RESIDENT COMMISSIONER OF MAHARASHTRA AT NEW DELHI

Residency system in India owes its genesis to British era ; more specifically to the system of Subsidiary Alliance devised by the British [between 1798-1805] after the Battle of Plassey. It underwent evolutionary transformation both in role and nomenclature during early 20th century. Under the system of Diarchy introduced in 1919, the Residency system assumed a new form with the nomenclature of ‘Liaison Office’ [of princely states]. Under the Government of India Act, 1919, a Chamber of Princes was set up in New Delhi to facilitate participation of the native princely states in the Council of States. It therefore became a necessity for kings of the princely states to visit New Delhi rather frequently. Liaison Offices were set up in the Capital in early 1920s alongside State Houses/Bhawans. After creation of Indian Federation, these Liaison Offices gained added prominence and residency system thus got institutionalized with modified mandates.

The erstwhile State of Bombay did have Liaison Offices at Delhi through several of its princely states. But most of them belonged to the present day Gujarat. With the reorganization of Bombay State on 30.04.1960, the new States of Maharashtra and Gujarat came into existence with effect from 1st May, 1960.

In the absence of a continuous liaison institution at Delhi as was the case with many other newly created States, Government of Maharashtra established its first state level office in New Delhi vide General Administration Department(GAD) Resolution dated 19th October, 1960. It was named as Information Office and Information Centre of Maharashtra State with a Chief Information Officer (Class I gazetted) and 10 other staff. This office was mandated to handle liaison job both domestic and international, along with information and public relation(I & PR) activities. The organization was also required to function as a point of contact between the different departments of the State and Central Government. 

In a later development, Buildings & Communications Department of Government of Maharashtra vide Resolution dated 27th August, 1963, commissioned the state guest house on Sangli plot on Lytton Road (now Copernicus Marg) in the name of Maharashtra House. This Guest House was meant to fulfil the protocol requirements of the State Government at New Delhi.

Between the year 1960 and 1964, both the State Government establishments at New Delhi underwent expansion as per demand of workload. Soon, it was realized that the office of Chief Information Officer, Maharashtra Information Centre was unable to effectively function as a point of contact between the different departments of the State and Central Government.  Besides, the residency system had, by then established strong roots and some other states like Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Mysore and West Bengal had been benefited significantly through this Liaison mechanism. Therefore, the then Chief Secretary, Maharashtra, vide office note dated 7th September, 1964 mooted the idea of setting up of the State Liaison Office in New Delhi. After Cabinet approval to his proposal on 7/10/1964, Government of Maharashtra vide GAD Resolution dated 19th November, 1964 created the State Liaison Office at New Delhi to be headed by the State Liaison Officer(SLO) of the status of Secretary to Government along with four other supporting staff. SLO was declared as HoD on 11nd February, 1965 and his/her duties were prescribed vide GR of even number dated 2nd March, 1965.

The office of the SLO started on the first floor conference hall of Maharashtra Sadan in February, 1965 and when the hall was taken up for conversion to CM Suite in 1967, the SLO moved to D/267, Defence Colony, New Delhi-3 and continued there till 1970, i.e. till completion of the present administrative block on Copernicus Marg.

So far, three offices independent of each other were functioning in New Delhi. While, part of the functions of the Information Office and Information Centre of Maharashtra State [MIC] was assigned to the SLO on first assumption of office, the B&C Department managed the Protocol affairs through the office of Manager cum Receptionist of Maharashtra Sadan [New name of Maharashtra House w.e.f. 1st May, 1964]. For the purpose of better coordination and teamwork, it was realized to have a unified control system through a single umbrella office which can take care of both liaison and protocol at New Delhi. Accordingly, GAD vide Resolution dated 9th February, 1965 brought the Maharashtra Information Centre under the direct control of the SLO. In a subsequent development, the designation of the post of Chief Information Officer was changed to that of Deputy State Liaison Officer vide GAD Resolution dated 01.8.1969. Again it was redesignated as CIO & Dy. Spl. Commissioner along with redesignation of State Liaison Officer as Special Commissioner vide GAD Resolution, dated 1st November, 1969. The office was formally separated from Spl commissioner vide GAD Resolution No SCO 1078/XXXIV dated 31 May, 1979 ; but again brought under its control by an office order dated  2000 followed by a GAD resolution dated 2nd May, 2000.
The establishment of Manager, Maharashtra Sadan, so far under the B&C Department, was transferred to the establishment of Special Commissioner on 31.03.1970, in accordance with GAD GR dated 22nd August, 1969.
In the year 1984, a need was felt to systematically pursue government cases/matters in the Supreme Court of India and accordingly, Law & Judiciary Department, vide GR dated 10.05.1984- created a Legal Cell under the administrative control of the Special Commissioner. But vide GAD letter dated 30th August, 1994, this office was formally separated from the Residency office.
In 1997, Special Commissioner was declared as Administrative Head of Department at par with other Secretaries of Mantralaya and on 14th November, 2006, Special Commissioner was redesignated as Resident Commissioner.

In a new initiative, Government appointed an Investment and Protocol Commissioner in December, 2004, to pay exclusive attention to investment and protocol matters, hitherto dealt by the Special/Resident Commissioner.
Thus, in the present setup of RC office we have the following wings:
(a) Resident Commissioner (Principal Secretary Level)
(b) Investment & Protocol Commissioner (Principal Secretary Level)
(c) Maharashtra Information Centre [Limited Administrative & Functional Control of RC]
(e) Legal Cell [Headed by Government Advocate, Maharashtra State][As Attached Office]
(f) Resident Engineer, PWD (Civil) and Resident Asst Engineer (Electrical) [as Attached Offices]

Please click here for Incumbency Chart of State Liaison Officers, Special Commissioners , Resident Commissioners and Investment and Protocol Commissioners of Maharashtra State.