Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of India
भारत के प्रधान मंत्री के प्रधान सचिव
Incumbent
Pramod Kumar Misra
since 11 September 2019; 3 years ago (2019-09-11)
Prime Minister's Office
AbbreviationPS to PM
Reports toPrime Minister of India
SeatPrime Minister's Office, South Block, Secretariat Building New Delhi
AppointerAppointments Committee of the Cabinet
Inaugural holderP. N. Haksar
Formation6 December 1971; 51 years ago (1971-12-06)

The Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of India (PS to the PM) is the senior-most bureaucrat in, and the administrative head of, the Prime Minister's Office. The officeholder is generally a civil servant, commonly from the Indian Administrative Service and occasionally from the Indian Foreign Service. The post is considered one of the most influential in the Indian civil services, and some principal secretaries are considered more powerful and influential than senior government ministers.

The status of the principal secretary—akin to the additional principal secretary—was generally considered equivalent to the Cabinet Secretary, the Government of India's topmost civil servant.[1][2] However, since 2019, the officeholder has been the accorded the status of a cabinet minister.[3]

History

The Prime Minister's Secretariat (PMS)—headed by an officer of the rank of joint secretary to the Government of India—was established after independence under the prime ministership of Jawaharlal Nehru, as a successor to the office of the Governor-General of India's secretary.[9] Lal Bahadur Shastri appointed Lakshmi Kant Jha, an Indian Civil Service officer, as his secretary, making Jha the first secretary to the Government of India-ranked officer in the PMS.[11] During Indira Gandhi's tenure as prime minister, the post of Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister was created;[4][6][10] with retired Indian Foreign Service officer P. N. Haksar becoming the first PS to the PM.[13]

Powers

The Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of India acts as the administrative chief of the Prime Minister's Office,[8][14] and as a result, wields a significant amount of power over the daily affairs of the Government of India.[15][16] The main functions of the officeholder often include, but are not limited to:

The Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister is generally considered the latter's most crucial aide.[16][17][18] Some principal secretaries are considered more powerful and influential than senior government ministers.[15][18][19]

Office holders

List of office holders of the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister.[12]

No. Portrait Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of India Took office Left office Time in office Service Prime Minister of India
1
P. N. Haksar
Haskar, P. N.P. N. Haksar
(1913–1998)
6 December 1971 (1971-12-06)28 February 1973 (1973-02-28)1 year, 84 daysIndian Foreign ServiceGandhi, IndiraIndira Gandhi (INC)
2
V. Shankar
Shankar, V.V. Shankar4 April 1977 (1977-04-04)31 July 1979 (1979-07-31)2 years, 118 daysIndian Civil ServiceDesai, MorarjiMorarji Desai (JP)
3
P. C. Alexander
Alexander, P. C.P. C. Alexander
(1921–2011)
2 May 1981 (1981-05-02)18 January 1985 (1985-01-18)3 years, 261 daysIndian Administrative ServiceGandhi, IndiraIndira Gandhi (INC)
(2 May 1981 (1981-05-02) – 31 October 1984 (1984-10-31))
Rajiv Gandhi (INC)
(31 October 1984 (1984-10-31) – 18 January 1985 (1985-01-18))
4
B. G. Deshmukh
Deshmukh, B. G.B. G. Deshmukh
(1929–2011)
27 March 1989 (1989-03-27)11 December 1990 (1990-12-11)1 year, 259 daysIndian Administrative ServiceGandhi, RajivRajiv Gandhi (INC)
(27 March 1989 (1989-03-27) – 2 December 1989 (1989-12-02))
Vishwanath Pratap Singh (JD)
(2 December 1989 (1989-12-02) – 10 November 1990 (1990-11-10))
Chandra Shekhar (JD)
(10 November 1990 (1990-11-10) – 11 December 1990 (1990-12-11))
5
S. K. Misra
Mishra, S. K.S. K. Misra
(born 1932)
11 December 1990 (1990-12-11)24 June 1991 (1991-06-24)195 daysIndian Administrative ServiceShekhar, ChandraChandra Shekhar (JD)
6
A. N. Verma
Verma, A. N.A. N. Verma25 June 1991 (1991-06-25)15 May 1996 (1996-05-15)4 years, 324 daysIndian Administrative ServiceRao, NarasimhaNarasimha Rao (INC)
7
T. R. Satishchandran
Satishchandran, T. R.T. R. Satishchandran
(1929–2009)
12 June 1996 (1996-06-12)30 June 1997 (1997-06-30)1 year, 18 daysIndian Administrative ServiceDeve Gowda, H. D.H. D. Deve Gowda (JD)
(12 June 1996 (1996-06-12) – 21 April 1997 (1997-04-21))
I. K. Gujral
8
N. N. Vohra
Vohra, N. N.N. N. Vohra
(born 1936)
1 July 1997 (1997-07-01)19 March 1998 (1998-03-19)261 daysIndian Administrative ServiceGujral, I. K.I. K. Gujral (JD)
9
Brajesh Mishra[a]
Mishra, BrajeshBrajesh Mishra[a]
(1928–2012)
19 March 1998 (1998-03-19)22 May 2004 (2004-05-22)6 years, 64 daysIndian Foreign ServiceVajpayee, Atal BihariAtal Bihari Vajpayee (BJP)
10
T. K. A. Nair
Nair, T. K. A.T. K. A. Nair
(born 1939)
28 May 2004 (2004-05-28)3 October 2011 (2011-10-03)7 years, 128 daysIndian Administrative ServiceSingh, ManmohanManmohan Singh (INC)
11
Pulok Chatterji
Chatterjee, PullokPulok Chatterji
(born 1952)
3 October 2011 (2011-10-03)26 May 2014 (2014-05-26)2 years, 235 daysIndian Administrative ServiceSingh, ManmohanManmohan Singh (INC)
12
Nripendra Misra
Misra, NripendraNripendra Misra
(born 1945)
28 May 2014 (2014-05-28)10 September 2019 (2019-09-10)5 years, 105 daysIndian Administrative ServiceModi, NarendraNarendra Modi (BJP)
13
Pramod Kumar Mishra
Mishra, PramodPramod Kumar Mishra
(born 1948)
11 September 2019 (2019-09-11)Incumbent3 years, 337 daysIndian Administrative ServiceModi, NarendraNarendra Modi (BJP)

Additional principal secretary

A prime minister—through the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet—can also appoint an additional principal secretary. The only instance of an additional principal secretary being appointed was in May 2014, Pramod Kumar Misra, a retired 1972-batch Gujarat cadre Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, was appointed by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet to serve as newly-elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi's additional principal secretary.[20][21]

Notes

  1. ^ Concurrently served as the first National Security Advisor from November 1998 to May 2004 (5 years, 6 months).

References

  1. ^ "PK Sinha to be next cabinet secretary: All you should know about India's most powerful bureaucrat". Firstpost. FP Staff. Network 18. 29 May 2015. Retrieved 6 August 2018.((cite web)): CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. ^ "From Power Secretary to the most powerful bureaucrat". Business Line. Our Bureau. New Delhi: The Hindu Group. 29 May 2015. ISSN 0971-7528. OCLC 456162874. Retrieved 6 August 2018.((cite web)): CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ "Government gives cabinet rank, extension to Nripendra Misra and PK Mishra". The Economic Times. 11 June 2019. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Mehta, Dalpat Singh (1968). Handbook of Public Relations in India. New Delhi: Allied Publishers. p. 135. ISBN 978-8170233343.
  5. ^ Singh, Karuna (July–September 2007). "Prime Minister's Office : A Critical Analysis". The Indian Journal of Political Science. 68 (3): 629–640. ISSN 0019-5510. JSTOR 41856360.
  6. ^ a b c d Singh, N. K. (31 May 2015). "The PMO Under Modi Takes Unprecedented Shape". NDTV. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  7. ^ a b Mehra, Ajay K. (28 March 2001). "Abolish the PMO". The Hindu. N. Ram. ISSN 0971-751X. OCLC 13119119. Retrieved 6 September 2018.[dead link]
  8. ^ a b c d Mookerji, Nivedita (10 October 2017). "The most powerful PMO in India's history". Business Standard. Business Standard Ltd. OCLC 496280002. Retrieved 6 September 2018 – via Rediff.com.
  9. ^ [4][5][6][7][8]
  10. ^ a b c Satishchandran, T. R. (1 April 2001). "PMO Calling". The Tribune. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  11. ^ [6][7][8][10]
  12. ^ a b "List of Principal Secretaries to PM along with their Tenures" (PDF). Prime Minister's Office, Government of India. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  13. ^ [4][6][8][10][12]
  14. ^ a b c d e f g Laxmikanth, M. (2014). Governance in India (2nd ed.). Noida: McGraw-Hill Education (published 25 August 2014). pp. 3.17–3.19. ISBN 978-9339204785.
  15. ^ a b Unnithan, Sandeep (19 April 2018). "Official Top 10: Hidden power". India Today. Aroon Purie. ISSN 0254-8399. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  16. ^ a b Ramesh, PR; NP, Ullekh (22 May 2015). "Prime movers for Narendra Modi". Open. Ashok Bindra. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  17. ^ Bhattacharya, A. K. (15 April 2014). "A K Bhattacharya: The PMO and the PM". Business Standard. New Delhi: Business Standard Ltd. OCLC 496280002. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  18. ^ a b "A Principal Decline in South Block". Business Standard. BSCAL. Business Standard Ltd. 13 April 1998. OCLC 496280002. Retrieved 5 August 2018.((cite news)): CS1 maint: others (link)
  19. ^ Agha, Zafar (15 September 1992). "As Narasimha Rao consolidates hold on Congress(I), his style becomes more autocratic". India Today. Aroon Purie. ISSN 0254-8399. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  20. ^ "Ex-agriculture secy P K Mishra is Modi's Addl Principal Secy". The Indian Express. New Delhi: Indian Express Group. Express News Service. 10 June 2014. OCLC 70274541. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  21. ^ "P.K. Mishra is Additional Principal Secretary to PM". The Hindu. New Delhi: N. Ram. Press Trust of India. 11 June 2018. ISSN 0971-751X. OCLC 13119119. Retrieved 6 August 2018.

Bibliography

Books

Paper

  • Singh, Karuna (July–September 2007). "Prime Minister's Office : A Critical Analysis". The Indian Journal of Political Science. 68 (3): 629–640. ISSN 0019-5510. JSTOR 41856360.