Chapter 15: Second Administrative Reforms Commission Part X

  • Kautilya: While the mantrins were the highest advisors to the King, the amatyas were the civil servants.

  • There were three kinds of amatyas: the highest, the intermediate and the lowest, based on the qualifications possessed by the civil servants.

  • The key civil servant was the samahartr, who prepared the annual budget, kept accounts and fixed the revenue to be collected.

  • The other key civil servant was the samnidhatr who kept records of the body of taxes realised and was in charge of the stores.

  • British: The Macaulay Report recommended that only the best and brightest would do for the Indian Civil Service. The Report suggested that the educational background of the colonial administrator should be even more comprehensive than that of the civil servant in England.

  • While there has been some improvement in civil service recruitment and training procedures, other incremental reform measures such as O&M, vigilance committees and commissions, citizens' grievance organisations, Whitleyism, manpower planning, and the institutions of Lok Ayukta have achieved very little.

  • As S.R.Maheshwari commented, India's efforts at reform have amounted to `correction slips to the inherited administrative system'.

  • The Indian civil service reform efforts were not even correction slips they were more in the nature of endorsement slips

  • As instruments of public service, civil servants have to be ready for change. The common experience

  • In 1854 recommended that the patronage based system of the East India Company should be replaced by a permanent civil service based on a merit based system through competitive entry examinations

  • After 1855, recruitment to the ICS came to be based totally on merit.

  • Subsequently, it opened its doors to Indians and from 1922 onwards the Indian Civil Service Examination began to be held in India.

  • The Design of the Civil Service at Independence

    1. Indian political leaders chose to retain elements of the British structure

    2. unified administrative system such as an open-entry system based on academic achievements,

    3. elaborate training arrangements,

    4. permanency of tenure,

    5. important posts at Union, State and district levels reserved for the civil service,

    6. a regular graduated scale of pay with pension and

    7. other benefits and a system of promotions and transfers based predominantly on seniority

  • Article 312 of the Constitution empowers Parliament to create the All India Services (AIS) on the fulfilment of certain conditions.

  • The key objectives of government in creating the AIS are (in the figure below) civil-service-india

The First Administrative Reforms Commission

  • About fifty Commissions and Committees at the Union Government level to look into what can be broadly characterised as administrative reforms

  • The Commission submitted 20 Reports in all, as per the details given below, before winding up in mid-1970

  • These 20 Reports contained 537 major recommendations.

  • A gist of the recommendations

    1. Need for specialization:

    2. Unified Grading structure:

    3. Recruitment

  • Those aspiring to be civil servants must have not only the required skills and knowledge, but also the right values which would include integrity, commitment to public service and above all, commitment to the ideals and philosophy embodied in the Constitution.

  • Various Reports

    1. Report of the Committee on Recruitment Policy and Selection Methods, 1976 aka the D.S. Kothari Committee Report;

    2. Committee to Review the Scheme of the Civil Services Examination, 1989 aka the Satish Chandra Committee Report

    3. The Civil Services Examination Review Committee, 2001 - aka - the Yoginder K. Alagh Committee Report;

    4. Report of the Committee on Civil Service Reforms - Hota Committee Report, 2004.

    5. A.D.Gorwala's Report (Report on Public Administration, 1951)

  • recommended that recruitment to all grades of Government service should be conducted in a manner which eliminates scope for patronage and suggested that this principle should also apply to temporary staff.

  • The first ARC emphasized the importance of proper personnel planning and cadre management.

  • It recommended that recruitment to the IAS/IFS and other non-technical Class I services should be made only through a single competitive examination.

  • The D.S. Kothari Committee Report

    1. a preliminary examination followed by a main examination.

  • The Fifth Central Pay Commission suggested that employment on contract basis

  • Yoginder K. Alagh Committee

    1. It favoured testing the candidates in a common subject rather than on optional subjects.

    2. recommended that the age for entrants to the higher civil services should be between 21- 24 years with a five years' age concession for members of the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes and three years' for the Other Backward Classes.

  • Training

  • The Report on Public Administration by A.D. Gorwala (1951)

  • highlighted the fact that in order to have suitable personnel to staff the public services, it is essential that there is proper recruitment and training and an adequate organization and methods set-up.

  • The Committee to Review In-Service Training of IAS officers, (Yugandhar Committee, 2003)

    1. examined the efficacy of the in-service training of IAS officers and subsequently made several recommendations to further strengthen and improve these.

    2. included the need for three mid-career training programmes in the 12th, 20th and 28th years of service.

  • The first ARC classified higher civil service posts into two categories:

  • (a) posts in the field, and (b) posts at headquarters.

  • The ARC recommended that the IAS should be converted into a functional service.

  • The selection of personnel to the eight areas of specialization was to be made through a mid-career competitive examination.

  • Surinder Nath Committee Report, 2003 suggested that assigning particular

  • domains to the officers should be a key step for their selection to the Central Staffing

  • The Hota Committee on Civil Services Reforms, 2004,

  • Domain assignment should be introduced for civil servants to encourage acquisition of skills, professional excellence and career planning.

  • Grading Reform

    1. The first ARC recommended a unified grading structure so that posts entailing similar qualifications, difficulties and responsibilities are grouped in the same grade. Efficiency

    2. The Appleby Report (1953) recommended O&M machinery and an Institute of Public Administration.

    3. These two recommendations were implemented by Government.

  • Accountability

  • Santhanam Committee

    1. made a range of recommendations to fight the menace of corruption.

    2. It recommended the CVC, and administrative vigilance divisions in all Departments of the Government.

    3. Changes were also suggested in Art. 311 of the Constitution of India for conducting disciplinary proceedings against government servants.

    4. The first ARC suggested the introdcution of performance budgeting.

    5. recommended the Lok Pal at the Centre and the Lok Ayuktas in States.

  • World Bank - results show a strong positive causal relationship from improved governance to better development outcomes

  • civil-service-india
  • An important characteristic of the civil service system in India is classification based on the concept of the `Service'

  • civil service posts are grouped into distinct homogenous cadres under a common Service

  • The various Civil Services at the Union and State levels can be classified in several different ways.

  • Central Civil Services, All India Services and the State Civil Services.

  • The Union and State Services can be classified into Group A, B and C categories based on their role and responsibilities.

  • Services can also be classified into technical and non-technical services.

  • The Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976 made provisions for constituting an all India Judicial Service, which has not yet been formed.

Need for Reforms - It has been pointed out that the Civil Service in India is more concerned with the internal processes than with results.

  • The systemic rigidities, needless complexities and over-centralization

  • Size and the number of ministries and departments have both overloaded the decision-making system

  • Accountability is vague and of a generalised nature.

  • Rapid economic growth, urbanization, environmental degradation,

  • 73rd and 74th Amendments to the Constitution.

  • Rural and urban local governments have to be enabled to become institutions of self government.

  • Far-reaching changes in the global economy, increased global interdependence

  • The role of civil society organisations, in governance, has increased with demands for better governance


  • The quality of governance is critically dependent on the quality of its public servants.

  • A major determinant of the quality of government servants is the rigour and integrity of the recruitment process.

  • Therefore the recruitment process, apart from being transparent, objective, fair and equitable should also ensure that the right type of persons join the civil services

  • The Union Public Service Commission a Constitutional authority has the mandate to recruit senior public

  • The Staff Selection Commission recruits personnel for other positions in the Union Government.

Brief History of Recruitment to Civil Services in India

  • The civil services in India have progressed from what essentially was an elitist service to a service that is now representative of Indian society.

  • It was only from 1922 that the examination also began to be held in India.

  • a Public Service Commission (India) was constituted

  • to conduct the Indian Civil Service (ICS) Examination in India from 1926 on behalf of the British Civil Service Commission.

  • Under the Government of India Act, 1935, the Public Service Commission (India) was replaced by the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) which from 1937

  • After Independence, new services called the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Foreign Service (IFS) were established.

  • the FPSC was redesignated as the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

  • Kothari Committee which gave its Report in 1976, recommended a new scheme of the Civil Services Examination for recruitment

    1. Preliminary Examination

    2. Main Examination

    3. Post Training Test at the end of the Foundation Course at the Academy, including an interview by a Board constituted by the UPSC.

  • This scheme was revisited by the Committee to Review the Scheme of the Civil Services Examination (the Satish Chandra Committee), which in its Report in 1989 recommended the continuance of this structure while introducing a compulsory Essay paper in the Main Examination.

Stage of Entry into the Civil Services

  • Post-School recruitment system and

  • Post-School grooming for public services.

  • This proposal envisages recruitment to the civil services through Entrance Examination for students who have completed class XII

  • The selected candidates would join an Institute for 3-year course

  • This 3-year course would be carefully tailored to meet the essential requirements of a modern and responsive civil service.

  • All candidates who pass the final test would be awarded a graduation degree that is nationally recognized.

  • Those who do not wish to pursue a career in the civil services will be permitted to exit and pursue their interests elsewhere.

  • Those candidates desirous of pursuing a career in the civil services would, on completion of the course, be given their service allotments on the basis of merit and their choice.

  • will undergo a 2-year service-specific course in designated national academies/institutes

  • Again, a final merit list for each service will be drawn up at the end of 2 years on the basis of the exams/tests carried out by the designated academies/ institutes.

  • The proposed system would require the establishment of a National Civil Service College to conduct the 3-year graduation course.

  • The existing age criteria would need to be correspondingly lowered.

  • Arguments For

    1. catch potential civil servants at a young

    2. tap into a much bigger resource pool of talent than the present system of recruitment

    3. A post-school system would also end the present undesirable system of coaching institutes which have mushroomed all over the country

    4. Some eminent educationists have argued that the conventional principle of a Degree as the basic qualification to determine eligibility was evolved at a time when standards of school education were not as high as they are now.

  • Arguments Against

    1. It is well known that students studying in schools in rural areas particularly government schools, do not receive the same quality of education that is delivered in urban areas especially in the public schools.

    2. University education is the key to the development of a well balanced personality in as much as it promotes better understanding

    3. Diversity and flexibility in education have been found to produce far more innovative entrepreneurial and courageous administrators and managers

    4. It may be recognized that for the Armed Forces, it makes sense to catch the potential recruits young and put them through a rigorous training and educational programme designed to uniquely serve the needs of the armed forces.

    5. This may not be ideal for the civil services which have a somewhat a different nature of duties and responsibilities.

  • The syllabi in public policy and management must include an understanding and insight of our Constitution and laws, the political system, social and economic concerns, public services, human resource management and core principles of good governance.

  • This envisages introduction of specially designed new courses which will include the above subjects in a single graduate degree which will become a part of the university curriculum

  • The French ENA is an example of the former, whereas institutions such as the Kennedy School of Governance and the Maxwell Centre for Public Policy in the USA

  • Government of India should not only establish a few National Institutes of Public Administration (of the standard of IITs and IIMs) but some reputed universities and institutions should be assisted in introducing these specialized courses in public administration and related subjects

  • Recommendations

    1. Government of India should establish National Institutes of Public Administration to run Bachelor's Degree courses in public administration/ governance/management.

    2. Selected Central and other Universities should also be assisted to offer such graduate level programmes in public administration/governance/public management

    3. Graduates of the above mentioned special courses from the National Institutes of Public Administration and selected universities would be eligible for appearing in the Civil Services Examinations.

    4. Further, graduates in other disciplines would also be eligible to appear in the Civil Services Examination provided they complete a `Bridge Course'

    5. An `Expert Committee' should be appointed immediately by the Government in consultation with UPSC to develop the curricula

    6. Since this is a major reform relating to an important area of governance and will need coordinated guidance, especially in the initial years, a high-level oversight/coordination committee with the Prime Minister as Chairman

    7. The permissible age for appearing in the CivilServices Examination should be 21 to 25 years for general candidates, 21 to 28 years for candidates from OBC and 21 to 29 years for candidates from SC/ST as also for those who are physically challenged.

    8. The number of permissible attempts in the Civil Services Examination should be 3, 5, 6 and 6 respectively

    9. The present cut-off date for determining the eligibility in terms of age (i.e. 1st of August in the year of the examination) may continue.

  • Structure of Examination:

    1. The Preliminary and Main Examinations for the Civil Services Examination would be conducted together on two to three consecutive days. OR Based on the results of the Preliminary Examination, candidates eligible for taking the main examination and the personality test would be short listed in accordance with their rankings.

    2. Personality Test and the Main Examination almost simultaneously.

    3. The Preliminary Examination should consist of an objective type

    4. There should be no optional subjects.

    5. The Main Examination should consist of two papers only in the compulsory subjects.

    6. Besides, there should be a separate essay paper as a part of the Main Examination

Other Modes of Induction into the Civil Services

  • 66 2/3rd per cent shall be by direct recruitment by a competitive examination;

  • 28 1/3rd per cent shall be by promotion from the State Civil Service; and

  • 5 per cent shall be by selection from among members of other services.

  • The general practice is that officers of the State Civil Service get inducted into the IAS in about eight to twenty-five years, there being wide variations across States

  • This has been a cause of major grievance on the part of the State Civil Service officers.

  • Second ARC says the induction of officers of the State Civil Services into the IAS should be done by the UPSC on the basis of a common examination - Special Recruitment drives

Allotment of Cadres to the All India Services

  • Till 2007, the allotment of cadres was a mix of a merit-based allotment to insiders in fulfilment of their choice of home state, combined with a random roster system for those who did not qualify for their home State.

  • Government has now formulated a new Cadre Allocation Policy (2008)

  • The highlight of the policy is that officers are allocated to different cadres primarily on the basis of merit and their preferences

    1. This, however, is subject to the reservation roster and the underlying principle of maintaining a ratio of 1:2 between the insiders and outsiders

    2. the list of successful candidates would be taken and if candidate(s) is/are available from the above-mentioned seven States and if a successful candidate has opted for the respective home cadre, then he/she should be first allotted to that cadre

    3. In case there is more than one eligible candidate, then the allotment may be done in the order ST, SC, OBC and General candidates, as applicable to each state.

The Union Public Service Commission

  • Promotion of officers through Departmental Promotion Committees (DPC), upto the level of Selection Grade may be delegated to the concerned Departments

  • In the case of disciplinary proceedings, consultation with the UPSC should be mandatory only in cases involving likely dismissal or removal of a government servant

  • The pre-Independence period also saw the setting up of several national and state level training institutions.

  • However, after Independence the thrust of these training programmes changed with time.

  • Emphasis was laid on socio-economic development rather than on regulatory functions.

  • In the mid-eighties, the then PM, R. Gandhi, revamped the structure of training - particularly for the IAS.

  • Emphasis was placed on mid-career training

  • After the economic liberalization in the 1990s, training institutions have tried to re- orient the training programmes.

  • Today almost all major organized services have a national level training institute/ academy.

  • States have established Administrative Training Institutes (ATIs) for training of State Government employees.

  • Some States have also established District Training Institutes

  • The Training Division provides assistance for upgradation of the training equipment of government training institutions.

  • National Training Policy which was formulated in 1996.

The National Training Policy

  • one of the effective and tested tools for performance enhancement, as well as upgradation of knowledge and skills of the personnel.

  • The Policy recognizes that training is an effective and tested tool for performance enhancement, as well as upgradation of knowledge and skills of personnel.

  • Objectives of training should be:

    1. Organizational motivation and morale

    2. Keeping up-to-date and enhancing professional knowledge and skills needed for better performance of individuals and organisations

    3. Promoting better understanding of professional requirements

    4. Bringing about right attitudinal orientation

  • Training programmes should focus on :

    1. Responsiveness

    2. Commitment:

    3. Awareness:

    4. Accountability

  • The National Training Policy (1996) emphasizes training for all. It stipulates that training would be imparted to all rungs of the Civil Services

  • National Training Policy envisaged that each Department should set apart 1.5% of its salary budget to be used solely for the purpose of training

Current System of Training for the Civil Services

  • All those selected for Group A Services are currently required to undergo a two-year (approximately) induction training though for some services like the Indian Forest Service the duration is longer. Group A - Foundation Course and a Professional Course. For the non-Group A Services, the pattern varies

Foundation Training

  • It is a bridge between the academic world of college education and the structured chaos of governance.

  • Main objectives

    1. developing an esprit de corps

    2. fostering the attitudes and values

    3. imparting a basic understanding of the environment and the machinery

  • Spread over a duration of 15 weeks, this course is conducted at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie.

  • 12 out of the 15 weeks - is devoted to course work and 3 weeks to village study and extracurricular activities

Professional Training for All India Services and Other Organised Group A Services

  • The remaining part of the two-year induction training is spent on professional training where officers are given inputs that are specific to their jobs

  • This professional training is coordinated by a professional training institute for each Service.

  • In respect of the IAS, the professional training is divided between the LBSNAA and the State cadre to which the officer is allotted

  • Phase I and Phase II are conducted at the LBSNAA and the district training (in the State Cadre) is conducted between these two phases.

  • Phase I includes a Winter Study Tour of about eight weeks duration, popularly known as Bharat Darshan.

  • The training of about 52 weeks in the State cadre is essentially spent in understanding State specific issues

  • Officers are usually attached to a district, where the district collector mentors the officer during this phase

  • Professional Training for All India Services and Other Organised Group A