Since Independence, there have been about fifty Commissions and Committees at the Union Government level to look into what can be broadly characterised as administrative reforms. The First Administrative Reforms Commission set up in January, 1966 was asked, in particular, to consider all aspects relating to the following subjects :
• The machinery of the Government of India and its procedures of work;
• The machinery for planning at all levels;
• Centre-State relationship;
• Financial administration;
• Personnel administration;
• Economic administration;
• Administration at the state level;
• District administration;
• Agricultural administration; and
• Problems of redress of citizens grievances.
The Commission submitted 20 Reports in all, These 20 Reports contained 537 major recommendations. Based on the inputs received from various administrative Ministries a report indicating the implementation position was placed in Parliament in November, 1977. A List of the recommendations of the First ARC that are relevant to this Report are outlined below:
a). Need for specialization:The first ARC recognized the need for specialization as the functions of Government had become diversified. A method of selection for senior management posts in functional areas and outside functional areas was laid down.
b). Unified Grading structure: A unified grading structure based on qualifications and nature of duties and responsibilities was suggested.
c). Recruitment: On this subject, the ARC recommended:
i). A single competitive examination for the Class I services, with the age limit raised to 26 years.
ii). Lateral entry to technical posts at senior levels.
iii). Direct recruitment to Class II services to be discontinued.
iv). A simple objective type test to be conducted for recruitment of clerical staff .
v). Recruitment to Central Government posts in certain sectors to be made from among the State Government employees.
d). Recruitment Agencies: i. A new procedure for appointment of members of the UPSC and the State Public Service Commission was suggested. ii. Setting up of Recruitment Boards for selection of clerical staff was recommended.
e). Training: a national policy on Civil Service Training to be devised.
f). Promotions: Detailed guidelines for promotion were outlined.
g). Conduct and Discipline: Reforms in disciplinary enquiry proceedings and setting up of Civil Service Tribunals was suggested.
h). Service Conditions: The Commission also gave recommendations on matters related to overtime allowances, voluntary retirement, exit mechanism, quantum of pension, government holidays, incentives and awards to be given on timely completion of projects, and establishing work norms for various posts that may be reviewed by the Staff Inspection Unit.