Autonomous Bodies and Their Reforms

GS 2- POLITY : Statutory, regulatory and various quasi- judicial bodies.


        Autonomous Bodies are set up whenever it is felt that certain functions need to be discharged outside the governmental set up with some amount of independence and flexibility.Ministries and departments frame policies and ensure their implementation. They are supported by a number of organisations such as autonomous bodies, statutory bodies, subordinate and attached offices, and affiliated organisations.

Mode of Funding:

  • way of Grants-in-aid.(Rs 943.84 Billion on 2019-20)

Recent news:

  •      The Union textile ministry recently abolished the All India Handicrafts Board, Handloom Board and the Power Loom Board.(Minimum Government,Maximum Governance)
  • Rationalisation of human resources in various ministries.
  • Comprehensive review and rationalisation of autonomous bodies.


  • Funded on taxpayers money and so there are calls for accountability.
  • Exact count of Autonomous Bodies are not known.(400 to 650 plus)
  • Employ a considerable number of people impinging on the budget.(eg: ICAR-almost 17000 employees)
  • No body for Central Autonomous Body recruitments.(like UPSC,SSC,Public Enterprise Selection Board)
  • Senior ministry officials do not attend the meetings due to lack of time.(nominate junior officials-lack the jurisdiction to take meaningful decisions)

Way Forward

  • Legal framework to describe an Autonomous Body.Should Define :
    • Working
    • Autonomy
    • Various policies
  • Outlived Autonomous Bodies that they were established may need to be closed or merged with a similar organisation.
  • A task force needs to be set up under a pan-Indian agency.Streamline the
    • recruitment rules
    • salary structure
    • allowance
    • perks paid to employees
    • mode of recruitment.
  • Ensure the participation of ministry officials in committee meetings of similar Autonomous Bodies should be held together.(authorities could provide meaningful suggestions.)
  • Performing audit by an independent agency.


        The Centre for Cultural Resources and Training-field of art education of teachers under the Ministry of Culture is not line with Governance;should come under Ministry of Education.

         The reforms that are required in the Autonomous Bodies should be done for rectifying deeper malaise.

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