Home Department was established by the British Government to operate and control the Administration within the State. The management of its personnel & administration for maintenance of security and revenue collection was its operative part.
After independence the Department continued to function within the same structure. By the Notification No. 1209 A.R. Dated 15th June 1964, the Rules of Business was framed under article 166(3) of the Constitution of India. In the said Rule, the Home department has been entered in serial number 1 of the First Schedule under Rule 4. The functions of the present Personnel & Administrative Reforms Department was included under Home Department, which was in turn divided into 11 Branches. The General Administration Branch under the Home Department operate the functions almost in similar ways of the present P&AR Department.
With the expansion of governmental activities and in context of the need for effecting organizational efficiency through improved training, rational placement policy and better career planning etc., it was become essential that Personnel Management was given more importance and wholehearted attention and this was not possible unless the General Administration Branch of the Home Department was separated from the rest of the Home Department and converted into a full-fledged new Department to deal with Personnel and other allied matters.
Pursuant to the decision resolved in the conference of the Chief Secretaries held in New Delhi, The Government of West Bengal decided to create a separate and independent "Personnel & Administrative Reforms" Branch in the Home Department and that was set up with effect from 16th July, 1976 under Home (C&E) Department's Memo No.1614-AR, dated 16.07.1976. And the organizational set up of the aforesaid P&AR Branch in the Home Department with 7 separate Cells was also sanctioned under order no. 49-P&AR(AR), dated 11.08.1976.
Within a lapse of about two decade, it was justly felt that to look after the personnel matters of the state service and Indian service officers and newly included 6000 Secretariat Common Cadre Personnel the P & AR Branch should act as an independent Department in the Secretariat. Hence, in terms of the decision taken by the committee of Ministers formed with the Chief Minister as its Chairman on the recommendation of the Administrative Reforms Commission, the cabinet in its meeting held on 07.03.1984, inter-alia, approved renaming of the Home (P.& A.R.) Department as the Department of Personnel & Administrative Reforms and directed that P. & A. R. Department be organically separated from the Home Department and concerned entries in the Rules of business be amended. It took long time to give effect to the decision due to various constraints like provision of accommodation, staff and defining the functions. Ultimately orders was issued setting up the Department of P&AR under the Home (C&E) Department notification no. 226 Home(Cons) , dated 18.08.2000 in place of existing “P&AR” Branch in the Home Department.