Concept of Advisory Councils:
The Advisory Councils came to be the most remarkable innovations in the administrative organisation of the 20th century. The practice of setting up advisory committees originated first in England and on account of their set merits, they became very popular in other countries of the world. Now-a-days, they are in operation in almost all the countries and are doing useful work.
As is clear from its very name, the main task of an Advisory Council is to advise.
In the words of Gladden, “The main idea behind the Advisory Council i.e. to obtain the view and cooperation of particular interests, is closely allied to the objectives of establishing public relations”. We are living in an age of democracy. We have to adjust our administrative system in such a way as can make it responsive to public opinion and responsible to the people. Public Administration in a democratic state cannot afford to remain passive to public opinion. This gives rise to the great need for freeing the public administration from excessive bureaucratic control with a view to enable it to work better for the promotion of the public good. Public Administration must be based on the consent and cooperation of the people. It has to enlist the support of the people by securing their advice and involvement. The Social Psychologist Miss Follet says, “Mere consent of the people over a particular matter concerning their welfare is not enough. People can have a sense of satisfaction only when they too are allowed to make some contribution in evolving a policy aiming at benefiting them all. The Advisory Councils are designed to play such a role by acting as links between the administration and the people.
The Advisory Councils are instruments of advice and these include both government and private members. Their main task is consultative and advisory.
According to J. M. Pfiffner, “An Advisory Council is a group of experts or representatives of the public called into function usually on a voluntary basis as a consultative group and to tender advice and recommendation with regard to administrative problems and procedures”.
The Advisory Councils mostly consist of officials as well as non-officials. Almost half of their members are chosen by the department and the same number is nominated from amongst the members of the public who have some interest in the matter directly or indirectly. These councils are composed in such a way as can enable these have to adequate representation of the interest concerned.