1. Prologue
  2. Basic Terminologies / Keywords
  3. Ministries of the Union Government


  • In this article series, we’ll see ministries of the Union Government, and their underlying Attached Offices, Subordinate Offices, Constitutional Bodies, Statutory Bodies, Autonomous Bodies, Central Public Sector Undertakings/Enterprises and Departmental undertakings.
  • But first let’s understand the meaning of these terms before we look at individual ministries.

India Yearbook Ministries

Basic Terminologies / Keywords

Ministries & Departments

  • Formulate policy, oversee its implementation.
  • Their elected head is ‘Minister’, their appointed head is a ‘Secretary’ – usually an IAS. Although, there are exceptions e.g. Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI): Its ‘Secretary’ is from Indian Statistical Service (ISS), he is also designated as ‘Chief Statistician of India’.

Attached Offices

  • Execute a particular policy, scheme, or work. May also advise the dept on various matters.
  • Minister will give them annual budget, and reply to their questions in parliament, but attached offices enjoy freedom in day to day operations.
  • g. Health Ministry → National Health Authority (NHA),
  • Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs → Central Public Works Department,
  • Jal Shakti Ministry → Central Water Commission.

Subordinate Offices

  • They function under the direction of an attached office, or sometimes directly under a department/ministry.
  • g. Rail Ministry → Railway Recruitment Board
  • Department of Science & Technology → Survey of India.

Constitutional and Statutory Bodies

Constitutional – They find mention in the Constitution itself e.g. Union Public Service Commission, Election Commission, Comptroller and Auditor General of India etc.
Statutory – Such bodies as are established under a statute or an Act of Parliament e.g. Central Vigilance Commission, Central Information Commission, Central Board of Film Certification.

Autonomous Bodies

  • Such bodies are usually registered under the Societies Registration Act, and given functional and financial autonomy as per the Memorandum of Associations with the given Ministry.
  • They usually have a trustee / governing council headed by the Minister to give overall direction.
  • But body is not required to consult Finance Ministry or DoPT for every small matter related to money or recruitment.
  • g. HRD Ministry → CBSE, NCERT, National Book Trust, National Testing Agency (NTA: NEET etc.)
  • Textile Ministry →1986: (Autonomous) National Institute of Fashion Technology but 2006 separate act so Statutory status.

Departmental undertakings

  • They are engaged in commercial activities but directly under control of Ministry/Department.
  • Its employees are Government employees e.g. Indian Railways, Indian Post, Ordnance Factories.

Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs)

  • Their employees are not considered ‘Govt employees’, their promotion, payscale, discipline rules are different than Govt employees.
  • Govt receives part of the profit, as ‘Dividend’ depending on the shareholding pattern.
  • They can be classified into following parts:

PSU → Statutory Corporations

  • They are set up under individual acts of Parliament e.g. Reserve Bank of India, Food Corporation of India (FCI), LIC and SBI.

PSU → Government Companies

  • They’re registered under the Companies Act e.g. Steel Authority of India (SAIL).
  • Depending on number of participants, it could be a public ltd company or private ltd company.
  • Depending on Government ownership, it could be a public sector company (e.g. Indian Oil Corporation ltd) or ‘private sector’ company (e.g. NSDC skill development corporation)- but then it can’t be called a PSU.
  • Depending on profitability, it may have received a ‘Ratna’ status and corresponding autonomy in its functioning.
  • Further it may have received license from RBI to operate as a bank → Public Sector Bank. It includes: SCB, RRB and India Post Payment Bank.

Ministries of the Union Government

We can further classify them into following blocks / parts:

Union Ministries

Block#1: Related to Money, Industries, Recruitment, Statistics (MIRS)

Core Economy Finance Ministry, Corporate Affairs Ministry, Ministry of Commerce and Industry
Agro related Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Food Processing Industries
Non-Agro Industries Textile Ministry, MSME Ministry , Chemicals & Fertilizers Ministry, Steel Ministry, Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Ministry of Tourism
Recruitment Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Personnel
Statistics MOSPI: Statistics & Program Implementation, Ministry of Planning

Block#2: Related to Infrastructure

Natural Resources Mines Ministry, Coal Ministry, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas
Water Ministry of Jal Shakti / Water Resources, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation
Energy Ministry of Power, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy
Transport Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs
Rural Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Panchayati Raj
Communication Ministry of Communication, Ministry of Electronics & IT (MEITY), Ministry of Information & Broadcasting,

Block#3: Related to HRD

Education and Skill Ministry of Human Resource Development, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship
Health Ministry of Health And Family Welfare, Ayush Ministry
Weaker Section Ministry of Minority Affairs, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Ministry of Social Justice And Empowerment, Ministry of Women & Child Development, Consumer Affairs Ministry
Youth and Culture Ministry of Youth Affairs And Sports, Ministry of Culture

Block#4: Related to Security & Strategic Affairs

  1. Ministry of Home
  2. Ministry of Defense
  3. Ministry of External Affairs
  4. Ministry of Development of North-Eastern Region

Block#5: Environment & Science

  1. Ministry of Earth Sciences
  2. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
  3. Ministry of Science and Technology

Block#6: Polity

  1. Ministry of Law and Justice
  2. Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs

Block#7: Not under any Ministry

Independent Departments

  1. Department of Atomic Energy (Parmanu Oorja Vibhag)
  2. Department of Space (Antariksh Vibhag)

Apex/Independent Office

  1. Cabinet Secretariat (Mantrimandal Sachivalaya)
  2. President’s Secretariat (Rashtrapati Sachivalaya)
  3. Prime Minister’s Office (Pradhan Mantri Karyalaya)
  4. NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India)

From the Next article, we’ll start with the Finance Ministry.