First Administrative Reforms Commission

The first Administrative Reforms Commission was constituted by the Government of India on 5 January 1966 for reviewing the public administration system of India and recommending

measures for making administration fit for carrying out the social and economic policies of the government and being responsive to the people. The Commission was Chaired initially by Morarji R Desai, MP, and later on by K.Hanumanthaiah, MP when Morarji R Desai became the Deputy Prime Minister of India.Kengal Hanumanthaiah

The Commission submitted its reports in 20 parts containing 537 major recommendations till the mid-seventies. The 13th report of the Commission covered the issues of Centre-State relations. With regard to Inter-State Council the Commission made the following recommendations:

  • Establishment of an Inter-State Council under Article 263 (b) and (c) of the Constitution which would discuss all issues of national importance in which the States are interested.
  • Saddling the Council with functions under article 263 (a) to inquire into and advise upon disputes between the States would prevent it from giving full attention to the various problems of national concern which it ought to consider.
  • This body should replace the National Development Council, the Chief Minister’ Conference, the Finance Minister’ Conference, the Food Ministers’ Conference and the National Integration Council.
  • The Council will be wide-embracing and will provide a standing machinery for effecting consultations between the centre and the states. Only issues of real and national importance need be taken up there. Others should be settled by conferences convened by the ministries concerned, at a lower, preferably official level.
  • The Council should have an appropriate secretariat. The Secretary of the Council should be an officer having the knowledge, experience and status that will enable him to work effectively.