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Civil Services of India

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Civil Services of India

The Civil Services of India (Hindi: भारतीय प्रशासनिक सेवा ) (known simply as the Civil Services) refer to the civil service and the permanent bureaucracy of the Government of India. The civil service system is the backbone of the administrative machinery of the country.[1][2]

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.[3] The civil service system in India is rank-based and does not follow the tenets of the position-based civil services.[2]


  • History 1
  • Constitution 2
  • Power, purpose and responsibilities 3
  • Reforms and corruption 4
  • Governance 5
    • Head of the Civil Service 5.1
  • Values and codes 6
    • Values 6.1
    • Codes 6.2
  • Construction 7
    • All India Civil Services (AIS) 7.1
    • Central Civil Services (CCS) 7.2
      • Group A 7.2.1
      • Group B 7.2.2
    • State/Provincial Civil Services (SCS/PCS) 7.3
  • Employment by agency 8
  • Miscellaneous 9
    • Civil Service Day 9.1
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12
    • Official 12.1
    • All India Civil Service 12.2
    • Central Civil Service 12.3
    • Others 12.4


The present civil services of India is mainly based on the pattern of the former Indian Civil Service of British India. It 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 early 20th-century, Indian civil servants are colloquially called "babus",[4] while Indian bureaucracy is called "babudom", as in the "rule of babus", especially in Indian media.[5][6][7]


The constitution provides for more 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 (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFS) are the three services 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 respresentative(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.

Reforms and corruption

As of 2011, in a duration of past three years over 450 chargesheets have been filed and a total of 943 cases are at different stages of investigation by CBI against civil servants.[8][9]

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.[10][11][12] 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 institutionalized.[13][14]

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 IAS 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 Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer in Delhi was arrested for disproportionate assets of Rs.31.5 million. She is just a 2000-batch 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".[15][16][17] 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.[15][17][18]

Much of the deterioration in the functioning of bureaucracy is due to political interference

In October 2013, the Supreme Court of India, in the case of TSR Subramanian & Ors vs Union of India & Ors [20] 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.[21][22] 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.[19][23]

In order to recruit better candidates for the various services, UPSC brought about changes in the Prelims stage of the Civil Services Examination in 2011 by abolishing the optional subject paper and introducing Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT). Further changes were made in the Mains stage of the exam from 2013 onwards.


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.

1968 to 1969 He was a member of the Imperial Civil Service. -
Name[24] Dates Notes
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.
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 Present He belongs to the IAS (UP:1974 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.[25]


The Government of India promotes values and a certain standard of ethics of requiring and facilitating every civil servant:[25]

  • 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). The recruits are university graduates (or above) selected through a rigorous system of examinations, called the Civil Services Examination (CSE) and the Engineering Services Examination (ESE) conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

All India Civil Services (AIS)

All appointments to All India Civil Services are made by the President of India.

Central Civil Services (CCS)

The Central Civil Services are concerned with the administration of the Union Government.

Group A[26]

All appointments to Civil Services, Group A are made by the President of India.
  • Indian Foreign service, group A
  • Central Armed Police Force, Group A
  • Indian Revenue Service, group A
  • Archaeological Service, Group A is false
  • Botanical Survey of India, 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 [27]
  • Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Group A
  • Directorate General of Mines Safety, Group A
  • General Central Service, Group A
  • Indian Audits and Accounts Service, Group A
  • Indian Broadcasting Service
  • Indian Corporate Law Service,Group A[28][29]
  • 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

Group B[30]

All appointments to Group B are made by the authorities specified by a general or special order of the President.

  • Income Tax Service, Group ‘B’
  • Indian Foreign Service, Group ‘B’ - (General Cadre, Grade I and General Cadre, Grade II only)
  • Central Secretariat Service, Group 'B' (Section and Assistants’ Grade officers 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’
  • 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
  • Union Territories Administrative Service
  • Union Territories Police 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. Officers from PCS,PPS and PFS are later promoted as IAS,IPS and IFS respectively. The categories of services to which candidates are selected through the provincial civil services (PCS) examination are as under:

  • Provincial Civil Services, Class-I (PCS)
  • Provincial Police Services, Class-I (PPS).
  • Provincial Forest Service, Class-I (PFS).
  • 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/ assistant/associate professors/principals of Government Degree Colleges, Class I.

Employment by agency

Union Government executive branch civilian employment:

Independent agencies:


Civil Service Day

The Civil Service Day is celebrated on 21 April every year.[31] 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.[32]

On this occasion, all officers of Central and State Governments are honoured for excellence in public administration by the

  • Governance in India
  • Civil Service Reform in India - Problems and Reforms


  • The Central Civil Services Conduct Rules of 1964
  • Central Secretariat Manual of Office Procedure 12th edition

Central Civil Service

  • The All India Services Conduct Rules of 1968

All India Civil Service

  • UPSC Official Website
  • Civil Services IAS News India


External links

  1. ^ Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (8 June 2011). "The civil service system".  
  2. ^ a b  
  3. ^  
  4. ^ "Yet to start work, Natgrid CEO highest paid babu". The Times of India. Aug 23, 2012. Retrieved 2014-09-17. 
  5. ^ Anand Parthasarathy (Sep 1–14, 2001). "A barbed look at babudom: Will the typically British humour of Yes Minister work if transplanted to an Indian setting? Viewers of a Hindi satellite channel have a chance to find out.".  
  6. ^ "PM Modi tightens screws, gives babudom a new rush hour". The Times of India. Sep 2, 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-17. 
  7. ^ "Babu". Collins English Dictionary. Retrieved 2014-09-17. 
  8. ^ "453 IAS, IPS and civil servants chargesheeted in last 3 yrs".  
  9. ^ "Over 400 central officers booked in last 3 yrs".  
  10. ^ "Indian bureaucrats worst in Asia, says PERC study".  
  11. ^ "Indian bureaucracy rated worst in Asia".  
  12. ^ "Indian bureaucracy rates worst in Asia: 2012".  
  13. ^ Sharma, Aman (14 April 2012). "Federal Government paper admits corruption at all levels in civil services".  
  14. ^ "Background Paper for 2012 Civil Services Day: Discussions".  
  15. ^ a b "Lazy and incompetent babus of the All India Services to retire early".  
  16. ^ "Corruption taint may lead to compulsory retirement for babus".  
  17. ^ a b "Proposal to retire incompetent officers after 15-year service".  
  18. ^ "Govt of India notification for amending Rule 16(3) of the All India Service (DCRB) Rules, 1958". Govt of India. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  19. ^ a b "Supreme Court favours law to regulate transfer, posting of IAS officers". 31 October 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  20. ^ "WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO(s). 82 OF 2011". Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  21. ^ "Prakash Singh Case". Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  22. ^ "SC asks states to file affidavit on police reforms". Hindustan Times. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  23. ^ "SC to bureaucrats: Don't take oral instructions from netas". The Times Of India. 31 October 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  24. ^ Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India (8 June 2011). "Complete List of Cabinet Secretaries since 1950".  
  25. ^ a b Misra, P.K. (4 August 2010). "The Role of civil services in India (Standard Note: DOPT/Government of India)". Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India. Retrieved 2011-08-27. 
  26. ^ "Complete Civil Service Schedule of the Civil Services Group A of India". Civil Service Group A - Government of India 1 January 2011.
  27. ^ DRDO
  28. ^ Indian Corporate Law Services (ICLS) How to apply ? ICLS Academy Manesar Campus Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA), recruitment of ICLS officers through Civil Servic...
  29. ^
  30. ^ "Complete Civil Service Schedule of the Central Civil Services Group B of India". Central Civil Service Group B - Government of India 1 January 2011.
  31. ^ "Civil Services Day".  
  32. ^ "The Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration Award Scheme".  
  33. ^ a b


See also

The award includes a medal, scroll and a cash amount of 500000 (US$8,100).[33]


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