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BPAC-133: Administrative system at Union Level

BPAC-133: Administrative system at Union Level

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2023

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Assignment Code: BPAC-133/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BPAC-133

Assignment Name: Administrative System at Union Level

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Assignment A


Answer the following in about 500 words each.


Q1) Briefly discuss the central and provincial administrative structure of the Mughal administrative system. [20]

Ans) The Mughal administrative system took its form during the reign of Akbar, and he had introduced an excellent system of administration to strengthen the nascent Mughal Empire.


Central Administration System

The central administration system includes the king and a council of ministers to advise and assist the emperor in running the state. The emperor was always the central administrative authority, the chief executive, lawmaker, the commander-in-chief, and the final dispenser of justice.


Officers appointed in different governmental departments involving various affairs for the smooth functioning of state are as follows:

  1. The ‘Diwan,’ also called the Wazir or chief minister held the primary position who looked after revenue and finance but kept an overview of all matters of expenditure and related departments recording all imperial orders and assigning duties and expense to district faujdars.

  2. ‘Mir Bakshi,’ was the head of military department, handled the military pay and accounts and related duties. He also played role in recruitment of soldiers, listing of mansabdars and important officials.

  3. ‘Mir Saman,’ who oversaw factories and stores, He dealt with matters relating to maintaining record and requirement of the state karkhanas, stores, order, interactions, and internal relations.

  4. ‘Sadr-us-Sudhar,’ who was the head of the ecclesiastical and judicial departments. He was the head of religious donations and contributions. He also looked after education and imperial alms.

  5. ‘Muhtasib’ handled both secular as well as religious duties. He made sure that the principles of Islam were safe and that all the rules of faith were followed. Besides, he was responsible to make sure that markets were run properly, and people could get things at fair prices. He also took care of city cleanliness.

  6. Other than these officials, there was a News Writer and ‘Daroga-i-Dak-Chauki’.

  7. The News Writer was in charge of keeping the Sultan informed about the various events that were taking place in various parts of the kingdom whereas Daroga-i-Dak-Chauki handled the Postal Department It was his job to ensure that the news from all over the kingdom was carried to the Sultan at the earliest.


Provincial Administration System

Akbar set the firm base for the provincial administration by fixing the territories of the provincial units and establishing a uniform administrative model subjected to minor amendment to suit local circumstances. Each province had a set of officials representing the branches of state activity, which made control over provinces more effective.

  1. ‘Sipah Salaror Nazim’ (the governor) well known as subahdar was appointed directly by the emperor and was the main officer looking after civil and administrative responsibility of each Suba.

  2. The Diwan was appointed by the Sultan who assisted the Subedar in running the administration of the provinces.

  3. ‘Sadar’ was a scholar and religious person who distribute land and charity. The Qazi and the Mir Adil worked under him.

  4. ‘Amil’ was a revenue collection officer and also looked after the agricultural land and helped farmers convert the barren land into cultivable one.

  5. ‘Bakshi’ supervised the work of the Quangos and record of income and expenditure from cultivatable and barren lands.

  6. ‘Potdar’ was mainly concerned with the collection of revenue from the peasants and deposit the same in the royal treasury. He was authorised to keep full record of collected revenue but only received money upon Diwan’s approval.

  7. ‘Faujdar’ was in-charge of the provincial army and was responsible for maintenance of law and order within the province and assisted the Subedar in provincial administration.

  8. The ‘Kotwal’ was primarily a police official and was responsible for the preservation of law and order within the province.

  9. The ‘Wak-i-Navis’ was responsible for communicating information pertaining to the provinces to the king.


Q2) Critically analyse the division of powers under Indian Constitution. [20]

Ans) Division of powers under Indian Constitution has been roughly broken down into three areas: legislative, administrative, and financial. Distribution of the legislative powers are as follows:

  1. The Union List which contains the exclusive powers of the central government, such as foreign affairs, defense, taxation, and communications.

  2. The State List that contains the exclusive powers of state governments, such as police, public health, agriculture, and local government and

  3. The Concurrent List contains powers that are shared between the central and state governments, such as education, trade and commerce, and criminal law.

  4. However, in case of any conflict or emergency, the Central power prevails. Also, in India residuary powers belong to the union government.


The administrative power between the centre and the state as described in articles 257, 258, 262, and 263 of the Indian Constitution are as follows:

The states will use their executive powers in a way that doesn't get in the way of or impede the Union's use of its executive powers. The Government of India can tell a state what to do if it thinks it is important. The President can conditionally or unconditionally entrust to the states functions and is empowered to provide the law for adjudication of any dispute among States with respect to the use, distribution, and control of river waters. All these provisions do ensure a cordial relationship between the two levels of government.


The financial power is also divided between the central and state governments, with the central government having the primary responsibility for raising and allocating financial resources. The central government collects most of the revenue through taxes, such as income tax and customs duties, corporate tax, currency, foreign exchange etc. and transfers a portion of it to the state governments. The state governments also have the power to raise their own revenue through taxes and other sources such as taxes on agricultural income, land revenue, excise duty on goods produced or manufactured in the states, taxes on luxuries or entertainments and amusements etc.

There are certain taxes that shall be levied by the Union but shall be collected and appropriated by states and taxes that shall be levied and collected by the Union government but shall be assigned

to the States.


All of this reflects the leaning of the constitution makers towards a strong centre. Three basic features of this division are:

  1. Each organ should have different persons in capacity.

  2. One organ should not interfere in the functioning of the other organs, i.e., there shall be independency of powers.

  3. One organ should not exercise a function of another. Separation of power prevents misuse of power from accumulation in the hands of few.


Concentration of power in one centre/authority, can lead to maladministration, corruption, nepotism, and abuse of power. Separation of powers helps to prevent autocracy, create efficient administration, maintain independency of power, and prevents the legislature from enacting arbitrary or unconstitutional laws. All of this aims to balance the power between the central and state governments and ensures that neither level of government becomes too dominant.

However, no democratic system exists with an absolute separation of powers or an absolute lack of separation of powers. Governmental powers and responsibilities intentionally overlap; they are too complex and interrelated to be neatly compartmentalized. As a result, there is an inherent measure of competition and conflict among the branches of government.



Assignment B


Answer the following in about 250 words each.


Q3) Examine central, provincial, and local administrative system in the period of Mauryan administrative system. [10]

Ans) The Mauryan Empire had a centralized administrative system with the king, who was considered the supreme authority, at the top. The administration was organised into central, provincial, and local levels, with each level having its own set of duties and responsibilities.


Central administration

The king was the main authority with supreme executive, legislative and judicial powers and also led the whole military. He appointed ministers and other officials who worked for the royal government and was advised by a council of ministers called ‘Mantriparishad’ for day-to-day conduct of administration. There was a proper hierarchy of bureaucrats and the whole system of government was divided into departments, each of which was led by a person called "Adhyaksha who were helped by clerks, accountants, and spies. Besides, there were two higher officials called the "Samaharta" and the "Sannidhata." The Samaharta was the Mauryan Empire's general tax collector and the officer in charge of the treasury and store was Sannidhata. Other officers included the Army Minister, the Chief Priest, and the Governor of Forts.


Provincial Administration

The territory directly under the rule of King was divided into several provinces called ‘Janapadas.’ Each janapada was further divided into number of districts and each district into units. A part of empire that did not fall under centrally ruled Mauryan territory were the vassal states who enjoyed autonomy. Apart from the central and eastern parts other regions were ruled by provincial governors who consulted the central for important decisions. The district officers, reporters, clerks also helped in smooth functioning of the province.


Local Administration

The local administration was based in villages and towns. "Rajukas" were the district collectors. He was helped by "Yuktas," who worked under him. There were Municipal Board of 30 people divided into six committees with each having five members who were in charge of running the cities. The Village administration was led by Gopa,’ and ‘Gramani’.


Q4) Highlight the features of the office of Cabinet Secretary. [10]

Ans) The Cabinet Secretary is the top-most bureaucrat in the Indian government and is considered the senior-most civil servant in the country. He/she ensures that all departments work together and act in a timely and effective way on issues that the cabinet or the PM cares about.

Key features of the office of the Cabinet Secretary for functioning of the government is highlighted below:


  1. The Cabinet Secretary serves as the Chief Advisor to the Prime Minister on all administrative and policy matters and acts as a link between PMO and other administrative offices. The Cabinet Secretary also ensures that the Prime Minister is well-informed on matters of national importance.

  2. The Cabinet Secretary is an important member of the National Security Council and is involved in decision-making on matters of national security. He/she provides expert advice on security issues and ensures that the government is prepared to respond to any security threat.

  3. The Cabinet Secretary is the chairperson of inter-ministerial dispute-resolving committee and plays a key role in coordinating between various ministries ensuring that the policies and decisions of the government are implemented effectively.

  4. The Cabinet Secretary is the head of the Indian Civil Service and is responsible for the overall administration of the civil service. He or she also acts as a buffer between politicians and civil servants.

  5. The Cabinet Secretary is the chairperson of the senior selection board and has the authority to select officials for the post of joint secretary, secretary, and additional secretary in the central secretariat. The Cabinet Secretary is also involved in the promotion and transfer of senior bureaucrats.

  6. The Cabinet Secretary is responsible for managing emergency situations and ensuring that the government is prepared to respond to any crisis. The Cabinet Secretary plays an important role in the coordination of the response to natural disasters and other emergency situations.


Q5) Elaborate the constitutional provisions, composition, and functions of Union Public Service Commission. [10]

Ans) The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is the central recruiting agency in India.

The constitutional provisions of UPSC are as follows:

  1. Article 315: Constitution of Public Service Commissions (PSC) for the Union and for the States of India.

  2. Article 316: Appointment and term of office of members of UPSC as well as SPSC.

  3. Article 317: Removal and suspension of a member of both the UPSC and SPSC.

  4. Article 318: Power to make regulations for the conditions of service of members and staff of the Commission.

  5. Article 319: Prohibition of holding the office by members of Commission upon ceasing to be such members.

  6. Article 320: States the functions of Public Service Commissions.

  7. Article 321: Power to extend the functions of Public Service Commissions.

  8. Article 322: Expenses of Public Service Commissions.

  9. Article 323: Reports of Public Service Commissions.


The UPSC comprises of a chairman and other members who are appointed by the President of India, 50% of which should be those who have held government office for at least 10 years. It does not specify the number of members but currently it has one chairman and 10 members.


Functions of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) are explained below:


  1. It conducts exams for appointment to the All-India Services, Public services of centrally administered territories and central services.

  2. It assists the States (if requested by 2 or more states) in formulating and implementing the schemes of joint recruitment for any services for selecting special qualification from candidates.

  3. It can serve any or all needs of the state upon their Governor’s request by permission of the President.

  4. The UPSC consults the government upon matters related to personnel management.

  5. It presents, annually, a report on its performance to the President. The President then places this report before both the houses of Parliament, along with a memorandum which explains the cases where the Commission’s advice was not accepted by the government with reasons for such non-acceptance.


Assignment C


Answer the following in about 100 words each.


Q6) Write a short note on Montague-Chelmsford Reforms 1919. [06]

Ans) The Montague-Chelmsford Reforms were introduced in India in 1919 as part of the British government's attempt to introduce constitutional reforms in the country. The reforms were named after the then Secretary of State for India, Edwin Montague, and the Viceroy of India, Lord Chelmsford. The reforms aimed to increase Indian participation in the governance of the country by devolving some powers from the British government to the Indian people.


The reforms provided for the establishment of a bicameral legislature in India with two houses, the Council of State and the Legislative Assembly. The reforms also introduced the system of dyarchy, in which certain rights were reserved for the British government. Despite the intentions of the reforms, it was criticized for falling short of granting political power to Indians. The British government still maintained significant control over the Indian administration. Thus, the Montague-Chelmsford Reforms were an important step in India's constitutional development and laid to the foundation for the Government of India Act 1935, which further expanded Indian participation in the governance of the country.

Q7) List out the special powers of Rajya Sabha. [06]

Ans) The Rajya Sabha, also known as the Council of States, is entitled to two special powers: 


  1. The right to declare the subject matter of the State List as an object of national importance: Constitution empowers the Rajya Sabha to make laws on matters coming under the state list keeping national interest into consideration. Such a resolution empowers the Parliament of the Union to legislate on that state subject for one year. Such resolutions may be passed by the Rajya Sabha more than once.  

  2. Right to create or discontinue an All-India Service: Rajya Sabha reserves the right to create one or more new All India Services. They can do it by passing a resolution supported by a two-thirds majority based on national interest. Similarly, Rajya Sabha can dissolve the existing services which are used all over India.


Q8) What do you mean by Judicial Activism? [06]

Ans) When the state's political bodies don't fulfil their constitutional duties or fail to discharge social and economic justice, the judiciary may step in to assume the role of policy maker or legislator, and makes sure its directions are carried out to meet the socio-economic goals.


Judicial activism refers to the proactive role played by the judiciary in shaping the policies and laws of a country. It involves judges taking an active stance in interpreting the constitution and making decisions that go beyond the traditional role of interpreting laws. The objective of judicial activism is to ensure that the laws and policies of a country are consistent with the values of justice, equality, and human rights. This proactive role of the judiciary is seen as a way of protecting individual rights and liberties, as well as promoting greater equality and fairness in the country.


Q9) Discuss the composition of Finance Commission. [06]

Ans) The Finance Commission is a constitutional body in India that is established every five years to review the financial position of the country and make recommendations to the government on the distribution of tax revenues between the central and state governments and the allocation of resources to the states. The Finance Commission comprises of a chairman and four other members who are appointed by the President of India. The Chairman and the members are selected from individuals with a background in economics, finance, or public administration, and are chosen based on their experience and expertise in these areas.


The role of the Finance Commission is to assess the financial needs of the states, recommend measures to improve the financial position of the states, and suggest ways to distribute the resources of the central government among the states in a manner that promotes equitable growth and development.

Q10) Describe the functions of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. [06]

Ans) Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is an independent regulatory body established to regulate and promote the growth of the telecommunications industry in India. It plays a crucial role in ensuring that the sector operates in a fair and competitive manner, providing consumers with access to reliable and affordable services.


The key functions of TRAI are:


  1. TRAI sets the prices for telecom services, ensuring that they are reasonable and in the best interest of both consumers and providers.

  2. TRAI monitors and enforces quality of service standards for telecom operators, ensuring that consumers receive reliable and efficient services.

  3. TRAI takes measures to promote competition in the telecom sector and prevent anti-competitive practices.

  4. TRAI protects the rights of consumers by ensuring that they have access to information about services and are protected from unfair practices.

  5. TRAI provides expert advice to the government on telecom-related policies and regulations.

  6. TRAI resolves disputes between telecom operators and consumers through a transparent and impartial process.

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