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The Administration Reform Commission (1966-70)

The Administration Reform Commission (1966-70)

The Commission wanted to promote specialization among civil servants and to make even the “heaven-born” IAS to speclalise, thus curtailing its all-purpose character. Selection to the top posts was to be based on the result of a midcareer competitive examination open to all officers. It recommended a scheme of reform which envisaged entry into the middle and senior management levels in the central secretariat from all the services. Where the regularly constituted services were already in existence to attend to specific functions, the middle and senior level positions in the corresponding areas in the secretariat were normally to be occupied by the members of the concerned functional services. And, in non-functional areas the middle level personnel were to be drawn, through the device of a mid-career competitive examination, from all the sources on the basis of equal opportunity for all. The selected persons were required to gain specialized knowledge of and experience in one of the following eight areas of specialization at headquarters, the allocation in a particular specialty depending on their qualifications and previous background:

1. Economic Administration
2. Industrial Administration
3. Agricultural and Rural Development
4. Social and Educational Administration
5. Personnel Administration
6. Financial Administration
7. Defence Administration and Internal Security
8. Planning.

This recommendation about specialization was not accepted by the Government. The ARC wanted the generalist India Administrative Service to specialize, but the Government turned down its plea. A unified grading structure was recommended; posts entailing similar qualifications, difficulties, and responsibilities were to be grouped in the same grade. This also was not accepted. The Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) is the committee appointed by the Government of India for giving recommendations for reviewing the public administration system of India. The first ARC was established on 5 January 1966. The Administrative Reforms Commission was initially chaired by Morarji Desai, and later on, K. Hanumanthaiah became its chairman when Desai became the Deputy Prime Minister of India. The Second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) was constituted on 31 August 2005, as a Commission of Inquiry, under the Chairmanship of Veerappa Moily for preparing a detailed blueprint for revamping the public administrative system.

First Administrative Reforms Commission-5 January 1966

The first ARC was constituted by the Ministry of Home Affairs under the Government of India by resolution no. 40/3/65-AR(P) dated 5 January 1966. In the resolution, the composition of the ARC, the mandate of the commission and the procedures to be followed were described.


The Commission was mandated to give consideration to the need for ensuring the highest standards of efficiency and integrity in the public services, and for making public administration a fit instrument for carrying out the social and economic policies of the Government and achieving social and economic goals of development, as also one which is responsive to the people. In particular, the Commission is to consider the following:

  1. The machinery of the Government of India and its procedures of work;
  2. The machinery for planning at all levels;
  3. Center-State relationships;
  4. Financial administration;
  5. Personnel administration;
  6. Economic administration;
  7. Administration at the State level;
  8. District administration;
  9. Agricultural administration; and
  10. Problems of redress of citizen’s grievances.


The Commissions may exclude from its purview the detailed examination of the administration of defence, railways, external affairs, security and intelligence work, as also subjects such as educational administration already being examined by a separate commission. The Commission will, however, be free to take the problems of these sectors into account in recommending the reorganization of the machinery of the Government as a whole or of any of its common service agencies.

Recommendation Reports

The Commission submitted the following 20 reports before winding up in mid-1970s:

  1. Problems of Redress of Citizens Grievances (Interim)
  2. Machinery for Planning
  3. Public Sector Undertakings
  4. Finance, Accounts & Audit
  5. Machinery for Planning (Final)
  6. Economic Administration
  7. The Machinery of GOI and its procedures of work
  8. Life Insurance Administration
  9. Central Direct Taxes Administration
  10. Administration of UTs & NEFA
  11. Personnel Administration
  12. Delegation of Financial & Administrative Powers
  13. Centre-State Relationships
  14. State Administration
  15. Small Scale Sector
  16. Railways
  17. Treasuries
  18. Reserve Bank of India
  19. Posts and Telegraphs
  20. Scientific Departments

The above 20 reports contained 537 major recommendations. Based on inputs received from various administrative Ministries, a report indicating implementation position was placed before the Parliament in November 1977.

Second Administrative Reforms Commission-5 August 2005

The Second ARC was set up with a resolution no. K-11022/9/2004-RC of the Government of India as a committee of inquiry to prepare a detailed blueprint for revamping the public administration system.

Composition of the Second ARC

  • Veerappa Moily – Chairperson
  • V. Ramachandran – Member
  • Dr. A.P. Mukherjee – Member
  • Dr. A.H. Kalro – Member
  • Jayaprakash Narayan – Member
  • Vineeta Rai – Member-Secretary

Veerappa Moily resigned with effect from 1 April 2009. V. Ramachandran was appointed chairman. Jayaprakash Narayan resigned with effect from 1 September 2007.


The Commission was given the mandate to suggest measures to achieve a proactive, responsive, accountable, sustainable and efficient administration for the country at all levels of the government. The Commission was asked to, inter alia, consider the following :

(i) Organisational structure of the Government of India (ii) Ethics in governance (iii) Refurbishing of Personnel Administration (iv) Strengthening of Financial Management Systems (v) Steps to ensure effective administration at the State level (vi) Steps to ensure effective District Administration (vii) Local Self-Government/Panchayati Raj Institutions (viii) Social Capital, Trust and Participative public service delivery (ix) Citizen-centric administration (x) Promoting e-governance (xi) Issues of Federal Polity (xii) Crisis Management (xiii) Public Order


The Commission was to exclude from its purview the detailed examination of the administration of Military defence, railways, external affairs, security and intelligence, as also subjects such as Centre-state relations, judicial reforms etc. which were already being examined by other bodies. The Commission, however, be free to take the problems of these sectors into account in recommending re-organisation of the machinery of the Government or of any of its service agencies.

Working of Second ARC

The Commission will devise procedures (including for consultations with Indian foreign services), and may appoint committees, consultants/advisers to assist it. The Commission may take into account the existing material and reports available on the subject and consider building upon them. The Ministries and Departments of the Government of India will furnish information and documents and provide other assistance as may be required to the Commission. The Government of India in allegory to the State Governments and only other concerned to extend their solidarity and assistance to A Commission.

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