Short Note on Hierarchical Order of Central Administration

Sansar LochanPolitical ScienceLeave a Comment

Today in this article we will mention about the hierarchical order of Central Administration. The Central Administration of India is run through the Central Secretariat based at New Delhi. Central Secretariat is divided into five parts – Department, wing, division, branch and section.

Central Administration

The central administration consists of the President, the Prime Minister, the Council of Ministers and Secretaries to these offices.

Central Secretariat

The word secretariat means office of the Secretaries. For the purpose of administration, the Government of India is divided into Ministry and Departments which constitute the Central Secretariat. For efficient discharge of business allotted to a Ministry, it is divided into various Departments, Wings, Divisions, Branches and Sections.


Hierarchical Order of Central Secretariat

  1. Department (Secretary)
  2. Wing (Additional/Joint Secretary)
  3. Division (Deputy Secretary)
  4. Branch (Under Secretary)
  5. Section (Section Officer)  


This is the primary unit of a Ministry. It is pertinent to point out the difference between a Ministry and a Department. A single Ministry may have several Departments under it. For instance, Human Resource Development is divided into two Departments, viz. The Department of School Education and Literacy and the Department of Higher Education. The Ministers are the political head  of a Ministry; the Secretary to Govt. of India is the administrative head. In case there are several Departments within a Ministry, each is headed by a secretary.

A minister remains in power for a period of five years. Generally secretary belongs to permanent civil service and remains in office till he retires. It has been observed that the portfolios of ministers change frequently, particularly with every change of leadership or through occasional reshuffles in the council of ministers. The Secretaries on the other hand, enjoy longer tenure as the administrative head of his Ministry.


Depending upon the volume of work in a Ministry, one or more wings can be set up. An additional secretary and joint secretary is in charge of the wing. He is given independent charge, subject to overall responsibility of secretary.


A wing of the Ministry is then divided into divisions for the sake of efficient and expeditious disposal of business allotted to the Ministry. Two branches ordinarily constitute a division which is normally under the charge of a Deputy Secretary.


A branch normally consists of two Sections and is under the charge of an Under Secretary. He is also called as Branch Officer.


Headed by a Section Officer, a section consists of Assistants, and Upper Division and Lower Division Clerks. The initial handling of cases, noting and drafting, is carried by these staff-members.

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