The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) consists of the immediate staff of the Prime Minister of India, as well as multiple levels of support staff reporting to the Prime Minister. The PMO is headed by the Principal Secretary, currently Nripendra Misra. The PMO was originally called the Prime Minister's Secretariat until 1977, when it was renamed during the Morarji Desai administration
It is known from the above discussion the importance of the office of Prime Minister and his responsibilities. Hence to fulfill his huge responsibility he is assisted by the Prime Minister’s office. Hence it can be defined as the administrative agency created under the provision of Article 77 (3) in order to provide secretarial assistance. It was initially created in 1947 under the name Prime Ministerial secretary later in 1977 renamed as PMO. It got the status of department under Allocation of Business rules 1961. This staff agency is mainly concerned with providing assistance in decision making at top level of government of India. But even though its importance it is accorded as extra constitutional body.
- Politically headed by Prime Minister
- Administratively headed by Principal Secretary
- One or two additional secretaries
- 5 joint secretaries
- A number of directors/ deputy secretaries and under secretaries
(The personnel are generally drawn from civil services and appointed for varying periods)
Roles and Functions of PMO:
According to Allocation of business Rules 1961 there are 5 basic functions of PMO
- To provide secretarial assistance to PM and act as a think tank
- To help the PM in discharge of his overall responsibilities as chief executive including his relation with union ministers and state governments for all the matters in which the PM is interested.
- To help PM in discharge of his responsibility as chairman of planning commission
- To deal with public relation side of PM, which is related to intellectual forums and Civil Societies? So acts as public relations office to get feedback of administration by considering public grievances against malfunctioning of administrative system
- To provide Prime Ministerial assistance in examination of cases submitted to him for orders under described rules so it acts as settlement house to finalize decision concerning to administrative doubts.
Evolutionary Trend from Various Prime Ministers
The degree of centralization of India administration in the hands of PMO has been influenced by the nature of PM and influencing position of his / her secretary. It is illustrated as below:
- Jawaharlal Nehru -- A Jain PMS had to provide procedural assistance to PM. At that time PMS was not think tank of PM.
- Lal Bahadur Shastri --L K Jha PMS concentrated more powers on economic affairs
- Indira Gandhi --L K Jha PMS got strengthened in terms of political as well as economic affairs. It was this time PMS was assumed as super-cabinet of Indian administration
- Indira Gandhi --- P N Haskar PMS became so influenced that it acted as micro cabinet of Indian administration. Garibi hatao programme was drafted without consultation with other cabinet ministers. At this time the influential position of PMS was stronger than cabinet secretariat.
- Indira Gandhi --P N Dhar in this period stability in composition was maintained
- Morarji Desai --- P N Dhar PMS was renamed as PMO. At this time the powers and influences of PMO was undermined to make cabinet secretary strong.
- Indira Gandhi -- P C Alexander PMO got strengthened by putting necessary infrastructure. Thus it became stronger than cabinet secretary.
- Rajiv Gandhi -- P C Alexander PMO got full fledged administrative infrastructure with three additional secretaries, 5 joint secretaries. it got the status of department under allocation of business rules
- Rajiv Gandhi -- Sarla Grewal She maintained stability in office
- Rajiv Gandhi -- B G Deshmukh P.M.O. got apex level of centralization in terms of government functions
- Narasimha Rao ----A N Verma Political executive was attached to PMO. Also centralization was maintained in order to cope with problems arising from coalition government
- Atal Bihari Vajpayee-- Brijesh Mishra P.M.O. got further strengthened to cope with rising functional demands of Prime ministerial democracy. Its role was extended to many parallel organizations
- Manmohan Singh -- A Nair P.M.O. was made separate institution in functional terms. Its responsibility was separated from security aspects according to k Subramanian committee recommendation
- Narendra Modi -- Nripendra Mishra
Thus the degree of status and influence of PMO has been a reflection of personal nature of PM and responsive nature of politico- administrative situation.