signed between India and other countries (bilateral or multilateral). The purpose of the international cooperation component is to enable the present, there are four countries, with whom MoUs have been signed; China, Malaysia (bilateral)South Africa (bilateral as well as trilateral; i.e IBSA) and Brazil (under IBSA). This involves exchang of visits and undertaking programmes/ projects and activities in the field of Civil Services, Personnel Manangement, Public Administration and Governance.

Cooperation with International Institute of Administrative Science

The Department is an institutional member of the Internation Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS) since 1998. IIAS with its headquarters at Brussels, Belgium, was established for the purpose of promoting the development of Administrative Sciences, better organization and operation of public administrative agencies, improvement of administrative matters and techniques and for the progress of International Administration. Membership enables the Government of India in getting information on the latest development in the field of public administration through participation in international meetings and seminars organized by the IIAS as well as through various journals, documents and study reports prepared/issued by them.

Cooperation with Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management

The Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAAPAM), with its headquarters at Ottawa, Canada, is a membership organization dedicated to strengthening public management and consolidating democracy and good governance throughout the Commonwealth. It was formed in 1994 as a result of decisions taken at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meetings in Harare in 1991 and in Cyprus in 1993. Since inception, CAPAM has grown to a network of over 1100 members across the Commonwealth countries.

The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of India became an institutional member of CAPAM in 1997. The membership enables the Government of India to keep pace with the latest developments in the field of public administration, through participation in various programmes of CAPAM viz; International Innovations Awards Programme, International Innovations Cascading Programme, international meetings, seminars and conferences organized by CAPAM, as well as through various, publications, journals and study reports issued by CAPAM. Department of Administrative Refroms and Public Grievances, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions would be organising the 2012 biennial conference of CAPAM in New Delhi.

Since 1998, CAPAM has been announcing its Biennial International Innovations Awards Programme to promote the spirit of innovation in the Public Service by recognising those who have made significant contribution to improving governance and services to the public India has been participating in the CAPM Award Programme since beginning and has been participating in the CAPAM Award Programme since beginning and has won gold medals in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2010 and also silver medals in the year 2002,2004 and 2006. In the year 2010. CAPAM Awards Programme held in Malta in conjunction with CAPAM Biennial Conference, three projects from India were selected among the twelve finalists from various Commonwealth countries.

Mission Convergence, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, that best encapsulated and demonstrated excellence under the overall awards theme Cultivating Innovation for Public Service of the Future, won the Gold Medal. The Initiative by Government of Gujarat namely, Systematic Innovation for Community Engagement for Drinking Water Safety in Rural Areas also won an award in the category Innovation in Citizen Engagement and Dialogue. India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Forum - Recognizing the emergence and consolidation of India - Brazil - South Africa (IBSA) initiatives and collaboration at regional and global level for promoting good governance and wishing to strengthen South-South cooperation, the three countries acknowledged that joint efforts and collaboration will position them as active players in helping to direct of the Public Administration and Governance towards democratic values and social inclusion.

The Prime Minister of India, the President of Brazil and the President of Brazil and the President of South Africa met in Brasilia (Brazil) on September 13, 2006 for the 1st Summit meeting of the India-Brazil-South Africa dialogue forum. Pursuant to the IBSA Summit decision as contained in the Joint Declaration issued on the occasion, an IBSA Working Group on Public Administration (WGPA) has been set up by the three countries.

It has since held seven meetings and adopted the areas of cooperation as (i) integrated monitoring and evaluation, (ii) e-governance, (iii) human resource development, (iv) citizen oriented service deliver, (v) anti-corruption and ethics, and (vi) accountability and transparency. Collaboration in these areas represents the essence of the agreed upon MoU which has been signed on October 17, 2007 in South Africa, during the 2nd IBSA Summit.

India taking the lead under IBSA cooperation programme in the field of public administration, launched the IBSA web portal on public administration on 30.11.2010 with Brazil and South Africa onboard. The web portal, a virtual centre of excellence in public administration, is a wide ranging web-based resource and an interactive platform for the IBSA Partners to facilitate among them an exchange of ideas and knowledge on public administration. Also, the 7th WGPA meeting was held in New Delhi on 5-6 March, 2011, where the Working Group decided a way forward in terms of an Action Plan for implementing the MoU on identified areas of interest.

=India-Malaysia Cooperation

A MoU on cooperation in the field of civil service, personal management and public administration between Government of India., represented by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and the Government of Malaysia, represented by the Public Service Department, was signed on May 14, 2001. A Joint Working Group on Civil Service, which is an intergovernmental machinery of India and Malaysia, has been constituted to facilitate implementation of MoU.

The areas of cooperation identified are - (i) human resources development, (ii) employer-employee relations, (iii) salary and allowances of civil servants, (iv) public pension system, (v) employee welfare, (vi) alternative systems of public service delivery, (vii) rightsizing government, (viii) clients/citizens charter initiatives, (ix) TOM and ISO certification in government, (x) training management and it, (xi) e-government, (xii) civil service matters for management level, (xiii) anti-corruption strategy, (xiv) VRS, (xv) public grievance redress mechanism.

India - China Cooperation

A MoU on co-operation in field of civil services, personnel management and public administration between the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of India and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of the People's Republic of China was signed on 27.05.2010. during the visit of President of India to Chine. Areas of Cooperation under the MoU are:

(i) Capacity Building and Skills Upgradation

(ii) Quality Management in Government

(a) Customer Oriented Services

(b) Quality Management in Government

(c) Public Grievance Redress Mechanism

(iii) Human Resources Development-Civil Services

(a) Recruitment Process and Policies

(b) Promotion Policies/Career Progression Policies

(c) Performance Appraisal

(d) Mechanism/Machinery for amicable resolution of disputes

between Government and its employees including the mechanism

for personnel arbitration.

(iv) Human Resources Management in Public Sector

(v) Public Sector Reforms

India-Singapore Cooperation

A MoU on cooperation in the field of Personnel Management and Public Administration between India and Singapore has been finalised and is likely to be signed later this year. Areas of cooperation identified are:

(i) Capacity Building and skills upgrading

(ii) Improved systems of Public Service Delivery

(a) Customer Oriented Services,

(b) Total Quality Management,

(c) Citizens Charter Initiatives and Public Grievance Redress Mechanism

(iii) Human Resources Management

(iv) Public Sector Reform

(v) Leadership/talent development


The Department has the mandate to identify, incubate, document and disseminate the best practices. To achieve its mandate the Department has granted financial assistance for professional documentation of forty-four good governance’s initiatives to eighteen differnet States/UTs. Series of Regional Conferences on Fostering Good Governance and Improving Public Service Delivery were organized. Fourteen such conferences were held in different States of the country commencing from 2006-07.

During 2010-11 three such conferences were organised in Guwahati, Goa and Shimla. Thirty eight documentary films on best practices have been produced to promote these practices. During 2010-11, ten such documentary films are produced. The Department had taken up an initiative to design and develop a web based repository of good governance initiatives and best practices called Governance Knowledge Centre (GKC). The GKC encompasses web based digital repository, a support team comprising domain experts, resource persons, analysts with technical professionals who continuously ensure dynamic updation of knowledge resources and case studies. Portal can be assessed on 169 best practices and 312 government reports & working papers can be assessed on this portal.

This Department is engaged in organizing presentations etc, of best practices. These are immensely useful for the administrators and the dissemination of success stories which may facilitate further replication of the same elsewhere also. The Department has published a series of books on the subject. These are - Ideas that have Worked. Learn from Them, Splendour in the Grass, Roofless Towers, Management by Listening and In Search of Light and People.

The Department also brings out two regular publications namely ‘Management in Government’ a quarterly Journal since 1969 and Civil Services News - a monthly newsletter since 1988. Management in Government focuses on application of management techniques to practical situations of public administration as well as on conceptualization of principles of good management based upon experience of live situations. This year, special issues of the journal based on themes Ethics in Governance and Accountability in Governance were also released. The Civil Services News is published with an objective to act as an effective medium for transmission of information to civil servants on the latest developments taking place at the Centre with regard to personnel management, pensions, administrative reforms and public grievances and other matters of interest to the civil servants.


The Right to Information Act, 2005 has been enacted with a view to empower the citizens, promote transparency and accountability in the working of the Government, combat corruption, and make the democracy work for people in real sense. The Act aims at creating an informed citizenry which would be better equipped to keep necessary vigil on the instruments of governance and make the government more accountable to the governed.

The Act gives all the citizens the right to seek information held by any authority or body or institution of self government established or constituted by or under the Constitution; or by any other law made by the Parliament or a State Legislature; or by notification issued or order made by the Central Government or a State Government. Bodies owned, controlled or substantially financed by the Central Government or a State Government and non-Government organisations substantially financed by the Central Government or a State Government also fall within the definition of public authority. The financing of the body or the NGO by the Government may be direct or indirect.

The right includes inspection or work, documents and records; taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records; Taking certified samples of material held by the public authority or held under the control of the public authority. It also includes information relating to any private body which can be accessed by the public authority under any law for the time being in force. There are some categories of information which each public authority is required to publish suo moto. The Act has created a practical regime through which the citizens of the country may have access to information under the control of public authorities referred to above.

The procedure for seeking information under the Act is very simple. Whoever wants any information from any office of the Government has to simply make a request to the Public Information Officer of the office. The request has to merely indicate the information sought and the address at which the information is required. The request can be sent either by post or submitted in person. It can be made in Hindi or English or in the official language of the area and can also be sent through e-mail. If the applicant does not get the information within 30 days or the applicant is not satisfied with the reply given to him, he can make an appeal within 30 days to the appellate authority appointed by the authority who is an officer superior to the Public Information Officer.

The appellate authority has to decide the appeal within 30 days of the receipt of appeal. If the applicant is not satisfied even with the decision of the appellate authority, he can file a second appeal with the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be within 90 days. The Central Information Commission entertains appeals in respect of offices, financial institutions, public sector undertakings, etc. under the Central Government and the Union Territories and a State Information Commission deals with the appeals pertaining to offices, financial institutions, public sector undertakings, etc. under the concerned State Government.

The Central Information Commission/State Information Commissions are high-powered independent bodies created by the Act. These Commissions have authority to impose penalty on the defaulting Public Information Officers. The law is very comprehensive and covers almost all levels of governance and has the widest possible reach. It is applicable not only to Union, State and Local Governments but also to the recipients of government grants. Access to information under this Act is extensive with minimum exemptions. The Right to Information Act has converted the prevailing culture of secrecy into culture of openness and transparency in the working of the Government. It will go a long way in strengthening our democratic institutions, empowering the public, removing corruption and greater involvement of citizens in the development of the nation.


Article 343 (1) of the Constitution provides that Hindi in Devanagari script shall be the Official Language of the Union, Article 343 (2) also provided for continuing the use of English in official work of the Union for a period of 15 years (i.e., up to 25 January 1965) from the date of commencement of the Constitution, Article 343 (3) empowered the parliament to provide by law for continued use of English for official purposes even after 25 January 1965. Accordingly, section 3 (2) of the Official Language Act, 1963 (amended in 1967) provides for continuing the use of English in official work even after 25 January 1965. The Act also lays down that both Hindi and English shall compulsorily be used for certain specified purpose such as Resolutions, General Orders, Rules, Notifications, Administrative and other Reports, Press Communiques; Administrative and other Reports and Official Papers to be laid before a House or the Houses of Parliament; Contracts, Agreements, Licences, Permits, Tender Notices and forms of Tender, etc.

In 1976, Official Language Rules were framed under the provisions of section

8 (1) of the Official Languages Act, 1963 as amended in 1967. Its salient features are as under:

i. They apply to all Central Government Offices, including any office of a Commission, Committee or Tribunal appointed by the Central Government and Corporation or Company owned or controlled by it except the State of Tamil Nadu.

ii. Communications from a Central Government Office to State/Union Territories or to any person in Region “A” comprising the States of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Haryana and UTs of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Delhi, shall be in Hindi;

iii) Communications from a Central Government Office to States/UTs in Region ‘B’ comprising the State of Punjab, Gujarat, Maharahstra and the Union Territory of Chandigarh, shall ordinarily be in Hindi. However, communication to any person in Region “B” may be either in English or Hindi.

iv. Communications from a Central Government Office to a State Government Office in region ‘C’ comprising all other States and UTs not included in region ‘A’ & ‘B’ or to any office (note being a Central Government Office) or persons shall be in English;

v. Communications between Central Government Offices in region 'c' to a State or Union Territory of 'A' and 'B' or to any office (not being a Central Government Office) or persons in such state may be either in Hindi or English and from Central Government offices to the offices of the State Government/Union Territories.

Features of Official Language Policy

i) All Manuals, Codes and other Procedural literature relating to Central Government Offices are required to be prepared both in Hindi and English. All forms, Headings of Registers, name Plates, Notice Boards and various items of stationery. etc. are also required to be in Hindi and English;

ii) It shall be the responsibility of the officers signing the documents specified in section 3(3) of the Act to ensure that these are issued both in Hindi and English.

iii) It shall be responsibility of the administrative Head of each Central Government Office to ensure that the provisions of the Act, the Rules and directions issued under Rule 12 shall be properly complied with, and suitable and effective check-points shall be devised for this purpose.

Annual Programme

In compliance with The Official Language Resolution, 1968, an Annual Programme is prepared by the Department of Official Language in which targets are set for the offices of the Central Government with regard to originating correspondence, replies in Hindi to letters in Hindi, recruitment of Hindi Typists and Stenos, websites, inspections and meetings of Hindi Salahkar Samiti and Official Language Implementation Committees, purchase of Hindi books for libraries, and purchase of electronic equipments. A Quarterly Progress Report is submitted by the Offices of the Central Government regarding achievements vis-a-vis the said targets. An annual Assessment Report is prepared on the basis of the quarterly Progress Reports, which is laid on the Tables of both Houses of the Parliament, and its copies are endorsed to State Governments and the Ministries/Departments of the Central Government.

Subordinate Offices of the Department

The Central Hindi Training Institute (CHTI) and Central Translation Bureau (CTB) are the two leading Institutions for capacity-building in learning of Hindi Language, Typing, Shorthand, IT tooks, and Translation-skills. These are also eight Regional Implementation Offices at Bengaluru, Cochin, Mumbai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Bhopal, Delhi and Ghaziabad to monitor the implementation of Official Language Policy of the Union.


The Kendriya Hindi Samiti was constituted in the year 1967. It is chaired by the Prime Minister. It is apex policy-making body which lays the guidelines for the propagation and progressive use of Hindi as Official Language of the Union. The Hindi Salahkar Samitis have been constituted in 1976 under section 4 of The Official Languages Act, 1963 to periodically review the progress in the use of Hindi as the Official Language of the Union and to submit a report to the President. The Committee consists of 20 Members of the Lok Sabha and 10 of the Rajya Sabha. It has so far submitted nine parts of the Reports to the President. The Presidential Orders have been issued on eight parts so far and work is in progress on the eighth part.

Besides the Central Official Language Implementation Committee headed by Secretary, Department of Official Language reviews the status of use of Hindi for official purposes of the Union, of the training of its employees in Hindi, and implementation of instructions issued from time to time by the Department of Official Language. It suggests measures for removing the shortcomings and difficulties noticed in implementing these instructions.

Town Official Languages Implementation Committees (TOLICs) are constituted in different cities and towns having ten or more Central Government offices. Its objective is to promote the use of Hindi in their member-offices, and exchange information on good practices for wider use of Hindi experiences. So far 301 TOLICs have been constituted, out of which, 30 have set up in the last nine months. This is against the annual average of 5 to 6 TOLIC per year during the last seven years.


The Indira Gandhi Rajbhasha Awards Schemes have been in operation since 1986- 87. Shields are given every year to Ministries/Departments, Banks and Financial Institutions, Public Sector Undertaking and Town Official Language Implementation Committees for outstanding achievements in the implementation of the Official Language Policy of the Union.

Under the Indira Gandhi Original Hindi Book-writing Scheme, Cash awards are given to the working/retired employees of the Central Government, Banks, Financial Institutions, Universities, Training Institutions and Autonomous Bodies of the Central Government for writing original books in Hindi. Rajiv Gandhi National Awards Scheme for original Book-writing on Science and Technology in Hindi for promoting writing of books in HIndi on all branches of modern Science/Technology and contemporary subjects.

At Zonal level, Zonal Official Language Awards are given every year to the Central Government Offices, Public Sector Underakings, Town Official Language Implementation Committees, Banks and financial Institutions of the Central Government for outstanding achievements in implementing the official Language Policy of the Union, and for progressive use of Hindi.


The cadre of Central Secretariat Official Language Service has been restructured, 112 Group 'A' posts have been added to the cadre to promote the use of Hindi and to offer better career prospects to officers of this Service.


Administrative Tribunals in the country were set up in the Year 1985 under the Administrative Tribunals Act 1985. The Administrative Tribunals Act owes its origin to Article 323-A of the Constitution which empowers Central Government to setup by an Act of Parliament, Administrative Tribunals for adjudication of disputes and complaints with respect to recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to the public service and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union and the States. In pursuance of the provisions contained in the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 the Administrative Tribunals set up under it, exercise original jurisdiction in respect of service matters of employees covered by it.

The Administrative Tribunals exercise jurisdiction only in relation to the service matters of the litigants covered by the Act. The procedural simplicity of the Act can be appreciated from the fact that the aggrieved persons can also appear before it personally. The Government can present its case through its departmental officers or legal practitioners. Thus, the objective of the Tribunal is to provide for speedy and inexpensive justice to the litigants.

The Act provides for establishment of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) and the State Administrative Tribunals. The CAT was set-up on 1 November, 1985. Today, it has 17 regular benches, 15 of which operate at the principal seats of High Courts and the remaining two at Jaipur and Lucknow. These Benches also hold circuit sittings at the other seats of High Courts. Earlier the Tribunal consisted of a Chairman, Vice Chairman and Members. With the amendment in Administrative Tribunal Act, 1985 in 2006 the Members have been given the status of judges of High Courts. The Members are drawn both from judicial as well as administrative streams so as to give the Tribunal the benefit of expertise both in legal and administrative spheres. As a result of the judgement dated 18 March, 1997 of the Supreme Court, the appeals against the orders of an Administrative Tribunal shall lie before the Division Beach of the concerned High Court.


In a federal polity, in view of large areas of common interest and shared action between the constituent units, coordination of policies and their implementation is extremely important. Article 263 of the Constitution envisages establishment of an institutional mechanism to facilitate coordination of policies and their implementation between the Union and the State Governments.

In pursuance of the recommendation made by the Sarkaria Commission on Centre-State Relations, the Inter-State Council was set up in the year 1990 through a Presidential Order dated 28 May 1990.

The standing committee and the Inter-State Council had held so far 10 meetings each and taken a view on all the recommandations made by the Sarkaria Commission. The Inter-State Council is a recommendatory body and has been assigned the duties of investigating and discussing such subjects, in which some or all of the States or the Union and one or more of the States have a common interest, for better coordination of policy and action with respect to that subject. It also deliberates upon such other matters of general interests to the States as may be referred by the Chairman to the Council.

Prime Minister is the Chairman of the Council. Chief Ministers of all the States and Union Territories having Legislative Assemblies, Administrators of Union Territories not having Legislative Assemblies, Governors of States under President’s rule and six Ministers of Cabinet rank in the Union Council of Ministers, nominated by the Chairman of the Council, are members of the Council, Five Ministers of Cabinet rank nominated by the Chairman of the Council are permanent invites to the Council. The Inter-State Council has recently been reconstituted.

The meetings of the Council are held in camera, and all questions, which come up for consideration of the Council in a meeting, are decided by consensus, and the decision of the Chairman as to the consensus is final. The Council has not been assigned the duty envisaged in clause (a) of Article 263 of the Constitution namely, inquiring into and advising upon disputes, which may have arisen between States. The Standing Committee of the Inter-State Council was first constituted in the year 1996 for continuous consultation and processing of matters for the consideration of the Council. Hon’ble Home Minister is the Chairman of the Standing Committee, and has five Union Cabinet Ministers and nine Chief ministers as members. The Standing Committee has since been reconstituted.

The Inter-State Council has also considered other public policy and governance issues; these are:

(a) Contract Labour and Contract Appointments;

(b) Blue Print of an Action Plan on Good Governance;

(c) Disaster Mangement - Preparedness of States to cope with disasters;

(d) Atrocities on Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and Status of Implementation of the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

The Inter-State Council is assisted by Secretariat, which is headed by a Secretary to the Government of India. He is assisted by two Additional Secretaries of the Government of India and other officers. The Inter-State Council Secretariat closely monitors the implementation of the recommendations made by the Inter-State Council, and places the Action Taken Report before the Standing Committee/ Council for consideration.

The Inter-State Council Secretariat had entered into a Framework Agreement with the Forum of Federations, Canada in the year 2005 for an international partnership with the Forum in improving governance and enhancing democracy by promoting dialogue on the practices, principles and possibilities of federalism. This agreement has been renewed for the next three years-2008 to 2011 and has been approved for renoval for a further period of three years i.,e. upto 2014.

The Inter-State Council Secretariat has also provided a Secretarial support to the Commission on Centre-State Relations, which was constituted in the year 2007 under the Chairmanship of Justice (retd.) Madan Mohan Punchhi, former Chief Justice of Supreme Court of India. The Commission had submitted its Report to the Union Government in seven volumes and four supplementary volumes are under examination. The recommendations made by the Commission are under examination in consultation with the stake holders, Union and the State Governments.

The Inter-State Council Secretariat is also providing secretariat support services to the Committee for consultations on the situations in Andhra Pradesh, which has been set up by the Union Government in February, 2010 under the Chairmanship of Shri Justice B.N. Srikrishna, retired Judge of Supreme Court of India, to hold wide ranging consultations with all sections of the people and all political parties and groups in Andhra Pradesh. The Commission has submitted its report to the Government its December, 2010

As per the devision taken by the Government recently, the Inter-State Council Secretariat is also functioning as the Secretariat of the Zonal Councils and the work handled in the Zonal Council Secretariat has ben transfered to the Inter State Council Secretariat from 1.4.2011.

The administration of the states, Union Territories and local government

See India: The states and Union Territories


India is a Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic and the largest democracy in the World. The modern Indian nation state came into existence on 15th of August 1947. Since then free and fair elections have been held at regular intervals as per the principles enshrined in the Constitution, Electoral Laws and System. The Constitution of India has vested in the Election Commission of India the superintendence, direction and control of the entire process for conduct of elections to Parliament and Legislature of every State and to the offices of President and Vice-President of India.

Election Commission of India is a permanent Constitution Body established in accordance with the Constitution on 25 January 1950.

Originally, the commission had only a Chief Election Commissioner, at present, it consists of Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners. For the first time two additional Commissioners were appointed on 16 October 1989 but they had a very short tenure till 1 January 1990. Later, on 1 October 1993 two additional Election Commissioners were appointed. The concept of multi-member Commission has been in operation since then, with decision making power by majority vote.

The President appoints Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners. They have tenure of six years, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. They enjoy the same status and receive salary and perks as available to Judges of the Supreme Court of India. The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from office only through impeachment by Parliament.

The Commission transacts its business by holding regular meetings and also by circulation of papers. All Election Commissioners have equal say in the decision making of the Commission. The Commission, from time to time, delegates some of its executive functions to its officers in its Secretariat. The Commission has a separate Secretariat at New Delhi, consisting of about 300 officials, in a hierarchical set up.

Two or three Deputy Election Commissioners who are the senior most officers in the Secretariat assist the Commission. They are generally appointed from the national civil service of the country and are selected and appointed by the Commission with tenure. Directors, Principal Secretaries, and Secretaries, Under Secretaries and Deputy Directors support the Deputy Election Commissioners in turn. There is functional and territorial distribution of work in the Commission. The work is organized in Divisions. Branches and sections; each of the last mentioned units is i charge of a Section Officer. The main functional divisions are Planning, Judicial, Administration, Information Systems, Media and Secretariat Coordination. The territorial work is distributed among separate units responsible for different Zones into which the 35 constituent States and Union Territories of the country are grouped for convenience of management.

At the state level, the election work is supervised, subject to overall superintendence, direction and control of the Commission, by the Chief Electoral Officer of the State, who is appointed by the Commission from amongst senior civil servants proposed by the concerned state Government. He is, in most of the States, a full time officer and has a small team of supporting staff.

At the district and constituency levels, the District Election Officers, Electoral Registration Officers and Returning Officers, who are assisted by a large number of junior functionaries, perform election work. They all perform their functions relating to elections in addition to their other responsibilities. During election time, however, they are available to the Commission, more or less, on a full time basis.

The gigantic task force for conducting a countrywide general election consists of nearly five million polling personnel and civil police forces. This huge election machinery is deemed to be on deputation to the Election Commission and is subject to its control, superintendence and discipline during the election period, extending over a period of one and half to two months.

In the performance of its functions, Election commission is insulated from executive interference. It is the Commission which decides the election schedules for the conduct of elections, whether general elections or bye-elections. Again, it is the Commission which decides on the location polling stations, assignment of voters to the polling stations, location of counting centres, arrangements to be made in and around polling stations and counting centres and all allied matters.

Under the Constitution, the Commission also has advisory jurisdiction in the mater of post election disqualification of sitting members of Parliament and State Legislatures. Further, the cases of persons found guilty of corrupt practices at elections which come before the Supreme Court and High Courts are also referred to the Commission for its opinion on the question as to whether such person shall be disqualified and, if so, for what period. The opinion of the Commission in all such matters is binding on the President or, as the case may be, the Governor to whom such opinion is tendered.

The Commission has the power to disqualify a candidate who has failed to lodge an account of his election expenses within the time and in the manner prescribed by law. The Commission has also the power for removing or reducing the period of such disqualification as also other disqualification under the law.

The decisions of the Commission can be challenged in the High Court and the Supreme Court of the India by appropriate Petitions. By long standing convention and several judicial pronouncements, once the actual process of elections has started, the judiciary does not intervene in the actual conduct of the polls. Once the polls are completed and result declared, the Commission cannot review any result on its own. This can only be reviewed through the process of an election petition, which 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.

The Commission has taken several new initiatives in the recent past. Notable among these are, a scheme for use of State owned Electronic Media for broadcast/ telecast by Political parties, checking criminalization of policies, computerization of electoral rolls, providing electors with Identity Cards, simplifying the procedure for maintenance of accounts and filling of the same by candidates and a variety of measures for strict compliance of Model Code of Conduct, for providing a level playing field to contestants during the elections. A list of Chief Election Commissioners since 1950 is given on the page Chief Election Commissioners Of India

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