(Sample Material) Gist of IIPA Journal: Role of All-India Services in Centre-State Relation U.C. Agarwal

(Sample Material) Gist of Important Articles from IIPA Journal

Topic: Role of All-India Services in Centre-State Relation U.C. Agarwal

The All-India Services, (AIS) are unique feature of our federal, polity. It is the view of many constitutional exports that the Indian Constitution though federal in form is unitary in substance. Many of the legislative, judicial financial and administrative powers vested in the Centerpiece little doubt that the Union has been, assigned a more decisive and even over-riding powers over the states.

The AIS scheme is a part of this general policy or making the Centre strong in the overall constitutional arrangements. The founding fathers of the Constitution had deep knowledge and understanding of our history. The one basic lesson of Indian history that they were painfully aware of was that the country had time and again got divided and fragmented whenever the central authority had become weak and lost control over ambitious provincial chieftains. On such occasion many of them had declared them Independence from the central power. That explains why Indio had more than 500 princely states of varying sizes at the time of independence in 1947. Nearly one-third of India was under their rule. Due to various political and administrative reasons the British had allowed these native rulers to continue and rule their stares but under Great Britain’s sovereignty. The Britishers directly ruled over the rest of the country. The 500 and odd princely Slates were independent entities before they came under the British sovereign. Politically the whole of India thus became one country during the British period only. Even during the Maurya, Gupta and Mughal periods the entire country was not politically one nation state.

Knowing this unfortunate reality of India’s long history the founding fathers of the Constitution decided in favour of a-strong Centre which could curb any divisive and fissiparous tendencies. The Constituent Assembly’s Union Powers Committee also unanimously recommended that it would be injurious to the interests of the country to provide for a weak Central authority which could be incapable of ensuring peace of ensuring peace, of coordinating vital matters of common concern… and that the soundest framework of our Constitution is a federation with a strong Centre. While the vastness of the country and the variety of its people with regional and economic differences did call for large distribution of powers among smaller states, the demands of national unity peace and tranquility in the country as also economic cohesiveness required a strong central authority. To ensure an effective role for the, Central Government in the administration of the country, one of the factors considered necessary was to have some acceptable and-durable link between the state and the Central administrations. After, consultation with the states the scheme of AIS was accordingly made a part or the new Constitution. Centre’s pre-dominance role was further ensured by providing for a common election commission and a common higher judiciary for the states and the Centre. The President was also empowered to appoint state governors to ensure that government of the states are carried on In accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. For this he has also been given constitutional powers to dissolve state legislatures and recommend imposition of President’s Rule if situations as laid down in the Constitution so demanded. The above arrangements establish the fact that our federation has strong unitary contents. Dr. Ambedkar one of the main architects of the Constitution had observed that the Indian Union can be “both unitary and federal according to the requirements of time and circumstances." His observation is based on the fact that the polity though generally federal in form can also become unitary in character when so required and for this purpose several constitutional provisions and institutions empower the Centre to effectively intervene in the governance of any state. Separatist movements in some states in the eighties had in fact led to imposition of President’s rule in those states.

Among the various institutions and the instruments of governance which have been designed to strengthen the hands of the Centre the AIS is one of these. The AIS have proved to be very strong uniting links between the Centre and the states in the day-to-day administration of the country as these services are common between the Centre and the states. They provide uniform standards of administration of the country as these services are common between the Centre and the states. They provide uniform standards of administration from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Dwarka to Dibrugarh.

Sardar Patel, the Home Minister and Deputy Prime at the time of Constitution making of free India made the following observations in the Constituent Assembly to support the continuance of the two then existing AIS, i.e., the ICS and IP with changed names of IAS and IPS:

In consultation with, and with the unanimous support of provincial governments, we have evolved two new services to take the place of the Indian Police, viz., the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service. We have made recruitment, have issued rules of recruitment, discipline, control, etc. and have entered into agreement with candidates for these services.

It needs hardly to be emphasized that an efficient, disciplined and contended service assured of its prospects as a result of diligent and honest work, is a sine qua non of sound administration under democratic regime even more than under an authoritarian rule. The service must be above party and we should ensure that political considerations, either in its recruitment or in its discipline and control are reduced to the minimum, if not eliminated altogether.

He further clarified that:

“In and All India Service, It is obvious, recruitment, discipline and control, etc., have to be tackled on the basic of uniformity and under the directions of the Central Government which is the recruiting agency. You will recall that all these matters have been settled at a conference of Prime Ministers, as the state Chief Ministers were, (then known convened in 1946) and details have been settled by correspondence with provincial governments. No criticism, therefore, can be made that either in the formation of these services or in the preparation of necessary rules and regulations, provincial susceptibilities and views find no place. Indeed there was a remarkable unanimity between, the views of the Provincial Governments and those of the Central Government throughout on these questions. Any pricking of the conscience on the score of provincial autonomy or on the need for substring the prestige and powers of Provincial Minister is, therefore, out of place”.

Sardar Patel had to say all this as some members had felt that imposition of the AIS on the states may affect provincial autonomy so important in a federal policy. Sardar Patel accordingly clarified that the AIS scheme has the near unanimous approval of all the provinces and that it is not being thrust upon them. Prior consent of the federating states had been taken before providing the AIS scheme in the Constitution.

The Central Government had in 1946 consulted the provincial government regarding the future of the existing two All-India Services, i.e., the ICS and the IP. As stated in the Constituent Assembly by Sardar Patel, there was “a remarkable unanimity” between the provincial leaders to continue the existing AIS in the new federal set up of the country also. Even so the Constituent Assembly only wished to empower Parliament under Article 312 is a general way to create “one or more AIS common to the Union and the State” by law and leave it at that. It did not consider it necessary to speicfically give any constitutional status or recognition to the existing AIS. Sardar Patel however did not agree to this limited approach and wanted that such important matters of governance could not be left to the future uncertainties. Accordingly, clause (2) was added to Article 312 which reads:

The Services known at the commencement of this Constitution as the Indian Administrative Service and the India Police Service shall be deemed to be service created by Parliament under this article.

This additional provision thus constitutionally ensure the continuance of the two existing AIS without for any further Parliamentary law. Sardar Patel had his own apprehensions about the future shape of things to come with regard to Centre-State relations. His fears have indeed proved to be correct as shown by subsequent events, for despite several attempts, no new AIS, except the Indian Forest Services, could be set up after that. The states have become averse to part with any of their powers or to share these with the Central Government in the larger national interests.

Any positive and long-term national approach in solving problems or disputes between the states or between the Centre and one or more states is now gradually becoming more gradually becoming more difficult for a variety of reasons. That such situation who accordingly wisely made several constitutional provisions and institutional arrangements for a more cooperative form of government with a predominant role for the Centre. During the British rule there were AIS in the fields of Education, Medical and Health Engineering (Rood, Buildings, Irrigation) and Forests, etc. However, between 1919 and 1935 with gradual devolution of powers and functions to the provinces, barring the ICS and IPS, all other AIS were provincialised. Since this had led to noticeable foil in the standards of administration, the need to revive few of the other AIS, had been fields for, a longtime, Keeping this aspect In mind, the AIS Act of 1951 was amended by Parliament in 1963 to empower Central Government consultation with the states, to create and notify AIS in the fields of Education, Health, Engineering and Forest. But as mentioned earlier, this power has remained only on paper except for the creation of the Indian Forest Service in 1966. Unfortunately, with the march of time, leaders of all-India Forest Service in 1966. Unfortunately, with the march of time, leaders of all-India stature and vision are becoming scarce. “Narrow domestic walls” are getting erected in the country by emphasizing on smaller identities of caste, language, region or ethnicity. There are fewer and fewer political leaders who now talk about “one India”. The Central rule of regional parties. It is fortunate, that at the dawn of India’s independence, the galaxy of great leaders with national vision had recognised the importance of common AIS between the Centre and the states on a day today basic continuance of the AIS would be of immense value advantage for the good governance of the country. It was also realised that such services would be even more useful for coordinated and balanced socio-economic development of all the regions of the country as visualized in the Constitution. The Directive Principles of State Policy in Chapter IV of the Constitution had enumerated several areas of socio-economic development to be pursued by the state. This required coordinated economic policies and planning for the whole country through a Central Planning Commission. The effective implementation of the plans would be facilitated if there were common higher civil services between the Centre and the states.

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