(IGP) IAS Pre: GS - Gist of Indian Year Book - The Polity (Part -2)

Gist of Indian Year Book
The Polity (Part -2)

Administrative Reforms

(i) Annual Conference of the Chief Secretaries of State governments / 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 first conference was organized on February 1- 2, 2010. In the conference issues of science and technology and global issues impacting the government were also discusses.

(ii) The Civil Services Day - To rededicate and recommit ourselves to the cause of the people, has been declared as Civil Services Day and is being celebrated every year since 2006. The Fifth Civil Services Day was organized by the Department on April 21, 2010 at Vigyan Bhavan.

(iii)Conference of Secretaries of Administrative Reforms in State/UTs is held annually to share the experiences in the area of government reforms.

(iv) Regional Conferences on Administrative Reforms are held every year to disseminate and share best practices.

(v) Administrative Reforms Commission

Central Secretariat Services

  • The Central Secretariat has three services, namely, Central Secretariat Service (CSS), Central Secretariat Stenographers’ Service (CSSS) and The Central Secretariat Clerical Service (CSCS).

Union Public Ser Vice Commission

  • 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 Commission are appointed by the President for a tenure of six years or till they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
  • To ensure independence, members who were at the service of Government at the time of appointment are deemed to have retired from Government service on their appointment in the Commission.
  • The Chairman and members are also not eligible for further employment under the Government.
    They cannot be removed except for the reasons and in the manner provided for in the Constitution.

Staff Selection Commission

  • Staff Selection Commission SSC) initially known as Subordinate Service Commission was set upon I July 1978.
  • It has been entrusted with the work of making recruitment to

(i) all non-gezetted Group 'B' posts in the various Ministries/Departments of the Government and their Attached and Subordinate Offices which are in the pay scales of Rs 6,500- 10,500 and
(ii) all non- echnical Group ‘C’ posts in the various Ministries/ Departments of the Government and-their attached and subordinate-offices, exempted excepts those 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 of a Chairman, two Members and Secretary-cum-Controller of Examinations.
  • The tenure of Chairman/Members is for five years or till they attain the age of 62 years, whichever is earlier.

Official Language

  • Article 343 (ii 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 purpose even after 25 January 1965.
  • Accordingly, section 3(2) of the Official 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 purposes 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 3(4) of the Official languages Act, 1963.


  • A Committee of Parliament on Official Language was 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 Kendriya Hindi Samiti was constituted in the year 1967. It is chaired by the Prime Minister
  • It is the apex policy making body which lays down the guidelines for the propagation and progressive use of Hindi as Official Language of the Union.


  • The Kendriya Hindi Prashikshan Sansthan was established on 31 August 1985.
  • The Central Translation Bureau was set up in March 1971 for translation having Headquarters in New Delhi.


  • 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, telegrams, telex, etc., in Hindi.

  • A Quarterly Progress Report is called for from 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 copies endorsed to State Government and the Ministries/Departments of the Central Government.

Comptroller and Auditor-General

  • Comptroller and Auditor-General is appointed by the President.
  • Procedure and 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.
  • The President on advice of Comptroller and Auditor-General prescribes the form in which accounts of the Union and states are to be kept.
  • His reports on accounts of the Union and states are submitted to the President and respective governors which are placed before Parliament and state legislatures.

Administrative Reforms And Public Grievances

  • Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions is the nodal personnel and administrative reforms agency in the country. It is headed, politically by the Prime Minister and administratively, by the Personnel Secretary.
  • In 1985,, a new full-fledged Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensionswas created.With three separate departments i.e (a) Department of Personnel and Training; (b) Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances; (c) Department of Pensions and Pensioner's Welfare.
  • The Various agencies which work under the administrative control of the Ministry are:
  • Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)
  • Staff Selection Commission (SSC)
  • Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB)
  • Central Vigilance Commission (CV-C)
  • Central Bureau of-Investigation (CBI)
  • Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT)
  • National Academy of Administration (NAA)
  • Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA)
  • A Commission on Review of Administrative Laws was set up by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances on 8 May 1998 with a view to identify proposals for amendment of the existing laws, regulations and procedures having inter-sectoral impact and also for repeal of all dysfunctional laws.

  • The Department set up a Second Administrative Reforms Commission AR in 2005 under the Chairmanship of Shri Veerappa Moily to prepare a detailed blueprint for revamping the pubic administrative system.

Reports of Second Administrative ReformCommission

  • Civil Service Reforms Second ARC in its 10th Report in Nov. 2008 on the subject “Refurbishing of Personal Administration has given various recommendation on Civil Services Reforms The recommendations include: (1) State of entry into Civil Services (2) Age of entry and number of attempts (3) Structure of Civil Services Examination (4) Othermodes of induction into Civil Services (5) Allotmen of cadres to All India Services.

  • First Report of ARC - ‘Right to Information: Master key to Good Governance

  • 2nd report of ARC: - Unlocking Human Capital: Entitlements and Governance - a case study

  • 3rd report ARC-crisis management

  • 4th report ARC- Ethics in Governance

  • 5th report of ARC-Public Order

  • 6th report of ARC-Local Governance

  • 7th Report - ‘Capacity Building for Conflict Resolution

  • 8th Report - Combating Terrorism

  • 9th Report - Social Capital-A shared Destiny

  • 10th Report - Scaling New Heights

  • 11th Report - Promoting e-Governance: The SMART Way Forward

  • 12th Report - Citizen Centric Administration

  • 13th Report- Organisational structure of Gout of India

  • 14th Report - Strengthening financial management systems

  • 15 Report - State arid district administration

Administrative Tribunals

  • The enactment of Administrative Tribunal Act in 1985 opened a new chapter in the sphere of administering justice to the aggrieved government servants. 
  • Administrative Tribunals Act owes its origin to Article 323-A of the Constitution which empowers Central Government to set-up 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.

  • As a result of the judgement dated 18 March1997 of the Supreme Court, the appeals against orders of an Administrative Tribunal shall lie before the Division Bench of the concerned High Court.
  • The Administrative Tribunals exercise jurisdiction only in relation to the service matters of the litigants covered by the Act.
  • The Act provides for establishment of Central Administrative Tribunal CAT) and the State Administrative Tribunals.
  • The CAT was set-upon I 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.

Inter-State Council

  • 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 made by the Sarkaria Commission on Centre-State 4elations, the Inter-State. dated 28 May 1990.

  • 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 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.


  • State executive consists of Governor and Council of Ministers with Chief Minister as its head.
  • The Governor of a State is appointed by the President for a term of five years and holds office during his pleasure.
  • Only ‘Indian citizens above 35 years of age are eligible for appointment to this office. Executive power of the State is vested in Governor.
  • Council of Ministers with Chief Minister as head, aids and advises Governor in exercise of his functions except in so far as he is by or under the Constitution required to exercise his functions or any of them in his discretion.

  • In respect of Nagaland, Governor has special responsibility under Article 37TA of the Constitution with respect to law and order.
  • Similarly, in respect of Arunachal Pradesh, Governor has special responsibility under Article 371 H of the Constitution with respect to law and order and in discharge of his functions in relation thereto.
  • Likewise, in the Sixth Schedule which applies to tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya. Tripura and ““- Mizoram as specified in para 20 of that Schedule, discretionary powers are given to Governor in matters relating to sharing of royalties between district council and stage government.

  • Sixth Schedule vests additional discretionary powers in Governors of Mizoram Tripura in almost all Their functions (except approving regulations for levy of taxes and money lending by non-tribals by district councils) since December 1998.

  • In Sikkim, Governor has been given special responsibility for peace and social and economic advancement of different sections of population.

Council Of Ministers

  • The Chief Minister is appointed by the Governor who also appoints other ministers on the— advice of the Chief Minister.
  • The Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to legislative assembly of the State.


  • For every state, there is a legislature which consists of Governor and one House or, two Houses as the case may be.
  • In Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, there are two Houses known as Legislative council and legislative assembly.
  • In the remaining states, there is only one House known as legislative assembly.
  • Parliament may, by law, provide for abolition of an existing legislative council or for creation of one where it does not exist, if proposal is supported by a resolution of the legislative assembly concerned.

Legislative Council

  • Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad) of a state comprises not more than one-9f total number of members in legislative assembly of the state arid in no case less than 40 members (Legislative Council of Jammu and Kashmir has 36 members vide Section 50 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir).

Manner of Election

  1. 1/3 are elected by the members of local bodies in the state like municipalities, district boards, etc.
  2. 1/12 are e1cted by graduates of three years standing and residing within the state.
  3. 1/12 are elected by teachers of three years standing in the state, not lower in standard than secondary school.
  4. 1/3 are elected by the members of the legislative assembly of the state from.


Article No. Subject-matter
Article 153 Governors of States
Article 154 Executive Power of State
Article 155 Appointment of Governor
Article 156 Term of Office of Governor
Article 157 Qualifications for appointment as Governor
Article 158 Conditions of Governors Office
Article 159 Oath or Affirmation by the Governor
Article 160 Discharge of the functions of the Governor in certain contingencies
Article 161 Power of the Governor to grant pardons and others.
Article 162 Extent of executive power of State
Article 163 Council of ministers to aid and advise the Governor
Article 164 Other provisions as to ministers like appointments, term, salaries, and others.
Article 165 Advocate-General for the State.
Article 166 Conduct of business of the Government of a state
Article 167 Duties of the Chief Minister regarding furnishing of information to the Governor, and so on
Article 174 Session of the state legislature, prorogation and dissolution.
Article 175 Right of the Governor to address and send messages to the house or houses of the state legislature.
Article 176 Special Address by the Governor.
Article 200 Assent to bills (i.e. assent of the Governor to the bills passed by the state legislature).
Article 201 Bills reserved by the Governor for consideration of the President.
Article 213 Power of Governor to promulgate ordinances.
Article 217 Governor being consulted by the President in the matter of the appointments of the judges of the High Courts.
Article 233 Appointment of district judges by the Governor.
Article 234 Appointments of persons (other than district judges) to the judicial service of the state by the Governor. amongst persons who are not members of the assembly, and

5. The remainder are nominated by the governor from amongst persons who have a special knowledge or practical experience of literature, science, art, cooperative movement and social service.

Legislative Assembly

  • Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) of a state consists of not more than 500 and not less than 60 members (Legislative Assembly of Sikkim has 32 members vide Article 371F of the Constitution) chosen by direct election from territorial constituencies in the state.

Reservation of Bills

  • The Governor of a state may reserve any Bill for the consideration of the President.
  • Bills relating to subjects -like compulsory acquisition of property, measures affecting powers and position of High Courts and imposition of taxes on storage, distribution and sale ofwater or electricity in inter- tate river or river valley development projects should necessarily be so reserved.

  • No Bills seeking to impose restrictions on interstate trade can be introduced in a state legislature without previous sanction of the President.

Union Territories

  • Union Territories are administrated by the President acting to such extent, as he thinks fit, through an Administrator appointed by him.

Administrative-Systemof Union Territories

Union Territories Executive Legislature Judiciary
1 Andaman and Nicobar Island Lt. Governor -- Under Calcutta High Court
2. Chandigarh Chief Commissioner -- Under Punjab and Haryana High Court
3. Dadra and Nagar Haveli Administrator -- Under Bombay High Court
4. Daman and Diu Administrator -- Under Bombay High Court
5. Delhi (a) Lt. Governor
(b) Chief Minister
(c) (Council of Ministers)
Legislative Assembly Separate High Court Court
6. Lakshadweep Administrator -- Under Kerala High
7. Pondicherry (a) Lt. Governor
(b) Chief Minister
(c) Council of Ministers
Legislative Assembly Under Madras High Court


  • The first such Municipal Corporation was set-up in the former Presidency Town of Madras in 1688; and was followed by similar corporations in the then Bombay and Calcutta in 1726.
  • While the Directive Principles of State Policy refer to village Panchayats, there is no specific reference to Municipalities except the implicitly in Entry 5 of the State List, which places the subject of local self-governments as a responsibility of the states.

  • In order to provide for a common framework for urban local bodies and help to strengthen the functioning of the bodies as effective democratic units of self-government, Parliament enacted the Constitution (74th Amendment) Act, 1992 (known-as Nagarpalika Act) relating to municipalities in 1992.
  • The Act received the assent of the President on 20 April 1993.
  • The Government of India notified 1 June 1993 as the date from which the said Act came into force.
  • A new part IX-A relating to the Municipalities has been incorporated in the Constitution to provide for among other things, constitution of three types of Municipalities, i.e., Nagar Panchayats for areas in transition from a rural area to urban area, Municipal Councils for smaller urban areas and Municipal Corporation for large urban areas.

  • In twelfth schedule 18 items are places within the purview of the municipalities. Some of important items are as follows:
  • Urban Planning including town planning.
  • Planning for economic and social development .
  • Roads and bridges.
  • Water supply for domestic, industrial and commercial purposes.
  • Public health, sanitation, conservancy and solid waste management.
  • Urban forestry, protection of the environment and promotion of ecological aspects.
  • Urban—poverty alleviation.
  • Vital statistics including registration of births and deaths.

Articles Related To Municipalities

Article No. Subject-matter
Article 243P Definitions
Article 243Q Constitution of municipalities
Article 243R Composition of municipalities
Article 243S Constitution and composition ofwards
committees, and so on
Article 243T Reservation of seats
Article 243U Duration ofmunicipalities, and so on
Article 243V Disqualifications for membership
Article 243W Powers, authority and responsibilities
of municipalities, and so on
Article 243X Powers to impose taxes by, and funds
of, the municipalities
Article 243Y Finance Commission
Article 243Z Audit of accounts of municipalities
Article 243ZA

Article 243ZB

Election to the municipalities

Application to union territories

Article 243ZC Part not to apply to certain areas
Article 243Z-D Committee for district planning
Article 243ZE Committee formetropolitan planning
Article 243ZF Continuance of exiting laws and municipalities
Article 243ZG Bar to inference by—courts in electoral matters


  • Article 40 of the Constitution which enshrines one of the Directive Principles of State Policy lays down that the State shall take steps to organise village panchayats and endow them with such powers and, authority as may be necessary to- enable them to function as units of self government.
  • In the light of the above a new Part IX relating to the Panchayats has been inserted in the Constitution to provifor among other things:
  • direct elections to all seats in Panchayats at the village and intermediate level, if any, and to the offices of Chairpersons of Panchayats at such levels;
  • reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in proportion to their population for membership of Panchayats and office of Chairpersons in Panchayats at each level;
  • reservation of not less than one-third of the seats for women; and
  • fixing tenure of five years for Panchayats and holding elections within a period of six months in the event of supersession of any Panchayat.
  • In eleventh schedule 29 items are places within the purview of the panchayats. Some of important items are as follows:
  • Agriculture, including agricultural extension
  • Minor irrigation, water management and watershed development.
  • Social forestry and farm forestry.
  • Small-scale industries, including food processing, industries.
  • Drinking Water.
  • Rural electrification, including distribution of electricity.
  • Non-conventional energy sources.
  • Poverty alleviation programme.
  • Education, including primary and secondary schools.
  • Technical training and vocational education.
  • Health and sanitation, including hospitals, primary health centres and dispensaries.
  • Public distribution system.

Election Commission

  • Since its inception in 1954) and till October 1989, the Commission functioned as a single member body consisting of the Chief Election Commissioner.
  • On 16 October 1989 the President appointed two more Election Commissioners on the eve of the General Election to the House of the People held in November-December 1989.
  • However, the said two Commissioners ceased to hold office on 1 January 1990 when those two posts of Election Commissioners were abolished. Again on 1 October 1993, the President appointed two more Election Commissioners.

  • Simultaneously, the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Conditions of Service) Act, 1991 was amended to provide that the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners will enjoy equal powers and will receive equal salary, allowances—and other perquisites as payable to a judge of the Supreme Court of India.

Articles Related To Panchayat

Article No. Subject-matter
Article 243 Definitions
Article 243A Gram Sabha
Article 243B Constitution of Panchayats
Article 243C Composition of Panchayats
Article 243D Reservation of Seats
Article 243E Duration of Panchayats, and so on
Article 243F Disqualifications for membership
Article 243G Powers, authority and responsibilities of Panchayats
Article 243H Powers to impose taxes by, and funds of, the panchayats
Article 2431 Constitution of finance commission to review financial position
Article 243J Audit of accounts of panchayats
Article 243K Elections to the panchayats
Article 243L Application to union territories
Article 243M Part not to apply to certain areas
Article 243N Continuance of existing laws and panchayats
Article 243O Bar to interfere by courts in electoral mateers


State Year of Enactment
1. Tamil Nadu 1997
2. Goa 1997
3. Rajasthan 2000
4. Kamataka 2000
5. Delhi 2001
6. Maharashtra* 2002
7. Assam 2002
8. Madhya Pradesh 2003
9. Jammu & Kashmir 2004
*Maharashtra repealed its earlier Right to Information Act of 2000 to bring out an improved one in 2002
  • The Act further provided that in case of difference of opinion amongst the Chief Election Commissioner and/or two other Election Commissioners, the matterwill be decided by the Commission by majority.
  • Independence of the Election Commission and its insulation fromexecutive interference is ensured by a specific provision under Article 324(5) of the Constitution that the Chief Election Commissioner shall not be removed from his office except in like manner and on like grounds as a Judge of the Supreme Court and conditions of his service shall not be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.
  • The other Election Commissioners cannot be removed from office except on recommendation of the Chief Election Commissioner.
  • The term of office of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners is six years fromthe date he/she assumes office or till the day he/she attains the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.


  • The Parliament-on-22-March 2003 enacted the Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 2003 and Conduct of Elections (Amendment) Rules, 2003 which came into force with effect from 22 September 2003.

  • This Act also amended Section 77(1) regarding maintenance of election expenses by candidates whereby expenditure incurred by specified number of ‘leaders’ of a political party on account of travel by air or by any othermeans of transport for propagating programme of the political party alone shall be exempted from being included in the account of election expenses incurred by the candidate in connection with the election.

  • The Parliament on 1 January 2004 enacted the Delimitation (Amendment) Act, 2003 whereby Section 4 of the Principal Act was amended provide that the Delimitation will be held on the basis of the 2001 Census figures.

  • Parliament on 28 August 2003 enacted the Representation of the People (Amendment) Act, 2003 whereby open ballot system was introduced at elections to the Council of States.
  • In this system an elector who belongs to a political party is required to show the ballot paper after marking his vote to an authorised agent of that political party.
  • The requirement that a candidate contesting an election to the Council of States from a particular State should be an elector in that particular State was also dispensed with.

Electoral Reforms

  • In C.W.P. No. 4912 of 1998 (Kushra Bharat Vs. Union of India and Others), the Delhi High Court directed that information relating to government dues owed by candidates to the departments dealing with Government accommodation, electricity, water, telephone and transport (including aircrafts and helicopters) and any other dues should be furnished by the candidates and this information should be published by the election authorities under the Commission in at least two newspapers having local circulation, for information of electors.

Right To Information

  • In 2005, the Parliament has enacted a new legislation - the Right to Information Act (2005). This new Act replaces the old Freedom of Information Act, 2002, which was unnotified and hence, not operational.

  • The newlegislation confers on all citizens the right of access to the information and, correspondingly, makes the dissemination of such information an obligation on all public authorities. It aims at promoting transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority It has the widest possible reach covering Central Government, state governments, panchayati raj institutions, local bodies and recipients of government grants. Some important provisions are mentioned below:

  • It fixes a 30-day deadline for providing information; deadline is 48 hours if information concerns life or liberty of a person.

  • Information will be free for people below poverty line. For others, fee will be reasonable.

  • It provides for the establishment of a Central Information Commission and State Information Commissions to implement the provisions of the Act. They will be independent high-level bodies to act as appellate authorities and vested with the powers of a civil court.

  • The President will appoint a Chief Information Commissioner and governors of state will appoint state information commissioners. Their term will be five years.

  • The Act overrides the Official Secrets Act, 1923. The information commissions can allow access to the information if public interest outweighs harm to protected persons.

  • Its purview does not extend to intelligence and security organizations like Intelligence Bureau RAW- BSF,-CISF, NSG and so-on. However, information pertaining to allegations of corruption or violation of human rights by these organisations will not be excluded.