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Art of Noting & Drafting

NOTING

In the system of functioning of public authorities, a file is normally opened for every subject/matter dealt with by the public authority. While the main file would contain all the materials connected with the subject/matter, generally, each file also has some note sheets. Most of the discussions on the subject/matter are recorded in the note sheets and decisions are mostly based on the recording in the note sheets and even the decisions are recorded on the note sheets. These recordings are generally known as “file notings”.

A communication or a paper under consideration calls for proper examination to take a final decision or decide the course of action. In routine matters where the line of action is obvious or is based on a clear precedent or practice or where a higher officer indicates the course of action there may not be a need to prepare elaborate notes. But in other case there may be a need to examine the matter with reference to the rules & regulations and policy on the subject. It may need proper evaluation of the pros and cons of the proposal and the future course of action. Recording of notes can be said to be an examination of the cases. In other words notes are the written remarks recorded on a paper under consideration to facilitate its disposal. A note may contain an analysis of the proposal under consideration; a summary or précis of the previous noting on the subject; draw attention to the acts, rules or policy on the subject; make suggestions as to the course of action.
Tips for Noting on files
  • Note is to examine an issue to facilitate its disposal.
  • It should to concise and to the point.
  • A self-contained note should be put up for quick disposal.
  • Views expressed by various departments should be brought on record.
  • Officers should confine to the actual points without reiterating the previous notes.
  • Officer may draw attention to specific part of the note where required without reproducing the same.
  • Clearly identify the points on which the orders are solicited.
  • Final paragraph should conclude the proposed action.
  • Use courteous and temperate language.
Dos Don't
  • Put up a precise summary and points at issue.
  • Place relevant extracts of rules etc in file.
  • Prepare sunning summary where lengthy notes are there
  • Don’t reproduce verbatim from the reference.
  • Don’t reproduce the extracts from the rules in notes, unless essential

Guidelines for noting (Para 32)
  1. All notes will be concise and to the point. Lengthy notes are to be avoided.
  2. The verbatim reproduction of extracts from or paraphrasing of the paper under consideration, fresh receipt, or any other part of correspondence or notes on the same file, should not be attempted.
  3. When passing orders or making suggestions, an officer will confine his note to the actual points he proposes to make without reiterating the ground already covered in the previous notes. If he agrees to the line of action suggested in the preceding note, he will merely append his signature.
  4. Any officer, who has to note upon a file on which a running summary of facts is available will, in drawing attention to the facts of the case, refer to the appropriate part of the summary without repeating it in his own note.
  5. Relevant extracts of a rule or instruction will be placed on the file and attention to it will be drawn in the note, rather than reproducing the relevant provisions in the note.
  6. Unless a running summary of facts is already available on the file or the last note on the file itself serves that purpose, a self-contained note will be put up with every case submitted to the Minister. Such a note will bring out briefly but clearly relevant facts, including the views expressed on the subject by other departments, if any, consulted in the matter and the point or points on which the orders of the Minister are sought.
  7. If apparent errors or incorrect statements in a case have to be pointed out or if an opinion expressed therein has to be criticized, care should be taken to couch the observations in courteous and temperate language free from personal remarks.
  8. When a paper under consideration raises several major points which require detailed examination and respective orders, each point (or group of related points) will be noted upon separately in sectional notes; such notes will each begin with a list of the major point(s) dealt with therein.
  9. Notes and orders will normally be recorded on note sheets in the notes portion of the file and will be serially numbered. Black or blue ink will be used by all categories of staff and officers. Only an officer of the level of Joint Secretary of Government of India and above may use green or red ink in rare cases.
    Use of Ink
    All officers and staff below Joint Secretary Blue or black Ink
    Joint Secretary and above May use Green or Red ink
  10. The dealing hand will append his full signature with date on the left below his note. An officer will append his full signature on the right hand side of the note with name, designation and date.
    Other Tips
    1. Note should be serially numbered.
    2. Each page should be serially numbered.
    3. Notes should be written on both side of the note sheet.
    4. Dealing hand to append his full signature with date on left below his note.
    5. Officers should append his full signature with date on right hand side.
    6. Name and designation of officers should be written below signatures.
    7. One-inch margin should be left on top and bottom for better preservation of records.
  11. A note will be divided into serially numbered paragraphs of easy size, say ten lines each. Paragraphs may preferably have brief titles. The first paragraph will give an indication of the evidence and the conclusions reached. The final paragraph should weigh the arguments and make recommendations for action.
  12. In writing notes the observations made in Appendix 7-`Style in notes and drafts' will be kept in view.
  13. A small margin of about one inch will be left on all sides (left, right, top and bottom) of each page of the note sheet to ensure better preservation of notes recorded on the files as at times the paper gets torn from the edges making reading of the document difficult. However, notes should be typed/written on both sides of the note sheet as per instructions of Department of Expenditure.
  14. While preparing/submitting Notes for the Cabinet/Cabinet Committees/Groups of Ministers, the required procedure as detailed in Appendix-7.1 will be kept in view.
  15. While preparing/submitting of papers for consideration of the Committee of Secretaries, the required procedure as detailed in Appendix-7.2 will be kept in view.
  16. While constitution/reconstitution of High-level Commissions/Committees, the required procedure as detailed in Appendix-7.3 will be kept in view.
Modification of Notes or orders (Para 33)

Modification of Note
  • Notes once written should not be modified, replaced or pasted by other notes
  • Higher officers should record their own views to correct or the modify the facts.
  • To modify facts another note be recorded instead of correcting the earlier note.
  • Take approval of senior officers to over rule an earlier decision in the light of revised facts.
  1. Senior officers should not require any modification in, or replacement of, the notes recorded by their juniors once they have been submitted to them. Instead, the higher officers should record their own notes giving their views on the subject, where necessary correcting or modifying the facts given in earlier notes. In any case, the replacement or modification of the notes which have already been recorded on a file, when the file has been further noted upon by others, should not be permitted.
  2. Pasting over a note or a portion of it to conceal what has been recorded is not desirable. Where a note recorded in the first instance requires any modification on account of additional facts or any error having come to notice, a subsequent note may be recorded, keeping the earlier note intact.
  3. Where a final decision already communicated to a party is found later on to have been given on a mistaken ground or wrong facts or wrong interpretation of rules due to misunderstanding, such withdrawal may have also legal implications. In all such cases, in addition to consulting the Ministry of Law, wherever necessary, such a withdrawal should be permitted only after the approval of an officer higher than the one who took the original decision, has been obtained and reasons for the reversal or modification of the earlier decision have been duly recorded on the file.
Noting on files received from other departments (Para 34)

Noting on files of other Departments
  • Examine cases on a separate file with in the department trough routine notes.
  • Record final out come of the decision in the other department’s file.
  • Where notes are issued with the approval of higher level it should be mentioned in the note sent to other department.
  • Routine cases like grant of sanctions/approvals requiring no in-depth examination may be dealt with in the file straight away
  • Open subject wise files for keeping routine notes
  1. If the reference seeks the opinion, ruling or concurrence of the receiving department and requires detailed examination, such examination will normally be done separately through routine notes and only the final result will be recorded on the file by the officer responsible for commenting upon the reference. The officer to whom such a note is submitted will either accept that note or record a note of his own. In the former case, he may direct that the note in question or a specified portion thereof may be reproduced on the main file for communication to the department concerned. In the latter case, he will record a suitable note on the main file itself. In either case, a copy of the note recorded on the main file will be kept on the routine notes for retention in the receiving department before the file is returned to the originating department.
  2. The department will open subject-wise files each year in which such routine notes will be kept. The inter-departmental note recorded on the file of the originating department will bear the subject file number to facilitate filing of papers and their retrieval for future reference. The retrieval is faster in a computerized environment due to easier tracking.
  3. Where the reference requires information of a factual nature or other action based on a clear precedent or practice, the dealing hand in the receiving department may note on the file straightway.
  4. Where a note on a file is recorded by an officer after obtaining the orders of a higher officer, the fact that the views expressed therein have the approval of the latter should be specifically mentioned.
Aids to processing (Para 35)

Aid to processing
The following records be maintained to facilitate processing of cases:
  • Rules, regulations, orders, Act dealt with by the section
  • Standing guard files;
  • Standing notes;
  • Precedent book
  • Standard process sheets and
  • Reference folders containing copies of circulars, etc.
  • Constitution of India
  • Records as mentioned in Annexure 8
Maintain records electronically for quick retrieval
  1. To facilitate processing of a case, each section will develop and maintain the following records for important subjects dealt with by it:
    1. standing guard files;
    2. standing notes;
    3. precedent book (vide para 110);
    4. standard process sheets (of repetitive items of work only); and
    5. reference folders containing copies of circulars, etc.
    The above records will also be maintained in electronic form in a computerized environment.
  2. Apart from copies of acts, rules, orders and instructions concerning subjects dealt with by it, each section is expected to maintain, for ready reference, the Constitution of India and certain acts, rules and instructions of a general nature, references of most of which have been made in this manual. Each department is expected to procure an adequate number of copies of these acts, rules and instructions and make them available to all concerned. An illustrative list of such acts, rules and instructions is contained in Appendix 8.

    These acts, rules and instructions will be accessed electronically if available on website of issuing Ministries/Departments.
The documentation-cum-reference system (manual as well as electronic form) will include reference material peculiar to the need of the functional sections and a consciously developed information system to act as an aid to policy formulation, review and operational decisions.

DRAFTING OF COMMUNICATIONS

The government has to communicate with various governments/departments/ authorities/ agencies including foreign governments, diplomats, elected representatives, masses, citizens, individuals etc. through various forms correspondence. Drafting is the process of preparing a preliminary sketch of a communication, which is intended to be sent out. A draft may be required for conveying an order or decision of government or simply for furnishing some facts and figures to others. Communications are sent in different forms such as letters, orders, office order, memorandum, notification, demi-official letter, Press note, Press release, circular etc.

Procedure for drafting (Para 68)
  1. No draft is required to be prepared in simple and straight-forward cases or those of a repetitive nature for which standard forms of communication exist. Such cases may be submitted to the appropriate officer with fair copies of the communication for signature.
  2. It is not always necessary to await the approval of the proposed line of action and the draft will be put up simultaneously along with the notes by the initiating level officer. The higher officer may revise the draft if it does not conform to the approved course of action.
  3. After a final decision is taken by the competent authority he may have the fair communication made for his signature and authorize its issue; otherwise, he will prepare a draft and submit it to the appropriate higher officer for approval.
  4. The officer approving the issue of a draft will append his initials with the date on the draft. It is also expected of him that he passes orders on the file simultaneously whether the draft so approved should be kept on the file (along with the office copy of the communication issued in fair) or not
  5. Initial drafting will be done in black or blue ink. Modifications in the draft at the subsequent levels may be made in green or red ink by the officers so as to distinguish the corrections made.
General instructions for drafting (Para 69)
  1. A draft should carry the message sought to be conveyed in a language that is clear, concise and incapable of misconstruction.
  2. Lengthy sentences, abruptness, redundancy, circumlocution, superlatives and repetition, whether of words, observations or ideas, should be avoided.
  3. Official communications emanating from a department and purporting to convey the views or orders of the Government of India must specifically be expressed to have been written under the directions of Government. This requirement does not, however, imply that each communication should start with the phrase `I am directed to say' or `The undersigned is directed to convey', which has the effect of distancing the communicator from the reader at the very outset. A more direct and to-the-point format is to be preferred if some degree of rapport is to be established with the receiver of the communication. The obligatory requirement can be met in a variety of imaginative ways. For instance, variations of the phrase can be added to the operative part of the letter towards the end as under:
    ..........I have the pleasure to inform you that the government, on reconsideration of the matter, has decided to sanction an additional grant of........…….
    or
    ..........In the light of the above developments, government conveys its inability to accede to.........……..
  4. Communications of some length or complexity should generally conclude with a summary.
  5. Depending upon the form of communication the subject should be mentioned in it (including reminders).
  6. The number and date of the last communication in the series, and if this is not from the addressee, his last communication on the subject, should always be referred to. Where it is necessary to refer to more than one communication or a series of communications, this should be done in the margin of the draft.
  7. All drafts put up on a file should bear the file number. When two or more communications are to issue from the same file to the same addressee on the same date, a separate serial number may be inserted before the numeral identifying the year to avoid confusion in reference, e.g., A-11011/5(I)/2001-Est., A-11011/5(II)/2001-Est.
  8. A draft should clearly specify the enclosures which are to accompany the fair copy. In addition, short oblique lines should be drawn at appropriate places in the margin for ready reference by the typist, the comparers and the dispatcher. The number of enclosures should also be indicated at the end of the draft on the bottom left of the page thus-`Encl. 3'.
  9. If copies of an enclosure referred to in the draft are available and are, therefore, not to be typed, an indication to that effect will be given in the margin of the draft below the relevant oblique line.
  10. If the communication to be dispatched by post is important (e.g., a notice canceling a license or withdrawing an existing facility) or encloses a valuable document (such as an agreement, service book or a cheque) instructions as to whether it should be sent through registered post or speed post or in an insured cover, will be given on the draft by the section officer concerned with its issue.
  11. Urgent communications with bulky enclosures to far-flung areas like Andaman & Nicobar Islands will be arranged to be dispatched by Air Parcel through Indian Airlines. The addressee will also be advised through wireless to take delivery of the consignment. Instructions to this effect will be given by the Divisional Head/Branch Officer/Section Officer at the time of approval of draft.
  12. The name, designation, telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address of the officer, over whose signature the communication is to issue, should invariably be indicated on the draft.
  13. In writing or typing a draft, sufficient space should be left for the margin and between successive lines to admit additions or interpolation of words, if necessary.
  14. A slip bearing the words 'Draft for approval' should be attached to the draft. If two or more drafts are put up on a file, the drafts as well as the slips attached thereto will be marked `DFA I', `DFA II', `DFA III' and so on.
  15. Drafts which are to issue as 'Immediate' or 'Priority' will be so marked under the orders of an officer not lower in rank than a Section Officer.
  16. Instructions contained in Appendix 7 will be observed while drafting.
Authentication of Government Orders (Para 70)
  1. All orders and other instruments made and executed in the name of the President should be expressed to be made in his name and signed by an officer having regular or ex-officio secretariat status of and above the rank of Under Secretary, or other specifically authorized to authenticate such orders under the Authentication (Orders and Other Instruments) Rules, 1958.
  2. Where the power to make orders, notifications, etc., is conferred by a statute on the Government of India, such orders and notifications will be expressed to be made in the name of the Government of India.
Drafting of demi-official letters (Para 72)
  1. As the objective of writing a demi-official (d.o.) letter is to call the personal attention of the addressee, the style of writing should be direct, personal and friendly. More usage of active voice is to be preferred. (E.g., `I notice' rather than `It is noticed'). It is expedient to come to the issue at the beginning itself e.g. `I seek your cooperation in the matter of........………’
  2. A d.o. letter should preferably not exceed one page. If the message to be conveyed is lengthy, it is better to condense it into one page in a few small and healthy divided paragraphs in a manner that holds the interest of the addressee, the detailed arguments can be set out in appendices.
  3. The colour code in d.o letter will be as follows. A d.o. letter from a Minister will exhibit the National Emblem in blue colour and that from an officer will exhibit the National Emblem in red colour.
FORMS AND PROCEDURE OF COMMUNICATION

FORMS OF WRITTEN COMMUNICATION -

The different forms of written communication generally used are described below. Each form has a use and, in some cases, a phraseology of its own.

LETTER- It is used for corresponding with foreign governments, State Governments, the Union Public Service Commission, heads of attached and subordinate offices, public enterprises, statutory authorities, public bodies and members of the public generally. A letter begins with the salutation “Sir(s)” as may be appropriate.

DEMI-OFFICIAL LETTER - It is generally used in correspondence between Government officers for an inter-change or communication of opinion or information without the formality of the prescribed procedures. It may also be used when it is desired that matter should receive personal attention of the individual addressed. Since demi-official letter is written in the first person in a personal and friendly tone, it should be addressed by an officer in a ministry/ department who is ordinarily not more than one or two levels below the officer to whom such communication is addressed. Communication to non-officials can also take the form of demi-official letter.

OFFICE MEMORANDUMIt is generally used for corresponding with other departments or in calling for information from or conveying information to its employees. It may also be used in corresponding with attached and subordinate offices. It is written in the third person and bears no salutation or supersession except the name and designation of the officer signing it.

INTER-DEPARTMENTAL NOTEIt is generally employed for obtaining the advice, views, concurrence or comments of other departments on a proposal or in seeking clarification of the existing rules, instructions etc. It may also be used by a department when consulting its attached and subordinate offices and vice versa. The inter-departmental note may either be recorded on a file referred to another department or may take the form of an independent self-contained note.

TELEGRAM

  1. It is used for communication with out-station parties in matters demanding prompt attention. The text of the telegram should be as brief as possible. As a rule, no telegram should be issued if an express letter or a letter marked ‘immediate’ or ‘priority’ can serve the purpose.
  2. Telegrams are of two kinds viz. enclair telegrams and cipher code telegram. The former are worded in plain language. The latter are expressed in secret language (code or cipher or both) but a combination in the same telegram of figures and letters having a secret meaning is not permitted. In editing, numbering and issuing of cipher/code telegrams, the instructions issued by the Ministry of External Affairs in respect of external telegrams and by the Ministry of Home Affairs in the case of internal telegrams, should be carefully observed.
  3. There are four grading of urgency authorized for use in State telegrams, viz. ‘SVH’, ‘Most Immediate’, Operation Immediate’ and ‘Immediate’. The use of these gradings is regulated by the rules issued by the Directorate General of Posts and Telegraphs.
  4. Telegrams, other than cipher and code telegrams, should normally be followed by post copies.

TELEX MESSAGE – In urgent and important matters, departments having telex facilities may send a telex message instead of a telegram in communicating with out-station parties.

EXPRESS LETTERIt is used in communicating with out-station parties in matters warranting urgent attention at the receiving end but not justifying the expense of a telegram. It is worded exactly like a telegram but transmitted through a post office instead of a telegraph office.

OFFICE ORDERIt is normally used for issuing instructions meant for internal administration, e.g. grant of regular leave, distribution of work among officers and sections.

ORDERIt is generally used for issuing certain types of financial sanctions and for communicating government orders in disciplinary cases, etc., to the officials concerned.

NOTIFICATIONThis form is mostly used in notifying the promulgation of statutory rules and orders, appointments and promotions of gazetted officers, etc., through publications in the Gazette of India.

RESOLUTION This form of communication is used for making public announcement of decisions of government in important matters of policy e.g. the policy of industrial licensing, appointment of committees or commissions of enquiry. Resolutions are also usually published in the Gazette of India.

PRESS COMMUNIQUE/NOTEThis form is used when it is proposed to give wide publicity to a decision of government. A press communiqué is more formal in character than a press note and is expected to be reproduced intact by the press. A press note, on the other hand, is intended to serve as a hand-out to the press which may edit, compress or enlarge it, as deemed fit.

ENDORSEMENTThis form is used when a paper has to be returned in original or its copy is sent to another department or office, for information or action. It is also used when a copy of a communication is proposed to be forwarded to parties other than the one to which it is addressed. Normally this form will not be used in communicating copies to state governments. The appropriate form for such communication should be a letter.

TELEPHONIC COMMUNICATIONS – Appropriate use of the medium of telephone may be made by departments for intra and inter-departmental consultation and for communication of information between parties situated locally. In matters of urgency, departments may communicate with out station parties also over the telephone. Telephonic communications, wherever necessary, may be followed by written communications by way of confirmation.

CORRESPONDENCE WITH ATTACHED AND SUBORDINATE OFFICES

  1. Departments may correspond with attached and subordinate offices under the control of other departments subject to such general instructions as the latter may issue.
  2. In the case of their own attached offices and subordinate offices placed directly under them, i.e. without the intervention of an attached office, as are located in Delhi/New Delhi-referred to herein as ‘Non-Secretariat Organization (NSO) for convenience – the departments will introduce the Single File System of correspondence.

INTER-DEPARTMENT CONSULTATION

  1. Inter-departmental consultation may take the form of inter-departmental notes, inter-departmental meetings or oral discussions:
  2. In making written inter-departmental references, the following points should be observed:
    1. Inter-departmental references, will normally be made under the directions of an officer not below the rank of Under Secretary or as may be provided by the departmental instructions.
    2. The points on which the opinion of other departments is sought or which it is desired to bring to their notices should be clearly stated.
    3. Where possible, the drafts of the orders proposed to be issued may also be shown to the departments sought to be consulted.
    4. When it is necessary to consult more than one department on a case, such consultation may be effected simultaneously by self-contained inter-departmental notes unless:
      1. it involves copying of a large number of documents available on the file; or
      2. the need for consulting the second department would arise only after the views of the first have become available.
    1. When such a reference requires concurrence of one or more ministries under the Government of India (Transaction of Business) Rules, the following further points should be observed:
      1. The originating ministry should invariably prescribe a time-limit when calling for comments or concurrence from other ministries.
      2. In case any of the ministries so consulted is not in a position to send its comments/concurrence within the prescribed time-limit: it should write back promptly, and in any case, before the prescribed time-limit and indicate the additional time they would require for furnishing their final reply.
    2. When such a reference does not require such concurrence under the Rules, the originating ministry need not wait for the comments of other ministry beyond the prescribed time-limit, and it should feel free to go ahead with its scheme/proposal without waiting any longer.
    3. The initiating ministry should always feel free to recall its file from another ministry, to which such a reference has been made on a file, if such a course is required to be adopted for expediting the process of decision making in the case. Such a decision to recall a file should be taken at the level not lower than that of a branch officer in the originating ministry.
  3. Inter-departmental meetings may be held where it is necessary to elicit the opinion of other departments on important cases and arrive at a decision within a limited time. No such meeting will normally be convened except under the orders of an officer not below the level of joint secretary in respect of such meetings, it will be ensured that:
    1. the representatives attending the meeting are officers who can take decisions on behalf of their departments;
    2. an agenda setting up clearly the points for discussion is prepared and sent alongwith the proposals for holding the meeting, allowing adequate time for the representatives of other departments to prepare themselves for the meeting; and
    3. a record of discussions is prepared immediately after the meeting and circulated to the other departments concerned, setting out the conclusions reached and indicating the department or departments responsible for taking further action on each conclusion.
  4. On occasions it may be necessary to have oral discussions with officers of other departments, e.g. when:
    1. a preliminary discussion between the officers of the departments concerned is likely to help in the disposal of the case;
    2. it is desirable to reach a preliminary agreement before proceeding further in the matter;
    3. inter-departmental noting reveals a difference of opinion between two or more departments; or
    4. it is proposed to seek only information or advice of the department to be consulted.

The result of such oral consultation should be recorded in a single note on the file by the officer of the department to which the case belongs. The note will state clearly the conclusions reached and the reasons thereof. A copy of the note will also be sent to the departments consulted in order that they have a record of the conclusion reached.

NODAL MINISTRIES/DEPARTMENTS
In order that the number of interdepartmental references is minimized so as to facilitate reduced paper work and faster decision making, nodal ministries/departments such as Law, Finance, Personnel, Electronics, Environment etc. may lay down clear guidelines on their respective subjects for individual departments to follow. Guidelines should be so framed that reference to nodal departments will be necessary in exceptional case only.

REFERENCE TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF INDIA
Reference to the Attorney-General will be made only by the Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs.

REFERENCE TO THE COMPTROLLER AND AUDITOR GENERAL OF INDIA
Reference to the Comptroller and Auditor General for his views or advice can be made only by or through the Ministry of Finance. In matters of day-to-day administration, departments may, however, correspond direct with the Comptroller and Auditor General at their discretion.

REFERENCES TO THE UNION PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
Reference to the Union Public Service Commission will normally be made in the form of letters addressed to the secretary. In certain matters, e.g. requisitions for recruitment, formal references should ordinarily be prepared by personal discussions at appropriate levels.

CORRESPONDENCE WITH UNION TERRITORY ADMINISTRATIONS
All communications of a routine nature which are clearly relatable to the business of a particular department, will ordinarily be addressed to the secretary in the appropriate department. Other communications may be addressed to the chief secretary or the administrator depending upon the importance of the matter.

CORRESPONDENCE WITH STATE GOVERNMENTS

  1. Communications on the subjects clearly relatable to the business of a particular department will normally be addressed to the Secretary of that department. Other communication including those of the special nature or importance warranting attention at higher levels, may be addressed to the Chief Secretary. Demi-official letter is written in the first person in a personal and friendly tone, it should be addressed by an officer who is not more than one or two levels below the officer to whom such a communication is addressed. In case of demi-official communication to the Chief Secretary of a State, this level will not be below the level of joint secretary.
  2. Communications other than those of a purely routine nature e.g. acknowledgements, will not ordinarily be addressed to State Governments except with the prior approval and over the signature of the branch officer. Purely routine communications can, however, be signed by a section officer.

CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE LOK SABHA AND THE RAJYA SABHA SECRETARIATS
Communication meant for the Lok Sabha secretariat or the Rajya Sabha secretariat and requiring urgent or high level attention may be addressed to the secretaries concerned and not the Speaker or the Chairman direct.

CORRESPONDENCE WITH MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT

  1. Communication received from Members of Parliament should be attended to promptly.
  2. Where a communication is addressed to a Minister, it should as far as practicable, be replied to by the Minister himself. In other cases a reply should normally be issued over the signature of an officer not below the rank of joint secretary.
  3. Where, however, a communication is addressed to the head of an attached or subordinate office, it should be replied to by the addressee himself. In routine matters not involving question of policy, he may send an appropriate reply on his own. In matters involving questions of policy, however, the officer should have prior consultation with higher authorities before sending a reply.
  4. Normally information sought by a Member should be supplied unless it is of such a nature that it would have been denied to him even if asked for on the floor of the Houses of Parliament.
  5. As far as possible, in corresponding with Members Parliament, pre-printed or cyclostyled replies should be avoided.

CORRESPONDENCE WITH MINISTERS OF STATE GOVERNMENTS –
The procedure laid down in the above paragraph may also be followed in dealing with communications received from the Ministers of State Governments.

CORRESPONDENCE WITH FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS:
Correspondence with foreign government and their missions in India, heads of Indian diplomatic missions and posts abroad and United Nations and its specialized agencies will normally be channelised through the Ministry of External Affairs. The case in which and the conditions subject to which direct correspondence may be resorted to are indicated in the instructions entitled ‘ Channel of communication between the Government of India and State Governments on the one hand; and foreign and Commonwealth governments or their Missions in India. Heads of Indian Diplomatic Missions and posts abroad and United Nations and its specialized agencies on the other issued by the Ministry of External Affairs.

ISSUE OF DRAFTS

MARKING OF DRAFTS FOR ISSUE –
After a draft has been approved, the section officer will:

  1. examine the draft to see that it is letter perfect i.e. all corrections, etc. have been properly carried out and that there are no accidental errors;
  2. indicate if a clean copy of the draft is to be made for use as office copy;
  3. specify the number of spare copies required, if any;
  4. ensure that copies of enclosures are attached to the draft where these are available in the section;
  5. give clear indication on the draft, where a communication is to be dispatched by a special messenger on account of its special nature, importance or urgency;
  6. mark the draft for ‘issue’ (if there are more than one draft for issue from the same file, indicate the total number of drafts, e.g., ‘issue 3 drafts’); and
  7. mark the file for recording it in a case where the issue of said communication constitutes final disposal of the case under consideration.

FAIRING OF APPROVED DRAFTS –
All stages of action after the approval of drafts ending with signing of fair communications will be performed in the section except where centralized typing pool exists.

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING TYPING

  1. Urgent drafts will be attended to first.
  2. Fair copies of all communications will be typed on printed letter heads of suitable sizes. The name of the issuing departments with full address including PIN code, telephone number, telegraphic address and telex code, if any, will be got printed on the letter head.
  3. Fair copies will be typed with single spacing unless otherwise directed.
  4. The oblique lines, as also the number of enclosures indicated in the drafts, will be typed at the appropriate places.
  5. Stencils will be cut whenever more than 15 copies of a communication are required.
  6. The typist will type his initials with date in the left hand bottom corner of the fair copy, e.g. RCK/20-3-87

PROCEDURE TO BE FOLLOWED IN SECTIONS: -

  1. Section officer, while marking the draft for typing and before passing on the file to the diarist, will ensure that clear indication has been given where copies of any papers contained in any file are to be typed as enclosure.
  2. The diarist will:
    1. enter the number of the file marked for recording in column 2 of the register for watching the progress of recording and
    2. pass on the file to the typist.
  3. The approved draft will be fair typed, compared and got signed. General instructions regarding typing will be observed.
  4. On return of signature pads, the section officer will see that fair copies have been duly signed by the officer and make sure that corrections, if any, made while signing are carried out in all copies.
  5. The signed fair copies, together with office copies, drafts and relevant file/files will then be passed on to the diarist.
  6. The diarist will:
    1. enter the number of the fair communications and office copies in messenger book; and
    2. send the fair communications and office copies, along with messenger book, to the despatcher of the central issue section at appropriate intervals during day.
  7. The despatcher will:
    1. remove the fair communications and office copies; and
    2. acknowledge receipt in the messenger book.

DESPATCH OF POSTAL COMMUNICATIONS:

  1. The despatcher will hand over communications to be sent by post to the daftary, who will:
    1. separate those to be sent by foreign post from the rest;
    2. paste the telegrams, if typed on plain paper, over the printed form of telegram supplied by the Posts and Telegraphs Department and affix service postage stamps of the appropriate value thereon;
    3. if a credit deposit account is maintained for issuing telegrams, affix rubber-stamp indicating the credit deposit account number assigned to the department in the space provided for affixing postage stamps;
    4. affix postage stamps of the appropriate value on covers, packets, etc., where necessary after weighting them, using ordinary postage stamps for foreign post and service postage stamps for inland post;
    5. where postal franking machines are in use, frank the covers, etc., instead of affixing postage stamps;
    6. stamp the covers with a rubber-stamp bearing the name of the department, the name and designation of the officer in charge of the central issue section and the facsimile of his signature; and
    7. return the communication to the despatcher.
  2. The despatcher will enter the particulars of the communications and the value of stamps affixed thereon in the despatch register (Appendix 16)
  3. In the case of telegrams the serial number assigned to them in the despatch register will be noted at a convenient place on the top receipt portion of the printed telegram form to facilitate the linking of the telegram receipts to the relevant entries in the despatch register.
  4. Departments despatching registered post exceeding a daily average of 10 will use postal registration books so that the outgoing registered communications could straightway be entered in that book instead of in the despatch register. Each entry in such a book will then be got stamped by the post office.
  5. If a communication is to be sent by registered post (acknowledgement due), the number of the communication will be written on the 'acknowledgement card’ also so that, when received back, it can be sent to the section concerned.
  6. Telegrams will be despatched promptly. Registered and insured articles will be sent to the post office well before the closing hour prescribed for the receipt of such articles. Other communications will be posted at convenient intervals.
  7. Receipts for telegrams, registered and insured post. etc. will be checked carefully by the despatcher. These will be filed properly for reference in the event of need.
  8. In offices where despatch work is heavy and where central dispatch register are maintained in detail, the procedures for maintenance of service postage stamps account will be as under

DESPATCH OF NON-POSTAL COMMUNICATIONS

  1. Non-postal communications will be sorted out according to the location of the addresses, entered in messenger books and handed over to messenger for delivery to the addresses.
  2. Messenger books will be numbered serially and an adequate number of such books allotted to each department/office or several departments/offices grouped conveniently according to their location.
  3. Urgent communication will be despatched promptly. The time of despatch will invariably be noted in the messenger book. The recipients will similarly be required to indicate the time of their receipt. Ordinary communications will be despatched at least twice a day at suitable intervals.
  4. Only urgent communications will be despatched outside office hours. No communication will be sent to an officer at his residence unless:
    1. It is of such a nature that action thereon cannot wait till the commencement of the next working day:
    2. it is marked 'immediate' and addressed to the officer by name; and
    3. its delivery to the officer's residence has been authorized by the branch officer concerned at the despatching end.
  5. After the communications have been delivered, the despatcher will examine the messenger books to see that all the communications, entered therein have been duly acknowledged by the recipients under dated signatures written in ink. Instances where the communications have not been acknowledged will be immediately brought to the notice of the section officer of the central issue section for investigation and further suitable action.

RETURN OF PAPERS
After issue of fair communications the despatcher will make over office copies, together with drafts and relevant files. if any; to the clerk maintaining the issue diary. The latter will return the papers to the diarists of the sections concerned after making entries in column 3 of the issue diary.

ISSUE OF INTER-DEPARTMENTAL NOTES

  1. Drafts of self-contained inter-departmental notes will be issued in the same manner as any other draft.
  2. Inter-departmental notes sought to be recorded on files will be fair typed and compared in the section/desks concerned but despatched through the central issue section.
  3. Before sending the files to the central issue section for despatch the diarist will:
    1. mark the movement in the file movement register in the case of section's own files, and in the section diary in other cases';
    2. in respect of section's own files, prepare a challan in duplicate and place one copy on the file and make over the other to the dealing hand concerned
    3. enter the file in the messenger book; and
    4. send it to the despatcher of the central issue section.
  4. In the desk system, the jobs corresponding to (a) to (d) will be performed by the stenographer/assistant attached to the desk functionary.
  5. The despatcher will:
    1. remove the file for despatch to the addressee;
    2. acknowledge its receipt in the messenger book; and
    3. return the messenger book to the section concerned.

STAMPS ACCOUNT REGISTER

  1. The despatcher will maintain an account of the postage stamps in the form given in Appendix 18
  2. The Section Officer will check the entries made in the register every day and append his dated signatures in token of his having done so. He will also conduct surprise test checks of envelopes ready for despatch by post to make sure:
    1. that the value of stamps affixed thereon tallies with that shown in the despatch register; and
    2. that the required value has been secured by using the minimum number of stamps of appropriate higher denominations.
  3. The branch officer in charge of the central issue section will also inspect the two registers once a month and verify that the value of stamps in hand tallies with that shown in the register.

ACTION AFTER ISSUE

  1. On receipt of papers after issue, the diarist will:
    1. check that the office copies bear the stamp issued;
    2. make sure that files and other papers sent with the drafts to the central issue section have been received back:
    3. make entries about the return of files in the file movement register:
    4. make entries in section despatch register (Appendix 19);
  2. The dealing hand will:
    1. docket the communication(s) issued along with the original of the approved drafts where so required:
    2. examine whether the case is fit for inclusion in any of the following reports and obtain orders of the appropriate officer:
      1. weekly statement of cases, other than those of a routine nature, disposed of without reference to the Minister-in-charge (Appendix 20), to be submitted to the Minister in accordance with departmental instructions: and
      2. monthly summary of the principal activities of the department to be furnished to the Cabinet Secretariat in accordance with the instructions issued by it.
    3. initiate action to record the file where it has been marked for record by the section officer.
    4. if a reply to the communication issued is to be awaited or further action on the file is to be resumed at a later date-
      1. mark the file for being brought forward on that date:
      2. make a note of it in the engagement calendar and diary or the relevant date: and
      3. pass on the file to the diarist for recording its movement in the file movement register keeping a note in the reminder diary
  3. The section officer will scrutinize the section despatch register (Appendix 19) once a week to see that it is being properly maintained and append his dated initials in token of scrutiny.
  4. In the desk system. all activities outlined in above will be performed by the desk functionary with the assistance of the stenographer/assistant attached to him.

REFERENCE LISTS –

  1. To facilitate quick despatch of papers the central issue section will maintain the following lists and directories;
    1. residential addresses and telephone numbers of officers and staff of the department:
    2. departments which have arrangements within the central registry for receipt of dak outside office hours (with name and telephone number of the official incharge);
    3. residential addresses and telephone numbers of officers of other departments designated to receive urgent dak outside office hours
    4. residential addresses and telephone numbers of officers of other departments designated to receive parliamentary paper;
    5. postal addresses of all offices under the department, attached offices, subordinate offices, autonomous bodies, etc. which deal directly with it;
    6. telegraphic addresses of state governments and other outstation offices frequently addressed;
    7. Delhi Official Directory issued by the President's Secretariat;
    8. Official Directory issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs;
    9. List of India's Representatives Abroad issued by the Ministry of External Affairs;
    10. Diplomatic List issued by the Ministry of' External Affairs: and
    11. Schedule of postal rates.
  2. These lists, etc. will be kept up to date and displayed prominently for easy consultation by the despatcher, the resident clerk and other officials on duty.

Appendix 16
Despatch register for postal communication only

Number .................Date .................
Sl.No. Number of Communication Addressee Value of Stamp affixed
1 2 3 4

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Separate register will be maintained for (a) foreign post (b) telegrams and (c) other inland post.
  2. Entries in column 4 will be totalled up at the end of the day and the total indicated in red ink.

Appendix 17
Revised procedure for maintenance of service postage stamp account

  1. All communications intended to be sent by post will be placed in addressed envelopes.
  2. After affixing postage stamps of the requisite value the envelopes would be sorted out into groups with the same value of stamps.
  3. The total number of envelopes in each group would be indicated in the 'Register of Daily Abstract of stamps Used'. The total value of the stamps used during a day as added up in this abstract, will be entered under column 4 of the stamps account register
Model Form

Register of Daily Abstract of Service Postage Stamps Used
Sl. No. Value of Stamps on each cover No. of covers Total value of stamps (Rs.) Initials of the section officer
1 2 3 4 5

Note: In case of registered and insured articles as well as telegrams, the total number of such items despatched will be shown in Column 3 and the total value of stamps used during the day on the basis of postal receipts will be indicated in column 4.

  1. The correctness of the entries of outgoing envelopes in the ‘Register of Daily Abstract of Stamps Used’ would be checked by the supervisor of the central R & I section at least once a week by actual count of the covers ready for despatch. The check should be a surprise one and a certificate of the check made and its results should be recorded in the register. The branch officer incharge would also make a monthly check of this register.
  2. It is to be noted that the despatch register for foreign dak for which ordinary postage stamps are used will continue to be maintained.

Appendix 18
Stamp Account Register
Date Value of stamps Balance at close of the day (Cols. 2+3+4) Signature of
In hand Received during the day Used during the day Despatcher Section Officer
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Separate register should be maintained for (a) ordinary postage stamps and (b) service postage stamps.
  2. Column 2 will repeat the figure in column 5 of the previous day.
  3. In the case of ordinary postage stamps, column 4 should reproduce the daily total struck in despatch register for foreign dak. In the case of services postage stamps this column should reproduce the sum of the daily total struck in:
    1. despatch register for telegrams.
    2. despatch register for inland post, and
    3. postal registration books

Appendix 19
Section Despatch Register


Dated : ..................
S.No. Number of the issue Addressee Issued Remarks-Nature of the issue i.e. letter telegram
In Hindi In English Bilingually
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

  1. place office copies with drafts, if any, on the relevant files; and
  2. pass on the files to the dealing hands concerned.

Appendix 20
Statement of cases other than those of a routine nature disposed of without reference to the minister-in-charge

Department................................Week ending ...................

S. No. File No. Brief subject Nature of decision taken Level at which taken Date of decision
1 2 3 4 5 6



SPECIMEN FORMS OF COMMUNICATIONS

Letter (with endorsement)


No.F..../....../...........
Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi
Department of ...................

New Delhi, the ............, 20...

To
......................................,
......................................,
......................................,

Sub: ..........................................................

Sir/madam

*With reference to your letter No. ............... dated .............. on the subject cited above .............................

2. ........................................................................................................................................................

Yours faithfully,

Sd/-@
(A.B.C.)
Designation...........
Tele No..................

(Endorsement)
No. .............................

Copy forwarded for information/necessary action to:
(1)
(2)

(A.B.C.)
Designation ...............

*Other alternative forms of the introductory phrases commonly used are: -

  1. In continuation of my/this Department’s letter No. ....................
  2. With reference to the correspondence resting/pending, with your/this Department’s letter No. ................ Dated ...................

@ To be typed on copies intended for (1) and (2) referred to in the endorsement.


Demi-Official Letter (D.O.)

Secretary (AR) Government of NCT of Delhi
Administrative Reforms Department
7th Level, C-Wing,
Delhi Secretariat, I.P. Estate,
New Delhi-110002.
Tel. No. ....................

D.O. No. .............................
Dated .................................

My dear/Dear Shri.....................

      We propose to draw up a model scheme for .................... A copy of the outline prepared in this connection is enclosed.

2.      I should be grateful if you would let me have your comments as soon as possible. I may add that we intend circulating the draft scheme formally to all departments in due course for their comments.

            With regards,

Yours sincerely,


(X Y Z)

Mr/Ms ____________________
Secretary,
Department of _____________
_________________________
_________________________


Office Memorandum

No.F......./........./...............
Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi
Department of ........................

New Delhi, the ....................

OFFICE MEMORANDUM

Subject:

Reference is invited to this Department O.M. No. ____________________________ dated ___________________

Doubts have been expressed whether the provisions of _____________________ also apply to ____________________________ It is hereby clarified that _______________________

(X.Y.Z.)
Dy. Secretary _________
Tel. No. _____________

To

Shri/Smt .................................,
Department of .........................
..............................................
..............................................


Inter-Departmental Note

Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi
Department of ........................

New Delhi, the ....................

Subject:

The present rules regulating the issue of identity cards provide inter alia that __________

2. A question has now arisen whether ________________________

3. _____________________________________________________

4. _____________________________________________________

This department will be grateful for the advice of the Department of Legal Affairs on the issue raised in para 4 above.

(X.Y.Z.)
Dy. Secretary _________
Tel. No. _____________

Department of ...............................................
I.D. No. ............................    Dated ..................


En Clair Telegram

TELEGRAM

To (addressee) .................................

STATE EXPRESS

No. .................................. @ ................................. REOLET/TYLET JULY TENTH STOP EXPEDITE BUDGET PROPOSALS STOP FINANCE PRESSING HARD STOP

FROM (Sender)

NOT TO BE TELEGRAPHED

(A.B.C.)
Dy. Secretary_________________
Tele No._____________

No. .................
New Delhi, the 20

Copy by post in confirmation.

(X.Y.Z.)
For Dy. Secretary ________________

To
__________________
__________________
___________________

Note: The form of telex message will be similar to that of telegram.


Express Letter

No. F........../............/.....................
Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi
Department of ...............................

New Delhi, the ..................., 201.....

To

Subject:

REFERENCE THIS DEPARTMENT NUMBER ........................ DATED ........................ AS MATTER HAS TO BE REFERRED TO U.P.S.C. FOR CONCURRENCE BEFORE THE END OF CURRENT MONTH, PLEASE EXPEDITE REPLY.

(A.B.C.)
Dy. Secretary____________________
Tele. No.____________


Office Order

No. F........../............/.....................
Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi
Department of ...............................

New Delhi, the ..................., 201.....

OFFICE ORDER

     Shri Y.X.Z., lower division clerk in this department is granted earned leave for ....................... days from ................ to ................ with permission to prefix ................... a public holiday, to the leave.

     It is certified that Shri X.Y.Z., is likely, on the expiry of this leave, to return to duty at the station from which he proceeded on leave.

(A.B.C.)
Dy. Secretary____________________
Tele. No.____________

Copy to:

  1. Office Order file
  2. Cashier
  3. Section Concerned
  4. Shri X.Y.Z., LDC
OR

No. F........../............/.....................
Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi
Department of ...............................

New Delhi, the ..................., 201.....

OFFICE ORDER

     It has been decided to transfer the work relating to ............................ from .......................... section to ....................... Section.

(A.B.C.)
Dy. Secretary____________________
Tele. No.____________

Copy to:


Order

No. F........../............/.....................
Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi
Department of ...............................

New Delhi, the ..................., 201.....

ORDER

     Sanction of the President is accorded under rule 10 of the Delegation of Financial Powers Rules, to the write off irrecoverable loss of Rs. 5000 (Rupees Five Thousands only) being the value of the following articles belonging to this department.

  1. .............................................................
  2. .............................................................

     It is certified that Shri X.Y.Z., is likely, on the expiry of this leave, to return to duty at the station from which he proceeded on leave.

(A.B.C.)
Dy. Secretary____________________
Tele. No.____________

Copy forwarded to:

  1. The A.G.C.R., New Delhi
  2. Internal Finance Section
  3. Cash Section
OR

No. F........../............/.....................
Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi
Department of ...............................

New Delhi, the ..................., 201.....

ORDER

     Shri............................... lower division clerk in the Department of ................................... is hereby informed that it is proposed to take action against him under rule ................................... of .................................

     Shri .............................. is hereby given an opportunity to make such representation as he may wish to make against the proposal.

(A.B.C.)
Dy. Secretary____________________
Tele. No.____________

To
      Shri ......................., LDC


Notification

[To be published in Gazette of India, Part-I, Section-2]

No. F........../............/.....................
Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi
Department of ...............................

New Delhi, the ..................., 201.....

NOTIFICATION

     No .......................... Shri X.Y.Z., Under Secretary in the Department of ........................ is appointed to officiate as Deputy Secretary in that Department vice Shri .......................

(A.B.C.)
Dy. Secretary____________________

To,

The Manager,
Govt. of India Press,
.........................

No.........................New Delhi, the .........., 201...

Copy forwarded for information to:

  1. ............................
  2. ............................
  3. ............................

(D.E.F.)
Under Secretary____________________



OR

[To be published in the Gazette of India, Part-II, Section 3, Sub-section (ii)]

Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi
Department of ......................

New Delhi, the .........., 201...

NOTIFICATION

No. S.O. .......................... In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 4 of the Supply and Prices of Goods Act, 1950, (LXX of 1950) ...................... the Central Government hereby fix the following schedule of maximum price .................. (No. ..................)

(A.B.C.)
Dy. Secretary____________________

To,

The Manager,
Govt. of India Press,
.........................


Resolution

(To be published in the Gazette of India, Part-I, Section-1)

No.F..../...../....................
Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi
Department of ............................

New Delhi, the ..................., 201...

RESOLUTION

The Government of Delhi have had under consideration the question of further improving the efficiency of the departments and services concerned with the collection of revenue. As a first step in that direction the President has been pleased, under the powers vested in him by previous to Article 309 of the Constitution of India, to decide that a Class-I Central Service to be known as ‘India Revenue Service’ should be constituted with effect from...................

(A.B.C.)
Secretary to Govt. of Delhi

ORDER

ORDERED that a copy of the resolution be communicated to ................................ ORDERED also that the resolution be published in the Gazette of India for general information.

(A.B.C.)
Secretary to Govt. of Delhi

To,
Manager,
Government of India Press,



Press Communique/Note

Not to be published or broadcast before ............. a.m./p.m. on ................ day, the .................., 201....

PRESS COMMUNIQUE/NOTE

In response to public demand, the Government of Delhi has appointed a commission to go into the problem of _______________ and make suitable recommendations to the Government.

The Commission will consist of Shri ________________ as Chairman and the following as member:

  1. ...............................
  2. ...............................
  3. ...............................

In making its recommendations, the Commission is expected to give consideration to the following matters;

  1. ...............................
  2. ...............................
  3. ...............................

The Commission is expected to submit its report to the Government by ___________.



No F....../...../.....................
Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi
Department of .........................

New Delhi, the ............., 201...

Forwarded to the Director, Information & Publicity, Government of Delhi, New Delhi, for issuing the communiqué and giving it wide publicity.


Endorsement

No F....../...../.....................
Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi
Department of .........................

New Delhi, the ............., 201...

A copy each of the under-mentioned papers is forwarded to _______________ for information and necessary action.

(A.B.C.)
Dy. Secretary____________________
Tele. No.____________

List of papers forwarded:

  1. No................... Dated .............
  2. No................... Dated .............
  3. No................... Dated .............




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