Civil Services of India
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
In the parliamentary democracy of India, the ultimate responsibility for running the administration rests with the elected representatives of the people which are the ministers. But the handful of ministers cannot be expected to deal personally with the manifold problems of modern administration. Thus the ministers lay down the policy and it is for the civil servants to carry out this policy.
The executive decisions are implemented by the Indian civil servants. The members of civil service serve at the pleasure of the President of India and Article 311 of the constitution protects them from politically motivated or vindictive action. Civil servants are employees of the Government of India; however, not all employees of the Government are civil servants. Civil servants in a personal capacity are paid from the Civil List. Senior civil servants may be called to account by Parliament.
As of year 2010, there are total 6.4 million government employees in India, and less than 50,000 civil servants to administer them. The civil service system in India is rank-based and does not follow the tenets of the position-based civil services.
In 2015, the Government of India approved the formation of Indian Skill Development Service. Further, in 2016, the Government of India approved the formation of Indian Enterprise Development Service.
- 1 History
- 2 Power, purpose and responsibilities
- 3 Governance
- 4 Values and codes
- 5 Construction
- 6 Reforms and corruption
- 7 Employment by agency
- 8 Miscellaneous
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
|“||If a responsible government is to be established in India, there will be a far greater need than is even dreamt of at present for persons to take part in public affairs in the legislative assemblies and elsewhere and for this reason the more Indians we can employ in the public service the better. Moreover, it would lessen the burden of Imperial responsibilities if a body of capable Indian administrators could be produced..||”|
|— Regarding the importance of Indianising Civil Services, Montagu–Chelmsford Reforms|
Lord Warren Hastings laid the foundations of civil service and Charles Cornwallis reformed, modernised and rationalised it. Hence, Charles Cornwallis is known as the 'Father of Civil Service in India'. He introduced Covenanted Civil Services (higher civil services) and Uncovenanted Civil Services (lower civil services).
The present civil services of India is mainly based on the pattern of the former Indian Civil Service of British India. The civil services were divided into two categories - covenanted and uncovenanted. The covenanted civil service consisted of only Europeans (i.e., English personnel) occupying the higher posts in the government. The uncovenanted civil service was solely introduced to facilitate the entry of Indians at the lower rung of the administration.
The All India and class 1 Central Services were designated as Central Superior Services as early as 1924. From 1924 to 1934, Administration in India consisted of "ten" All India Services and five central departments, all under the control of Secretary of State for India, and 3 central departments under joint Provincial and Imperial Control.
The present modern civil service was formed after the partition of India in 1947. It was Sardar Patel's vision that the Civil Service should strengthen cohesion and national unity. The values of integrity, impartiality and merit remain the guiding principles of Indian civil services.
Since the early 20th century, Indian civil servants have been colloquially called "babus", while Indian bureaucracy is called "babudom", as in the "rule of babus", especially in Indian media.
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions located in New Delhi is "unofficially the Ministry of Civil Services" in India. The Ministry is responsible for training, reforms and pension for the civil service system in India.
Creation of new services
The constitution under Article 312 provides for All India Civil Services branches to be set up by giving the power to the Rajya Sabha (upper house of the Parliament of India) to resolve by a two-thirds majority to establish new all-India services. The Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service and Indian Forest Service are set up under this constitutional provision.
Power, purpose and responsibilities
The responsibility of the civil services is to run the administration of India. The country is managed through a number of Central Government agencies in accordance with the policy directions given by the ministries.
The members of the civil services represent as administrators in the central government and state government; emissaries in the foreign missions/embassies; as tax collectors and revenue commissioners; as civil service commissioned police officers; as permanent representative(s) and employees in the United Nations and its agencies and as Chairman, Managing Director, full-time functional Director/Member of the Board of Management of various Public Sector Undertakings/ Enterprises, Corporations, Banks and financial institutions. Civil servants are employed to various agencies of India and can also be appointed as advisors or special duty officers or private secretaries to ministers of the Union and the State Government.
All appointments in the rank of Joint Secretary to Government of India and above, other major appointments, empanelment and extension of tenure is done by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. However, all appointments in the rank below Joint Secretary in the federal government is done by the Civil Services Board.
Head of the Civil Service
The highest ranking civil servant is the Cabinet Secretary. He is ex-officio Chairman of the Civil Services Board; the chief of the Indian Administrative Service and head of all civil services under the rules of business of the Government of India. He also holds the 11th position in the Order of Precedence of India.
The position holder is accountable for ensuring that the Civil Service is equipped with the skills and capability to meet the everyday challenges it faces and that civil servants work in a fair and decent environment.
|N. R. Pillai||1950 to 1953||He was a member of the Imperial Civil Service. He is the first head of the civil service since Independence of India and is also the first from the state of Kerala to hold this post.|
|Y. N. Sukthankar||1953 to 1957||He was a member of the Imperial Civil Service.|
|M. K. Vellodi||1957 to 1958||He was a member of the Imperial Civil Service. He later served as Chief Minister of Hyderabad State.|
|Vishnu Sahay||1958 to 1960||He was a member of the Imperial Civil Service.|
|B. N. Jha||1960 to 1961||He was a member of the Imperial Civil Service.|
|Vishnu Sahay||1961 to 1962||He was a member of the Imperial Civil Service.|
|S. S. Khera||1962 to 1964||He was a member of the Imperial Civil Service. He is the first Sikh to become Cabinet secretary. He was known for use of tanks against rioters in Meerut riots of 1947.|
|Dharam Vira||1964 to 1966||He was a member of the Imperial Civil Service.|
|D. S. Joshi||1966 to 1968||He was a member of the Imperial Civil Service.|
|D. Das||1968 to 1969||He was a member of the Imperial Civil Service.|
|B. Sivaraman||1969 to 1970||He was a member of the Imperial Civil Service.|
|T. Swaminathan||1970 to 1972||He was a member of the Imperial Civil Service.|
|B. D. Pande||1972 to 1977||He was a member of the Imperial Civil Service. He is the longest serving Cabinet Secretary ever in history of Independent India.|
|N. K. Mukarji||1977 to 1980||He was a member of the Imperial Civil Service and the last ICS officer to become head of the civil service of Independent India.|
|S. S. Grewal||1980 to 1981||He is the first IAS to be appointed to this post.|
|C. R. Krishnaswamy Rao||1981 to 1985||He belongs to the IAS (AP:1949 batch).|
|P. K. Kaul||1985 to 1986||He belongs to the IAS (UP:1951 batch).|
|B. G. Deshmukh||1986 to 1989|
|T. N. Seshan||1989 to 1989||He belongs to the IAS (TN:1955 batch).|
|V. C. Pande||1989 to 1990||He belongs to the IAS (RJ:1955 batch).|
|Naresh Chandra||1990 to 1992||He belongs to the IAS (RJ:1956 batch).|
|S. Rajgopal||1992 to 1993|
|Zafar Saifullah||1993 to 1994||He belongs to the IAS (KA:1958 batch). He was the first and the only Muslim to have ever been appointed Cabinet Secretary of India.|
|Surendra Singh||1994 to 1996||He belongs to the IAS (UP:1959 batch).|
|T. S. R. Subramanian||1996 to 1998||He belongs to the IAS (UP:1961 batch).|
|Prabhat Kumar||1998 to 2000||He belongs to the IAS (UP:1963 batch).|
|T. R. Prasad||2000 to 2002||He belongs to the IAS (AP:1963 batch).|
|Kamal Pande||2002 to 2004||He belongs to the IAS (UL:1965 batch).|
|B. K. Chaturvedi||2004 to 2007||He belongs to the IAS (UP:1966 batch).|
|K. M. Chandrasekhar||2007 to 2011||He belongs to the IAS (KL:1970 batch).|
|Ajit Seth||2011 to 2015||He belongs to the IAS (UP:1974 batch).|
|P K Sinha||2015 to present||He belongs to the IAS(UP:1977 batch)|
Values and codes
A member of the civil service in discharge of his/her functions is to be guided by maintaining absolute integrity, allegiance to the constitution and the law of the nation, patriotism, national pride, devotion to duty, honesty, impartiality and transparency.
The Government of India promotes values and a certain standard of ethics of requiring and facilitating every civil servant:
- To discharge official duty with responsibility, honesty, accountability and without discrimination.
- To ensure effective management, leadership development and personal growth.
- To avoid misuse of official position or information.
- To serve as instruments of good governance and foster social economic development.
The Civil Services of India can be classified into two types - the All India Services and the Central Civil Services (Group A and B). The recruits are university graduates (or above) selected through a rigorous system of examinations: Civil Services Examination, Engineering Services Examination, Combined Geo-Scientist and Geologist Examination, I.E.S./I.S.S. Examination, Combined Medical Services Examination, Central Armed Police Forces of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for Group A posts. For Group B posts, the Combined Graduate Level Examination (CGLE) is conducted by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC).
All India Services (AIS)
- Border Roads Engineering Service, Group A
- Botanical Survey of India, Group A
- Central Architects Service, Group A
- Central Armed Police Forces, Group A
- Central Engineering (Civil) Service, Group A
- Geological Survey of India Group A
- Central Engineering (Electrical and Mechanical) Service, Group A
- Central Engineering Service (Roads), Group A
- Central Health Service, Group A
- Central Information Service
- Central Legal Service (Grades I)
- Central Labour Service, Group A
- Central Power Engineering Service, Group A
- Central Revenues Chemical Service, Group A
- Central Secretariat Service, Group A
- Central Secretariat Official Language Service, Group A
- Central Trade Service, Group A
- Central Water Engineering Service, Group A
- Company Law Board Service, Group A
- Defence Research & Development Service, Group A 
- Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Group A
- Directorate General of Mines Safety, Group A
- General Central Service, Group A
- Indian Archaeological & Heritage Service
- Indian Audits and Accounts Service, Group A
- Indian Broadcasting Service
- Indian Corporate Law Service,Group A
- Indian Civil Accounts Service, Group A
- Indian Cost Accounts Service, Group A
- Indian Defense Accounts Service, Group A
- Indian Defence Estates Service, Group A
- Indian Defense Service of Engineers, Group A
- Indian Economic Service, Group A
- Indian Engineering Services, Group A
- Indian Enterprise Development Service, Group A
- Indian Foreign Service, Group A
- Indian Frontier Administrative Service, Group A
- Indian Information Service, Group A
- Indian Meteorological Service, Group A
- Indian Ordnance Factories Service, Group A
- Indian Ordnance Factories Health Service, Group A
- Indian Postal Service, Group A
- Indian Posts and Telegraphs Accounts and Finance Service, Group A
- Indian Radio Regulatory Service, Group A
- Indian Railway Medical Services, Group A
- Indian Railway Service of Engineers, Group A
- Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers, Group A
- Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers, Group A
- Indian Railway Service of Signal Engineers, Group A
- Indian Railway Stores Service, Group A
- Indian Railway Accounts Service, Group A
- Indian Railway Personnel Service, Group A
- Indian Railway Traffic Service, Group A
- Indian Revenue Service
- Indian Salt Service, Group A
- Indian Skill Development Service, Group A
- Indian Statistical Service, Group A
- Indian Telecommunication Service, Group A
- Indian Trade Service, Group A
- Mercantile Marine Training Ship Service, Group A
- Railway Protection Force, Group A
- Survey of India, Group A
- Telegraph Traffic Service, Group A
- Zoological Survey of India, Group A
All appointments to Group B are made by the authorities specified by a general or special order of the President. However,Appointing authority of officers of the Central Secretariat Service is the President of India himself.
- Central Secretariat Service, Group 'B' (Section and Assistant Section Grade officers only)
- Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Services
- Income Tax Service, Group ‘B’
- Indian Foreign Service, Group ‘B’ - (General Cadre, Grade I and General Cadre, Grade II only)
- Indian Posts and Telegraphs Accounts and Finance Service, Group ‘B’ Telecommunication Wing.
- Indian Posts & Telegraphs Accounts & Finance Service, Postal Wing, Group ‘B’
- Indian Salt Service, Group ‘B’
- India Meteorological Service, Group ‘B'
- Central Secretariat Official Language Service, Group ‘B’
- Central Secretariat Stenographers’ Service, (Grade I, Grade II and Selection Grade officers only)
- Central Health Service, Group ‘B’
- Botanical Survey of India, Group 'B'
- Geological Survey of India, Group 'B'
- Geological Survey of India, Group 'B'
- Survey of India, Group 'B'
- Zoological Survey of India, Group 'B'
- Central Electrical Engineering Service, Group 'B'
- Central Engineering Service, Group 'B'
- Central Power Engineering Service, Group ‘B’
- Postal Superintendents’ Service, Group ‘B’
- Postmasters’ Service, Group ‘B’
- Railway Board Secretariat Service, Group ‘B’
- Telecommunication Engineering Service, Group ‘B’
- Telegraphs Traffic Service, Group ‘B
- Central Excise Service, Group ‘B’
- Customs Appraisers Service, Group ‘B’- (Principal Appraisers and Head Appraisers)
- Customs Preventive Service, Group ‘B’ – (Chief Inspectors)
- Defence Secretariat Service
State/Provincial Civil Services (SCS/PCS)
The Provincial Civil Services (also known as State Civil Services) examinations and recruitments are conducted by the individual states of India. The state civil services deals with subjects such as land revenue, agriculture, forests, education etc. The officers are recruited by different States through the State Public Service Commissions.
- Provincial Civil Services, Class-I (PCS)
- Provincial Police Services, Class-I (PPS)
- Block Development Officer
- Tehsildar/Talukadar/Assistant Collector
- Excise and Taxation Officer
- District Employment Officer
- District Treasury Officer
- District Welfare Officer
- Assistant Registrar Cooperative Societies
- District Food and Supplies Controller/Officer
- Any other Class-I/Class-II service notified as per rules by the concerned State, i.e. officers, lecturers, assistants, associate professors, or principals of Government Degree Colleges, Class I
Reforms and corruption
|“||The IAS is hamstrung by political interference, outdated personnel procedures, and a mixed record on policy implementation, and it is in need of urgent reform. The Indian government should reshape recruitment and promotion processes, improve performance-based assessment of individual officers, and adopt safeguards that promote accountability while protecting bureaucrats from political meddling.||”|
|— The Indian Administrative Service Meets Big Data, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace|
|“||We estimate that if India were to pursue civil service reforms and reach the Asian average on government effectiveness, it could add 0.9 percentage points annually to per capita GDP... Institutional quality is a crucial driver of economic performance.||”|
|— Goldman Sachs report|
A study by the Hong Kong-based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy, released in 2012, ranked and rated Indian bureaucracy as the worst in Asia with a 9.21 rating out of 10. According to the study, India's inefficient and corrupt bureaucracy was responsible for most of the complaints that business executive have about the country. A paper prepared in 2012 by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions states that corruption is prevalent at all levels in civil services and it is institutionalised.
On 28 November 2011, the Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT) of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions created a proposal to retire and remove incompetent, inefficient and unproductive All India Service officers after 15 years of service, instead of tolerating them until their retirement. Former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subramanian welcomed this move with caution, saying, "Periodical weeding out is very good. But the process to determine who needs to be prematurely retired should be fair and transparent. There is a possibility that even good officers may be targeted because of political reasons,". Former UPSC chairman PC Hota echoed his sentiments remarking that, "We need drastic remedies. The situation has become terrible. The other day an officer in Delhi was arrested for disproportionate assets of Rs.31.5 million. She is just a 2000-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer with 11 years of service. But at the same time, the officers' service records should be analysed before a decision against him was taken". The proposal has been accepted and rule 16(3) of the All India Services (death-cum-retirement benefits) Rules of 1958 was amended on 31 January 2012.
In October 2013, the Supreme Court of India, in the case of TSR Subramanian & Ors vs Union of India & Ors  ordered both Government of India and State governments to ensure fixed tenure to civil servants. The court asked senior bureaucrats to write down the oral instructions from politicians so that a record would be kept of all the decisions. This judgement was seen on the similar lines of the Supreme Court's 2006 judgement in Prakash Singh case on police reforms. The judgement was welcomed by various bureaucrats and the media who hoped that it will help in giving freedom and independence to the functioning of bureaucracy.
In 2016, the Ministry of Finance for the first time, dismissed 72 and prematurely retired another 33 Indian Revenue Service officers for non-performance and on disciplinary grounds. In 2016, it was reported that Government of India has decided to empower common man to seek prosecution of corrupt IAS officers. Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions (DOPT) has accepted to receive requests from private persons seeking sanction for prosecution in respect of IAS officers without any proper proposal and supporting documents. 
Employment by agency
Union/Federal Government executive branch civilian employment:
- Ministry of Defence
- Ministry of Finance
- Ministry of External Affairs
- Ministry of Home Affairs
- Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare
- Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
- Ministry of Tribal Affairs
- Ministry of Panchayati Raj
- Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
- Ministry of Science and Technology
- Ministry of Earth Sciences
- Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
- Ministry of Power
- Ministry of Corporate Affairs
- Ministry of New and Renewable Energy
- Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas
- Ministry of Urban Development
- Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs
- Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
- Ministry of Human Resource Development
- Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
- Ministry of Law and Justice
- Ministry of Minority Affairs
- Ministry of Labour and Employment
- Ministry of Road Transport and Highways
- Ministry of Commerce and Industry
- Ministry of Textiles
- Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises
- Ministry of Culture
- Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation
- Ministry of Tourism
- Ministry of Steel
- Ministry of Shipping
- Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs
- Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
- Ministry of Railways
- Ministry of Rural Development
- Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers
- Ministry of Coal
- Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation
- Ministry of Mines
- Ministry of Women and Child Development
- Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
- Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region
- Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports
- Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution
- Ministry of Food Processing Industries
- Ministry of Civil Aviation
- Ministry of Culture
- Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation
- Ministry of Water Resources
- Ministry of AYUSH
- Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers
- Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship
- Reserve Bank of India
- Securities and Exchange Board of India
- Department of Space
- Department of Atomic Energy
- Planning Commission
- Directorate General of Economic Enforcement
- Directorate General of Income Tax Investigation
- Directorate of Income Tax Intelligence and Criminal Investigation
- Directorate General of Anti-Evasion
- Directorate of Revenue Intelligence
- Employees' Provident Fund Organisation
- National Advisory Council
- Central Bureau of Investigation
- Intelligence Bureau
- Central Vigilance Commission
- National Security Guards
Civil Service Day
The Civil Service Day is celebrated on 21 April every year. The purpose for this day is to rededicate and recommit themselves to the cause of the people. It is observed by all Civil Services. This day gives civil servants the opportunity for introspection and thinking about future strategies to deal with the challenges being posed by the changing times.
On this occasion, all officers of Central and State Governments are honoured for excellence in public administration by the Prime Minister of India. The 'Prime Minister Award for Excellence in Public Administration' is presented in three categories. Under this scheme of awards instituted in 2006, all the officers individually or as group or as organisation are eligible.
The award includes a medal, scroll and a cash amount of ₹100,000 (US$1,500). In case of a group, the total award money is ₹500,000 (US$7,700) subject to a maximum of ₹100,000 (US$1,500) per person. For an organisation the cash amount is limited to ₹500,000 (US$7,700).
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Bureaucracy knows no bounds...
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All India Civil Service
Central Civil Service
- The Central Civil Services Conduct Rules of 1964
- Central Secretariat Manual of Office Procedure 14th Edition by Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions