The Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 are made by the President of India under Article 77 of the Constitution for the allocation of business of the Government of India. The Ministries/Departments of the Government are created by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister under these Rules. The business of the Government are transacted in the Ministries/Departments, Secretariats and offices (referred to as 'Department') as per the distribution of subjects specified in these Rules. Each of the Ministries is assigned to a Minister by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister. Each department is generally under the charge of a Secretary to assist the Minister on policy matters and general administration.
The Cabinet Secretariat is under the direct charge of the Prime Minister. The administrative head of the Secretariat is the Cabinet Secretary who is also the ex-officio Chairman of the Civil Services Board.
In the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 'Cabinet Secretariat' finds a place in the First Schedule to the Rules. The subjects allotted to this Secretariat are: (i) Secretarial assistance to Cabinet and Cabinet Committees; and (ii) Rules of Business.
The Cabinet Secretariat is responsible for the administration of the Government of India (Transaction of Business) Rules, 1961 and the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules 1961, facilitating smooth transaction of business in Ministries/Departments of the Government by ensuring adherence to these rules. The Secretariat assists in decision-making in Government by ensuring Inter-Ministerial coordination, ironing out differences amongst Ministries/Departments and evolving consensus through the instrumentality of the standing and ad hoc Committees of Secretaries. Through this mechanism, new policy initiatives are also promoted.
The Cabinet Secretariat ensures that the President, the Vice-President and Ministers are kept informed of the major activities of all Ministries/Departments by means of monthly summary of their activities. Management of major crisis situations in the country and coordinating activities of various Ministries in such a situation is also one of the functions of the Cabinet Secretariat.
The Cabinet Secretariat is seen as a useful mechanism by the departments for promoting inter-Ministerial coordination since the Cabinet Secretary is also the head of the civil services. The Secretaries felt it necessary to keep the Cabinet Secretary informed of developments from time to time. The Transaction of Business Rules also require them to keep the Cabinet Secretary informed specially if there are any departures from these rules.
National Authority, Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) was set up by a resolution of Cabinet Secretariat dated 5 May 1997 to fulfil the obligations enunciated in the Chemical Weapons Convention initially signed by 130 countries in a conference which concluded on 14 January 1993 for the purpose prohibiting of the development, production, execution, transfer, use and stockpiling of all chemical weapons by Member-States is a non-discriminatory process. To fulfil its obligations, each State Party has to designate or establish a National Authority to serve as the national focal point for effective liaison with Organisation for Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and other State Parties and hence the NA, CWC under the administrative control of the Cabinet Secretariat was set-up.
A high-level steering committee under the Chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary with Secretary (Chemical and Petrochemicals), Foreign Secretary, Secretary, Defence Research and Development, Defence Secretary and Chairman, National Authority as its other members would oversee the functions of the National Authority. The NA, CWC is responsible for implementation of CWC Act, liaison with CWC and other State Parties, Collection of data fulfilling of declaration obligations, negotiating facility agreements, coordinating OPCW inspections, providing appropriate facilities for training national inspectors and industry personnel, ensuring protection of confidential business information, checking declarations for consistency, accuracy and completeness, registration of entitles engaged in activities related to CWC, etc.
The Government consists of a number of Ministries/Departments, number and character varying from time to time on factors such as volume of work importance attached to certain items, changes of orientation, political expediency, etc. On 15 August 1947, the number of Ministries at the Centre was 18.
Source: India Book - A Reference Annual