Role of Bureaucracy In India
In modern administrative system of India , the bureaucracy or the Civil Service plays a crucial role.
In a democratic system of government, the power to govern is entrusted to the elected representatives of the people. In Parliamentary democracies such as that of India the council of ministers with the Prime Minister at the head ‘administers‘ the country. The ‘Council of Ministers’ for all its acts of commission and commission, remain responsible to the Parliament. The ministers thus constitute what is known as the political executive. The primary function of the Council of Ministers is to formulate the policies of the government.
Every administrative department of government is placed under the charge of a minister responsible to the legislature. A minister is thus, the political head of an administrative department.
The continuity and expertness in administration is contributed by the bureaucracy of the civil service. In an ideal situation, the minister contributes policy while the civil service applies the policies in concrete situations. Thus the minister and the Civil Service together make up the total administrative set up.
The founding fathers of the Indian constitution were fully alive to the need for a well organized bureaucracy in India. Indeed India Bureaucracy is the inherited model of a bureaucracy from the British Raj. The constitution improved on the model left behind by the “Raj.”
Thus, since India is a federation there is provision for dual civil service; service under the Union and service under the State governments. In the words of Dr. Ambedkar “the dual polity is followed by a dual service” in all federations. Ambedkar emphasized that the Indian federation though a dual policy will have a dual service but with one exception. The constitution provides that without depriving the states of their right to form their own civil services, there shall be an All India Service, recruited on an All India basis with common qualifications, uniform scale of pay etc.” Thus the Civil service in India is divided into two categories: All India Services and the State Civil Service. Besides Art 312 create a special category of service—which is common to both the Union and the State. Two services of this type are (1) The Indian Administrative service and (2) The Indian Police Service. The All India Services are designed to give greater cohesion to the federal structure and to conduce to greater efficiency in the administration of the Union and the States. Such an integrated Civil Service is a unique feature of the Indian political system. Given the diversity and divisiveness inherent in the Indian political system, the integrated civil service was an unavoidable necessity.
The members of the civil service are recruited on merit on the basis of competitive examinations conducted by the Union Public Service Commission in case of All India Service and State Public Service Commission in case of State services. The members of the services hold office during the pleasure of the President in case of All India Services and of the state governor in case of state services (Art. 310). But the pleasure of the President or the Governor cannot be arbitrary. Such pleasures are exercised subject to legal limitations stipulated by Art 311 of the Constitution.
As has already been pointed out, the bureaucracy in India, both at the union and the states level constitutes the backbone of the administration. In Indian administrative hierarchy, the President at the union and Governor at the state level is the constitutional head. The council of ministers constitutes the political executive. But the real, permanent, experienced and expert executive is the Civil Service or the bureaucracy.
The role and function of the bureaucracy in India have increased enormously. The normal function of the bureaucracy is to execute the policies of the Council of Ministers. Under the system of delegated legislation, the powers of bureaucracy are steadily increasing. As India has accepted the principle of welfare state, the economic and social functions of the State are steadily increasing. Every increase in the power of the government means a corresponding increase in the powers of the bureaucracy. It is on the successful and satisfactory functioning of the bureaucracy that the success of the government to a very large extent depends.