After reading this article you will learn about the organization of administrative department in India:- 1. Prime Minister 2. The Minister 3. Secretariat 4. Executive 5. Attached and Subordinate Offices.
1. Prime Minister:
Prime Minister heads the Government which comprises many departments headed by Ministers. Generally speaking, the government consists of three types of ministers-ministers of Cabinet rank, ministers of state (independent charge) and ministers of state. There is no finality about the composition of Government.
The prime minister includes as many members as he feels necessary to run the Government and assigns them ministerial status as per political consideration and regional balance.
However, the constitution 97th Amendment Act, 2003 has restricted the size of the council of ministers, whether of the centre or the states, to 15 percent of the total Lok Sabha members and legislative assembly, respectively. The Prime Minister can make any change anytime in his council of Ministers.
The national administration in India is split up into ministries. Some of these ministries are organized according to the process principle, a few others according to the clientele and a few others according to the geographical principle. But, a large number of them are organized according to the un-functional principle. A ministry has one or more departments under it.
As in other countries, in India, a department is divided into divisions. A division is sub-divided into branches and a branch is divided into a number of sections. Some departments have no divisions but branches and sections only. A ministry is generally a three-tier organization.
At the top there is the minister who is the political head of the ministry; at the middle level is the Secretariat headed by the Secretary and assisted by other secretaries and attached offices; at the third level is the executive wing consisting of the Directorate whose head may be known as Director, Director-General, Inspector-General, Chief Engineer, etc.
2. The Minister:
At the top, each administrative department has a political chief known as the Minister. In bigger departments the Minister is assisted by a Minister of State and sometimes a Deputy Minister as well. The minister is generally a layman selected on political basis.
The reason for selecting a layman as the minister is that he is able to see the department as a whole. He has the interest of all the people at heart and not only of those who are serving in the department.
A layman being a leading politician serves as a link between the administration and the legislature which consists of the representatives of people.
Warner in attempting to explain that a minister need not have a knowledge of the work of the department over which he presides, observes “Earl Baldwin once delighted an audience of administrators by comparing a political chief of an administrative department to a small boy driving a donkey-cart to a distant market. A kindly onlooker remarked that the little boy seemed very young to be able to find his way alone, only to be met with the little boy’s reply that although he was only ten the donkey was thirty. To balance this theory on the politician’s side, it may perhaps be coupled with Johnson’s comforting words that he who drives fat oxen need not himself be fat.”
Below the Minister there is the Secretariat organization of the department headed by the Secretary. The Secretary is a civil servant. He is usually a senior member of IAS. The Secretary is the administrative head of the department as distinguished from the executive or technical head. The technical head is designated as Inspector-General, Director or Commissioner.
The minister consults both the administrative and executive heads before framing a new policy. Under the Secretary there may be an Additional Secretary who also has a direct access to the Minister with regard to the work entrusted to his care. Under the Secretary or Additional Secretary there is a Joint Secretary who holds the charge of an important wing consisting of usually eight sections and is responsible to the Secretary.
The Deputy Secretary is in charge of a division which consists of about four sections. The Under-Secretary who stands below the Deputy Secretary is in charge of a Branch. Below the Under-Secretary come the various Superintendents who hold charge of different sections. A Section consists of one or more Assistants and a few clerks.
On the executive side the head of the department as referred above may be designated Inspector-General, Director or Commissioner. Each of these is assisted by a number of Deputies and Assistants, for instance, the Director of Public Instruction is assisted by Joint Director, Deputy Director and Assistant Director, who in turn are assisted by Divisional Inspector of Schools.
The Divisional Inspector is assisted by the District Inspector of Schools and Deputy Inspector of Schools.
The division for institutional activities generally has the following sections:
(i) Registering and Recording Section:
This section receives letters, dispatches, papers, etc., from the public and registers the particulars of receipt in a book and sends them after registration, to the proper authority in the department.
(ii) Establishment and Organization Section:
This section sees that there is adequate number of staff in the department and its services are properly employed. It helps the head of the department to administer discipline, order transfers of personnel and award promotions.
(iii) Intelligence and Research Section:
This section maintains records and keeps the latest statistics for the use of the departments.
(iv) Finance and Accounts Sections:
The chief function of this section is the preparation of estimates, financial review of expenditure, seeing that expenditure is properly brought to account and advising in all matters affecting the expenditure of the department.
5. Attached and Subordinate Offices:
Attached to the Ministry, there are Attached and Subordinate offices. The offices of the Union Public Service Commission, Controller of Printing, Chief Controller of Exports and Imports, Chief Labour Commissioner are attached offices. These offices are responsible for providing executive direction and guidance for the implementation of policy laid down by the Ministries to which they are attached.
They also serve as store-house of technical knowledge and information and advise the Ministry in all technical matters. Their status is lower than that of the Secretariat offices proper. The subordinate officers are the field offices which are responsible for the detailed execution of the policies of the government.
Sometimes, they function under the direction of the Attached office or sometimes they function directly under the Ministry.