Last updated on : 08/11/2012



1.1 The organisational set up of the Government of India where the business of the Government is carried out consists chiefly of the following formations:-

  1. Ministries/Departments;
  2. Attached Offices; and
  3. Subordinate Offices.

(A) Department:

  1. A Department is responsible for formulation of policies of the Government in relation to business allocated to it and also for the execution and review of those policies.
  2. For the efficient disposal of business allotted to it, a Department is divided into Wings, Divisions, Branches and Sections.
  3. A Department is normally headed by a Secretary to the Government of India who acts as the administrative head of the department and principal adviser of the Ministry on all matters of policy and administration within the department.
  4. Wing: The work in a Department is normally divided into Wings with a Special Secretary/Additional Secretary/Joint Secretary in charge of each Wing. Such a functionary is normally vested with maximum measure of independent functioning and responsibility in respect of the business falling within his Wing subject to, however, the overall responsibility of the Secretary for the Administration of the Department as a whole.
  5. Division: A Wing normally comprises of a number of Divisions each functioning under the charge of an officer of the level of Director/Joint Director/Deputy Secretary. A Division may have several branches each under the charge of an Under Secretary or equivalent officer.
  6. Section: A Section is generally the lowest organisational unit in a Department with a well-defined area of work. It normally consists of Assistants and Clerks supervised by a Section Officer. Initial handling of cases (including noting and drafting) is generally done by Assistants and Clerks who are also known as the Dealing Hands.
  7. Desk Officer System: While the above represents the commonly adopted pattern of organisation of a Department, there are certain variations, the most notable among them being the Desk Officer system. In this system the work of a Department at the lowest level is organised into distinct functional Desks each manned by two Desk Functionaries of appropriate ranks e.g. Under Secretary or Section Officer. Each desk functionary handles the cases himself and is provided adequate stenographic and clerical assistance.

(B) Attached Office:

  1. Where the execution of the policies of the government requires decentralization of executive action and/or direction, a Department may have under it, executive agencies called ‘Attached Offices’. Directorate General of Ordnance Factories is one such important ‘Attached Office’.
  2. Attached Offices are generally responsible for providing executive direction required in the implementation of the policies laid down by the Department to which they are attached. They also serve as repository of technical information and advise the department on technical aspects of questions dealt with by them.

(C) Subordinate Office:
Subordinate Offices generally function as field establishments or as agencies responsible for the detailed execution of the policies of Government. They function under the
direction of an Attached Office, or where the volume of executive direction involved is not considerable, directly under a Department. In the latter case, they assist the Departments
concerned in handling technical matters in their respective fields of specialization.

Departments in the Ministry of Defence(Secretariat) and their functions:
1.2 The Ministry of Defence(Secretariat) comprises of 4 Departments viz. Department of Defence (DOD), Department of Defence Production (DDP), Department of Ex-
Servicemen Welfare (DESW) and Department of Defence Research & Development (DDR&D) and a Finance Division.
1.3 The Defence Secretary functions as Head of the Department of Defence and is additionally responsible for coordinating the activities of the four Departments in the Ministry. The principal functions of the Departments are as follows:

  1. The Department of Defence deals with the three Services and with Inter-Services Organisations. It is also responsible for the Defence Budget, establishment matters, defence policy, matters relating to Parliament, Defence cooperation, and coordination of the activities. It is headed by Defence Secretary who is assisted by Director General (Acquisition), Additional Secretaries and Joint Secretaries.
  2. The Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare which is a new addition is headed by Secretary (ESW). This Department basically deals with the formulation of policy and planning for the Rehabilitation/ Resettlement of Ex-Service Personnel and Pension matters of Ex-Servicemen, including pension grievances.
  3. The Department of Defence Production is headed by Secretary (Defence Production). He/She is assisted by one Additional Secretary and Joint Secretaries. This Department deals with matters pertaining to Defence Production, indigenisation of imported stores, equipment and spares, planning and control of departmental production units of the Ordnance Factory Board, and of Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs).
  4. The Department of Defence Research and Development is headed by the Secretary (Research & Development) who is also the Scientific Advisor to the Raksha Mantri. Its function is to advise on scientific aspects of military equipment and logistics and the formation of research, design and development plans for equipment used by the Services.

1.4 Defence Acquisition Council: The Government has set up a Defence Acquisition Council headed by the Raksha Mantri for decision making in regard to the totality of the new planning process, which inter-alia involves according ‘in principle’ approval of Capital Acquisitions in the long term perspective plan and according ‘in principle’ approval for each Capital Acquisition programme. The decision flowing from the Defence Acquisition Council are to be implemented by the following three Boards:-

  1. Defence Procurement Board headed by the Defence Secretary;
  2. Defence Production Board headed by the Secretary (Defence Production);
  3. Defence Research & Development Board headed by the Secretary (Defence Research & Development).

1.4.1. These Boards have been entrusted with specific functions. A Defence Acquisition Wing headed by Director General(Acquisition) has also been created to assist the Defence Procurement Board in its functioning.

1.4.2. The Acquisition Wing, within the Ministry of Defence, is a unique structure, having an integrated set up with Officers from the Department of Defence, Finance Division and Services Headquarters working together as a close-knit team. All matters concerning acquisition of Capital nature will be dealt in the Acquisition Wing. It will fill the void of a dedicated specialist organisation for Defence Procurement as pointed out by the Group of Ministers.

1.4.3. The Acquisition Wing consists of four Divisions, viz., Land, Maritime and Air Force Division dealing with Army, Navy & Air Force respectively and a Systems Division dealing with systems having Tri-Services applicability. Each of the Divisions has a Joint Secretary designated as Acquisition Manager, an Additional FA (Joint Secretary level officer) designated as Finance Manager and a Service Officer of ‘Two Star ’ rank designated as Technical Manager. The Acquisition Wing with its components of Civil and Defence Service Officers working as a team provides the necessary synergy to the entire acquisition process.

1.4.4. The new structures are intended to facilitate expeditious decision-making in an integrated manner in areas relating to acquisitions for the three Services while at the same time imparting a higher degree of transparency and cost effectiveness to the process of acquisition of equipment, weapon and weapon systems.

1.5 The Finance Division of the Ministry of Defence is headed by a Financial Adviser. He is tasked with exercising financial control over proposals involving expenditure from the Defence Budget, and with the responsibility for internal audit and accounting of Defence expenditure. In the latter tasks, he is assisted by the Controller General of Defence Accounts  (CGDA).

1.6 Services Headquarters and Inter-Service Organisations:
In order to execute its assigned functions, the Ministry of Defence is assisted by the three Services Headquarters and a number of Inter-Service Organisations (ISOs). The three Services Headquarters viz. the Army Headquarters, the Naval Headquarters and the Air Headquarters function under the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) and the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) respectively. They are assisted by their Principal Staff Officers(PSOs). The Inter-Service Organisations are responsible for carrying out the tasks relating to the common needs of the three Services, like medical care, public relations and personnel management of the civilians in the Defence Headquarters. Some Organisations also provide technical assistance to the Department of Defence Production. All these organisations function directly under the Ministry of Defence.

1.7 Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence.
Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence comprising Army Headquarters, Naval Headquarters, Air Headquarters and Defence Staff Headquarters are associated in the formulation of policies in relation to matters concerning the Defence of India and Armed Forces of the Union. They would be responsible for providing executive direction required in  the implementation of policies laid down by the Ministry of Defence. They shall exercise delegated administrative and financial powers. The role and function of the Services Headquarters ‘now’ designated as Integrated Headquarters in all other respects remains unchanged.