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Unit-1 Indian Administration Notes | DU SEMESTER 4 DSC-10


  • Indian Administration is multifaceted, evolved over time to meet diverse nation's needs.

  • Understanding Civil Services' structure, historical legacy, and role in Constitutional Framework is crucial.


A. Structure of Civil Services: Evolution

  • Colonial Era

  • British East India Company established administrative machinery to govern its territories.

  • The concept of a structured administrative system in India can be traced back to this period.

  • The Indian Civil Service (ICS) was formally established in 1858 under the Government of India Act 1858 after the transfer of powers from the East India Company to the British Crown.

  • The ICS was a prestigious and powerful institution that played a crucial role in the governance of India under British rule.

  • The recruitment process for the ICS was highly competitive and based on merit, but it was criticized for being elitist and lacking representation from the Indian population.

  • Post-Independence Changes

  • After India gained independence in 1947, there was a need to reform the administrative system to suit the requirements of a democratic and independent nation.

  • The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) was created in 1947 through the All-India Services Act, 1951, replacing the ICS.

  • The IAS was designed to be a part of an integrated administrative framework that included other services such as the Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), and Indian Revenue Service (IRS), among others.

  • Modernization and Reforms

  • The post-independence period saw several initiatives to modernize and reform the Civil Services to make them more responsive, efficient, and accountable.

  • Various committees and commissions were appointed to recommend reforms, such as the Kothari Commission (1976) and the Administrative Reforms Commission (1966-1970).

  • These reforms aimed to improve the recruitment process, training methods, and performance appraisal systems of the Civil Services to enhance their effectiveness and efficiency.

Current Structure

  • Today, the Civil Services in India are structured into various services and cadres, each with its own specific roles and responsibilities.

  • The Civil Services are broadly categorized into Central Services, State Services, and All India Services, each serving the needs of the central government, state governments, and the entire country, respectively.

  • The Civil Services continue to play a crucial role in the governance of India and are instrumental in implementing government policies and programs at all levels.

Civil Service in the Constitutional Framework

  • Appointment, Training, Promotion

  • Appointment

  • Article 312 of the Indian Constitution empowers the President to create All India Services (IAS, IPS, IFS) if the Rajya Sabha passes a resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting, declaring that it is expedient in the national interest to do so.

  • The All-India Services Act, 1951, governs the recruitment, training, and conditions of service of persons appointed to the All-India Services.

  • Training

  • Newly recruited civil servants undergo training at various academies, such as the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) for IAS officers, the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA) for IPS officers, and the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) for IFS officers.

  • The training aims to impart the necessary skills, knowledge, and attitudes required for effective administration.

  • Promotion

  • Promotion in the civil services is governed by rules and regulations prescribed by the Central and State Governments.

  • The promotion policies vary between services and are based on a combination of seniority and performance.


  • The promotion policies in the civil services have been criticized for being bureaucratic and slow.

  • There have been calls for reforms to make the promotion process more transparent and merit-based.


B. Prime Minister's Office (PMO)

Establishment and Evolution

  • The PMO was established in 1947 after India gained independence.

  • Initially, it was a small office with limited staff, but over the years, it has grown in importance.

  • The PMO's role and functions have evolved to meet the changing needs of the country and the government.

Functions of the PMO

  • Policy Formulation: The PMO assists the Prime Minister in formulating policies on various issues, including economic, social, and foreign affairs.

  • Coordination: The PMO coordinates the implementation of government policies and programs across different ministries and departments.

  • Communication: The PMO communicates the government's policies and decisions to the public and the media.

  • Monitoring: The PMO monitors the progress of government programs and projects and takes corrective measures when necessary.

  • Crisis Management: The PMO plays a key role in managing crises and emergencies, both at the national and international levels.

Structure of the PMO

  • The PMO is headed by the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, who is a senior civil servant.

  • The PMO has several departments and units, each headed by a Joint Secretary or a Director.

  • The PMO also has a support staff that assists in the day-to-day functioning of the office.

Key Events

  • Rajiv Gandhi's PMO (1984-1989): Focus on modernizing the economy and introducing new technologies.

  • Narasimha Rao's PMO (1991-1996): Played a crucial role in implementing economic reforms leading to liberalization and globalization.

  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee's PMO (1998-2004): Focused on infrastructure development.

  • Manmohan Singh's PMO (2004-2014): Key role in policy formulation, including the implementation of key acts.

  • Narendra Modi's PMO (2014-present): Focus on initiatives like Make in India, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, and Digital India.

Relationship with Other Institutions

  • Works closely with other government institutions, such as ministries, departments, and the Cabinet Secretariat.

  • Interacts with state governments, political parties, and international organizations to coordinate government policies and programs.

Challenges and Criticisms

  • Criticized for being too powerful and centralizing decision-making.

  • Calls for greater transparency and accountability.

Cabinet Secretariat

  • Establishment and Evolution

  • The Cabinet Secretariat was established in 1947 after India gained independence.

  • It has evolved over the years to meet the changing needs of the government and the country.

  • Functions of the Cabinet Secretariat

  • Secretarial Assistance: Provides secretarial assistance to the Cabinet and its committees.

  • Policy Coordination: Coordinates the formulation and implementation of government policies across different ministries and departments.

  • Record Keeping: Maintains records of Cabinet meetings and decisions.

  • Crisis Management: Plays a key role in managing crises and emergencies, providing logistical support to the Cabinet.

Structure of the Cabinet Secretariat

  • Headed by the Cabinet Secretary, who is the senior-most civil servant in the country.

  • Has several departments and units, each headed by a Joint Secretary or a Director.

  • Has a support staff that assists in the day-to-day functioning of the office.

Key Events

  • Role in National Security: Coordinates and monitors national security issues.

  • Emergency Response: Coordinates the government's response to emergencies.

  • Administrative Reforms: Initiates administrative reforms to improve government efficiency.

Relationship with Other Institutions

  • Works closely with other government institutions, such as ministries, departments, and the Prime Minister's Office.

  • Interacts with state governments, political parties, and international organizations to coordinate government policies and programs.

Challenges and Criticisms:

  • Criticized for lack of transparency and accountability.

  • Calls for reforms to make it more responsive.


C. Major Initiatives in Administrative Reforms

  • Administrative reforms are crucial for enhancing the efficiency, transparency, and accountability of the government.

  • Several initiatives have been undertaken in India to reform the administrative system and improve governance.

  • Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC)

  1. Established in 1966 to study the public administration system and recommend reforms.

  2. Submitted several reports on civil services reforms, public sector management, and decentralization.

  3. Recommendations led to the establishment of the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) in 1965.

  • Second Administrative Reforms Commission (SARC)

  1. Established in 2005 to prepare a blueprint for revamping the public administration system.

  2. Submitted reports on ethics in governance, local governance, and disaster management.

  3. Recommendations led to the setting up of the National E-Governance Plan (NeGP) and the introduction of e-governance initiatives.

  • Right to Information Act (RTI)

  1. Passed in 2005 to provide citizens with the right to access information held by public authorities.

  2. Instrumental in promoting transparency and accountability in government functioning.

  • National E-Governance Plan (NeGP)

  1. Launched in 2006 to make government services accessible to citizens through electronic means.

  2. Improved service delivery, reduced corruption, and increased efficiency.

  3. Comprises 31 Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) and 10 support components.

  • Goods and Services Tax (GST)

  1. Introduced in 2017 to simplify the tax structure and promote ease of doing business.

  2. Streamlined the tax system, reduced tax evasion, and replaced multiple indirect taxes with a single tax.

  • Digital India

  1. Launched in 2015 to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.

  2. Improved access to government services, promoted digital literacy, and enhanced digital infrastructure.

  3. Includes projects such as Bharat Net, Common Services Centres, and e-Hospital.

  • Aadhaar

  1. Launched in 2009 as a unique identification system for residents of India.

  2. Used to streamline the delivery of government services and reduce leakages in welfare programs.

  3. Linked to various government schemes and services.

  • Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT)

  1. Introduced in 2013 to transfer subsidies directly to the bank accounts of beneficiaries.

  2. Reduced leakages and ensured benefits reach the intended beneficiaries.

  3. Implemented through the Aadhaar platform.

  • Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY)

  1. Launched in 2014 to ensure financial inclusion for all households in India.

  2. Led to a significant increase in the number of bank accounts and promoted access to financial services.

  3. Accounts come with benefits such as overdraft facilities, insurance coverage, and access to pension schemes.

  • National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA)

  1. Enacted in 2005 to provide guaranteed employment to rural households.

  2. Reduced poverty and improved living standards of rural households.

  3. Provides 100 days of employment to rural households in a financial year.

  • Public Service Delivery Guarantee Act

  1. Enacted by several states to ensure timely delivery of public services to citizens.

  2. Improved service delivery and accountability in the government.

  3. Citizens can demand services within a specified time frame, failing which they are entitled to compensation.


The structure of the Civil Services in India has evolved significantly since the colonial era, reflecting the changing needs and aspirations of Indian society. While the Civil Services have made significant contributions to the development of the country, there is a constant need for reform and improvement to ensure that they remain relevant and effective in meeting the challenges of the 21st century.


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