Cabinet Secretary (India)
|Cabinet Secretary of Government of India|
Emblem of India
|Residence||South Block, Secretariat Building, New Delhi|
|Appointer||Prime Minister of India|
|Inaugural holder||N. R. Pillai, ICS|
|Succession||Ajit Seth, IAS|
|Website||Cabinet Secretariat of India|
The Cabinet Secretary is the senior-most civil servant in the Government of India. The Cabinet Secretary is the ex-officio head of the Civil Services Board, the Cabinet Secretariat, the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and head of all civil services under the rules of business of the Government of India.
The Cabinet Secretary is under the direct charge of the Prime Minister. Though there is no fixed tenure, the average tenure of the Cabinet Secretary has been less than 3 years. His or her tenure however, can be extended.
His status in the Order of Precedence is above Chiefs of Staff or equivalent in other services holding the rank of full General and equivalent to that of Attorney General and Lieutenant Governors within their territories.
During British colonial rule in India, the agency that carried out governmental business was called the Governor-General-in Council. In 1946, the Council was renamed the Cabinet Secretariat.
After Independence in 1947, the functions of the Secretariat underwent major changes. A series of committees on economic, defence and intelligence matters were constituted under the Cabinet Secretariat. Most of the departments created after Independence functioned under the Cabinet Secretariat, and were later on shifted to the respective ministries. The position holder is accountable for ensuring that the civil service is equipped with the skills and capability to meet the everyday challenges it faces and that civil servants work in a fair and decent environment.
The following are the functions of a Cabinet Secretary:
- Provide assistance to the Council of Ministers
- Act as advisor and conscience keeper of the civil services
- Handle senior appointments
- Prepare the agenda of the Cabinet
- Attend the meetings of the Cabinet
- Ensure that the Cabinet decisions are implemented
- Advise the Prime Minister of India
- Act as the Chairman of the Committee of Secretaries on Administration
- Act as the Chairman of the Chief Secretaries Committee
- Provide an element of continuity and stability to administration during crises
Power and Role in Government
In the Government of India Allocation of Business Rules, 1961 "Cabinet Secretariat" finds a place in the First Schedule to the Rules. The subjects allotted to this Secretariat are, firstly, secretarial assistance to Cabinet and Cabinet Committees, and secondly, the administration of the Rules of Business.
The Cabinet Secretariat is responsible for the administration of the Government of India Transaction of Business Rules, 1961 and the Government of India Allocation of Business Rules 1961, facilitating smooth transaction of business in Ministries/Departments of the Government by ensuring adherence to these rules. The Secretariat assists in decision-making in Government by ensuring Inter-Ministerial coordination, ironing out differences amongst Ministries/Departments and evolving consensus through the instrumentality of the standing/adhoc Committees of Secretaries. Through this mechanism new policy initiatives are also promoted.
The Cabinet Secretariat ensures that the President of India, the Vice-President and Ministers are kept informed of the major activities of all Departments by means of a monthly summary of their activities. Management of major crisis situations in the country and coordinating activities of the various Ministries in such a situation is also one of the functions of the Cabinet Secretariat.
The Cabinet Secretariat has 3 wings: Civil, Military and Intelligence. The Civil wing is the main wing and provides aid, advice and assistance to the Union Cabinet. The purpose of having the Military wing is to provide better coordination in Intelligence and to provide secretarial assistance to the Defence Committee of the Cabinet and the National Defence Council. The Military wing is represented by Major General (or equivalent) who is designated as Joint Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat. The Intelligence wing deals with matters pertaining to the Joint Intelligence Committee of the Union Cabinet. The chief of Research and Analysis Wing R&AW also officially first reports to the Cabinet Secretary, and is officially designated Secretary R in the Cabinet Secretariat.
Head of the Indian Civil Service
As head of the Indian Civil Service, the incumbent position holder is accountable for ensuring that the Civil Service is equipped with the skills and capability to meet the everyday challenges it faces and that civil servants work in a fair and decent environment.
The Cabinet Secretary is arguably India's most powerful bureaucrat and right hand of Prime Minister of India.
List of Cabinet Secretary of India after 1950
|N. R. Pillai||6 February 1950||13 May 1953||He was a member of the Indian Civil Service. He is the first head of the civil service since Independence of India and is also the first from the state of Kerala to hold this post.|
|Y. N. Sukthankar||14 May 1953||31 July 1957||He was a member of the Indian Civil Service.|
|M. K. Vellodi||1 August 1957||4 June 1958||He was a member of the Indian Civil Service. He later served as Chief Minister of Hyderabad State.|
|Vishnu Sahay||1 July 1958||10 November 1960||He was a member of the Indian Civil Service.|
|B. N. Jha||10 November 1960||8 March 1961||He was a member of the Indian Civil Service.|
|Vishnu Sahay||9 March 1961||15 April 1962||He was a member of the Indian Civil Service.|
|S. S. Khera||15 April 1962||18 November 1964||He was a member of the Indian Civil Service. He is the first Sikh to become Cabinet secretary. He was known for use of tanks against rioters in meerut riots of 1947.|
|Dharam Vira||18 November 1964||27 June 1966||He was a member of the Indian Civil Service.|
|D. S. Joshi||27 June 1966||31 December 1968||He was a member of the Indian Civil Service.|
|B. Sivaraman||1 January 1969||30 November 1970||He was a member of the Indian Civil Service.|
|T. Swaminathan||1 December 1970||2 November 1972||He was a member of the Indian Civil Service.|
|B. D. Pande||2 November 1972||31 March 1977||He was a member of the Indian Civil Service. He is the longest serving Cabinet Secretary ever in history of Independent India.|
|N. K. Mukarji||31 March 1977||31 March 1980||He was a member of the Indian Civil Service and the last ICS officer to become head of the civil service of Independent India.|
|S. S. Grewal||2 April 1980||30 April 1981||She is the first IAS to be appointed to this post.|
|C. R. Krishnaswamy Rao||30 April 1981||8 February 1985||He belongs to the IAS (AP:1949 batch).|
|P. K. Kaul||8 February 1985||22 August 1986||He belongs to the IAS (UP:1951 batch).|
|B. G. Deshmukh||23 August 1986||27 March 1989||He belongs to the IAS (Bombay:1951 batch).|
|T. N. Seshan||27 March 1989||23 December 1989||He belongs to the IAS (TN:1955 batch).|
|V. C. Pande||23 December 1989||11 December 1990||He belongs to the IAS (RJ:1955 batch).|
|Naresh Chandra||11 December 1990||31 July 1992||He belongs to the IAS (RJ:1956 batch).|
|S. Rajgopal||1 August 1992||31 July 1993|
|Zafar Saifullah||31 July 1993||31 July 1994||He belongs to the IAS (KA:1958 batch). He was the first and the only Muslim to have ever been appointed Cabinet Secretary of India.|
|Surendra Singh||1 August 1994||31 July 1996||He belongs to the IAS (UP:1959 batch).|
|T. S. R. Subramanian||1 August 1996||31 March 1998||He belongs to the IAS (UP:1961 batch).|
|Prabhat Kumar||1 April 1998||31 October 2000||He belongs to the IAS (UP:1963 batch).|
|T. R. Prasad||1 November 2000||31 October 2002||He belongs to the IAS (AP:1963 batch).|
|Kamal Pande||1 November 2002||14 June 2004||He belongs to the IAS (UL:1965 batch).|
|B. K. Chaturvedi||14 June 2004||13 June 2007||He belongs to the IAS (UP:1966 batch).|
|K. M. Chandrasekhar||14 June 2007||13 June 2011||He belongs to the IAS (KL:1970 batch).|
|Ajit Seth||14 June 2011||Incumbent||He belongs to the IAS (UP:1974 batch).|
- Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India (8 June 2011). "Complete List of Cabinet Secretaries since 1950". New Delhi: Government of India. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- Cabinet Secretariat--Government of India
- Official Portal of the Indian Government
- Union Public Service Commission