(Last Updated on : 21/12/2012)
State Secretariats, like their central counterpart, play a major role in the administration of the state. They are the principal advisers to the Minister, head of the department(s) under their charge, responsible for carrying out the policies and decisions made by the political chief, and finally, represent his departments before the committees of the Legislature. In case of administration at the state level, it is the Governor, appointed by the Indian President
, who is the head of state. The Governor, appointed for a five-year term by the President, is the head of State. He is advised by the Ministry, called Council of Ministers of India
, headed by the Chief Minister of Indian States
, in the conduction of the State's administration. In practice, however, he is only the constitutional head; the real repository of power is the Ministry with the Chief Minister at its head. The Ministry is a part of, and collectively responsible to, the State Legislature in India
. The business of the Government is allocated to the Ministers by assigning one or more departments or a part of a department to the charge of a Minister. It is usual, however, for a Minister to be in charge of a number of departments dealing with more or less allied subjects. He is the political head of the department, whose administrative head is, as at the Centre, a Secretary who is a career civil servant.
The expression 'Secretariat' is used to refer to the complex of departments whose heads, administratively, are Secretaries and politically, Ministers. The Secretary is the Secretary to the Government as a whole, not to the individual Minister. He is normally a generalist civil servant, but in the case of the Public Works Department (PWD), the chief engineer is usually the Secretary. The number of Secretariat departments is usually greater than the number of Secretaries. The practice normally, is to entrust more than one department to the charge of one Secretary.
A department consists of officers and the Office. Among officers are included, besides the Secretary, the Deputy Secretary, Under Secretary and/or Assistant Secretary. There may also be Additional and Joint Secretaries in the larger departments. Secretaries, Additional Secretaries, Joint Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries and Under Secretaries are all (except those belonging to the Secretariat Civil Service) subject to the well-known tenure system, and are appointed to the Secretariat for a fixed term. The only exception to the tenure system is the Chief Secretary. The Office comprises the Superintendent (or Section Officer), Assistants, Upper Division Clerks, Lower Division Clerks, steno-typists, and typists. Unlike officers, the Office constitutes the permanent element in the Secretariat system.
The number of Secretariat departments naturally varies from State to State, ranging between 11 and 34. Most States, however, have the following Secretariat departments: General Administration, Home, Revenue, Food and Agriculture, Planning, Panchayati System
, Finance, Law, Public Works, Irrigation and Power, Education, Industries, Cooperation, Transport, Local Government, Jails, Labour and Employment and Excise and Taxation.