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]

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

– The Lok Sabha Speaker

Rank 7 Cabinet 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 9 The Supreme Court Judges
Rank 9(A) – Chairman, Union Public Service Commission

– Chief Election Commissioner (CEC)

– Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG)

Rank 10 The 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 11 The Attorney General of India
Cabinet Secretary
Lieutenant Governors in their respective Union Territories
Rank 12 Chiefs of Staff having the grade of full General or equivalent rank
Rank 13 Envoys 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 15 Cabinet 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 16 Officiating Chiefs of Staff having the rank of Lieutenant General or equivalent rank
Rank 17 The 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 18 Cabinet 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 19 The 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 20 Deputy 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 21 Members of the Parliament
Rank 22 Deputy Ministers of States outside their respective States
Rank 23 Army 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 24 Officers of the rank of Lieutenant General or equivalent rank
Rank 25 Additional 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 26 Joint 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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