Record Management can be defined as an area of general administrative management's concern with achieving economy and efficiency in the creation, maintenance, use and disposal of records during their entire life cycle. The objective of managing public and private records is to make the records serve the purpose for which they were created as cheaply and effectively as possible and to make their proper disposal after they have served their purpose. Record management is thus concerned with the entire lifespan of records i.e. from the cradle to the grave.
It strives to limit their creation and for this reason, one finds 'birth control' advocates in the record management filed as well. It exercises a practical control over their current use. The efficient management of record is of major importance to any organization and its efficiency can often be measured by the efficiency with which its records are managed. Record management activities are of a highly specialized type requiring specialized competencies and specialized background of experience.
The problem of accumulation and accrual of records is no less acute in Uttar Pradesh, the biggest state of the Indian Union than in other Indian states. It has numerous Government offices to carry out the functions of the government in all its varied fields of activity. These offices while discharging their functions are producing records in such volume and variety, which is quite staggering. The records produced fall into the following categories: -
a. Records for immediate use. (Current Records)
b. Records of limited life (Semi Current Records)
c. Records of longer life (Permanent Records)
A sound record management program should entail among other things a proper disposal of records i.e. a uniform 'retention schedule' and the destruction of obsolete records. The term disposal embraces all the actions taken with respect to records that determine their ultimate fate. This may be: -
a. Outright destruction.
b. Transfer to a record center for temporary storage.
c. Transfer to an archival institution for permanent preservation.
d. Preservation in another form or medium by microfilming etc.
Destruction is also systematic disposal of unnecessary records. Disposition of records postulates a proper filing system, which is essential for convenient identification, storage and retrieval of papers. The appraisal and weeding of the records in different department/offices is governed by their respective Manual or Government Order issued from time to time in this respect and different types of "retention schedules" prescribe the period of retention of different category of records. Records of permanent nature created by the agency are transferred to archives for permanent preservation and management.