Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India

Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India
Cabinet secretariat Recruitment
  • The Central Secretariat consists of all the Ministries and Departments of the Central Government. That is, the central government is divided into various ministries and departments in terms of administration.
  • All such ministries have departments in the Central Secretariat. A ministry usually has 2-4 departments, but there is no department in any ministry, such as the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • Thus, there are some departments which are not under any ministry, such as Department of Atomic Energy. The political heads of ministries and departments are ministers and administrative heads are secretaries.
  • Article 77 of the Constitution of India empowers the President of India to make rules for making the functioning of the Central Government more convenient and to delegate these functions to Ministers.
  • This department is the basis of the division system. Its specialty is that the Minister is put in charge of the Ministry / Department, which issues orders from the President.
  • In this way, the concept of Ministry Department is originated from the Department-Portfolio (Portfolio) system. The group of Ministries / Departments referred to in the Allocation of Business Rules is known as the Central Secretariat.
  • At present, the Central Government Ministries / Departments are governed by the Government of India (Distribution of Work) Rules, 1961.

Structure of a Ministry

The special structure of the central government ministry is three-tier.
  • The political head, ie the cabinet minister is assisted by the Minister of State and Deputy Minister. But sometimes the Minister of State is also the political head of the Ministry / Department in independent charge.
  • The secretariat organization / secretary is a public servant headed by a secretary. Joint Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Under Secretary and other employees are there to assist the Secretary. Thus, the secretariat – the organization consists of two special components – officers and offices, to direct and control the employees and to execute the clerical work.
  • The executive head is headed by the head of the department. These department heads are known by various designations, such as Director, Director General, Inspector General, Commissioner, Inspector General, Chief Controller etc.

Secretariat Organization

Below is mentioned the hierarchy and structure of the officers of the Secretariat Organization of a Ministry Organization.

Unit incharge officer

Department ↔ Secretary or Additional Secretary
↓ ↓
Wing ↔ Additional Secretary or Joint Secretary
↓ ↓
Division 4 Director or Deputy Secretary
↓ ↓
Branch 4 Under Secretary
↓ ↓
Section 4 Section Officer

  • Each ministry is mainly divided into its departments. Each division is divided into wings, each wing into divisions and divisions into branches. Each branch is divided into sections.
  • The section (called office) is the smallest and lowest level unit of a ministry / department.
    Split System The Split System
  • The secretariat system in India is based on the principle of keeping the policy-making function separate from the policy implementation work.
  • In this system of division, the secretariat is confined to policy-making only and thus the secretariat cannot interfere in the implementation of the policy.
  • The task of giving policy form should be left to the executive agencies outside the Secretariat.

The benefits of the abolition system are as follows-

  • In this, the secretariat personnel (policy makers) get help in policy planning work in relation to national interest, goals and expectations. This is because they are free from day-to-day administrative responsibilities.
  • With the help of this system, the Secretary can examine the proposals impartially keeping in view the detailed view of the government, which is prepared by the executive agencies. This is because the secretary is the secretary of the government as a whole and not the secretary of the minister.
  • This system gives executive agencies the freedom to implement policies, because under this system the secretary does not have to interfere in the policy implementation, but has to confine himself to policy making. Thus, this system encourages the decriminalization and delegation of authorities and prevents excessive decentralization.
  • By this system, by dividing the laws into two different agencies, it helps to reduce the size of the Secretariat from the point of view of management.
  • The program implementation of the field can be objectively evaluated by the Secretariat staff. The responsibility of this task cannot be entrusted to the implementing agencies.
  • In this context, the Indian Secretariat model is different from the British Whitehall model. Every ministry in the UK is responsible for both policy formulation and policy implementation.

Role and Function

  • The Secretariat is a staffing agency. Its function is to assist and assist the Government of India in the creation of its responsibilities and duties.
  • It is an information repository for the government which assists the government in examining future policies, emerging problems and current activities in light of past actions and actions.
  • A detailed investigation of the subject is carried out by the Secretariat before a decision is taken at the government level on a subject.
  • According to the government handbook, the following tasks related to the ministries / departments are done by the Secretariat.
  • Helping the Minister in formulating policy and amending them as required from time to time
  • Legislation and regulations and exchange making
  • Regional Planning and Program Formulation
  • Budgetary provision and control of comprehensive related to the work of Ministry Department, and To give or seek administrative and financial approval related to operational functions and plans and amendments thereto.
  • Evaluation of the operation and results of policies and programs by executive departments or semi-autonomous vertical agencies.
  • Interpret and coordinate policies, assist other branches of government and maintain contact with state administration.
  • Ministries / Departments and its executive agencies take measures to develop both these personnel and organizational competencies and,
  • To assist in the discharge of the responsibilities of the Minister’s Parliamentary Committees.

Tenure System Tenure System

Those positions in the Secretariat are considered to be superior which come from the states (and some central services) for a specific period of time as per rules made by the authorities and return to the respective state or services at the end of their term.
In the official terminology, it is called the tenure system. Thus each employee / officer deputed under the tenure system works for a fixed period in the Central Secretariat, which has different hierarchy in the Secretariat. These rankings are as follows:
Secretary and Joint Secretary – 5 years
Deputy Secretary – 4 years
Under Secretary – 3 years
The tenure system in India was introduced in the year 1905 by the then Governor General of India, Lord Curzon.
Lord Curzon believed that India is ruled from Shimla or Kolkata but administration is done from the plains.
Lord Curzon, who is also known as the father of the tenure system, started the tenure system as a result of this belief.

The following committees and commissions formed during the British rule supported the tenure system –

Levolin Smith Committee 1919 – Government of India Secretariat Procedure Committee Report
Simon Commission 1930- Indian Statutory Commission Report
Wheeler Committee 1936 – Government of India Secretariat Committee Report
Maxwell Committee 1937 – Report on Organization and Procedure
Roland Committee 1944-45 – Report of Bengal Administrative Inquiry Committee
The Chairman of the Administrative Reforms Commission has supported the system of tenure of personnel related to personnel administration in the State Secretariat (also in the State Secretariats) in the Central Secretariat.

The following arguments have been presented in support of the tenure system –

On this, the system can maintain administrative synergy between the Center and the States and thus strengthen the Indian federal governance.
Through this system, officers who have experience of district administration or field administration can be appointed in the Central Secretariat.
In this, the state government officials get better experience at the national level.
This gives equal opportunity to all those officers who are entitled to remain posted in the Secretariat for a fixed period.
This will protect the administrative unity of the nation and freedom of public service.
It encourages the creation of realistic national policies that will be implemented with less difficulty in the field. The reason for this is that the secretariat officials are aware of the real facts of the administration.
This reduces the possibility of officers becoming conservative, as it does not give them an opportunity to work for long periods in the Secretariat. This gives them an opportunity to work in a different type of environment, which can bring freshness to their outlook.
This enables the officers to receive special benefits during the appointment in the Secretariat and this gives a fillip to the public service.
It provides the necessary flexibility in personnel management of the Secretariat as it enables management to get rid of inefficient and inefficient officers in a simple way.

Nevertheless, the following arguments have been given by the reviewers against the tenure system –

This leads to evils like over-bureaucratization of the secretariat and post-over-administration. To fulfill the task of a new officer appointed in the secretariat, the diet depends more on permanent post placement.
This does not ensure specialization as it is essentially based on the myth of higher quality of general administration. On the other hand, work in ministries and departments is becoming increasingly specialized.
Its main impulse is district or picture experience, which is not mandatory and relevant in many areas of secretariat work.
Remarkably, the tenure system was never present in all the Ministries and Departments of the Central Government. The following 4 departments which were during the British period were excluded from the purview of the tenure system – Indian Audit and Accounts Department, Customs and Income Tax Department, Foreign and Politics Department, Posts and Telegraphs Department.

Today the tenure system is not as strong as it was before independence. The following elements contribute to making the system weak –

At present, most of the posts of Under Secretary and Deputy Secretary are members of the Central Secretariat Service Cadre. In this way, the secretariat officers got stability as a result of this service cadre formed in the year 1948. At present, the Central Secretariat service consists of 5 grades-
Senior Selection Grade (Director)

Selection Grade (Deputy Secretary)

Grade-1 (Additional Secretary)

Section Officer Grade and

Assistant grade

The Department of Personnel and Training of the Ministry of Personnel has the authority to control the cadre in the context of this service.

The officers of the Indian Economic Service and the Indian Statistical Special Service, constituted as Special Central Services Category-1 in the year 1961, whose number is more in the Central, are not covered under the tenure system, that is, they are posted between the Field and Headquarters (Secretariat). .
The tenure system was reformed through the Commerce Boys Pool formed in the year 1938 (but ended in 1946) and the Central Administrative Pool set up in 1957. The Central Administrative Pool consists of officers from the Indian Administrative Service, Central Services Category-1, Central Secretariat Services-Category-1 and Category-1 for State Services. It was formed in the Central Secretariat for the posts of Deputy Secretary level or above. It has both general and special category terms. This pool is managed and controlled by the Ministry of Personnel. Officers in the Central Secretariat service under the tenure system do not go back to their original departments or state governments mainly because of the benefits related to secretarial deployment such as high salary, facilities of Rajdhani Nagar and proximity to the center etc.
States are not always eager to send their good officers to the central government. Due to this reluctance of the State Governments, there are obstacles in the exchange of officers between the Secretariat and the field area.
The tenure system came into existence at a time when the unitary system was ruled, but after the independence, the unitary system was replaced by the federal system. Secretariat Officers / Staff Secretariat Officials
The hierarchy of the officers / employees of the Secretariat is as follows-


Additional Secretary

Joint Secretary

The director

deputy Secretary

Upper Secretary

Out of the above, the officials of the first three hierarchy look at the work of upper-class management and the officials of the last three gradations handle the work of middle-class management. All these officers handle the tasks at their level and present important matters to the higher officer. Apart from this, all these officers keep their duties in view of the interests of the Government of India. Therefore, the Secretary has been designated as the Secretary, Government of India and not as the Secretary of the concerned Minister / Ministry.

Secretary Secretary

The roles of the secretary are as follows –

He is the administrative head of the Ministry Department. In this context, his responsibilities are complete and undivided.
He is the principal advisor to the minister on all aspects of policy and administrative matters.
He represents his Ministry / Department before the Parliamentary Local Committee.
Additional / Joint Secretary

Additional secretary is in charge of a department or a wing of the department. On the other hand, the Joint Secretary is in-charge of the wing of a department. The rank and salary of the Joint Secretary is lower than the Additional Secretary because the Additional Secretary is senior to the Joint Secretary. Overall, in the work of these two officers, there is no difference if the additional secretary is not in charge of any department.

Director / Deputy Secretary

The post of Joint Director was created in the year 1960. There is no difference between the responsibilities of the Director and the Deputy Secretary, nor can any Deputy Secretary be placed under the Director. But the position and salary of the director is higher than the Deputy Secretary.

The Deputy Secretary acts on behalf of the Secretary and is in charge of the Division. He himself handles most of the matters, and only seeks guidance from the Joint / Additional Secretaries or Secretaries of the Department on important matters.

Upper Secretary

The Under Secretary is in charge of the branch, hence it is also called the branch officer. Action on the representations received He deals with small matters himself and presents only important matters to the Deputy Secretary.

Before independence, the post of Assistant Secretary was below the Under Secretary, this post was abolished on the recommendations of the Maxwell Committee Report 1937.

OSD Special Officer

An officer is appointed from the existing officers in the post of special work officer – he looks after the works of the necessary nature which require full attention. Basically, it is a temporary position that has been created with an urgent view. Duties and duties performed by OSD are special in nature. The status of OSD is not fixed, but officers from Secretary to Under Secretary are appointed on this post. Sometimes Section Officer is also appointed OSD.

The designation of OSD in India is a British heritage. It has the following characteristics:

This makes better coordination of work possible.
This promotes completion of the work and the smooth execution of the decision.
The bodies (agencies) that select officers of different grades in the Central Secretariat Army are mentioned below-

Selection of Secretariat Officers / Employees
Secretary / Additional Secretary Cabinet Secretary
Joint Secretary Senior Selection Board (headed by Cabinet Secretary)
Director / Deputy Secretary / Under Secretary Central Establishment Board (headed by Secretary, Ministry of Personnel)
The final decision regarding the above three matters is taken by the Cabinet Appointments Committee headed by the Prime Minister.

Office Staff Office Staff

Apart from the officer category in the Secretariat, there is also a class of office workers. The office staff of the Secretariat consists of the following personnel:

Section Officer (Superintendent)

Assistant section officer

Senior clerk

Lower Division Clerk

Stenographer – Typist and Typist


The Section Officer is the head of the office / section and maintains contact between all the personnel of the section and the Under Secretary. The main function of the section officer is to supervise the work of the personnel of his section. The Section Officer Secretariat is the first line supervisor in terms of personnel rank.

The staff of the Secretariat staff comes from both the services –

Central Secretariat Stenographer Service consisting of 5 grades- Senior Chief, Grade of Private Secretary, Private Secretary Grade, Grade A + B (Amalgamated), Grade C, Grade D.
Central Secretariat Clerical Service, which has two grades – upper grade (clerical) grade, lower grade (clerical) grade.
The cadre control of both these services is with the Personnel and Training Department of the Ministry of Personnel.

The Staff Selection Commission of 1976 has been conducting competitive examinations for the direct recruitment of under-class clerks. Higher grade clerical posts are not filled by direct recruitment. These posts are filled by promoting these lower grade clerks. Some of the posts of Section Officer and Assistant Section Officer are filled by direct recruitment on the basis of competitive examination and some by promotion of subordinate personnel.

Desk Officer System Desk Officer System

With the introduction of the desk officer system in 1973, there was a change in the working of the Central Government Ministries / Departments. This was done on the basis of recommendations of the Deshmukh Study Group under the Administrative Reforms Commission. This system was introduced on the lines of the Whitehall system.

Under this new system, the lowest level work of a ministry is organized in different desks. Two officers are posted in each desk ie an Additional Secretary and a Section Officer or a Section Officer and an Assistant Section Officer or two Section Officers. Each officer is called a desk officer for whom stenographers / clerks are available. The desk officer resolves the cases on his own and presents information officers for disposal of important matters related to the policy.

The benefits of desk officer system are as follows:

This leads to speedy disposal of cases and cases directly reach to higher level officials.
Due to this, cases do not have to be examined at the clerical level.
Due to this, there is no possibility of delay in the functions of the Secretariat.
It also reduces expenditure.
The quality of work is maintained due to cases being investigated at the officer level.
Executive Organization Executive Organization

In each Ministry of the Government of India, there are executive organizations in addition to the organization of the Secretariat headed by the Political Chief and Secretary.
These executive organizations implement the policies formulated by the secretariat organization. The executive organizations function under the Secretariat.
Their executive heads (department heads) have been designated in various names – Director, Director General, Controller, Chief Controller, Inspector General, Commissioner and Registrar General.
Work function

Government agencies have two forms – the attached office and the subordinate office. The following interpretation of these offices is given in the Code of Government Procedure:
On the other hand, where the implementation of government policies requires decentralization of executive guidelines and the establishment of field agencies for this task, on the other hand there are subordinate offices under the Ministry.
The offices affiliated to the Ministry are responsible for giving necessary executive instructions for the implementation of the policies prescribed by the Ministry.
The concerned offices provide information of technical aspects related to a subject to the Ministry, for which these offices have a repository of technical information. Subordinate offices function as field establishments or as the agency responsible for the detailed implementation of government decisions.
Subordinate offices usually work directly under the direction of the concerned office or under the direction of the ministry if the quantity of executive instructions is high.
The Tottenham Committee (1945–46) and the First Pay Commission (Varadachariar 1946–47) had suggested the distinction between these two categories of offices to be resolved, terming the distinction between affiliated offices unsatisfactory and artificial.


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