This paper is divided into two Parts. The crores. These were less than 0.5 per cent
first Part, published in this issue, discusses of the total Central Sector Plan outlays.
the pattern of development of the Depart-
A significant part of these outlays was used
ment of Social Welfare at the Centre1 and for financing voluntary effort and the
the responsibilities assigned to it. The Central Social Welfare Board had been set
second Part discusses what ought to be up by the Government of India in 1953 to
the role of a Department of Social Welfare promote the development of welfare services
at the Centre.
through assistance to voluntary organisa-
The desirability of having a separate
The Department of Social Security was Department/Ministry at the Centre had
created only on June 14, 1964 by pooling come up at the forum of the Indian
together different welfare programmes which Conference of Social Work (now Indian
were hitherto administered by different Council of Social Welfare) but it was at
Ministries in the Government of India. Thus, the Bangalore session in 1955 when the
for seventeen years since independence, Report of a sub-committee of the Indian
there" did not exist at the Centre a unified Conference of Social Work on the Model
administrative set-up for welfare schemes. of a Social Welfare Department at State
This seems somewhat incongruous since a Level was discussed for the first time in
separate sector was demarcated for social a concerted manner that the desirability
welfare schemes even in the First Plan of setting up a Department of Social Welfare
(1951-52 to 1955-56). However, neither the at the Centre and its functions were also
First Plan, nor the Second Plan (1956-57 to discussed. An attempt was also made to
1960-61) nor the Third Plan (1961-62 to list the functions of the Department of
1964-65) recommended the setting up of a Social Welfare at the Centre and in the
unified administrative set-up at the Centre or States.2
the States for welfare schemes, although
It was, however, the Study Team on
they speak of coordination among various Social Welfare and Welfare of Backward
Governmental agencies (Govt. of India, Classes constituted by the Committee on
first 1951:617; Govt. of India, 1961:717) Plan Projects of the Planning Commission
probably because governmental activity in in 1958 with Srimati Renuka Ray as the
welfare was still very limited at the Centre. leader, that made -a more systematic
The outlay in the First Plan was only examination of the need for setting up a
Rs. 4 crores, in the Second Plan it was Department of Social Welfare at the Centre.
Rs. 19 crores and in the Third Plan Rs. 31 It observed "Social welfare, however, it
* Dr. A. B. Bose is Director of Planning, Research, Evaluation and Monitoring Division
of the Department of Social Welfare, Government of India. This paper has been written
by him in his personal capacity and reflects his own views.
1 The word Centre has been used here and elsewhere in the paper to mean the Government
of India.
2 For details, see Indian Journal of Social Work XVI (4), 1956: 318-330.

must be said, has not come to be regarded some of the other ministries had outlays
yet as a separate field which would require which were almost of the same order as
an angle and emphasis distinct from the for social welfare and, therefore, justified
rest of the social services. As a result we the creation of a separate Department. The
find that at present various social welfare Study Team felt that it was not yet
subjects are dealt with in different Ministries. feasible to have a separate Ministry of
The plans and policies of social welfare Social Welfare; much of the executive
have not had, therefore, the advantage of work for social welfare was already being
an integrated approach and direction. done by the Central Social Welfare Board.
The objective of integration cannot be The welfare of backward classes, the
achieved, we feel through departmental Study Team recommended, should be
coordination, which can be effective only looked after by setting up a separate
upto a certain point" (Committee on Plan Department in the Ministry of Home
Projects, 1959: 207). The Study Team Affairs.
recommended the setting up of a Depart-
ment of Social Welfare in a Ministry of
The Study Team recommended the
Education and Social Welfare at the Centre following welfare subjects for allocation to
on the ground that the establishment of the proposed Department of Social Welfare
such a Department would promote efficiency at the Centre (Committee on Plan Project,
and even economy. It also observed that 1959: 295).
Ministry at present dealing
Welfare Subjects _
with the subject at the Centre
Youth Welfare and Recreational Services Ministry of Education
Education and Welfare of the Handicapped Ministry of Education
Social Work, Training and Research
Ministry of Education
Beggary and Vagrancy
Ministry of Home Affairs
Juvenile Delinquency and Probation
Ministry of Home Affairs
Social and Moral Hygiene
Ministry of Home Affairs
Rehabilitation of Persons Discharged
from Correctional and Non-Correctional
Ministry of Home Affairs
The Study Team suggested that the
(c) Coordination of social welfare
following functions may be performed by
schemes of the State Governments
the proposed Department of Social Welfare:
on a broadly uniform pattern;
"(a) Administration of a national social
(d) Promotion of social research;
welfare policy;
(e) Constitution and administration of a
(a) Initiating, reviewing and watching
Central cadre of welfare adminis-
implementation of social welfare
trators" (Committee on Plan
legislation by State Governments;
Projects, 1959: 212).

welfare of the weaker sections of
society. Even when the Department of
Social Security was reorganised and
In the meanwhile, almost unexpectedly,
redesignated as the Department of
the Department of Social Security was
Social Welfare on January 24, 1966, the
created when Prime Minister Shri Lal
programmes that continued with it were
Bahadur Shastri formed the Cabinet and
from the social welfare sector and the
the Presidential Order dated June 14, 1964,
backward classes sector of the Plan. lt
listed the subjects allocated to the Depart-
was on 7th February 1973, when
ment of Social Security under two broad
administrative responsibility for pro-
heads: A Social Security; B. Village
grammes relating to backward classes was
Industries. In 1966, the Department of
transferred back to the Ministry of Home
Social Security was re-designated as the
Affairs that there was convergence
Department of Social Welfare with the
between the programmes in the social
transfer of social insurance schemes back
welfare sector of the Plan and
to the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
administrative responsibility for the same.
The Table in Annexure I gives the
changes that have taken place in the
2. There are three major landmarks
allocation of subjects to the Department of
relating to the allocation of subjects to
Social Security/Social Welfare since June
the Department of Social Welfare and
14, 1964. The analysis of the Table will
its organisation: (a) June 14, 1964
indicate the following:
when the Department of Social Security
was created; (b) January 24, 1966 when
(1) The allocation of subjects to the
the Department of Social Security was
Department of Social Security when it
re-designated as a Department of Social
was created in 1964 was not the outcome
Welfare and several subjects trans-
of acceptance of any Report by a Study
ferred, within 18 months, back to the
Team or a Committee. It was not also
Ministries from which they came, and
based on a conceptual exercise for
(c) February 7, 1973, when the work
integrating the different welfare pro-
relating to backward classes went back
grammes under implementation in to the Home Ministry after almost nine
several Departments. Nor was it based
years. Although at the time of this
on administrative action relevant for
transfer, the 1972-73 budget provision
programmes included in the social welfare
for plan schemes at the Centre for social
sector of the Plan. It included programmes
welfare sector was Rs. 26.38 crores as
which appear to have been identified on
compared to Rs. 14.12 crores for back-
an ad hoc exercise, from several sectors
ward classes, the latter, politically and
of the plan, mainly health and family
otherwise, always received greater
planning, education, village and small
attention. In terms of work, this meant
industries, labour and employment, and
transfer of almost half the work from
development of backward classes, the Department of Social Welfare to the
administrative action relating to which
Ministry of Home Affairs.
were taken in the Ministries of Health,
Education, Commerce and Industry,
(3) The accretion of subjects to the
Labour and Employment, and Home
Department of Social Welfare have been
Affairs, respectively. They may broadly
far less than their withdrawal. The
be regarded as programmes for the
primary reasons which prompted the

withdrawal of subjects in 1966 from the of Education and Social Welfare. From
Department of Social Welfare and their February 7, 1973 the Ministry of Educa-
restoration to their original Departments tion and Social Welfare represents that
appear to be administrative convenience, composition with the transfer of backward
a rethinking about the allocation of classes welfare to the Home Ministry.
subjects to Departments and the pressures
The Administrative Reforms Com-
exerted by the powers that be. Some of mission in its Report on the Machinery of
these subjects, as for instance, social the Government of India and its Proce-
insurance schemes for labour were dures of Work, 1968 had, however,
related to the activities of organisations suggested a Ministry of Education, Health
and institutions which continued to be and Social Welfare with the following
the responsibility of the 'parent' Departments: (1) Education (2) Health and
Department. Further, in the States, Urban Development (3) Family Planning
similar re-organisation had not taken (4) Social Welfare (including Rehabilita-
place and, therefore, administrative tion). The Commission had recommended
problems began to surface in attempting the combining of the Departments of Social
a new channel of communication. The Welfare and Rehabilitation into a single
return of subjects relating to the back-
Department because it felt that social
ward classes to the Home Ministry was welfare is an area which falls primarily
prompted by the growing pressure that within the sphere of the States: "Schemes
their interests could be better served of social welfare largely relate either to
under a more important Ministry like matters of education and training or
the Ministry of Home Affairs.
improvement of environmental conditions
and physical capacities of individuals. All
The Department of Social Security/ the three subjects primarily fall within the
Social Welfare has not been a part of a State List" (Govt. of India, 1968: 94).
composite ministry until 18th March 1971
when it became a Department within the
Ministry of Education and Social Welfare.
The Department of Social Welfare, from
Prior to that, it was linked with other 1964 to date, has been headed by officers
Departments through a common minister-
of the rank of Secretary, Additional
in-charge. For almost four years — first
Secretary and even Joint Secretary as
from 13-6-64 to 24-1-66 and later from evident from the following:
22-8-68 to 18-3-71, it was under a minister
who was also in charge of Law. For
intermittent periods in between, it was
linked through a common minister with
Supply and Technical Development
(24-1-66 to 25-3-66), Petroleum and
Chemicals (13-3-67 to 22-8-68), and
Planning (25-3-66 to 22-8-68). It has been
indicated earlier that the Study Team on
Social Welfare and Welfare of Backward
Classes (1958) had recommended the
formation of a Department of Social Welfare
There ought to be a definite relationship
(excluding backward classes) in a Ministry between the rank of the head of the

Department and the administrative res-
February, 1969, the coordinating link was
ponsibilities assigned to the Department. the Minister, while at other periods it was
In the case of social welfare, however, the Head of the Department.
there seems to be no definite trend though
The administrative strength of the
the lowering of the status of the head of Department of Social Welfare from January
the Department after two years of its 1966 to April 1970 was rather small. Apart
functioning broadly coincides with the first from the head of the Department and
major transfer of subjects from the Depart-
the Joint Secretary who were common for
ment of Social Welfare back to the original both social welfare and welfare of back-
Departments. The experience of running a ward classes (except for a short spell of
Department with only a Joint Secretary as about 19 months when the Joint Secretary
head was given up after two years in favour held exclusive charge for social welfare
of an officer of a rank of Additional with no higher officer), the personnel on
Secretary although the allocation of subjects the social welfare side consisted of one
in the Department remained the same; Deputy Secretary, two Under Secretaries
however, a wider range of programmes with and other subordinate staff. The organisa-
larger outlays were scheduled in the Third tion followed the typical secretariat
Plan beginning in April 1969. The elevation structure.
of the status of the head of the Department
to that of a Secretary in February 1974
There were also some technical officers.
appears to have been prompted by the The Special Officer for the Handicapped
desire of not making a change after the was transferred from the Education
existing incumbent's promotion from Ministry when the subject of welfare of
Additional Secretary to Secretary. Other-
the handicapped was allocated to the newly
wise, the number of subjects allocated to the constituted Department of Social Security
Department of Social Welfare had gone in 1964. The post of Planning and
down considerably with the transfer of Technical Officer was also transferred from
subjects relating to welfare of backward the Education Ministry to the newly
classes to the Home Ministry on 7th created Department of Social Security
February, 1973. Having a Secretary as the when the subjects of social welfare were
head of the Department nevertheless, has transferred to this Department. A new post
had the advantage of giving a fighting of Director Planning was created on 6th
chance to the Department of Social Welfare May, 1966 which was, a year later,
for getting its due place by giving an converted into the post of Adviser (Social
appropriate rank to its chief spokesman.
Welfare). A post of Research Officer and
a post of Research Investigator were
From 24th January 1966 to 6th February sanctioned on 28th June 1968 and 4th
1973, when the Department of Social November, 1969 respectively.
Welfare was allocated work relating to both
social welfare and welfare of backward
A significant expansion in the admini-
classes, the Department of Social Welfare strative strength of the Department of
had two separate wings — one for social Social Welfare took place with the launching
welfare and the other for backward classes of the Special Nutrition Programme for
which functioned virtually as separate units children in 1970 when the posts of 1
handling, as they did, separate sectors of Director, 1 Deputy Secretary, 5 Deputy
the plan. For one span of about nineteen Directors, 1 Section Officer, 1 Research
months i.e. from 17th July 1967 to 7th Officer and Senior Research Investigator

were sanctioned, apart from the usual of Social Welfare had the following
subordinate secretariat staff.
administrative structure, with the Additional
In February, 1973 (the close of the Fourth Secretary as the Head of the Department
Five Year Plan) at the time of the transfer (posts below the rank of Under Secretary/
of subjects relating to backward classes Deputy Director /Senior Research Officers
back to the Home Ministry, the Department not shown here):
With the transfer of subjects relating to work among the different Divisions. By an
the backward classes to the Ministry of Office Order dated 29th August, 1974, the
Home Affairs, on February 7 1973, only Department has divided its work among
the social welfare wing remained with the the following Divisions:
Department of Social Welfare. The posts
of Additional Secretary and Joint Secretary
I. Women's Welfare and Social
remained with the Department of Social
Defence Division
Welfare and in February 1974, when the
II. Nutrition and Child Development
then Additional Secretary became a
Secretary, the Department, after about 7
III. Administration and Handicapped
years came to be headed again by an
Welfare Division
officer of the rank of Secretary.
IV. Planning, Research, Evaluation
In 1974, the Department of Social
and Monitoring Division
Welfare underwent some form of a
The channel of communication provided
regrouping of subjects and redistribution of in this set-up is as under:
3 The Deputy Secretary in charge of Administration and Welfare of the Handicapped
Division puts up papers relating to Administration to Joint Secretary (Social Welfare)
and papers relating to welfare of the handicapped to Joint Secretary (Handicapped).

In addition, the Department has a intended to (i) assist in the formulation of
Nutrition Adviser (honorary) and a Social policy (ii) prepare schemes and (iii) bring
Welfare Adviser (honorary).
improvements in their implementation. The
techniques to be adopted for these tasks
The Department of Social Welfare has are giving a research base to policy
been progressively inducting technical staff formulation, planning and project prepara-
in its Secretariat reflecting, as it does, tion. Monitoring of implementation and
recognition of the specialised nature of evaluation are intended to achieve greater
social welfare services. In fact, for the impact. The Planning Commission as well
newly constituted Planning, Research, as the Ministry of Finance have concurred
Evaluation and Monitoring Division of the with the setting up of these cells as the past
Department of Social Welfare, several units experience of two decades showed that
have recently been sanctioned. The Planning, implementation of schemes suffered because
Research, Evaluation and Monitoring of deficiencies in planning, programming,
Division now has the following constituents:
monitoring and evaluation. This Division
does not function in the mainstream of
(1) Cell for Research, Evaluation and implementation of policies and programmes.
Compilation of Statistics
Rather, it is intended to feed the existing
administrative Divisions which are
(2) Cell for Planning and Project engaged in the implementation of the
schemes of the Department of Social
(3) Cell for Social Work Education and Welfare. In a way, the appointment of a
separate group of specialists within the
(4) Cell for Monitoring
Secretariat to help the generalist admini-
strators achieve the goals through better
(5) Cell for revision of Encyclopaedia planning, formulation of schemes, pro-
of Social Work, Studies and gramming, monitoring and evaluation, is
an interesting experiment attempting to
combine administrative skill and experience
The Department of Social Welfare, in fact, with technical know-how. Whether this
is the only Department in the Government will serve as a better alternative to the
of India which has, within its Secretariat, suggestion of the Study Team on Social
an integrated division for planning, Welfare and Welfare of Backward Classes
research, evaluation, monitoring and (1959) to have a cadre of social welfare
development of social welfare manpower. personnel needs to be researched upon in
This represents the culmination of efforts course of time.
initiated earlier to inject technical expertise
in an administrative system which follows
the typical secretariat pattern, with the
No Department in the Government of
senior positions in the administrative India functions without Committees/
structure assigned to generalist admi-
Working Groups / Steering Groups/Study
nistrators. The newly constituted Division, Teams etc. Some of these are Standing
which will be manned by professionally Committees whose members (other than
qualified personnel, administers only one ex-officio) have a tenure for a specified
scheme of grants to research institutes, period. Others are constituted for specific
universities etc. for undertaking research purposes and cease to exist once the Reports
projects. Its other functions are basically are made available. The frequency of

meetings, composition and size vary the problem and the issues for consideration.
depending upon the terms of reference.
The latter, in fact, is of crucial importance.
Non-officials, both eminent voluntary The effectiveness of Committees, which
social workers and subject matter specialists have been well serviced by the preparation
in Universities etc. are usually also of sound agenda notes has been much
represented in these Committees. Annexure greater. Not infrequently, however, the work
II gives a list of the important Committees/
of Committees has suffered from meetings
Working Groups constituted by the Depart-
held at irregular intervals, a lower than
ment of Social Welfare which were live in accredited level of official representation
September, 1974. The list does not include from Departments which weakens the level
Committees set up by the Central Bureau of
of participation, weak agenda papers and
Correctional Services, the Social Welfare poor follow-up of the recommendations. It
and Rehabilitation Directorate, the Central is worth examining to what extent some of
Social Welfare Board and the Central the Committees with the avowed objective
Institute of Research and Training in of integration/coordination of programmes
Public Cooperation which are offices/ of different Departments are able to
organisations with the Department of Social achieve the purpose and whether in fact
Welfare. It excludes also Committees/ they do not perform only the function of
Working Groups etc. set up by other Depart-
making each Department aware of what the
ments in which the Department of Social other is doing due to a somewhat chauvi-
Welfare is represented. The setting up of a nistic policy followed by each Department
few more Standing Committees are under the in respect of its schemes. It is unfortunate
active consideration of the Department of that although Committees are today an
Social Welfare. The number of Working almost inseparable element in the func-
Groups/Study Teams usually increase at the tioning of Government Departments and a
time of the formulation of a Five Year Plan. significant amount of time and money are
Committees represent a device for getting spent on them, no scientific evaluation of
expert opinion from subject matter specia-
them has been really made.
lists as well voluntary social workers on
various issues. They also permit an objective
review by a group of people of the Depart-
ment's policies and programmes and give a
The administrative organisation and
wider base to the formulation of policies structure of the Department has to be
and programmes; they therefore, act as a viewed in the context of its activities. The
check against arbitrariness. In the case of present functions of the Department of
non-officials and subject matter specialists in Social Welfare cover the following:
research Institutes etc., Committees provide
an opportunity to be acquainted at first
(i) formulation of social welfare policies
hand with the machinery of government and
and programmes, more specifically
its procedures of work. The realisation of
in regard to children, women, social
the potentialities of a Committee depends
defence, the physically handicapped,
upon factors such as a proper composition,
the aged and other weaker sections
holding of meetings at regular intervals and
needing welfare measures;
preparation of good working papers based
(ii) social welfare legislation;
on properly presented and analysed statis-
(iii) promoting and developing voluntary
tics setting out the nature and magnitude of

(iv) implementing schemes included in Department of Social Welfare in the Fourth
the social welfare sector of the Five Year Plan is given below. The
Central Plan;
expenditure is shown as nil for backward
(v) assisting Governments of States/ classes in 1973-74 as the subject was
Union Territories in the formulation transferred to the Home Ministry on 7th
and implementation of their plans;
February, 1973.
(vi) sponsoring, promoting and under-
Social Welfare Welfare of
taking research, evaluation and
compilation of statistics on social
(Rs. in crores)
2.95 11.23
(vii) coordination of activities at the 1970-71
4.24 11.76
Centre on policies and programmes 1971-72
13.19 12.77
of social welfare and particularly 1972-73
22.98 14.69
child welfare, women welfare, social 1973-74
21.06 —
defence and welfare of the handi-
In terms of budgetary outlays as well as
capped and the aged and social staff strength, therefore, the Depart-
ment of Social Welfare is one of the
(viii) prohibition;
smallest Departments.
(ix) coordination of UNICEF assistance;
(x) development of social welfare
In this Part, the development of the
(xi) welfare of children, women and administrative organisation and structure of
the Department of Social Welfare since
(xii) providing facilities for exchange of 1964 has been discussed. There are
information; dissemination of infor-
numerous Committees/Working Groups
mation and giving guidance to States set up by the Government of India which
and voluntary organisations in the have gone into the question of admini-
field of social welfare;
strative reforms and organisation of work
(xiii) liaison with United Nations and its in Government Departments. These are
bodies and with international/ beyond the scope of the present paper.
foreign voluntary organisations and
The development of administrative
foreign countries on social welfare.
structure of the Department of Social
The Department of Social Welfare has Welfare has not followed a neat text book
two subordinate Offices in Delhi, namely, pattern, but has been influenced by the
the Central Bureau of Correctional Services convictions of the policy makers and the
and the Social Welfare and Rehabilitation senior administrators who, within the
Directorate. It has eight other subordinate framework of the secretariat system of
offices—three National Institutes for the administrative organisation, have attempted
physically handicapped and five Regional to organise work and provide personnel who
Pre-vocational Training Centres. The can perform the functions assigned to this
Central Social Welfare Board and the Department. Not unoften, the sanctioned
Central Institute of Research and Training personnel and administrative pattern is the
in Public Cooperation are autonomous outcome of exercises between the Depart-
bodies financed by the Department of ment of Social Welfare, the Planning
Social Welfare.
Commission and the Ministry of Finance
The Central plan expenditure of the whose views are often not congruent.

A N N E X U R E - I I
Standing Committee
1. Inter-Ministry Standing Committee of
2. Advisory Committee on Experimental
Coordination between the Ministry of
Non-Formal Education Project in
Health and Family Planning and the
Mehboobnagar, Andhra Pradesh
Ministry of Education and Social 3. Sub-Committee on Publicity Programme
in Celebration of International Women's
2. Coordination Committee on Child
Year, 1975
4. Sub-Committee on National Studies
3. Advisory Committee on Special
and Research in Celebration of Inter-
Nutrition Programme
national Women's Year, 1975
4. Central Prohibition Committee
5. Sub-Committee on Educational
5. Central Advisory Board on Corre-
Measures in Celebration of Inter-
ctional Services
national Women's Year, 1975
6. Advisory Committee on Social Welfare
6. Working Group on Employment of
Child Labour
7. Working Group on Training/Orient-
Committees with a fixed tenure
ation of Administrators in Social
1. C o m m i t t e e on S t a t u s of W o m e n in Note: This list refers to Committees/Working
T Group s functioning in October, 1974 for
I n d i a advice on programmes, policies etc.
Committee on :
Report of the Study Team on Social Welfare and Welfare of
Plan Projects
Backward Classes, Manager of Publications, Delhi, Vol. I, p. 207,
212, 295.
Government of India :
First Five Year Plan, Planning Commission, New Delhi, p. 617.
Government of India :
Third Five Year Plan, Planning Commission, New Delhi, p. 717.
Government of India, :
Annual Report, 1964-65, Delhi.
Department of
Social Security
Government of India, :
Report on the Machinery of the Government of India and its
Administrative Reforms
Procedures of Work, Manager of Publications, Delhi, p. 94.
Government of India, :
Government of India (Allocation of Business Rules) 1961 (as
Department of
amended upto June 17. 1971), Manager of Publications, Delhi.
Cabinet Affairs

Indian Conference
'Report of the Sub-Committee on the Model of Department of
of Social Work
Social Welfare at State Level,' in Indian Journal of Social Work
16(4), p. 323-330.
Mehta, J. N.
Address to the Sub-Committee on in
Indian Journal of Social Work, 16(4), p. 318-323.
Soares, I. E.
The Evolution of the Department of Social Welfare of the
Government of India, Delhi School of Social Work, University
of Delhi.