The Cabinet Secretariat is a staff body which has premier coordinating role in process of policy making at the highest level and operates under the direction of the Prime Minister.
HISTORY AND EVOLUTION
- Cabinet Secretariat was first created in 1916 in England for maintaining records and providing secretarial assistance to the Cabinet.
- In India, Lord Wellington asked his private secretary to attend and record the proceedings of the Cabinet meetings in 1935-36.
- Sir Eric Coates was the first Cabinet Secretary in pre-independent India, but his designation was Secretary to the Viceroy’s Executive Council.
- In 1946, the constitution of the Interim Government designated Executive Council’s Secretariat as Cabinet Secretariat.
- After independence, the Cabinet Secretariat developed into an organisation for effecting coordination between the Ministries.
- Cabinet Secretariat was created in 1950 in post-independent India.
- Later, the Cabinet Secretariat was combined with the Prime Minister’s Secretariat. After some time they were separated. The period of 1948-1997 witnessed major re organisations in the Cabinet Secretariat. Thus, the Cabinet Secretariat has grown in strength, prestige and importance and due to its enormous effectiveness is now considered indispensable.
The Cabinet Secretariat is headed by the Prime Minister who is its political head and assisted by a Cabinet Secretary and other Secretariat staff. The Cabinet Secretariat is organised in three wings:
1. CIVIL WING
This Wing is the institutional machinery through which the Cabinet Secretary provides secretarial service to the Cabinet, Cabinet Committees and the Committees of Secretaries. It also deals with framing of Rules of Business of the Union Government.
The Military Wing provides secretarial service to the Defence Committee of the Cabinet, National Security Council, Military Affairs Committees and a number of other committees concerned with defence matters.
This Wing concerns itself with matters relating to the Joint Intelligence Committee of the Cabinet.
Apart from the main Secretariat, the Cabinet Secretariat comprises of following organisations:
1.DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC GRIEVANCES
This is an important organ of Cabinet Secretariat which was established in 1988 as an independent appellate body of a non-statutory nature. It entertains grievances from the public against decisions and actions of Central Government institutions. It does not deal with policy matters, service matters,commercial contracts and cases which are pending in courts, consumer forums etc.
2.SECRETARY FOR SECURITY
The Secretary is an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer responsible for the security of the Prime Minister and other Ministers. He is assisted by Director, Special Protection Group and Joint Secretary.
3.SECRETARY FOR RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS WING
The Secretary is responsible for collation of external intelligence. He is assisted by Joint Secretary, Special Secretary, Directors and Inspector General. He also works as Director General (Security) and heads Special Frontier Force and Aviation Research Centre.
4.PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT DIVISION
The Division was established in 2009. The Division is headed by the Secretary and assisted by Director, Deputy Secretaries, Senior Performance Officer and under-Secretaries. The main functions of the Division are as follows:
1. Design state-of-the-art performance management system in the Government.
2.Document the approved performance evaluation and management methodology.
3.Create user-friendly guidelines and checklists.
4.Conduct briefing sessions and training programmes for officers at various levels in the Government.
5.Manage correspondence and communications with other stakeholders.
6.Create and maintain data base of relevant national and international benchmarks for various Government agencies.
7. Organised meetings to discuss and design results-based management frameworks of Ministries.
8.Maintain records and library of relevant documents.
9.Prepare analytical notes and background papers to facilitate development of challenging targets.
10.Develop and manage an advanced electronic (E-Government) system to generate decision makers.
11.Create knowledge sharing units to disseminate good practices and advice State Governments on the adoption of similar system at the State level.
12. Organised international conferences and workshops.
13. Organised annual awards ceremony to declare results from best practices.
14. Provide technical assistance to departments in order to improve the quality of performance indicators and targets.
15. Produce newsletter and create and maintain a website to promote transparency and effective dissemination of the necessary information.
As of 2011 the Secretary was also acting as Chairperson of the National Authority for Chemical Weapons Convention. The Government enacted Chemical Weapons Convention Act in 2000.