0 Puneet Asked: July 9, 2019In: Public Administration Explain the changing role of the Prime Minister’s Office 0 Indian Administration 1 Answer Voted Oldest Recent Best Answer admin Added an answer on July 9, 2019 at 5:25 am Prime Minister’s Office is headed by the Principal Secretary and has many Additional and Joint Secretaries, Directors and Officers on Special Duty looking after the work assigned to them. The Prime Minister may have a Secretary from outside the Civil Service. Besides providing secretarial help to the Prime Minister, the officials of the PMO are also expected to act as think-cell or ‘think-tank’ to provide the Prime Minister with necessary inputs for important decisions and policies. The division of work in the PMO is made according to the political and administrative requirements of the time and the experience of the persons working there. The functions of the Prime Minister’s Office include helping the Prime Minister in accomplishing his various duties. They can be enumerated as: Maintaining liaison with the President and Governors of the States. Maintaining liaison with the representatives of foreign governments. Helping the Prime Minister in his duties as Chairman of the Planning Commission and the National Development Council. Helping the Prime Minister in his duties in Parliament and preparing the answers to the questions asked in the House. Looking after the public relations of the Prime Minister, like contact with the media and general public. Dealing with references which come under the Rules of Business to him. Dealing with the public grievances addressed to the Prime Minister. Changing Role of the PMO The evolution of PMO over the decades has many remarkable features. Its importance has been changing from time to time. Sometimes the changes were necessitated by objective circumstances and many a time by the nature of the incumbent. During the period of India’s first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru the role and size of Prime Minister’s Office, or Prime Minister’s Secretariat–as it was then known, was limited. During Nehru’s tenure great reliance was placed on the ministries and the Cabinet Secretariat was the primary coordinating agency. In a Parliamentary system the demarcation between the Cabinet Secretariat and the Prime Minister’s Office always tends to be hazy and much depends upon the incumbents. The role of Prime Minister’s Secretariat steadily increased later. When Lal Bahadur Shastri became the Prime Minister he took first steps to strengthen it. It acquired a full-fledged Secretary. Its influence in policy-making also increased. A big change came when Indira Gandhi became the Prime Minister. As she had very limited experience of administration at the time of assuming office, her dependence on Secretariat was much greater. Later she strengthened her position organisationally and politically. With the passage of time, the Prime Minister’s Secretariat became more and more powerful. Its authority grew and its writs began to be obeyed by all. It was during the internal emergency of 1975-77 that Prime Minister’s Secretariat emerged as focus of all authority. At that time it turned into a real center of power and authority. During Janata Party rule (1977-80) an effort to curb the concentration of power at Prime Minister’s Secretariat was made. Both its size and role were curtailed and it was reduced to the status of an office. Its name was changed from Prime Minister’s Secretariat to Prime Minister’s Office. But this trend did not last long. After Indira Gandhi’s return to power, the power and authority of the Prime Minister’s Office again increased, though not to the earlier extent. However, during the last decade both the role and size of the PMO have increased. There is a noticeable trend towards concentration of policy-making power in the PMO. -3 Reply Share Share Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Leave an answerLeave an answerCancel reply Featured image Select file Browse Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.