Ministries & Department of Government of India Notes for UPSC

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Ministries & Dept of Govt

Govt’s Organizational Structure

  • Prez made “The GoI (Allocation of Business) Rules” under Art 77– It stipulates that business of GoI shall be transacted in Min, Depts, Secretariats & Offices specified in its 1st sch
  • AoBS forms Basis of structure of GoI– It specifies  functional division of work among various Depts—Demarcates their turf to avoid any ambiguity w.r.t R/S

Attached or Subordinate Offices—Under Depts

  • For providing executive direction required in policy implementation
  • Repository of technical information & advise Dept on tech aspects dealt by them.
  • Function as field est for detailed execution of policies

Strengths of the Existing Structure

  • Time Tested System—Contributed to nation building + creation of an inclusive state.
  • Continuity & Stability— As staffed by permanent C.S has provided continuity & stability—contributed to maturing of our democracy.
  • Commitment to Constitution—Political neutrality
  • Link b/w policy making & its implementation—Govt’s framework has facilitated a staffing pattern which promotes such link
  • A national outlook amongst public functionaries—National integration.

Weaknesses of the Existing Structure

  • Proliferation of Ministries/Depts—weak integration & co-ord– Fragmented Gov & silo mentality
  • Undue emphasis on routine functions—Less focus on policy analysis & policy making
  • Rigid hierarchy with too many levels / Multi-layered structure—leads to
    • Delays in D.M
    • Absence of team work
    • Fragmentation of functions
    • Diffused A/C.

Way—2nd ARC

  • Subjects which are closely inter-related should be dealt with together—A golden mean b/w Need for functional specialization & adoption of an integrated approach should be adopted.
  • Separation of policy-making functions from execution—Ministries should give more emphasis on policy-making & delegate implementation to operational units—Bcz policy-making today is a specialized function, which requires a broader perspective, domain expertise while Implementation require in-depth knowledge of subject & managerial skills.
  • Coordinated implementation—Proliferation of vertical Dept makes this impossible
  • Flatter structures— No. of levels + encourage team work—Structure of org should be tailor-made to suit specific objectives—Conventional approach is to adopt uniform vertical hierarchies.
  • Well defined accountability—Clearer demarcation of R/S help in developing a performance Mgt system
  • Appropriate delegation—Principle of subsidiarity
  • Criticality of operational units—Rationalize Govt staff pattern
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Inter-disciplinary approach needed to respond effectively to emerging challenges.

Proliferation of Ministries & Departments / Size of cabinet should be big as governmental work justifies & as big PM can manage as a team. How far is the efficacy of Govt inversely related to size of  cabinet? Discuss.

As Cabinet is the Nerve centre of GoI— It should be framed a/c to requirement—Optimum size

Advantages of large cabinet

  • Functional specialization, focus & resource channelization—To achieve welfare objectives
  • Meet Political compulsions—Coalition
  • Reflects needs of Rep democracy for a diverse country like India.

Disadvantages of Large cabinet / CoM

  • Not conducive for healthy Democracy— More no. of Minister—Less A/C of Govt
  • Overlap of duties, Lack of co-ord—Turf War
  • Inability to adopt an integrated approach to National priorities & problems.
  • Fragmentation of functions

Ex—Diff aspects of transport are dealt by diff Ministries—

  1. MoCA—Civil aviation;
  2. Ministry of Railways—Rail transport
  3. Min of Shipping
  4. Min of Road Transport & Highways
  5. MoUD— Urban transport systems

Advantages of mid-size / Compact cabinet

  • Less burden on Public Exchequer
  • Better co-ord + Integrated approach—Team work
  • Splitting of & equal sharing of R/S

Disadvantages of small/gigantic  cabinet

  • Excessive centralisation of power
  • Excessive  burden
  • conflict of interest
  • Overlapping of duties

PM being leader of Govt need compact cabinet to steer members in a more precise manner

Pragmatic approach

Integrated national approach very imp—Ex—to Implement proposed NCMC or Integrated travelling card

Way—Need to strike a balance b/w requirements of functional specialization & need for a holistic approach.

Thus to evolve an integrated approach—

  • Categorize functions of Govt into a reasonable no. of groups—DRSCs are good ex of integration of inter-connected subject matters—Will enable Govt to streamline ministries & Dept and retaining only those which have direct relevance for core governance functions.
  • Adequate delegation & division of work
  • Office of cabinet secretary be used with greater efficiency
  • Committee of secretaries is a good platform for Inter-ministerial co-ord.
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It would lead to enhanced co-ord & adequate Ministerial Rep in a large & diverse country, w/o causing a proliferation.