Cabinet Secretary of India

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Cabinet Secretary of the Republic of India
भारत गणराज्य के मंत्रिमंडल सचिव
Flag of India.svg
Emblem of India.svg
Emblem of India
Incumbent
Ajit Seth, IAS
Reports to
Residence South Block, Secretariat Building, New Delhi
Appointer Prime Minister of India
The cabinet secretary is usually the senior most IAS officer of the senior most batch. The appointee for the office is approved by Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister, based on appointee's ability and strong confidence with Prime Minister
Term length No fixed tenure is imposed on the office but term can be extended
Inaugural holder N. R. Pillai, ICS
Formation 1950
Succession Ajit Seth, IAS
Salary INR90000 (US$1,500) monthly
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.

History[edit]

Origin[edit]

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.

Functions[edit]

The Cabinet Secretariat of India is official office of Cabinet Secretary of India.

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[edit]

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 All India Civil Services[edit]

As head of the All India Civil Services, the incumbent position holder is accountable for ensuring that the Civil Services are 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[edit]

Name[1] From To Notes
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).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India (8 June 2011). "Complete List of Cabinet Secretaries since 1950". New Delhi: Government of India. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 

External links[edit]