Subsequent to the transfer of a large part of its estate of the Nawab Vazir of Awadh to the East India Company, in 1801 the Company had established a Board headed by the Lt Governor at Bareilly to administer this estate. With one secretary and few clerks sanction had been made for this board. After the expansion of territory under the Company’s authority, its headquarters was shifted to Allahabad in 1834, but the headquarters was transferred to Agra in 1836 after the formation of the North Western Provinces. In January 1858, Lord Canning brought back the Government Headquarters from Agra to Allahabad and later in 1902, after the amalgamation of the Awadh region into it, the province was given a new name of United Provinces of Agra and Oudh. The headquarters had by then acquired the form of a Secretariat.
The first re-constitution of the State Secretariat was done in 1883, when a Finance Secretary and a Law Secretary were appointed to assist the Chief Secretary. In addition, the Chief Engineer (Irrigation) and the Chief Engineer (Buildings and Roads, subsequently PWD) used to function as Secretaries to their Departments in the Secretariat.
Under the Government of India Rules 1911, many new subjects were gradually transferred to the local administration in January 1921 and the State Secretariat was re-constituted again. As a result, six new Secretaries were appointed and the Secretariat was expanded at the subordinate level.
Under the above mentioned Rules, the Legislative Council was established in the State in 1921 and then Lucknow became the place of residence for the Governor. In view of convenience of work, the departments of the Secretariat gradually started shifting from Allahabad to Lucknow and eventually, on the recommendation of the Panna Lal-McLeod Committee appointed in 1932, the entire Secretariat was shifted to Lucknow in 1935. Under the new changes made by the Government of India, Rules 1935, the Secretariat was further expanded. Under the new Constitution, the Rules of Executive Business were formulated in 1937 for discharging work in the Secretariat.
After Independence, the State Government took upon itself the responsibility of augmenting financial resources and implementing the planned Five-Year Plans, as part of its endeavour to accord topmost priority to the State’s overall development. As a result, there was a rapid expansion of the Secretariat at the State level and various departments at the field level.