All About Indian Administrative System

#1. Indian Administrative System – History & Evolution

Indian administrative system has its roots from ancient administrative system it has evolved in three phases

Ancient phase

  • In ancient India, the study of administration starts with work of Kautilya.
  • Kautilya’s Arthashashtra is major source of information about the administrative system of ancient India

Medieval phase

  • Mughals also had an efficient administrative system.
  • They worked in centralization of system

Modern phase

  • The present system has its roots from British administrative system.
  • Indian administrative system adopted features like the parliamentary system, judicial system, rule of law from British administrative system.

#2. About Indian Administrative System  

  • India is a democratic country with various diversities.
  • The Indian government is federal so there is a clear separation of powers and subjects between union government and state government.
  • 7th schedule of constitution allocates the power and functions between Centre and states. It contains 3 lists –

Union List – List 1 contains 100 items. Parliament has exclusive power to legislate on this subject.
State List – List 2 contains 61 items.
Concurrent List – List 3 contains 52 items. Union government along with state has the power to legislate on this subject.

  • Some states have given special provisions under article 371.
  • Special status has been given to Jammu and Kashmir under article 370.
  • At the district level administration by constitutional amendment act 73 and 74, Panchayat and urban local bodies are added.

#3. Indian Administrative System – Structure

Given below is political and administrative organizational structure of The Union & States:

Union State

Council of Minister

Parliament & Supreme Court

Council of Ministers

Legislature & High Courts
Chief Minister


State Secretariat

District Administration


Local Self-Government

Indian Administrative System

#4. Functions of Indian Administrative Systems

  • Indian administration is accountable to the people of India.
  • The main function is to act in accordance with objectives laid down in Preamble of the constitution, DPSP, FR.
  • To secure all its citizens’ liberty, equality and fraternity.
  • To work for socio economic welfare of society
  • To formulate and implement the projects for the economic development
  • Work for government instead for the political party in power

#5. Features of Indian Administrative System

  • Democratic decentralization
  • Federal structure
  • Welfare administration
  • Making and modifying policies from time to time.
  • No involvement in political activities
  • Development administration
  • Provisions of reservation in services for SC, ST, and other backward classes
  • Provision of administrative tribunal
  • Transparency in administration
    1. Citizen friendly
    2. E- governance
    3. Independent administrative agencies such as – UPSC, CAG, CVC, Election commission, Finance commission

#6. Issues in Indian Administrative System

  • Red Tapism
  • Improper management of internal structure
  • Inefficient implantation of policies
  • Lack Accountability and transparency
  • Local governance is weakly empowered
  • Corruption
  • Political interference allows nepotism in administration

#7. Reform Committees in Indian Administrative System

To bring the reforms in the administrative system a committee was formed to present the report on the administrative reforms.

  • First Administrative reforms commission was chaired by Morarji Desai and later on Hanumanthaia.
  • It gives recommendations on
  1. Fifth central pay commission
  2. Suggested reforms to fight against corruption
  3. Reforms in civil services
  4. Suggested introduction of performance budgeting
  • Second Administrative reforms commission was constituted on 31 August 2005 under the chairmanship of Veerappa Moily.
  • In second ARC report, recommendations suggested for state and district administrations are as follows
  1. Creation of District Council with a representation of rural and urban bodies as the true third tier of government.
  2. Autonomy of Panchayat in respect to personnel
  3. Establishment of ombudsman at local levels
  4. Metropolitan Police Authorities should be constituted in large cities.
  5. Agencification, for conducting a wide range of functions
  6. There is a need for a right balance between autonomy and accountability while designing the institutional framework of executive agencies.
  7. Internal Restructuring of the State Secretariat
  8. In order to address the genuine and legitimate concerns of the local people, there is need to continue the political dialogue among various stakeholders.
  9. Process Re-engineering and use of Information Technology
  10. In case of North east districts, Autonomous Districts/Councils in Sixth Schedule Areas should also be covered by the StateFinance Commission and the State Election Commission.
  11. There should be prudent and realistic economic assumptions in the formulation of budget estimates.
  12. An environment for a responsive and citizen friendly district administration in line with the principles of decentralization and subsidiarity.
  13. The laws regarding the Lokayukta would need to be amended to incorporate the changes suggested in the Report on `Ethics in Governance’.
  14. Separate Focus on Policy Making and Implementation
  15. There should be a separate Standing Committee of the State Legislature for the local Bodies

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