An Illustrative List of Records fit to be Categorised as
‘A’ , ‘B’ and ‘C’ Categories
Records under this category pertain to subjects of prime administrative and / or historical importance, viz.
(1) Papers containing evidence of rights or obligations of or against the government, e.g., title to property, claims for compensation not subject to a time limit, formal instruments such as awards, schemes, orders, sanctions, etc.
(2) Papers relating to major policy decisions, including those relating to the preparation of legislation.
(3) Papers regarding constitution, functions and working of important committees, working groups, etc.
(4) Papers providing lasting precedents for important procedures, e.g., administrative memoranda, historical reports and summaries, legal opinions on important matters.
(5) Papers concerning rules, regulations, departmental guides or instructions of general application.
(6) Papers relating to salient features of organisation and staffing of government departments and offices.
(7) Papers relating to important litigation or causes celebres in which the administration was involved.
Much of the material likely to be preserved for administrative purposes will be of interest for research purpose as well; but papers of the following categories should be specially considered as of value to historians:
(1) Papers relating to the origin of a department or agency of government; how it was organised; how it functioned; and (if defunct) how and why it was dissolved.
(2) Data about what the department/agency accomplished. (Samples by way of illustration may be enough; but the need for such samples may be dispensed with where published annual reports are available).
(3) Papers relating to a change of policy. This is not always easy to recognise, but watch should be kept for (a) summary for a Minister, (b) the appointment of a departmental or inter-departmental committee or working group, and (c) note for the Cabinet or a Cabinet Committee. Generally there should be a conscious effort to preserve all such papers, including those reflecting conflicting points of view. In the case of inter-departmental committees, however, it is important that a complete set of papers be kept only by the departments mainly concerned-usually the one providing secretariat.
(4) Papers relating to the implementation of a change of policy, including a complete set of instructions to execute agencies etc., and relevant forms.
(5) Papers relating to a well-known public or international event or causes celebre, or to other events which gave rise to interest or controversy on the national plane.
(6) Papers containing direct reference to trends or developments in political, social, economic or other fields, particularly if they contain unpublished statistical or financial data covering a long period or a wide area.
(7) Papers cited in or noted as consulted in connection with, official publications.
(8) Papers relating to the more important aspects of scientific or technical research and development.
(9) Papers containing matters of local interest of which it is unreasonable to expect that evidence will be available locally, or comprising synopsis of such information covering the whole country or a wide area.
(10) Papers relating to obsolete, activities or investigations, or to abortive scheme in important fields.
(11) Any other specific category of records which, according to the departmental instructions issued in consultation with the National Archives, have to be treated as genuine source of information on any aspect of history-political, social, economic, etc., or are considered to be of biographical or antiquarian interest.
Records under this category also pertain to subjects of administrative and/ or historical importance mentioned under ‘A’ category above. These, however, do not contain any material that is so precious that its original must be preserved intact or which is likely to be required for frequent reference by different parties, thus requiring microfilming.
Records under this category pertain to subjects of secondary importance having referral value for a limited period, not exceeding ten years.