Present Indian Administrative System carries the legacy of the British colonial rule. The Constitution of India contains the basic principles regarding the public services and the public service commission. Some significant features of the Indian Administrative System are as follows.
1. Shift from Colonial Policy
After the independence of the country efforts are made to redesign the structure of the Indian Administration to suit the needs of the new nation. Planning is adopted and Planning Commission is designed to undertake the administrative policy making. It resulted in tremendous expansion in the administrative activities of rural development administration and public enterprises. The advent of the Community Development Programme, National Extension Services and the establishment of the Panchayati Raj institution has created a new network of administrative machinery in the country side. Consequently the district administration has undergone radical changes.
2. Administrative Dualism
Owing to the quasi federal nature of Indian political system the executive and administrative powers of the Union and States are co-extensive with their legislative powers. Central Services administer 97 subjects which are constitutionally allocated to Union and State Services administer 66 subjects reserved for States. For the subjects in the Concurrent List, the Union formulates policies and enacts legislations and the responsibility of administration is entrusted to the State Services. Both the Services and State Services are classified into four categories, Viz. Class-I. Class-II, Class-Ill and Class-IV, depending on the responsibility, the nature of work and required qualifications. Class I and II for the Union and States, are recruited respectively through Union Public Service Commission and State Public Service Commissions. Class-Ill consists of clerical staff and Class-IV service constitutes all menial staff which are recruited by the Subordinate Staff Selection Board for Central and Regional Staff Selection Boards for the States.
3. All India Services
All India Services are the successors of Indian Civil Service known as ‘steel-framework‘ of the British Raj. Personnel of All India Services are inter-changeable between the Central and State governments. They occupy strategic positions in the Central as well as State administration. According to Dr. Ambedkar, ‘they are strategic posts from the point of view of maintaining the standards of administration‘ of the country. Article 312 of the Constitution of India empowers the Council of States, in the wider national interest, to recommend to the Union Parliament, creation of All-India services. At present there are two All India Services, viz. Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS). The recruitment for All India Services is done by the Union Public Service Commission. (UPSC)
4. Recruitment to Public Services
Since 1856 recruitment to the Indian administrative system has been made through open competitive examination with an objective to secure for the Indian Civil Service young men who had received the best, the most liberal and the most finished education. The Constitution of India has provided for the Union, State and Joint State Public Service
Commissions and has entrusted them the task of ascertaining the merit of the candidates by conducting competitive examinations and making recommendations to the Union and state Governments in the matter of recruitment to public services. Adequate provisions to ensure their independence and thereby fair recruitment are made in the Constitution of India.
5. Differential Recruitment Policy
While recruiting the staff for Civil Services preferential treatment is given to certain sections on the basis of social backwardness in the form of relaxation of eligibility conditions and reservation in the public employment. According to Art. 16(4) of the Indian Constitution, Centre as well as State governments are required to make provision for the reservation in appointments or posts in favour of any backward class of citizen which in the opinion of the State is not adequately represented in services under the state.
6. Domicile Requirements in State Services
Despite of constitutional obligation to not to discriminate persons on their place of birth many States in India follow the policy of recruiting only the domicile citizen of those States. They justify such policies on the grounds such as moral duty of a State to provide employment to its “Sons of Soil”, possibility of encroachment of public employment by the persons from other states, non familiarity of the ‘outsiders’ with the social cultural environment of those states, and possible emotional non involvement or attachment to the people of the region.
After the independence the method of institutionalized training for Civil Services is adopted in order to impart the specialized education to the new entrants for the efficient conduct of their duties. Revenue and development administration remained the central concern of these orientations. Common institutional training, known as foundation training, is provided to recruits to the All-India and Central Services Class-I, at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussourie. Professional training to the new recruits is provided at various Central Training Institutions. Other training programmes like executive Development Programme, Advanced Management Development Programme etc., are conducted in the National Academy of Administration for the central and All India services.
8. Dominance of Generalists
The Indian Administrative Service is known as generalists who occupy superior positions at ‘policy formulation’ and ‘considerations’ levels in the Central and State secretariats. Apart from this, these cadres are appointed to the specialized executive agencies like Director of Education or Agriculture or Public Health. Despite of fifty percent of the Class-I officers belong to the technical services they are generally excluded from these key positions.
9. A Large Public Sector
The public sector in India covers a vast and varied range of activities as compared to the Private sector. The industrial and commercial undertakings in the public sector in India are classified into three groups:
- Undertakings run directly by the departments of executive agencies of the Government like railways, posts and telegraphs etc.
- Undertakings run by statutory corporations like L.I.C., Indian Airlines, and O.N.G.C. etc.
10. The Public Sector
Sometimes referred to as the state sector is a part of the state that deals with either the production, delivery and allocation of goods and services by and for the government or its citizens, whether national, regional or local/municipal.
Undertakings run by Government Companies registered in accordance with the provisions of the Indian Companies Act, 1956.
11. Planning Commission
Planning Commission was set up, by a Cabinet Resolution, on 15th March, 1950 with an objective ‘to secure rapid advance along democratic and equalitarian lines’. As an expert advisory body to the Cabinet it works in close cooperation with the Union and State Government. It takes initiative in suggesting new policies and programmes and also to co- ordinate policies and programmes of the other agencies of the government. Central and State governments bear the responsibility for decisions and implementing. However, in practice, the planning commission has reduced the importance of the Ministries, the States, and even of the Union Cabinet. It has affected the balance of power and the federal structure by affecting the autonomy of the States and reducing them to the status of ‘doles receiving corporation‘.