Evolution of civil service in India was done by the East India company in 17th century. Servants of company engaged in commercial functions were called civil servants to separate them from naval, military employees. When the company acquired territories these employees were to have administrative responsibilities too. Cornwallis was the Father of civil service started reformation, modernization and rationalization. He felt the civil service should be reserved for Europeans as he didn't trust integrity, ability of Indians, Wanted to reserve positions for British elite and believed administration on British model could be established by British. He also felt that the task of consolidating British rule in India should not be left to Indians.

Central Secretariat

The central secretariat comprises of all ministers and departments of the central government. The central government has many departments and ministries and they are in totality present in the central secretariat.


  1. Helps secretariat officials plan keeping in view aggregate national interest , goals, requirements. So they are freed from policy implementation.
  2. Secretary in charge of a department is a secretary of the government and so can objectively assess proposals from different agencies.
  3. Secretariat ensures specialization, delegation and decongestion at top.
  4. Program implementation is separated from policy making.

Roles and functions:

  1. Helps ministers in policy formulation.
  2. supervises executive agencies.
  3. staff agency of government ensures its decisions are implemented.
  4. Liaison with state administration.
  5. Frames rules, regulations and makes policy proposals.
  6. Assist ministers in discharging parliamentary responsibilities.

Advantage of tenure system:

  1. Administrative coordination between center and states. Thus strengthens federal polity.
  2. Officers who have first hand experience in field administration are appointed to secretariat.
  3. State officials get national perspective.
  4. Officials help in formulating national policies which have less difficulties in implementation in field.
  5. Can remove inefficient secretariat officials.

Breakdown of the tenure system:

  1. District or field experience isn't necessary in many areas of secretariat work.
  2. Doesn't ensure specialization as its based on the myth of high caliber of generalists.
  3. Leads to office dominated over bureaucratization as new officer depends too much on permanent office to get things done.
  4. Development of central secretariat service meant that tenure system was curtailed to top posts.
  5. Specialization services don't fall under tenure system.
  6. Officials don't go back to parent state, states also don't share best officers.
  7. Ministers at center and state need permanent advisors not birds of passage.