4 important roles of bureaucracy in developing countries like India


Bureaucracy is the sovereign factor in public administration. It is also called manpower management, personnel management, labour welfare management and so on. But bureaucracy has wider meaning; it deals with classification, recruitment promotion compensation, discipline and retirement benefits of the personnel in government.

According to Encyclopedia of Britannica “Bureaucracy is a body of professional, full time officials employed in the civil affairs of a state in non-political capacity”. It is a professional body of officials, permanent paid and skilled. The requirements of the civil service are that it shall be impartially selected, administratively competent, politically neutral and imbibed with the service to the community.

It does not include persons of military service, judicial service and police service. It does not include persons who hold political offices and those persons who work for the state without being paid that is in an honorary capacity. Thus Bureaucracy is a body of professional administrators as opposed to amateur politicians. Impartial selection that is its members are appointed by an open competition as against politicians who are elected on party lines. They are paid regularly by the state and do not have the incentive of private profit while in civil service.


It is a career service in the sense that its members take up public service as a lifetime occupation. Its members are skilled in the sense that they become expert in their profession due to continuous work experience. It is organized on the principle of hierarchy in which a chain of command stretches in a pyramid fashion from the lowest office to the highest. Neutrality that is its members serves different political regimes impartially. Anonymity that is its members works without praise or blame.


1. Implementation of Policy —

It is the most important and fundamental function of civil servants. They execute laws and policies to attain the goals of welfare state that is social equity economic development and so on.


2. Formulation of Policy—

Formulation of Policy is the function of political executive. But civil servants have also come to play role in it. They aid and advise the ministers in policy making. Political executives being amateurs cannot understand the technical complexities of policies and hence depend upon the expert advice of professional civil servants.

3. Delegated Legislation—

This is a quasi legislative function performed by the civil service. Due to lack of time, pressure of work and increased complexities of legislation the legislative makes laws in skeleton form and delegate’s power to the executive to fill in the details. Thus, civil servants make the sub-laws, rules and regulations, but within the limits of the parent law enacted by the legislature. Delegated legislation is also known as executive legislation or subordinate legislation.


4. Administrative Adjudication—

This is a quasie judicial function performed by the civil service. The civil servants settle disputes between the citizens and the state. For this purpose, the Administrative Tribunals with judges are established. The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, Industrial Tribunals, Rent Tribunals and Railway Rates Tribunals are some of the examples of such tribunals in India. These tribunals function outside the ordinary court system.

In addition to the above, the civil service also performs the following functions—Administrative planning, Administration of public enterprises a Assisting the ministers in fulfilling their responsibilities towards the parliament and its committees, handling financial operations of the stat reforming and improving administration through O and M and public relations.

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