Full Form of PWD

The PWD full name stands for the Public Works Department. PWD meaning implies a department under the Government of India primarily concerned with public infrastructures that include building roads, construction of bridges, government offices, developing water systems, etc. The PWD department looks after construction as well as the maintenance of these infrastructures. All such works that come under the public sector of India, are under the responsibility of PWD. The PWD long form or PWD full form is rarely used in denotations and it is mostly implied by its acronym only. 

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History of PWD in India

Now that we have learned what is the full form of PWD and understood the PWD meaning, let us have a look at its history and how it was established in India. Since the early days of British India, founded by Lord Dalhousie, PWD was in charge of different road and irrigation projects such as dams, canals, reservoirs, etc. The Military Board of the Imperial Government oversaw the management of the PWD department at the time, which was not very systematic. As the arrangement was not very effective, the East India Company’s  Court of Directors drew the attention of the Government to the state of affairs and less than satisfactory management. As such the Court of Directors constituted a commission in 1850 for an investigation into each of the Presidencies. 

As the Military Board was found incapable of managing the Public Works Department, a new proposal was submitted by the Commission for department management.

The Court of Directors accepted certain basic features of the proposal which included: 

  • The control of the PWD department was handed over to the Chief Engineers

  • The respective provincial Governments took control of the PWD

  • The Chief Engineers were to be assisted by the Executive and Superintending engineers

  • Dissolution of the Chief Engineers’ independent officers.

The PWD in 1866, was divided into three branches viz. Military, Civil (Roads, Building and Irrigation) and Railway. In this year itself, Lord Lawrence who was the Governor-General at the time introduced borrowing from the public to invest in public works. Later in 1893, provincial services were created in each of the Indian provinces. This also led to the division of the technical branch staff into Engineers, Upper Subordinates, and Lower Subordinates. The work of the engineers was divided into Imperial and Provincial services. The Imperial services were carried out by engineers recruited in England and were reserved only for the British, the recognized community of Indians could apply for appointment to the Provincial services. 

By 1895, the Military was entirely separated making the PWD an exclusively civil department and became responsible for all public works related to buildings, roads, railways, irrigation, and special types of public works. Further, in 1905, the branch of railways segregated from PWD and constituted a separate department under the supervision and management of the Railway Board. 

In the year 1920, PWD was further divided into Public Works and Irrigation given the increased initiatives of the British Government. In the pre-independence period, surface roads were maintained by the Works and Building Directorate. This was subsequently nomenclature as the PW directorate under the administration of the PW Department.

PWD Roles and Responsibilities

Presently, the PWD comprises four wings namely, Mechanical, Civil, Electrical, and Architectural. With the suitable coordination of these four wings, the PWD department carries out different tasks for economical upliftment. Along with the construction of roads, bridges, and public buildings, the department also extends support for improving the transport services which includes the upgradation of the existing road transportation system. The PWD department is also responsible for constructing new bridges in portions unbridged and road overbridges in places of Railway level crossing. 

The Mechanical wing comes under the PWD (Roads) while the Electrical and Architectural wings come under the PW Department. The Civil wing under the PW (Construction Board) mainly is responsible for the construction and maintenance of buildings for other departments with the funds allotted by those respective departments. This department can overall undertake any responsibility for ensuring the progress of the state by means of building public infrastructures.

PWD Jobs

As we have seen what is PWD and understood PWD full meaning, you might be interested in the kind of jobs available in the department. PWD offers a host of jobs in India ranging from engineers, architects, circle-based officers to apprentices. Each state in India releases notifications against vacancies for various posts in the PWD department. The eligibility requirements for the different posts in the PWD vary accordingly. Candidates are required to ascertain if they meet the required eligibility criteria before applying to a PWD job. In a majority of the cases, eligible candidates are required to appear for a written examination followed by a personal interview upon qualifying the former. The PWD job vacancies are filled up after taking into account the results of both the written exam and personal interviews of the candidates.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What is the PWD department’s full form in English?

Ans. PWD full form in English is an acronym for Public Works Department. The department is responsible for constructing roads, bridges, buildings for the public sector, etc. In addition, the department is also responsible for overseeing the maintenance of the infrastructure. The Central PWD or CPWD is a central authority responsible for all the kinds of public sector works being undertaken in India such as the construction of national highways. In addition to this, each state has its own PWD department that is responsible for the public sector construction and maintenance works of the state.

Q2. Does each state of India have a PWD?

Ans. Yes, there is a PWD department in each state of India. The department further has divisions, sub-divisions, and sections. The roles and responsibilities of the PWD are almost similar in all the states which include designing and constructing all public projects undertaken by the State Government, building and developing roads, ensuring safety, and facilities on roads and highways, restructuring and maintaining government buildings, etc.

Q3. List some of the works done by the PWD department in cities.


Ans. PWD full meaning is Public Works Department and it undertakes works in the public sector. Some of the works undertaken by the PWD in cities include arranging safe drinking water for the city and repairing the damaged water pipes, granting permission for the development of buildings, etc. Additionally, if there is any damage to government hospitals, schools, buildings, their repair, and maintenance are also taken care of by the PWD.