Indian Civil Service: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Indian Civil Service, popularly known by its acronym ICS, originated as the elite civil service of the Indian Government under British colonial rule in India, and continues in the contemporary Civil Services of India, though these are now organised differently. .


Colonial Civil Service

Under the East India Company administrators of their controlled territories were engaged. These became the Honourable East India Company Civil Servants (HEICS)

There were two exclusive groups of civil servants during this formative stage of British rule in India. The higher employees who entered into covenants with the Company came to be known as "covenanted" servants, whereas those not signing such agreements came to be known as "uncovenanted". The latter group generally filled the lower positions. This distinction between the covenanted and the uncovenanted virtually came to an end with the constitution of the Imperial Civil Service of India based on the recommendations of the Public Service Commission, 1886–87, though the phrase covenanted continued to be used of anyone in a salaried position with a long term contract — including boxwallah peddlers. The name Imperial Civil Service was changed to Civil Service of India. However, the term Indian Civil Service (ICS) persisted. The acronym ICS continued to be used to denote the covenanted civil servants.

A third group, the Statutory Civil Service which functioned in the second half of the nineteenth century, was disbanded by the beginning of the 1890s. To this group were recruited young men from respectable and affluent Indian families. This service was replaced by the provincial civil services, which was constituted on the basis of the recommendations of the Aitchison Commission. It consisted of two cadres, Provincial Civil Service and Subordinate Civil Service. Further developments took place as a result of the application of the scheme of cadre organization to the administrative departments. Thus, for example, the departments of Forest and Public Works had both the imperial, and provincial branches. The basic pattern of the cadre system in the civil service was thus established following the recommendations of the Aitchison Commission.

In 1912, the Islington Commission was appointed but its report could be published only in 1917, when the recommendations contained in it became outdated due to the First World War and the August Declaration of 1917. Therefore no consideration was given to them. By 1934, the system of administration in India came gradually to consist of seven All India Services and five Central Departments, all under the control of the Secretary of State, and three Central Departments under joint Provincial and Imperial control. The ICS and the Indian Police (Service) were in the 'transferred field', that is, the authority for the control of these services and for making appointments were transferred from the Secretary of State to the provincial governments. It seems relevant to mention that the All India and class I central services were designated as Central Superior Services as early as 1924 in the Lee Commission's report.

After the partition of India, the parts of the civil service were renamed Civil Service of Pakistan (CSP) in Pakistan while the Indian section retained the name Indian Civil Service.

Gurusaday Dutt was the first Indian to stand first in one of the two parts of the ICS examination, in 1905.

See List of Indian members of the Indian Civil Service

Contemporary Indian Civil Service

In spite of relatively contemporary careers like management and IT holding sway over the country's youth, the Civil Services have still not lost the vast popularity enjoyed by them through the years, from the time of the British Raj

The Constitution provides for more Civil Services branches to be set up by giving the power to the Rajya Sabha to resolve by a two-thirds majority to establish new all-India services or central services. The Indian Forest Service and the Indian Foreign Service are the two services set up under this constitutional provision.

Running the administration of a vast and diverse country like India requires efficient management of its natural, economic and human resources. That, precisely, is the responsibility of the civil services. The country is managed through a number of Central Government agencies in accordance with the policy directions given by the ministries.

The construction of the Civil Services follows a certain pattern. The All India Services, Central Services and State Services constitute the Civil Services. Examinations for the state services are conducted by the individual states of India.

All India Services

Central Civil Services - Group "A"

Central Civil Services - Group "B"

  • Defence Secretariat Service
  • Union Territories Administrative Service
  • Union Territories Police Service

State Services

  • State Civil/Administrative Service
  • State Police Service
  • State Forest Service
  • Public Works Department


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