Administrative Reforms in India

By K Balaji|Updated : August 25th, 2022

The Administrative reforms in India provide services intended to fulfil the needs of the citizens of this country. This system undergoes various reforms to cater to the new societal changes or to rectify old administrative processes’ faults. After independence, there was a need for a Commission to perform the work of public administration efficient and to guide in reforming the administrative practices as and when needed. Thus, a Commission was set up in January 1966.

The first Administrative Reforms in India are considered the change of colonial rule to the democracy we know today. Since then, many commissions and committees have been established to shape an efficient administrative system.

Importance of Administrative Reform Commission

Reforms are an evident reaction to the new challenges confronting the state association handling public affairs; the main effort is to enhance administrative capacity in the transformed scenario.

Since the civil servants are answerable to political leaders, the emphasis must be on external responsibility mechanisms like social audits, resident alliances, and encouraging civil servants about the outcome approach.

Administrative Reforms in India - Major Committees

  1. Gopal Swami Ayyangar Committee (1949): This was the first committee undertaken by Gopalaswamy Ayyangar, which recommended the grouping of ministries, improvement of the personnel and working of the O&M division, etc.
  2. Gorwala Committee (1951): This committee was set up for bringing Administrative Reforms in India by focusing on the planning and development of the administrative system.
  3. Paul H. Appleby Committee (1953): After a survey, this committee recommended the establishment of an O&M division to improve methods and procedures of administration in the country.
  4. Administrative Reforms Commission (1966-70): Its recommendations led to the establishment of Lokpal and Lokayukta. This committee guided other major Administrative Reforms in India. There have been two Administrative Reforms Commissions (ARC) so far. The ARC set up in 1966 was headed first by Morarji Desai and later by K. Hanumanthaiah. The second ARC was established in 2005 under the leadership of Veerappa Moily.

First Administrative Reforms in India

The first ARC (1966) was set up to make significant reforms in the public administration of India. 20 reports were made in this Commission regarding Administrative Reforms in India and gave 537 recommendations.

The essential issues that got covered in the report of the first ARC were:

  • Centre-State Relationship
  • Financial, Personnel, District, Agricultural and Economic administration
  • Procedures of the Government machinery
  • Planning system at every level of administration
  • Recruitment and training of Service and Central Government posts.
  • Citizen grievances redressal problems
  • Need for specialisation in government administration.

The Commission submitted 20 reports before closing up in the mid-1970s. Recommendations of the first ARC for Administrative Reforms in India are:

  • Advice on the centre-state relations
  • The procedure for high court judge appointments to be transferred to the Ministry of Law
  • The inter-state council must decide the guidelines of discretionary powers of the Governor.
  • Promote Central Direct Taxes Administration to deal with matters relating to imposing and collecting direct taxes.
  • Machinery for Planning (Final).
  • Small Scale Sector.
  • Posts and Telegraphs.
  • Life Insurance Administration.
  • Reserve Bank of India.
  • Public Sector Undertakings.
  • Finance, Accounts & Audit.
  • Scientific Departments.

Second Administrative Reforms in India

The second ARC (2005) aimed to inquire about and remodel public administration. Fifteen reports and 1500 recommendations were submitted, which promoted the Personnel and Administrative Reforms Department Govt of India.

The mandate issues covered that were prioritised in the report of this ARC were:

  • Providing a boost to the financial management infrastructure
  • Improving people administration
  • Drafting measures and Step-plans to implement powerful administration at the State and District level
  • Disaster Management
  • Promoting E-Governance
  • Ensuring good conduct in the government administration
  • Planning the regulatory structure of the Indian Government.

Following were the crucial recommendations of the second ARC:

  • Introduce Crisis Management
  • Right to Information is a vital step toward Good Governance
  • Focus on human capital management
  • Refurbishing Personnel Administration
  • Promotion of citizen-centric administration
  • Recommendations for public order.
  • Combating Terrorism.
  • Strengthening Financial Management Systems.
  • Promoting e-Governance.

Composition of the Second ARC:

Veerappa Moily was the chairperson of the second Administrative Reforms in India. The other group members were V. Ramachandran, Dr A.P. Mukherjee, Dr A.H. Kalro, Jayaprakash Narayan, and Vineeta Rai.

  • The various Administrative Reforms in India PDF have been the foundation of our efficient public administration system.
  • Many recommendations like E-governance, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, and Digital India have helped pave the way for more progressive administration methods in the country.

Implementation of Second Administrative Reforms

The Government comprised a Group of Ministers (GoM) in 2007 to look into and review the recommendations of the Second Administrative Reforms for further implementation. This Group of Ministers included the listed fifteen reports:

Report Name

Recommendations Approved

First report

Right to Information: Key to Good Governance

Second Report

Unclosing human funds: Entitlements and Government – a Case Study relating to NREGA

Third report

Crisis Management From Despair to Hope

Fourth Report

Ethics in Governance

Fifth Report

Public order

Sixth Report

Local Governance

Seventh Report

Capacity Building for Conflict Resolution

Eight Report

Combating Terrorism Protecting by Righteousness

Ninth Report

Social Capital-A Shared Destiny

Tenth Report

Refurbishing of Personnel Administration- Scaling New Heights

Eleventh Report

Promoting e-governance: The intelligent way Forward

Twelfth Report

Citizen-Centric Administration – The Heart of Governance

Thirteenth Report

Organisational Structure of Government of India

Fourteenth Report

Strengthening Financial Management System

Fifteenth Report

State and District Administration

Thus, in total roughly 12 reports have been considered, so far. The remaining three reports (Report number five, tenth, and fourteen) are also known to be considered shortly by the group of ministers.

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FAQs on Administrative Reforms in India

  • Two major administrative reforms commissions first and second have brought Administrative Reforms to India.

  • ARC stands for Administrative Reform Commission, a body nominated by the Government of India to review the public administration system in India.

  • The main objective of establishing administrative reforms in India is to encourage government administrative agencies to implement beneficial policies for the public efficiently and bring modifications to society.

  • Morarji Desai introduced the first Administrative Reforms in India. Administrative Reforms addressed issues and improvised the existing organisational system by catering to new government policies.

  • Administrative Reforms in India are a political process developed to adapt the relationships between powers of the Government and other elements in a society or within the bureaucracy itself.

  • The First ARC or Administrative Reform Commission was set up to build recommendations and bring reform to the public administration system of India. The ARC made 20 reports and gave 537 main recommendations, out of which the 13th report explains the concern of the Centre-State relationship.

  • The first administrative reform commission got established on 5 January 1966. The Administrative Reforms Commission, whose initial chairman was Morarji Desai.

  • The main objective is to improve a high proficient benchmark of professional public management in terms of work quality, outcomes attained, benefits delivered, enriched administrative culture, ethical behaviour and political impartiality.

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