Order of Precedence of the Government of India

By | January 20, 2021
Order of Precedence of the Government of India

Order of Precedence of the Government of India | Overview

The present article brings you the updated order of precedence of the Government of India. The article aims to help the readers grasp the general information, strengthen their knowledge on Indian Polity about the order of ranks of government officials in our country, and make them aware of it that will help them in preparation of various exams. It is hoped and expected that the article will help the students and researchers of the subject.

Introduction

The order of precedence is referred to the protocol list which lists all the officials and functionaries of the country in accordance with their rank and office in the Government of India. Order of Precedence is meant for State and Ceremonial occasions and has no application in the day-to-day business of government.

In India, the Order of Precedence is established by the President of India and is maintained by the Ministry of Home Affairs in the country. The President of India holds a higher rank in the Indian Order of Precedence.

The Constitution of India presently doesn’t specify the maximum size of the ministry of government either at the Centre or in the States. Therefore, in the absence of a constitutional cap on the size of the government ministry, there obviously, remains a room for larger ministries that may bring inevitable consequences on the structure of public administration in the country.[1] Hence, a structural order of precedence is necessary to make the administrative process easier and smoother.

Background

An Order of Precedence is a sequential hierarchy of nominal importance with regard to individuals, groups, or organizations. The term is occasionally used to represent the order of succession in the process of determining, in the event of a change in position or vacancy, which replaces the head of the state. Change in the position may happen because of the removal of the person from office or being incapacitated.

The sequence of the order may be regulated through descent or by a statute in respect of hereditary government or elected government respectively. It is often used by different governments and organizations in the context of persons, especially those who are diplomats for ceremonial or formal occasions. For instance, when the position of the President of India becomes vacant, the Vice-President carries out the essential functions of the presidency, until a successor is elected for the Presidential position.

Additionally, the Order of Precedence[2] is also used in the context of decorations, awards, and medals. Historically, an order of precedence was categorically used widely to represent courts and aristocratic hierarchy. However, a person’s position in the order of precedence does not necessarily indicate their functional position and importance; it also denotes ceremonial or historical relevance.

List of Precedence

Following is the updated list of the Table of Precedence of Indian Government:[3]

RANKPERSONS
Rank 1The President of India
Rank 2The Vice President of India
Rank 3The Prime Minister of India
Rank 4The Governors of states in their respective states
Rank 5Former Presidents
Rank 5(A)The Deputy Prime Minister
Rank 6–    The Chief Justice of India

–    The Lok Sabha Speaker

Rank 7Cabinet Ministers of the Union
 Chief Ministers of states in their respective states
 Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission
 Former Prime Ministers
 Leaders of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha
Rank 7(A)Holders of Bharat Ratna decoration
Rank 8–    Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and High Commissioners of Commonwealth countries accredited to India

–    Governors of States outside their respective States

–    Chief Ministers of States outside their respective States

Rank 9The Supreme Court Judges
Rank 9(A)–    Chairman, Union Public Service Commission

–    Chief Election Commissioner (CEC)

–    Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG)

Rank 10The Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha
 Deputy Chief Ministers of States
 The Deputy Speakers of the Lok Sabha
 Members of the Planning Commission
 Members of state of the Union (and any other ministers in the Ministry of Defence for Defence matters)
Rank 11The Attorney General of India
 Cabinet Secretary
 Lieutenant Governors in their respective Union Territories
Rank 12Chiefs of Staff having the grade of full General or equivalent rank
Rank 13Envoys Extraordinary and Ministers Plenipotentiary accredited to India
Rank 14–    Chairmen and Speakers of State Legislatures within their respective States

–    Chief Justices of High Courts outside their respective jurisdictions

Rank 15Cabinet Ministers in States in their respective States
 Chief Ministers of Union Territories and Chief Executive Councillor, Delhi within their respective Union Territories
 Deputy Ministers of the Union
Rank 16Officiating Chiefs of Staff having the rank of Lieutenant General or equivalent rank
Rank 17The Chairman of Central Administrative Tribunal
 The Chairman of Minorities Commission
 The Chairperson of National Commission for Scheduled Castes

The Chairperson of National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

 Chief Justices of High Courts outside their respective jurisdictions
 Puisne Judges of High Courts within their respective jurisdictions
Rank 18Cabinet Ministers of the States outside their respective States
 The Chairmen and Speakers of State Legislatures outside their respective States
 Chairman MRTP Commission
 The Deputy Chairmen and Deputy Speakers of the State Legislatures within their respective States
 Ministers of State in States within their respective States
 Ministers of the Union Territories and Executive Councilors, Delhi, within their respective Union Territories
 Speakers of the Legislative Assemblies of Union Territories and Chairman of Delhi Metropolitan Council within their respective Union Territories
Rank 19The Chief Commissioners of Union Territories not having Councils of Ministers, within their respective Union Territories
 Deputy Ministers of states within their respective States
 Deputy Speakers of the Legislative Assemblies of Union Territories and Deputy Chairman of Metropolitan Council Delhi, within their respective Union Territories
Rank 20Deputy Chairmen and Speakers of the State Legislatures outside their respective States
 Ministers of State in States outside their respective States
 Puisne Judges of High Courts outside their respective Jurisdictions
Rank 21Members of the Parliament
Rank 22Deputy Ministers of States outside their respective States
Rank 23Army Commanders / Vice Chief of the Army Staff or equivalent in other services
 Chief Secretaries to the State Governments within their respective States
 The Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities
 The Commissioner for SCs and STs
 The Members of the Minorities Commission
 The Members of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes

The Members of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

 Officers of the rank of full General or equivalent rank
 Secretaries to the Government of India (including officers holding this rank ex-officio)
 The Secretary of the Minorities Commission
 The Secretary of the SC and ST Commission
 Secretary to the President
 Secretary to the Prime Minister
 Secretary to the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha
 The Solicitor General of India
 The Vice-Chairman of the Central Administrative Tribunal
Rank 24Officers of the rank of Lieutenant General or equivalent rank
Rank 25Additional Secretaries to the Government of India
 The Additional Solicitor General
 Advocate Generals of States
 The Chairman of the Tariff Commission
 Charge d’ Affairs and Acting High Commissioners a pied and ad interim
 Chief Ministers of Union Territories and Chief Executive Councillor, Delhi outside their respective Union Territories
 Chief Secretaries of the State Governments outside their respective States
 The Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General
 Deputy Speakers of Legislative Assemblies of Union Territories, outside their respective Union Territories
 The Deputy Chairman of Delhi Metropolitan Council, outside their Union Territories
 The CBI Director
 The Director General of BSF
 The Director General of CRPF
 Director of Intelligence Bureau
 Lt Governors of Union Territories outside their respective Union Territories
 The Members of Central Administrative Tribunal
 Members of the MRTP Commission
 Members of UPSC
 Ministers of Union Territories and Executive Councillors, Delhi, outside their respective Union Territories
 Principal Staff Officers of the Armed Forces of the rank of Major General or equivalent rank
 Speakers of Legislative Assemblies in Union Territories and Chairman of Delhi, Metropolitan Council, outside their respective Union Territories
Rank 26Joint Secretaries to the Government of India and officers of equivalent rank
 Officers of the rank of Major General or equivalent rank

Conclusion

Governments or organizations without a hereditary or statutory order of precedence cannot perform their supposed functions in an efficacious manner. Therefore, immediate effective precedence planning is required for different roles and positions. If not done so, the lack of order of effective precedence may cause a vacuum in the administration system of the country or in operations of an organization that leads to uncontrolled and unsupervised power which is to be avoided at all cost. Aforementioned is the table of Precedence of the Government of India with the updated list of all the functionaries.


[1] Maheshwari, ‘Indian Administration’, 6th edn. (2001) pg. 8.

[2] Thorpe and Thorpe, General Studies: Vol-II – Indian Polity 2019. N.p., Pearson Education India.

[3] Table of Precedence, last assessed Jan 15th 2021, Available Here


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