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Second Administrative Reforms Commission

The Government of India established the Administrative Reforms Commission [1](hereinafter, ARC), which was first presided by Shri Morarji R. Desai, to offer proposals for overhauling the administrative structure. This commission was one of Pandit Nehru's most outstanding contributions.

It was created to provide managerial advice and to aid in the execution of the modified policies. ARC was established on 5th of January 1996. The commission's principal task was to analyze public administration of India and make recommendations for changes to be made to the existing structure. Members of ARC were Morarji Desai, Kengal Hanumanthaiah, Gopal Swarup Pathak, Harish Chandra Mathur, V. Shanker, Hari Vishnu Kamath. Utilizing auxiliary examination of hypothetical texts, this article seeks to understand the stages of drafting, mandate, recommendations, implementation and impact of Second Administrative Commission of India.

In broad sense, public administration reforms strive to improve governance by building a non bureaucratic civil service, increasing service delivery, and enhancing both public and personnel management.On 31st of August 2005, the Second Administrative Reforms Commission [2](hereinafter, Second ARC), chaired by Shri Second Veerappa Moily. It was established to investigate and plan for the reform of India's public administration system.

The ARC was made up of the chairman and four other members, including Secretary Smt. Vineeta Rai. The commission's major goal was to create a more accountable, long-term, and effective administration structure. It presented 15 reports just on right to information as a significant instrument for effective governance, risk management, public order, local governance, e-governance advancement, financial administration system building, local and state administration, etcetera.

The administration is a body that ensures that services are delivered in a way that meets the demands of citizens. As a result, the administrative structure was required for India's socioeconomic progress. The administration framework is a complex and dynamic process that requires constant revisions to keep up with new innovations and correct flaws in existing systems. Following independence, India needed to establish a Commission to assist the public administration in reforming and functioning successfully.

Administrative reform strives to establish and put into practise the necessary adjustments for a government's administrative entities to effectively implement public policies. The administrative agencies play a crucial role in bringing about the required changes in society. The transition from colonial control and British legislation to democracy was the first reform in India.

As a result, administrative reforms were required, and numerous commissions and committees were constituted, including Gopal Swami Ayyangar Committee (1949), Gorwala Committee (1951), Paul H. Appleby Committee (1953) and Administrative Reforms Commission (1966-70). Because of its work, the commission has formed twenty study teams, thirteen working groups, and one task force. It produced 581 recommendations and submitted twenty reports.

The stages in the drafting of the recommendations were as follows:
  1. First, the recommendations were sent to the respective department for their input.
  2. Then those inputs were forwarded to the CGAR (Cabinet Secretary's Core Group on Administrative Reforms).
  3. They were then to be presented to the Group of Ministers (GoM) for its input.
  4. After which they would be sent to the Prime Minister of India for his approval.

On 30, March 2007, a Ministerial Group was formed to study the proposals of the Second ARC, which was chaired by the then Minister of External Affairs. It had to track how well the suggestions were being implemented, as well as provide guidance to the departments on how to do so successfully. The Group of Ministers has so far considered 12 reports, with the 5th and 10th reports still to be considered.

The Ministry of Home Affairs evaluated the eighth report on counter-terrorism. The Cabinet met on the month of December 3, 2009 to discuss the adoption of the second report on unlocking human capital and evaluated the implementation of the 1st and 3rd reports on the 29th of December 2009.

Mandate of Second ARC
The ARC worked to reform India's then-existing public administration system. It also made various proposals for such reform and development. [3]The Second ARC was tasked with recommending methods to achieve a trustworthy, strong, competent, and innovative administration at all branches of government throughout India. The commission was given specific tasks to complete. They were as follows:
  1. To develop a better financial management system.
  2. To modernize personnel management.
  3. Measures to ensure a strong state and local self-government.
  4. To manage the Natural Disasters.
  5. To support E-Government.
  6. Administration with good morals.
  7. To enhance Indian government's regulatory system.

Recommendations of Second ARC
The second ARC produced 15 reports and provided suggestions depending on the topics they were allocated to look into. On the reports it produced, the commission offered about 1500 recommendations. The majority of the suggestions were aimed at state governments (SGs). The commission proposed that district administrations serve a double role: one of those as a executive and secretariatin in Councils of Districts, and another as an agency to the SGs. The suggestions are divided into two categories.

One is the administrative modifications that must be made, as well as the processing and techniques that must be applied. The other is the work that needs to be done by the Indian government in order to resolve the issues. Strong political will and proper guidance are required to execute the Commission's recommendations and overhaul the public administrative system.

First Report
This is on right to information which covered 21 themes and included 21 recommendations. The discussed issues were governmental privilege in evidence, the oath of secrecy, exempted organisations, Official Secrets Act, The Manual of Office Procedure, The Central Civil Services Rules, and so on. It was suggested that the Official Secrets Act be repealed.

Second Report
This is on human capital unlocking which identified 36 subjects, including monitoring mechanisms, transparency, the Right to Information Act, with the use of information technology in many industries, among others.

Third Report
This is on risk management which made recommendations on 40 areas, including pandemics and the breakdown of key services, among others.

Fourth Report
This is on governance ethics which advised that specific problems be addressed, including the media's role, the implementation of the False Claims Act, the enhancement of investigation and trial, and so on.

Fifth Report
This is on public order which addresses issues such as the Secretary of State and the police, the division of investigation from other bodies, and police establishment committees, among others.

Sixth Report
This is on local governance which looks at how local governments may be reorganized and run more efficiently.

Seventh Report
This is on conflict resolution which capacity building addresses concerns coming from SCs, STs, and other groups.

Eighth Report
The government has yet to deliberate on and examine this report which is on counter-terrorism.

Ninth Report
This focuses on social capital in order to get a new legislative framework for charities and other non-profit organizations.

The government has still yet to make a decision on the forthcoming report on personnel administration. Other reports, meanwhile, focus on making recommendations to reorganise and improve the country's efficiency.

Implementation of Second ARC
Government reform is an ongoing concept in which the government strives to improve the effectiveness and working procedures of its departments. Several plans have been put in place to carry out the proposals of the ARC reports. [4]All prior reports have been evaluated by the government, with the exception of the eighth report which is Combating Terrorism. Eleven hundred and eighty-three of the fifteen hundred and fourteen suggestions made in the 14 reports were approved. Only 228 people were turned down.

Other discussions were assigned 21 recommendations for evaluation. Those proposals that were approved have been forwarded to the appropriate agencies and ministries for implementation. Many projects, such as E-Governance, Digital India, and Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, have been adopted to help the country flourish.

Impact of Second ARC
The Commission was founded with the goal of making suggestions that would help the government function more efficiently and effectively. Both commissions proposed a new approach based on the reports wherein they proposed reformative measures that were divided into two categories. Those proposals either advised amending, repealing, or amending some legislation, or changing the government's structure or method.

The government responded positively to these recommendations by implementing them through various initiatives and regulations. The influence of its execution may be seen in the nation in terms of how big of a difference it has made. Although not all of these recommendations have been implemented, there has been a noticeable change in the govt's working procedure and framework. The government should put the proposals into action that will benefit it.

The Administrative Reform Commission [5]is a body tasked with making recommendations to the Indian Government in order to improve its efficiency. Until yet, two commissions have been established that have made several proposals, the majority of which have been almost reviewed and accepted by the administration. Reform is a dynamic notion that must be continued in order for the country to progress. Significant reforms have already been implemented, however the administrative system still has many flaws.

One of the most serious issues in the administration framework is corruption, which is like a cancer that must be treated as early as possible in order to ensure successful administration. Numerous difficulties and regions have been addressed by the commission, however there are still many issues that have gone unreported. Few of the recommendations that have been made and approved but have yet to be implemented should be done so.

  1. <> accessed 5 February 2022
  2. <> accessed 1 February 2022
  3. <> accessed 2 February 2022
  4. Kuldeep Mathur & Navdeep mathur 'Assessing Administrative Reform in India'(2017) Chinese Political Science Review
    <> accessed 11 February 2022
  5. Meetika Srivastava 'A Study of Administrative Reforms in India - With Particular Reference to the RTI Act, 2005'(2009) SSRN
    <> accessed 10 February 2022

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