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Instructions to New Users

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University Grants Commission

Right from the early times India has been an important seat of learning. Universities like Nalanda, Taxila and Vikramshila have attracted students not only from various parts of the country but it have also brought in large number of students from countries in and around India. Till today India has remained a great seat of higher education and many students come down to India to study on various subjects throughout the year. The first attempt to begin a national level educational system in India had begun in the year 1944. The Central Advisory Board of Education recommended the formation of a University Grants Commission in the year 1944. The University Grants Commission or UGC was formed in the year 1945 and was assigned the responsibility of looking into the working of the Banaras Hindu University and the Delhi and Aligarh Universities as well. In the year 1947, the University Grants Commission or the UGC was assigned the responsibility of looking into the working of all the existing universities of the country at that time.

History of University Grants Commission or UGC



As soon as India got her Independence, in the year 1952 a University Education Commission was set up which recommended that the University Grants Commission be remodelled according to the University Grants Commission of the United Kingdom with a full time Chairman and the other members of the Commission should be recruited from educationists of repute.

The Commission also decided that all issues relating to the allocation of public funds to the Central Universities and other educational institutes of higher learning should be referred to the UGC and it was decided that the opinion of the UGC in this regard would be considered final. Finally in the year 1953, the University Grants Commission was re-inaugurated by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the then Minister of Education, Natural Resources and Scientific Research on 28th of December 1953.

Finally the UGC was established as a statutory organ of the government in November 1956 through an Act of Parliament. The commission has been assigned the duties of coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of university education in India. In order to bring about effective region-wise working of the commission throughout the country, the UGC has decentralised its operations by setting up six regional centres at Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bhopal, Guwahati and Bengaluru. The head office of the UGC is located at Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg in New Delhi.

Functions of University Grants Commission or UGC

The prime functions of the University Grants Commission are as follows:



  • It provides funds to the various higher educational institutes.


  • It carries out the function of co-ordination, determination and maintenance of standards in institutions of higher education.



  • In addition to these the University Grants Commission also performs the following functions as well:

  • Promoting and coordinating university education.


  • Determining and maintaining standards of teaching, examination and research in universities.


  • Framing regulations on minimum standards of education.


  • Monitoring developments in the field of collegiate and university education; disbursing grants to the universities and colleges.


  • Serving as a vital link between the Union and state governments and institutions of higher learning.


  • Advising the Central and State governments on the measures necessary for improvement of university education.



  • Finally it can be concluded saying that the UGC looks after the proper development and fostering of higher education in the country.

    Central Vigilance Commission

    The Central Vigilance Commission was set up by the Government of India in February, 1964 on the recommendations of the Committee on Prevention of Corruption, headed by Shri K. Santhanam, to advise and guide Central Government agencies in the field of vigilance.

    CVC is conceived to be the apex vigilance institution, free of control from any executive authority, monitoring all vigilance activity under the Central Government and advising various authorities in Central Government organisations in planning, executing, reviewing and reforming their vigilance work.



    Consequent upon promulgation of an Ordinance by the President, the Central Vigilance Commission has been made a multi member Commission with "statutory status" with effect from 25 August, 1998.

    The CVC Bill was passed by both the houses of Parliament in 2003 and the President gave his assent on 11 September 2003. Thus the Central Vigilance Commission Act 2003 (No45 Of 2003) came into effect from that date.

    The Commission shall consist of:


  • a Central Vigilance Commissioner-Chairperson;


  • Not more than two Vigilance Commissioners-Members.



  • Vide GOI Resolution on "Public Interest Disclosure and Protection of Informer" dated April 2004, the Government of India has authorised the Central Vigilance Commission as the "Designated Agency" to receive written complaints for disclosure on any allegation of corruption or misuse of office and recommend appropriate action.

    The Central Vigilance Commission has its own Secretariat. The Secretariat consists of a Secretary of the rank of Additional Secretary to the GOI, one officer of the rank of Joint Secretary to the GOI, ten officers of the rank of Director/Deputy Secretary, four Under Secretaries and office staff.

    Chief Technical Examiners` Writing Wing (CTE)
    The Chief Technical Examiner`s Organisation constitutes the technical wing of the Central Vigilance Commission (India) and is manned by two Engineers of the rank of Chief Engineers (designated as Chief Technical Examiners) with supporting engineering staff.

    The main functions assigned to this organisation are:

  • Technical audit of construction works of Governmental organisations from a vigilance angle;


  • Investigation of specific cases of complaints relating to construction works;


  • Extension of assistance to -CBI in their investigations involving technical matters and for evaluation of properties in Delhi; and



  • Tendering of advice/assistance to the Commission and Chief Vigilance Officers in vigilance cases involving technical matters.

    Powers and Functions of Central Vigilance Commission
    To exercise superintendence over the functioning of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) with respect to investigation under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; or offence under CRPC for certain categories of public servants and to give directions to the DSPE for purpose of discharging this responsibility;

    a) to review the progress of investigations conducted by the DSPE into offences alleged to have been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act;

    b) to undertake an inquiry or cause an inquiry or investigation to be made into any transaction in which a public servant working in any organisation, to which the executive control of the Government of India extends, is suspected or alleged to have acted for an improper purpose or in a corrupt manner;

    c) to tender independent and impartial advice to the disciplinary and other authorities in disciplinary cases, involving vigilance angle at different stages i.e. investigation, inquiry, appeal, review etc.;

    d) to exercise a general check and supervision over vigilance and anti-corruption work in Ministries or Departments of the Govt. of India and other organisations to which the executive power of the Union extends; and

    e) to chair the Committee for selection of Director (CBI), Director (Enforcement Directorate) and officers of the level of SP and above in DSPE.

    f) To undertake or cause an inquiry into complaints received under the Public Interest Disclosure and Protection of Informer and recommend appropriate action.

    Commission`s Jurisdiction under CVC Act:

  • Members of All India Services serving in connection with the affairs of the Union and Group A officers of the Central Government.




  • Board level appointees and other senior officers` up to two grades below the Board level, in the Public Sector Undertakings of the Central Government;




  • Officers of the rank of Scale V and above in the Public Sector Banks;




  • Officers of the rank of Assistant Manager and above in the Insurance Sector (covered by LIC and GIC and four non- life insurance companies in the Public sector); and




  • Officers drawing basic pay of Rs. 8700/- per month and above in autonomous bodies/local authorities or societies owned or controlled by the Central Government.



  • Chief Vigilance Officers
    The Chief Vigilance Officers are extended hands of the CVC. The Chief Vigilance Officers are considerably higher level officers who are appointed in each and every Department/ Organisation to assist the Head of the Department/Organisation in all vigilance matters.

    The Chief Vigilance Officers constitute an important link between the organisations concerned and the Central Vigilance Commission (as also the CBI).

    National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

    Article 338A of the Constitution provides for a National Commission for Scheduled Tribes-

    (1) There shall be a Commission for the Scheduled Tribes to be known as the National Commission for the Scheduled Tribes.


    (2) Subject to the provisions of any law made in this behalf by Parliament, the Commission shall consist of a Chairperson, Vice- Chairperson and three other Members and the conditions of service and tenure of office of the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and other Members so appointed shall be such as the President by rule determine.

    (3) The Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and other Members of the Commission shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal.

    (4) The Commission shall have the power to regulate its own procedure.

    (5) It shall be the duty of the Commission--
    (a) to investigate and monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the Scheduled Tribes under this Constitution or under any other law for the time being in force or under any order of the Government and to evaluate the working of such safeguards;

    (b) To inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safeguards of the Scheduled Tribes;

    (c) To participate and advise on the planning process of socio- economic development of the Scheduled Tribes and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union and any State;

    (d) To present to the President, annually and at such other times as the Commission may deem fit, reports upon the working of those safeguards;

    (e) to make in such reports recommendations as to the measures that should be taken by the Union or any State for the effective implementation of those safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and socioeconomic development of the Scheduled Tribes; and

    (f) To discharge such other functions in relation to the protection, welfare and development and advancement of the Scheduled Tribes as the President may, subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, by rule specify.

    (6) The President shall cause all such reports to be laid before each House of Parliament along with a memorandum explaining the action taken or proposed to be taken on the recommendations relating to the Union and the reasons for the non-acceptance, if any, of any such recommendations.

    (7) Where any such report, or any part thereof, relates to any matter with which any State Government is concerned, a copy of such report shall be forward ed to the Governor of the State who shall cause it to be laid before the Legislature of the State along with a memorandum explaining the action taken or proposed to be taken on the recommendations relating to the State and the reasons for the non-acceptance, if any, of any of such recommendations.

    The Commission shall, while investigating any matter referred to in sub-clause (a) or inquiring into any complaint referred to in sub-clause (b) of clause (5), have all the powers of a civil court trying a suit and in particular in respect of the following matters, namely

    (a) Summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person from any part of India and examining him on oath;
    (b) Requiring the discovery and production of any document;
    (c) Receiving evidence on affidavits;
    (d) Requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office;
    (e) Issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses and documents;
    (f) Any other matter which the President may, by rule, determine.

    (9.) The Union and every State Government shall consult the Commission on all major policy matters affecting Scheduled Tribes.

    National Human Rights Commission

    National Human Rights Commission came into being in October, 1993. In terms of Section 2 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, "human rights" means the rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed under the Constitution or embodied in the International Covenants and enforceable by courts in India. "International Covenants" means the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on the 16th December, 1966.

    Functions of National Human Rights Commission


    a) Inquire, on its initiative or on a petition presented to it by a victim or any person on his behalf, into complaint of-
    i) Violation of human rights or abetment or ii) negligence in the prevention of such violation, by a public servant;

    b) Intervene in any proceeding involving any allegation of violation of human rights pending before a court with the approval of such court;

    c) Visit, under intimation to the State Government, any jail or any other institution under the control of the State Government, where persons are detained or lodged for purposes of treatment, reformation or protection to study the living condition of the inmates and make recommendations thereon.

    d) Review the safeguards by or under the Constitution or any law for the time being in force for the protection of human rights and recommend measures for their effective implementation;

    e) Review the factors, including acts of terrorism that inhibit the enjoyment of human rights and recommend appropriate remedial measures;

    f) Study treaties and other international instruments on human rights and make recommendations for their effective implementation;

    g) Undertake and promote research in the field of human rights;

    h) Spread human rights literacy among various sections of society and promote awareness of the safeguards available for the protection of these rights through publications, the media, seminars and other available means;
    i) encourage the efforts of non-Governmental organisations and institutions working in the field of human rights;
    j) Such other functions as it may consider necessary for the promotion of human rights.

    While inquiring into complaints under the Act, the Commission shall have all the powers of a civil court trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, and in particular the following, namely;

    a) Summoning and enforcing the attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath;
    b) Discovery and production of any document;
    c) Receiving evidence on affidavits;
    d) Requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office;
    e) Issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents;
    f) Any other matter which may be prescribed.

    The autonomy of the Commission derives, inter-alia, from the method of appointing its Chairperson and Members, their fixity of tenure, and statutory guarantees thereto, the status they have been accorded and the manner in which the staff responsible to the Commission - including its investigative agency - are appointed and conduct themselves. The financial autonomy of the Commission is spelt out in Section 32 of the Act.

    The Chairperson and Members of the Commission are appointed by the President on the basis of recommendations of a Committee comprising the Prime Minister as the Chairperson, the Speaker of Lok Sabha, the Home Minister, the leaders of the opposition in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha as Members.

    Inquiring into complaints is one of the major activities of the Commission. In several instances individual complaints have led the Commission to the generic issues involved in violation of rights, and enabled it to move the concerned authorities for systemic improvements. However, the Commission also actively seeks out issues in human rights which are of significance, either suo motu, or when brought to its notice by the civil society, the media, concerned citizens, or expert advisers. Its focus is to strengthen the extension of human rights to all sections of society, in particular, the vulnerable groups.

    The Commission`s purview covers the entire range of civil and political, as well as economic, social and cultural rights. Areas facing terrorism and insurgency, custodial death, rape and torture, reform of the police, prisons, and other institutions such as juvenile homes, mental hospitals and shelters for women have been given special attention. The Commission has urged the provision of primary health facilities to ensure maternal and child welfare essential to a life with dignity, basic needs such as potable drinking water, food and nutrition, and highlighted fundamental questions of equity and justice to the less privileged, namely the Indian Scheduled Castes and Indian Scheduled Tribes and the prevention of atrocities perpetrated against them. Rights of the disabled, access to public services, displacement of populations and especially of tribal by mega projects, food scarcity and allegation of death by starvation, rights of the child, rights of women subjected to violence, sexual harassment and discrimination, and rights of minorities, have been the focus of the Commission`s action on numerous occasions.

    Ever since its constitution in 1993, the National Human Rights Commission has been discharging a role complementary to that of the Supreme Court of India by performing those tasks which by their very nature the NHRC can perform better e.g. monitoring any situation or functioning of an institution. The complementarities between these institutions have considerably improved the mechanism for the protection of human rights in the country, which is primarily a state responsibility.

    The Rashtriya Vikas Parishad or the National Development Council (NDC) came into being on August 6th 1956. Since the very beginning, there was felt a need for the creation of a body consisting of the representatives of the Central Government, the constituent units of a federal union and others equally interested and qualified for the job. In fact, the draft outline of the very first five-year plan (July 1951) had expressed the need for such a body. This proposal was accepted by the Government of India and thus the Rashtriya Vikas Parishad was created. The main intent behind setting up this body was to strengthen and mobilise the efforts and resources of the nation in support of the Five Year Plans, to promote common economic policies in all vital spheres and to ensure the balanced and rapid development of all parts of the country.

    Composition of Rashtriya Vikas Parishad


    The Council comprises the Indian Prime Minister, all the Union Cabinet Ministers, Chief Ministers of all States or their substitutes, representatives of the union territories and the members of the Commissions. There have been occasions when the Reserve Bank Governor and other experts have been invited to address the meetings. The large membership of the Council, which at one time rose to 50, reduced the utility of the Council for discussion as a compact body and in November 1954 a Standing Committee was established with only nine Chief Ministers and a few Union Ministers as members. In addition, the Council has been appointing committees from time to time for a detailed examination of certain problems. The Prime Minister is the Chairman of the Council and the Secretary to the Commission acts as its Secretary and the Commission furnishes the Council with administrative and other assistance. The Council ordinarily meets twice a year. It is interesting to note that the Council ordinarily passes no resolution formally. The practice is to have a complete record of discussion and gather out of it general trends pinpointing particular conclusions. Decisions are usually unanimous.

    Functions of Rashtriya Vikas Parishad
    In October 1967, on the recommendations of the Administrative Reforms Commission, the Council was reconstituted and its functions were redefined to include:

    1) Prescription of guidelines for the formulation of National Plan, including the assessment of resources for the Plan;

    2) Consideration of national Plan as formulated by the Commission;

    3) Considering important questions of social and economic policy affecting national development; and

    4) The review of the working of the Plan from time to time and recommending such measures as are necessary for achieving the aims and targets to secure the active participation and cooperation of the people, improving the efficiency of the administrative services, ensuring the fullest development of the less advanced regions and sections of the community and, through sacrifice, borne equally, by all citizens, build up resources for national development.

    It was envisaged that the NDC would advise and make its recommendations to the Central and State Governments. Since its inception, it has been functioning as a high power consultative body where the frame of the Five Year Plans, the important problems facing the Indian economy, and the policies, that have to be adopted for tiding over the urgent problems have been discussed and solutions arrived at. Thus in addition to the Plan, the Council has concerned itself with problems like food, creation of the State Trading Corporation and land reforms.

    The prime function of the Council is to act as a kind of bridge between the Union Government, the Planning Commission and the State Governments. It helps in the coordination not only of policies and programmes of plans but also other matters of national importance. It provides a good forum for discussion and full and free exchange of views. There is no other comparative forum. It is also a device for sharing of responsibility between States and the Union Government.

    Finance Commission

    Finance Commission of India was formed in the year 1951 under Article 280 of the Constitution of India. The Commission was structured according to the world standards. The objective of forming the Finance Commission was to allocate resources of the revenue between the Union and the State Governments in India adequately.

    Formation of Finance Commission of India


    The detailed set up and of the Finance Commission has been provided in Article 280 of the Constitution of India. The Article states:

    (1) The President shall, within two years from the commencement of this Constitution and thereafter and at the expiration of every fifth year or at such time earlier time as the President considers necessary, by order constitute a Finance Commission which shall consist of a Chairman and four other members to be appointed by the President.

    (2) Parliament may by law determine the qualification which shall be requisite for appointment as members of the Commission and the manner in which they shall be selected.

    (3) It shall be the duty of the Commission to make recommendations to the President as to the distribution of the net proceeds of taxes which are to be, or may be divided between them under this chapter and the allocation between the States of the respective shares of such proceeds. It is also the duty of the Finance Commission to define the financial relations between the Union and the State and it also caters to the purpose of devolution of non-plan revenue resources.

    Composition of Finance Commission of India
    The Finance Commission of India has a Chairman along with four other members and a Secretary. The Chairman is the person who heads the Commission and presides over its activities. The Indian Parliament is authorised to determine by law the qualifications of the members of the Commission and method of their selection. The Chairman of the Finance Commission is selected among persons who have had the experience of public affairs, and four other members are selected among persons who- are, or have been, or are qualified as judges of High Courts of India, or have knowledge of finance, or have vast experience in financial matters and are in administration, or have knowledge of economics. All the appointments are made by the Indian President. A member can be disqualified on the following grounds- when a member is found to be of unsound mind, is involved in a vile act or if his interests are likely to affect the functioning of the Commission.

    The tenure of the office of the Member of the Finance Commission is specified by the President of India and in some cases the members are also re-appointed. The members shall give part time or whole time service to the Commission as scheduled by the President. The salary of the members of the Finance Commission is according to the provisions led down by the Constitution of India.

    Functions of Finance Commission of India
    Under the Constitution, the basis for sharing of divisible taxes by the Centre and the States and the principles governing grants-in-aid to the states have to be decided by the Commission every five years. The President can refer to the Commission any other matter in the interest of sound finance. The recommendations of the Commission together with an explanatory memorandum as to the action taken by the Government on them are laid before each house of Parliament. The Commission has to evaluate the increase in the Consolidated Fund of a state to affix the resources of the Panchayat in the state. It also has to evaluate the increase in the Consolidated Fund of a state to affix the resources of the Municipalities in the state.

    Powers of Finance Commission of India
    The Commission has been given adequate powers in the exercise of its function and within its area of activity. It has all the powers of the Civil Court as per the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. It can call any witness, or can ask for the production of any public record or document from any court or office. It can ask any person to give information or document on matters as it may feel to be useful or relevant. It can function as a civil court in discharging its duties.

    National Commission for Women

    The National Commission for Women was set up as a statutory body in January 1992 under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990 (Act No. 20 of 1990) of Government of India, to review the constitutional and legal safeguards for women; recommend remedial legislative measures, facilitate redressal of grievances and advise the Government on all policy matters affecting women.

    The Mandate of the Commission is as follows:


    a. Investigate and examine all matters relating to the safeguards provided for women under the Constitution and other laws;

    b. present to the Central Government, annually and at such other items as the Commission may deem fit, reports upon the working of those safeguards;

    c. make in such reports recommendations for the effective implementation of those safeguards for improving the conditions of women by the Union of any State;

    d. review, from time to time, the existing provisions of the Constitution and other laws affecting women and recommend amendments thereto so as to suggest remedial legislate measures to meet any lacunae, inadequacies or shortcomings in such legislations;

    e. take up cases of violation of the provisions of the Constitution and of other laws relating to women with the appropriate authorities;

    f. look into complaints and take suo moto notice of matters relating to:
    i. deprivation of women`s rights;
    ii. Non-implementation of laws enacted to provide protection to women and also to achieve the objective of equality and development
    iii. Non-compliance of policy decisions, guidelines or instructions aimed at mitigating hardships and ensuring welfare and providing relief to women, and take up the issues arising out of such matters with appropriate authorities

    g. call for special studies or investigations into specific problems or situations arising out of discrimination and atrocities against women and identify the constraints so as to recommend strategies for their removal;

    h. undertake promotional and educational research so as to suggest ways of ensuring due representation of women in all spheres and identify factors responsible for impending their advancement, such as, lack of access to housing and basic services, inadequate support services and technologies for reducing drudgery and occupational health hazards and for increasing their productivity
    i. participate and advise on the planning process of socio-economic development of women;

    j. evaluate the progress of the development of women under the Union and any State;

    k. inspect or cause to be inspected a jail, remand home women`s institution or other place of custody where women are kept as prisoners or otherwise, and take up with the concerned authorities for remedial action, if found necessary;

    l. fund legislation involving issues affecting a large body of women;

    m. make periodical reports to the Government on any matter pertaining to women and in particular various difficulties under which women toil;

    n. any other matter which may be referred to it by Central Government;

    State Government who shall cause it to be laid before the Legislature of the State along with a memorandum explaining the action taken or proposed to be taken on the recommendations relating to the State and the reasons for the non-acceptance, if any, of any of such recommendations.

    The Commission shall, while investigating any matter referred to in clause (a) or sub-clause(I) of clause(f) of sub-section (1), have all the powers of a civil court trying a suit and, in particular in respect of the following matters, namely:

    a. summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person room any part of India and examining him on oath;

    b. requiring the discovery and production of any document;

    c. receiving evidence on affidavits;

    d. requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office

    e. issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses and documents; and

    f. any other matter which may be prescribed

    Complaints and Counselling Unit for the National Commission for Women:
    This cell is the "Core" unit of the commission and processes the complaints received oral, written or suo motu under Section 10 of the NCW Act.

    The complaints received relate to domestic violence, harassment, dowry, torture, desertion, bigamy, rape, and refusal to register FIR, cruelty by husband, derivation, gender discrimination and sexual harassment at work place.

    The complaints are tackled as below:-



  • Investigations by the police are expedited and monitored.




  • Disaggregated data are made available to various state authorities to facilitate action.




  • Family disputes are resolved or compromised through counselling





  • As per the 1997 Supreme Court Judgement on Sexual Harassment at Workplace, (Vishakha vs. State ofRajasthan) every employer is required to provide for effective complaints procedures and remedies including awarding of compensation to women victims. In sexual harassment complaints, the concerned organisations are urged to expedite cases and the disposal is monitored

    For serious crimes, the Commission constitutes an Inquiry Committee which makes spot enquiries, examines various witnesses, collects evidence and submits the report with recommendations. The implementation of the report is monitored by the NCW. The State Commission, the NGOs and other experts are involved in these efforts.

    The complaints are analysed to understand the gaps in routine functioning of government in tackling violence against women and to suggest correctional measures.

    The complaints are also used as case studies for sensitization programmes for the police, judiciary, prosecutors, forensic scientists, defence lawyers and other administrative functionaries.

    The Commission constitutes Expert Committees for dealing with such special issues as may be taken up by the Commission from time to time.

    The Expert Committees established so far are for:-
    Law and legislation, Political empowerment, Custodial justice for women, Social security, Panchayati Raj, Women and media, Development of Scheduled Tribe Women, Development of women of weaker sections, Development of women of minority communities, Transfer of technology in agriculture for development of women.

    The Commission interacts and networks with the NGOs and the State Commissions for ensuring gender equality arid empowerment of women. The Commission also interacts with the media, social activists and academicians to suggest ways of ensuring due representation of women in all spheres.

    The Commission undertakes state visits to evaluate the progress of development of women in various States. It has covered the States of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Tripura and Manipur.

    During the visits, discussions are held with the Chief Minister, the Women and Child Development Minister, the Chief Secretary, the Home Secretary and the Secretaries of other departments.

    The Commission conducts seminars, workshops and conferences and sponsors such events by providing financial assistance to research organisations and NGOs. The important areas so far covered include violence against women, sexual exploitation of women at work place, educational health and employment aspects, women in agriculture sector, women in Panchayati Raj, custodial justice, mental health institutions etc.

    The NCW holds public hearings on issues affecting large sections of women such as crime against women, women in unorganised labour sector, women in agriculture and women of minority groups. The deposition at these enquiries helps in appreciating and initiating remedial action.

    National Commission for Backward Classes

    The Government of India enacted the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 (Act No. 27 of 1993) for setting up a National Commission for Backward Classes as a permanent body.

    The Act came into effect on the 2 April, 1993. Section 3 of the Act provides that the Commission shall consist of five Members, comprising of a Chairperson who is or has been a judge of the Supreme Court of India or of High Courts of India; a social scientist; two persons, who have special knowledge in matters relating to backward classes; and a Member-Secretary, who is or has been an officer of the Central Government in the rank of Secretary to the Government of India.


    The Government of India constituted the Commission on 14 August 1993 with a term of three years. The Commission was subsequently re-constituted on 28.2.1997 and 28.7.2000.

    Article 340 of the Constitution provides for the appointment of a Commission to investigate the conditions of and the difficulties faced by the socially and educationally backward classes and to make appropriate recommendations.

    Grounds on which the National Commission for Backward Classes may be appointed:
    (1) The President of India may by order appoint a Commission consisting of such persons as he thinks fit to investigate the conditions of the socially and educationally backward classes within the territory of India and the difficulties under which they labour and to make recommendations as to the steps that should be taken by the Union or any State to remove such difficulties and to improve their condition and as to the grants that should be made for the purpose by the Union or any State and the conditions subject to which such grants should be made, and the order appointing such Commission shall define the procedure to be followed by the Commission.

    (2) A Commission so appointed shall investigate the matters referred to them and present to the President a report setting out the facts as found by them and make such recommendations as they think proper.

    (3) The President shall cause a copy of the report so presented together with a memorandum explaining the action taken thereon to be laid before each house of Parliament.

    Functions of the National Commission for Backward Classes:
    Under Section 9(1) of the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 the Commission shall examine requests for inclusion of any class of citizens as a backward class in the Central List of Backward Classes and hear complaints of over-inclusion or under-inclusion of any backward class in the lists and tender such advice to the Union Government as it deems appropriate.

    Under Section 9(2) of the Act, "The advice of the Commission shall ordinarily be binding upon the Central Government".

    Under Section 11(1) of the Act, the Central Government may at any time, and shall, at the expiration of ten years from the coming into force of this Act and every succeeding period of ten years thereafter, undertake revision of the lists with a view to excluding from such lists those classes who have ceased to be backward classes or for including in such lists new backward classes.

    Under Section 11(2) of the Act, the Central Government shall, while undertaking any revision referred to in sub-section (1) consult the Commission.

    The Government of India has also evolved the criteria for exclusion of certain socially advanced persons/sections - called the "creamy layer" - from the benefits of reservation available to OBCs in civil posts and services under the Government of India.

    Comptroller and Auditor General of India (C&AG) is an important authority created by the Constitution of India. It is mainly responsible for controlling the financial system of the country at the Union as well as the State levels. He has to see to it that the diverse authorities act in regard to all financial matters in accordance with the Constitution and the laws and rules framed there under. Public audit ensures parliamentary control over expenditures voted by the legislature and renders public authorities accountable for the public moneys raised and spent by them to implement policies and programmes approved by the legislature. Accountability and transparency, the two cardinal principles of good governance in a democratic set-up, depend for their observance, to a large extent, on how well the public audit function is discharged. It is for this reason that the C&AG has been given special status by the Constitution in articles 148 to 152. It is his responsibility to ensure that money is spent and revenue rises not only in accordance with the law, but also with due regard to economy, efficiency and effectiveness. The C&AG is the constitutional authority entrusted with the high responsibility of maintaining probity in the use of public funds.

    Article 148 of the Constitution of India provides for a Comptroller and Auditor-General of India who shall be appointed by the Indian President by warrant under his hand and seal. His term of office is six years or up to the age of 65 years.


    Independence of the office of C&AG
    To ensure the independence of this office from the executive government of the day, it has been provided that the Comptroller and Auditor General shall not be removed from his office except on grounds of proved misbehaviour or incapacity, on an address passed by each of the two Houses of Parliament by two thirds majority of those present and voting and a majority of the total membership of each House being presented to the President in the same manner as applicable to the judges of the Supreme Court of India under article 124(4). Also, the Comptroller and Auditor General has been made ineligible for any other office under the Government of India or any State Government. His salary etc. is left to be determined by Indian Parliament by law.

    The salary, etc. of Comptroller and Auditor General have been equated with the judges of the Supreme Court of India. The service conditions of those serving in the Audit and Accounts Department and the administrative powers of the Comptroller and Auditor General are to be laid down by the President by rules framed after consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor General. The administrative expenses of the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General are to be charged upon the Consolidated Fund of India.

    Functions of C&AG
    As the most important instrument of accountability, the Comptroller and Auditor General has a dual role to perform- as an agency on behalf of the Legislature to ensure that the executive complies with the various laws passed by the Legislature in letter and spirit, and secondly, on behalf of the Executive to ensure compliance by subordinate authorities with the rules and orders issued by it. He is empowered to make rules for carrying out the provisions relating to the maintenance of accounts; make regulations for carrying out the provisions relating to the scope and extent of audit, including lying down for the guidance of the Government departments the general principles of Government accounting and the broad principles in regard to audit of receipts and expenditure; requisitioning of all records of the auditee departments/organisations; access the computer systems of the auditees and to download and use electronic data either in site or off site; review the development of computer systems of auditees and suggest/enforce controls; the appointment of external auditors engaged by the auditees for meeting any statutory requirements but only with reference to Government companies; to supervise and regulate external auditors` work under the Indian Companies Act; dispense with, when circumstances so warrant, any part of detailed audit of any accounts or class of transactions and to apply such limited check in relation to such accounts or transactions as he may determine.

    While fulfilling his constitutional obligations, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India conducts the following types of audit: Financial Audit, Compliance Audit, Performance Audit and EDP Audit. Further, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India undertake Special Audit at the request of the Government.

    Thus it can be seen how the Comptroller and Auditor General of India enhances the accountability of the Parliament and State Legislatures of India by carrying out audits n the public sector organisations.

    Controller General of Accounts

    Controller General of Accounts is the principal accounts adviser to the Government of India and is responsible for establishing and maintaining a technically sound management accounting system. The organization of Controller General of Accounts was set up in the Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure in October 1975 to administer matters pertaining to departmentalisation of accounts of the Union. The Comptroller General of Accounts is the apex accounting authority of the Central government and exercises the powers of the Indian President under Article 150 for prescribing the form of accounts of the Union and State governments of India. According to Article 150 of the Constitution of India the accounts of the Union and the States shall be kept in such form as the President may, on the advice of Comptroller and Auditor General of India, prescribe. This function of the President has been allocated to Controller General of Accounts in terms of Article 77 (3) of Constitution of India.

    Functions of Controller General of Accounts


    The functions of the Controller General of Accounts include the framing of rules and regulations in the field of accounts and internal audit, the publication of account codes and manuals as well as issue of periodical instructions and circulars. He prepares a critical analysis of expenditures, revenues, borrowings and the deficit for the Finance Minister every month. He also prepares annual Appropriation Accounts and Union Finance Accounts for presentation to the Indian Parliament. The office of the Controller General of Accounts is responsible for consolidation of accounts of the Union government. These after auditing by the C&AG are placed on the table of both the houses of Parliament along with the report from the latter. It also looks after pensions of the Central government employees. The Central Pension Accounting Office commenced functioning with effect from 1st January, 1990.

    The Controller General of Accounts is responsible for prescribing the form of accounts relating to the Union and State governments; laying down of accounting procedures; framing and revising rules of accounting by Central (Civil) Accounts Officers, India and the administration of rules under Article 283 of the Constitution.

    Thus discussed is the role and functions of the Controller General of Accounts, the prime accounting authority of the Central Government.

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